Retiring from competitive Overwatch
This was probably the hardest decision to make in the past couple years of my life but I'm confident it's the right choice.
After long consideration I decided to retire from competitive Overwatch and stop pursuing any and all opportunities effective immediately. When the game was initially released, the reason I fell in love with it was the fact that it was so differently paced and had so many strategic choices compared to other shooters like counter strike or call of duty.
Now that Blizzard had years to patch the game, they went into a direction with it that I simply don't agree with. I don't mind that they are catering towards their casual player base, but I'm seriously confused how you can say that you planned Overwatch to be an Esports title all along, conceptualize a multi million dollar League and release the game without a proper replay viewer, a proper scoreboard, good spectator tools and custom lobbies still don't have unlimited spectator slots.
In Stage 4 I definitely felt my dislike for Overwatch the most, not only was I working in a position I wasn't fully familiar with yet but on top of that the meta changed into probably the worst meta of all time. Back then I was already seriously considering quitting to do something else and I think another coach said it best once before a scrim: "The day I stop enjoying overwatch and having fun is the day I will retire from Overwatch"
This is the day for me.
I made a lot of good memories, as well as a lot of bad memories. Esports isn't always easy and the viewer often doesn't get to see the ugly truth behind the scenes. That's why I'm probably gonna go back to school to pursue a degree in some sort of Management capacity and return to Esports in a couple years. Games come and go and I'm sure there is a bright future ahead of me in Esports with the right education and the past 2 years of coaching experience I collected.
I want to address a couple people one last time, since I made so many awesome friends that I'm gonna miss a lot. You guys know I'm usually not someone to out pour my feelings but I guess if it's the right time to do it, then it's now. (I'm gonna try to at least come out to Blizzcon next year so you don't forget about me altogether)
Reprize: You know I have to start with you, it's honestly hart to write this part for me without tearing up because you are probably the best friend I've made in Overwatch. You stuck with me no matter what happened and we lived together for almost the entire year. You were the one person that I could be 100% myself without having to worry about anything. I could share all my opinions with you honestly, without having to fear being judged or disliked. You are one of the kindest persons I've ever met and I genuinely hope our path will meet again sometime in the future.
Apply: You were like my younger brother during the last year. All I ever cared about was looking out for you and making sure you are okay and happy. We shared so many good memories together. From going home after a rough day of practice and talking things out so we can both mentally reset and go at it again the next day to hanging out with Rachel and watching all Harry Potter movies in order. I'm glad someone took a chance on you at Valiant and that you can show Reddit that you are a nutty Flex DPS player that was just not given the right tools to succeed in his OWL debut. I'm gonna be cheering for you, time to t-bag some kids.
Paintbrush: This one goes out to my swamp brother. It's surreal to me how you have the ability to make everyone feel comfortable almost the same time you enter the room. That's an ability not everyone has and something you should be incredibly proud off. The very first day I arrived at the Mayhem apartments I was so incredibly nervous. At that point I was awake for more than 24 hours and had just met most of the people I would be working with. You came into the room and I tried to shake your hand, you just declined and asked for a hug and you have no idea how much that meant to me. I felt so much more comfortable after that, keep up the positive attitude and I'm sure you gonna kill it in OWL.
To everyone that has been on Mayhem Academy:
Mayhem Academy as a whole will definitely be one of my most treasured memories. Despite not having the best record, we were all the best friends possible and hanging out every day. All the nights we spent cramped up in reprize's room with 8 people playing Speedrunners together are just unforgettable. Fct, Manneten, Shax, Apply, Epzz, Paint and later also Curryshot, Mangachu and Wub. I also can't forget yeHHH without him I probably would have never been on Mayhem Academy in the first place. You guys are all awesome and I'm so glad to see so many people move up to OWL from Mayhem Academy despite people doubting us all the time. I think reprize and I certainly had an eye for real talent that just needed some help to push them in the right direction.
This one goes out to Rachel & Dom:
A lot of pro's probably don't really look forward to their content team every day because it's usually attached to tedious work that no one really has time for but it was the complete opposite with you guys. Both of you deserve the world and I know you have awesome things planned for Florida Mayhem, you weren't always given the best foundation to work with as the social team but you always tried your best to present everyone in the best way possible.
Dom, one day I'll learn to be more like you. You are always positive, always smiling and always looking to crack a joke, you lift up the mood wherever you go and I want to be more like that. When I came to Mayhem the first day you just instantly treated me like one of the boys and made me feel at home, I couldn't thank you enough for that. The COD team branding looks sick and I can't wait to see what you can pull off with it.
Rachel, you know what I always valued the most about you? That you were never afraid to be honest with me, whatever bothered you about me, you always brought up instantly and talked to me about it. We were always able to sort out our differences instantly, move past it and be friends again. I'll never forget all the memories we've made and thanks for being there for Apply and me at the beginning of the OWL season when not everything was going our way. You have the cutest dog ever and your mom is the coolest person I've ever met. One day I'll be back in LA, then it's time to dig out the Harry Potter movies again.
Mike 1 & Mike 2 & Stoop (Packing & GM Mike): I'm sure the right people know that I'm talking to them. I just wanted to say thank you for saving my ass after getting dropped by Florida and giving me a chance on such a short notice. We build something great during the season and fell just short of making the anime run happen. I'm sorry if I ever disappointed you during the season, just know I had a blast working with all of you and had a lot of fun figuring out a new coaching role. Stage 4 wasn't the greatest time but Stage 2 and Stage 3 made up for it for me.
Hannah: I don't really know what to say anymore but one day I will understand where you take all that energy from. Thanks for always being positive, uplifting and having a smile on your face. I'll miss you but I'm sure we will get to see each other again at some point. Dinner is on me, let's catch up if I'm ever in LA again. Good luck with your graduation, I'm sure you are gonna kill it!
Matt: I hope you gonna find a new GM spot soon, you were the funniest and nicest Manager I've had and I can't wait to see what the future brings. You always said how important a college degree is and now I'm listening to you dad, I'm going back to school and hopefully make you proud. I hope at some point that we get to work together again. And my name is not hungry, just get me food Matt ♥
I hope I'm not forgetting anyone, if I did it's nothing personal. This was pretty rough to write but I'm looking back at a lot of good memories. See you in a couple years, in hopefully a management position. I won't ever return to Overwatch but I'll definitely return to Esports.