I'm disbanding Team OverDrive
So this might come as a surprise to a lot of people, in fact, I haven't mentioned it in a serious manner even to the current team members, but things have been going awful since the first qualifier, and truth be told, OverDrive just doesn't meet the standards I had set for it as a pro team.
First off, let me explain what went down in detail since this team's inception and how it led to this.
A lot of people were wondering if the Online Qualifier #1 were we beat Liquid for Top 4 was a dumb luck. Yes and no. Our original 3 members (Marbelize, KingNick and I) all had been grinding the game since launch and have high level individual skill and similar style that just matched well. It made sense to make a team from that pure skill and just develop teamwork over time, and we were doing so in Matchmaking just the night before the qualifier. Kephri joined us at random while the lobby was open, and ran 2-3 games with us in complete silence where we did good (not that we were bad or struggling beforehand; in fact we were doing super well). From there, he brought up teaming for the OQ #1 since we were still missing one just a few hours before the tournament and had no other plans regardless. It made more sense to agree than not even give it a shot.
We went with that. Lo and behold, we made it to Top 8 against all odds. Then came the match against Liquid for Top 4. It was a close one, but we pulled through. However, it wasn't through pure luck. We executed those two matches to near perfection and Liquid might not have been taking us as serious because we came out of nowhere. Not to mention that their roster at the time was not on the same page which worked out in our favor. Since then, their original roster has split, but it was clear that those dudes had put tremendous effort in making sure something like that wouldn't happen again. nV, who we matched for Top 2 was a different deal and on top of us cooling down for 2+ hours while waiting for the match, we went against a team that had far more practice and had been grinding in silence. We had never seen their style and we got caught off-guard and obliterated. That wasn't too much of a surprise. But regardless of that, it was still nice to beat TL and be Top 4 as a tournament result.
From there, we were content with our placing, but not complacent and kept practicing. However, over the two weeks between OQ #1 and #2, it became clear that Kephri wasn't the 4th for us. We just had a lot of differences in style, decision-making and strategies, and it became obvious that it was causing more problems than not. We worked on improving it for those two weeks, took a big risk heading into OQ #2 with a doubt, and it proved to be founded. We placed 17th (just outside of Top 16) and since I had told myself beforehand that placing out of Top 16 would require a roster change, I brought it up to the team, and we went forward with that.
Spending most of the week leading to OQ #3 looking for a teammate, we agreed on Psylince the night before the tournament (which led to an amazing lack of practice) but despite so, we still placed Top 16, which I found acceptable given the circumstances. To me, it was clear that what we needed to do from there was just settle down as a team and practice a lot to improve together and not make further roster changes since we had so little time left to establish and secure our Regionals spot. However, KingNick must have disagreed because without warning, he decided to hop to a different team few a hours before the check-in for OQ #4 started, leaving us with a ridiculous and small window of time to find a 4th that didn't have a team, had points, and was solid at the game. We were able to settle on Squall, who was a great teammate, but once again, due to the obvious lack of practice, team chemistry and established strategies at the time, we ended up placing 18th (outside of Top 16 again).
Now, all things considered, it's not that bad. We're still in the Top 16 with points. We could make a run back and clutch it to show up at Regionals, but I feel like even we did, our practice is just lacking to compete with (and win against) a Top 8 team. Sure, we have 3 or 4 weeks leading up to the Regionals to practice in, but I just have a strong feeling it would take more than that. On a personal level, I haven't been able to focus on things that make me appreciate gaming (streaming, creating content, gaming with different people, etc.) for what it is, and I have been delivering poor performance in-game because of that. As if that wasn't bad enough, I ended up getting shaded by a good friend of mine I thought I could trust, and it just left me feeling awful and frustrated this whole time.
Overall, this is where I stand. This whole experience has been disheartening and just a pure shit show. Competitive Halo has made me love winning more than ever, meet a lot of awesome people, but also made me realize that a lot more are 100% self-motivated with no interest in seeing others – even teammates – succeed. Therefore, I want to take a break from it, which leads me to disband the team. From here, I plan on spending the upcoming week grinding alone on a smurf and see what happens from there. I feel like on a personal level, I need a massive improvement not just skill-wise, but also mindset-wise, and I don't want to hold the rest of the team back. I think I have been doing so without realizing it because of the team not being where I'd want it to be and different things frustrating me (most of which I've gone over in this), and it's time to change something about it.
I hope most people can understand. I also expect a lot of people to call me dumb since there's one single qualifier left excluding the last chance one, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it made sense. There might be a last minute change, if for whatever reason, I think it's needed and want to get spot at the Regionals real bad OR just improve to where I feel like I need to be (might happen after I invest ~60 hours into the game this week while working on the issues in question), but for now, this is how it will be.
This said, I just want to thank all those who believed in this team, those who offered teaming opportunities (I still feel bad about the ones I couldn't get back to; just know it wasn't on purpose), and to the few real people out there who care about their team before themselves. Shout out to Marbelize for fitting in all those categories and being a great and supportive friend overall.
As a side note for all the aspiring pros out there, never forget that being pro involves more than high placings, prizes or skill. You also have to be pro in work ethic, attitude, time investment, and while interacting with others.
I apologize to the people we let down. Just know that the support and kind words are not forgotten.