Why I'm done competing in Rocket League
TL;DR: I'm going to start working full time in about a year, so I probably only have one season left in me. In this new format, that means the best case I could achieve is one season of RLRS before retiring. Having been in 3 seasons of RLCS, that just isn't desirable enough of an end goal to pour everything I have into RL for another year. I still want to be involved in the community through streams and stuff, though I don't have any definitive plans.
As much as I hate to say it, this is the end for me in competitive Rocket League. I want to be open about my feelings about everything that's happened, so this might go on for a while. If you're just interested in what's happening, the TL;DR should be enough. But I know there's some people who want to hear more of my thoughts, so here goes:
As some of you know, I've had internships at Facebook the past two summers. Two summers ago, we were in the full swing of RLCS S1, so I was already pretty committed to spending almost all of my free time on RL. My work was pretty difficult and left me quite mentally exhausted, so going home and scrimming every night after work until I went to bed took its toll on me. That's why this summer, I told Zane and Vince that they should try other options, but I'd still be available if that's what they wanted to do. Since they were scrimming with other 3rds, it was hard for me to motivate myself to put in the time I needed to keep up.
As a result, I was initially a sub/coach for the Hollywood Hammers roster. I still felt pretty confident in my abilities towards the latter half of the summer when I started practicing more, but I just couldn't get enough scrim time with the team due to my schedule to justify me being on a main roster. However, with Satthew starting college and not being sure what he wanted to do, I ended up playing on the main roster by the time qualifiers came around.
We had our issues early on, but after a few days we started to gel more, and we were playing pretty well. We were going even or better with pretty much all the teams we were scrimming that are now in RLCS. We beat all the teams ranked below us pretty soundly in tournaments, which seemed to bode well for the qualifiers.
Then the actual day came around, and we just weren't the team we had been. It's hard to say what changed or what caused it, and I doubt I'm ever gonna want to watch the replays to find out. There's no doubt the pressure was getting to us and causing us to try to make plays we didn't need to make, but something was fundamentally different. And because we performed that far below where we should have, we found ourselves not making EITHER league.
I know a lot of people feel like this was a long time coming, and since people hadn't seen much of me recently, they understandably had low expectations. It just hurts that much more because I really feel like I was getting back into it and fully able to compete at that level, but I blew the chance I had to prove it. There's nothing I can do to change that now, but I know it's a day I'll wish I had back for a long time.
Now, looking to the future, I've accepted a full time offer from Facebook. As much as competitive RL means to me, it would be foolish for me not to take one of the best jobs I could hope for in my field. I'm gonna start working next year after I finish school, and I know I won't be able to keep up as a player when that time comes, which leaves me with about one more season. In the best case scenario, that means I could play one season of RLRS. Having been in the RLCS three times now, I know I won't be able to motivate myself to continue putting in the amount of time I have been with that as my end goal. That's why I'm just going to call it quits.
While I still love Rocket League and think it's a fantastic and unique game, I wouldn't have near the 3100 hours I have without the drive to compete at the top level. I'm not going to quit the game by any stretch, but I definitely won't be playing as much as I have for the last 2+ years. It's been an absolutely insane experience and I am so blessed to have been in a position like this, and I do not regret a minute of the time I spent playing and practicing to get here.
Finally, to everyone who's still reading this: thank you so much! You guys have given me support through highs and lows, and while it was my competitive drive that brought me here, it was the community that kept me. I absolutely do not want to stop being a part of the community, and I want to continue creating content, hopefully in a higher volume, to give back. I sincerely hope that I have had and can have a positive effect on enough people to make up for the massive impact everyone has had on me.