dfthaman, Co-owner of RLX
Exdee Gaming were crowned the VS Gaming Rocket League Champions, at the recently held Comic Con Africa event in Johannesburg. In the process, captain Christian “mOTHER” Massyn became the first two-time winner of the LAN event, as well as the first person to win it back to back. In this interview we spoke to him and his two teammates, Gareth “Snowyy” Spiers and Sergio “NoClip” Frasca, their reserve player, Jacob “Kaska7” Robbertse, as well the owner of Exdee Gaming, DeWet “RidditZ” Lombard-Bovey, about their experience at the LAN.
Congratulations guys! What was your reaction and feeling after wining LAN, especially the few days afterwards?
mOTHER: Not close to the same as last year. Last year I had this euphoric high for few days straight whereas this time it felt very underwhelming and I was very exhausted. I was exhausted because of all the practise and working a full-time job. We always got there early to be punctual and warm up. For a while it never really sunk in and then about a week afterwards I realised that I actually did it twice in a row.
Snowyy: Kind of the same. It was really tiring because of me having a bad sleeping schedule. Like 20 minutes before the Grand Finals I was ready to go to sleep. I was not super happy with myself and how I played.
NoClip: I was kind of hyped and the Exdee supporters were just awesome. I didn’t even get top four last year so this was great.
mOTHER: I wanted to team with NoClip last year already and promised him to.
mOTHER, coming into this tournament as the defending champion, did you feel this put any extra pressure on you, also knowing that you guys were the clear favourites again? How do you deal with these kinds of nerves?
mOTHER: The pressure is ridiculous. With this line-up we just couldn’t lose. I first, before the tournament, I tried to focus on the admin and other stuff instead of the performance, and then focused on only the performance during the game. One can’t overthink the stress and anxiety.
Snowyy, for a while now you have been considered as the best Rocket League player in South Africa. How did it feel to win the biggest local tournament on the biggest stage; do you feel that solidified your status as the best?
Snowyy: Maybe, yeah, because I won the main 3v3 tournament. And I am the best in 1s as well. I feel I can improve so much more though. The new PC I played with at LAN (borrowed from Kaska7) was a bit uncomfortable for me, as slight touches with the lower input lag was difficult to get perfect.
NoClip: How was this year’s experience versus last year for you, in terms of tournament structure?
NoClip: The new format is way better and I got to see the new day’s sunrise without tears.
What was the biggest highlight at this LAN, besides winning it?
Snowyy: Meeting everyone and hanging out for 3 days. That made LAN the best.
mOTHER: Exdee’s Dota and Counter Strike teams behind us. Whenever they had free time they supported us.
NoClip: I was more able to value the people you meet in real life.
You played in the final against surprise package WSG || Sirius and they also pushed you the farthest, by being the only team to take two games off you. What was it about them that made it difficult to play against?
Snowyy: They did take two games off us, but there wasn’t anything in particular to how they played. They were overachieving and we were underachieving.
mOTHER: I disagree a little bit: there wasn’t a single team that kept possession – people kept booming the ball back and then we would have boost and possession. Sirius actually tried to keep possession.
NoClip: I know PaPa_Capes said that they were going to try and tilt Snowyy, by demolishing him often.
“I was kind of hyped and the Exdee supporters were just awesome. I didn’t even get top four last year so this was great.” – NoClip
Kaska7, you and mOTHER have come a long way and are really good friends. You also won the VS Gaming Championship with him in 2017 at rAge, being the reserve player of OK | Dangerkids. What was this journey of the past two years like?
Kaska7: The journey was great. I was lucky to have mOTHER with me, we’ve been friends since Grade 6, when we were 12 years old. Being in a team with your best friend is so great. Any issues can be resolved quickly as we know each other’s personalities, and we know how to resolve conflict. This is pretty much just playing games with your friends, and that is amazing. Everyone got along well and were very positive and supportive. We were looked after so well by the owner of Exdee, Dewet. He puts us first and will do anything for us. So, the journey was just really great. And one day I can say, “hey, I did this with my best friend together.”
Kaska7, currently, what is it like working with such a talented team? Is it at all difficult? Or are their personalities easy to manage?
Kaska7: No, I don’t think it was difficult. Everyone kind of understood each other and each other’s personalities. NoClip and I were joking a lot – if you had to see some of the conversations we had in Discord you would think there were something wrong with us, haha. We had so much fun and were just comfortable. There was not a lot of ego involved. The main important thing was that if someone made a mistake they stepped forward and we could resolve it. And then by the next practice it was sorted out. No one was broken down. One thing that stood out for me was how calm and collected they were before LAN. Their egos never ran away with them. Last year Rocket Éclair was the favourite for LAN and finished fourth, and this year they knew it could happen to them too. They were really mature for their ages and I respected that a lot. Everyone wanted to improve and that motivated them, and they tried to build each other up as well and not bring the team down. They worked very hard for this.
RidditZ, what motivated Exdee Gaming, one of the biggest local gaming organisations, to enter the local Rocket League scene, by picking up this roster?
RidditZ: Exdee Gaming has always had a mindset on helping “develop”. Whether that is getting in new and young players, like we have done in our Dota 2 team over the past two years, or looking towards new titles like Rocket League. Sure, we didn’t pick up a brand-new team for Rocket League, but we thought that if we could help out a fast-growing community by representing them, we would do that.
We try being involved, watching streams and trying to promote Rocket League whenever we can. Our hope is to get more visibility to the Rocket League community locally. And it also helped that a certain player kept nagging me to look into Rocket League and I eventually folded. 😉
Fascinating! What do you think about the future of Rocket League in South Africa, and how can we as a community work collectively towards that goal?
RidditZ: It depends. As with any esports you need to get viewers on stream. The more viewers you can bring in, the more sponsors and tournaments will get involved. Rocket League is an easy-to-watch esport. And it has the flashy elements that people like, so it has a lot going for it from a casual non-esports viewer standpoint as well. I honestly think that if we as a whole can get more viewers to the streams, the rest will take care of itself, including getting international tournament qualifiers for the region.
Exdee as an organization will work hard towards making that a possibility, and hopefully we can help with making the above a reality.
“Meeting everyone and hanging out for 3 days. That made LAN the best.” – Snowyy
Exdee in full concentration during the Grand Finals versus WSG || Sirius.
L to R: Snowyy, mOTHER & NoClip.
Snowyy, how are you so good at this game?
Snowyy: I just watched and played a lot of Rocket League. Put a lot of hours in. Basically, I made a conscious effort to improve.
mOTHER, you have won it twice in a row. Are you ready to become a Turbopolsa and make it three in a row?
mOTHER: Yes, I definitely want to. More motivated than ever. People need to watch out.
Why did mOTHER play at LAN instead of Timmy_JS?
mOTHER: Timmy made his own conscious decision to step down from Exdee Gaming and then I stepped in because I was the sub.
Do you see anyone beating you next season?
Team: Not really.
mOTHER: But there are a lot of people coming up and I like to give shoutouts to the young guys.
Snowyy – Yes, there is lots of potential in this scene.
How does it feel to basically be unrivalled in this small community? One can almost compare you to the current dominant form of Team Dignitas in EU.
Snowyy: It is great that we are the best but also a bit disappointing because we all love competition. And yes, in a sense we are a little like Dignitas.
mOTHER: We don’t just want one team at the top all the time. We want people to challenge us so that it can be worth our while.
On average, how many hours do you guys play Rocket League together as a team per week?
NoCIip: Two hours a night before LAN.
Snowyy: Yeah, we didn’t actually play so much before LAN.
mOTHER: Three and a half weeks before LAN, I got back from Cape Town (where I had bad internet) and then we played a lot.
mOTHER, despite being out of the scene for a while, and not playing many competitive matches, you had to come in just before LAN and grind a lot (even reaching Grand Champion) in order to be ready. How did you manage that?
mOTHER: I play 400 solo standard games every season. I barely play other game modes. I didn’t care about the rank and slowly but surely my rank became higher. Then I also solo queued regular 3v3 standard to Grand Champ, after getting Grand Champ with Snowyy in 2v2.
Is it more important to try and play around your teammates, or rather play your most comfortable style?
NoClip: It depends on your teammates’ rank – with lower level teammates it is best to play around them; now with high lever teammates it is a combination of the two because you can’t pass if everyone is doing their own thing.
Snowyy: NoClip is right, it is a combination of the two.
How far away do you think South Africa is from competing at an RLRS level?
mOTHER: It is not matter of skill, we have that. It is the issues that are currently hindering us. So, ping and the experience.
NoClip: Yes, because even with the high ping we are taking them on.
Snowyy: We don’t play at that level yet but if we start scrimming them we can adapt and be comfortable in no time.
Is mOTHER retiring next year?
mOTHER: No. I might consider retirement after the 3rd win.
“We don’t just want one team at the top all the time. We want people to challenge us so that it can be worth our while.” – mOTHER.
Questions to each other:
mOTHER to NoClip: I talk to them about this particular thing so often. Why don’t you have any confidence in your ability? You play really well when you have confidence, and not when lacking it.
NoClip: I realised recently that I only play well when I believe in myself. When you’re still a kid, you’re overcomplicating things because of all the time you have.
mOTHER to Snowyy: You know you and I had a bit of a quarrel with each other when you joined the scene and yet you didn’t worry to get acknowledgement from the scene. When did you start caring and take things seriously?
Snowyy: That hasn’t changed that much. I love this game and want to play with South African guys; I love the game and want to compete, and playing with other good players pushes you on. I have a lot of self-belief and I am going to want to win no matter what.
NoClip to Snowyy: After you came in the scene and there were negative perceptions about you in the scene, how did you stay positive?
Snowyy: I didn’t worry about what other people thought. People were still willing to queue and play with me. My confidence and self-belief are right up there.
Snowyy to mOTHER: What led you to create an opinion about me, without much evidence, when I joined the scene in the beginning and we had that quarrel?
mOTHER: I just came from winning LAN and MGMS with two different teams, and being that person is a lot of pressure and expectation. As soon as someone challenges me, they usually don’t have the skill or achievements to back it up. But Snowyy was able to come in as a hotshot who was very good, yet I felt he was arrogant. He knew how good he was and others didn’t know it yet; I saw potential and then I saw the arrogance and was angry at him being that way. I guess I had a big ego at that time as well.
NoClip: Snowyy, in the beginning of this year when you joined the scene, you had a trial period with Nicholas “cPZ” Fourie and Stefano “Nianfo” Batazzi. What happened there?
I met cPZ online and beat him in a 1v1 while I was still on Xbox. I made a Steam account and started talking and finding out about the SA scene. I started playing with Zeb and Nian and I realised they were not the players for me. I had more fun with Kian “Noble_ZA” Noble and others. Then cPZ said I could be their sub and I didn’t really want that.
Snowyy to NoClip: Was there genuine animosity to me when I had my beef with mOTHER in the beginning?
NoClip: Not really. But I am close with mOTHER yet I wasn’t judging your character.
Snowyy: Then I wanted to apologise. I sent NoClip a message and he didn’t see it for two days before he replied. All of them laughing.
“Everyone wanted to improve and that motivated them, and they tried to build each other up as well and not bring the team down. They worked very hard for this.” – Kaska7
Our time is almost up. Any shoutouts?
mOTHER: Huge shout to Cougar Gaming and Exdee Gaming for giving South Africa resources and putting us on contract. Shoutout to DeWet for doing so much for Rocket League and having faith in us. Also, shoutout to my family. Shoutout to Kaska7 – he gives me advice as well, and tells me what I am doing wrong. I have down days and he is always supporting me.
Snowyy: Shoutout to you DF and RLX; thank you for everything you are doing for the scene. Shoutout to my family. And shoutout to Kaska7 for lending me his PC.
NoClip: My parents. And also we appreciate the advice Kaska7 gave us during the sticky situations throughout the year.
“I honestly think that if we as a whole can get more viewers to the streams, the rest will take care of itself, including getting international tournament qualifiers for the region.” – Ridditz, on the future of Rocket League in South Africa
That’s it folks. Exdee Gaming is truly a formidable team. It is extraordinary to see how their respective histories shaped them as people and players, and how they formed a strong team with good synergy. I am sure we can all learn a lot from them.