dfthaman, Co-owner of RLX
You often hear that today’s youth is the future leaders of a country. The same principle applies to Rocket League. In our local scene, we have several youngsters, all grinding hoping to improve and one day be the best and lead their teams to glory. In this interview I spoke to some of the top talents in South Africa – Gareth “Snowyy” Spiers, Lorenzo “Mr. Low” Fransman & Kian “Noble ZA” Noble. The three of them will represent their respective teams at the VS Championship LAN at Comic-Con this year, from 14-16 September.
Mr. Low: 18
Noble ZA: 17
Snowyy: Exdee Gaming
Mr. Low: Wolf Star Gaming (WSG)
Noble ZA: Untitled
Mr. Low: Cape Town
Noble ZA: Johannesburg
Snowyy: Grand Champ
Mr. Low: Champ 2
Noble ZA: Champ 3
Mr. Low: Squishy
Noble ZA: Rizzo
Favourite in-game mechanic?
Snowyy: Flicks and flip-resets.
Mr. Low: Faking and dribble flicks.
Noble ZA: Flicks.
“To win LAN. Another goal for us would be to not drop any games. A lot of teams have been improving rapidly so I also know it won’t be easy.” – Snowyy, on their goals for LAN.
Gareth “Snowyy” Spiers
Congrats on qualifying for your first-ever Rocket League LAN. How are you feeling?
Snowyy: Pretty excited; it will be nice to meet everybody. I feel that by playing at a live LAN environment everything is going to be more equal. I am most looking forward to playing on a decent PC (more on that later. Ed.).
Mr. Low: Excited as well, although we went through a tough Leg 4 in VS Gaming. But excited because we are a new clan and it’s our first year competing.
Noble ZA: Mixed feelings – great feeling because I played well during the VS season but also nervous because I don’t want to disappoint anyone and don’t want to let my team down.
When RLCS-rookie, JSTN from NRG made his debut at the World Championship LAN, a lot of people questioned whether or not such a young player would be able to deal with the pressure and expectations (and we all know how that went). What do you guys think the biggest challenge will be at LAN?
Snowyy: Adapting to the environment. I need to feel comfortable because then I will play best. I have heard from last year that the PCs used in the Grand Finals on the main stage was very different than people’s own setups so that is something one will need to get used to as well.
Mr. Low: Nerves. I have participated at the Electronic Gaming Expo’s tournaments in different titles and that gave me experience. I know one feels comfortable after a few games, but in tense matches, such as our live-streamed game against VxP | Elem3ntriX, I can hear my heartbeat. I usually listen to music to calm me down, such as hip-hop.
Noble ZA: I agree, the different setups will be something to get used to, such as different chairs and table height.
How are you preparing for LAN?
Snowyy: Our captain, Christian “mOTHER” Massyn, will be playing at LAN in the place of Timothy “Timmy_JS” Santos, and he is the kind of guy you want to be stepping in when you need to prepare for such an important tournament. His communication and leadership is key, and we are putting in the hours in Ranked and scrims. So, I feel confident of our chances with him. He has also played and won LAN last year so he brings a wealth of experience. I will furthermore balance how much I play in the coming weeks to keep the game fresh. Recently I have also started playing RL6Mans and are currently in Rank B which ranges from Champ 3 to Grand Champ.
Mr. Low: As a team: Pro_Noob is still on console (PaPa_Capes and I moved to PC recently) and we are arranging scrims and playing in tournaments such as ESL. I feel confident in our team. I will also balance my hours because your enthusiasm for the game shouldn’t be overshadowed by your grinding for a specific rank.
Noble ZA: I currently have a weird strategy – I have played 40 minutes in the past 2 weeks but feel I play worse when grinding a lot as one can get burned out easily. So, practising endlessly is not the best idea for improvement. As a team – Bread can’t make LAN and our synergy was good. Now we have to adapt to a different player who will be playing in his place – Lorenzo “AboveAverage” Ramos. So, we need to play more as a team to ensure we gel well.
What do you think your chances are? What are your goal (s)?
Snowyy: To win LAN. I started off the VS campaign playing with Leon “li0n_ZA” Havenga and Dane “Magoo” Carptener and then moved to Exdee Gaming with Sergio “NoClip” Frasca & Timmy_JS at the time. Another goal for us would be to not drop any games. A lot of teams have been improving rapidly so I also know it won’t be easy.
Mr. Low: We had a really tough 4th Leg in VS Gaming but managed to qualify through the play-offs. I think our goal for LAN would be to finish Top 4.
Noble ZA: I think we can achieve 2nd place. I want to comfortably win against most teams and we should finish 4th or higher. But also, no game will be easy.
What would you contribute your growth as a player and person to?
Snowyy: I joined the local scene this year (I was previously unaware of this community while I was still on Xbox). Playing with other good players helped me improve although I am more of an individual player which shows in 1v1.
Mr. Low: I started playing seriously last year December. PaPa_Capes, my older brother and captain/co-clan-owner, has been one of the main reason why I improved so much in such a short time – I have about 700 hours in total and already at a very high rank. I still feel I need to be better – I am very competitive. Capes coached me and I learned shots from him. I also have this mentality that you can’t improve if you think you are the best.
Noble ZA: Before South African servers were here, I was part of team Plakkie Klap and then with the ACGL MGMS I didn’t live up to the hype and scored an own goal as well as missed a save. Heisenberg_Luke from VxP | Elem3ntriX spoke to me afterwards and helped me put it behind me. I realised that I am putting the pressure on myself. I am also now tougher for criticism and can shrug it off, although compliments go a long way.
“I still feel I need to be better – I am very competitive. PaPa_Capes, my older brother and captain/co-clan-owner, coached me and I learned shots from him. I also have this mentality that you can’t improve if you think you are the best.” – Mr. Low
Lorenzo “Mr. Low” Fransman
Snowwy – Tell us a little bit more about your computer setup because apparently it is not the best for RL?
Yeah, my PC setup is far from ideal for Rocket League and I feel it hinders me quite significantly. It’s a Lenovo Idea Centre B520 All-In-One desktop, similar to Apple’s iMac series I believe. So, essentially, it’s just a thick screen with the PC components packed into the slightly thicker part at the back – really not what you need for any kind of gaming let alone a fast-paced game like Rocket League. I’m forced to run on 720p with most of the effects-boxes unticked and graphics-options on their lowest to keep the framerate at a playable state. In 1s and 2s I can maintain a more or less stable 60fps on good maps like Mannfield, Beckwith Park etc. (Always when we scrim we have to play on Mannfield Night for the best performance for Snowyy :omegaLUL:. Ed.) However, on the other maps, the fps starts to deteriorate and along with it the input delay, which makes enjoying the game difficult, to say the least. In 3v3, the same can’t be said for getting a stable 60fps on even the good maps which is unfortunate because 3s is currently the main competitive game mode although hopefully in the near future I can upgrade to a decent setup and really show what I’m capable of.
Snowyy – When you became part of the larger scene there was a bit of a bad-boy image attached to you but over the last couple of months you have shunned that tag in exchange for one of a reformed player? Was it a conscious change or did people just get the wrong impression from you in the beginning?
Yeah, I think that “bad-boy” image was a bit of an unfortunate situation, largely due to me and mOTHER bashing heads at the beginning when I was just coming onto the local scene. With him being a well-known and much-liked figure in the community and me being more or less new to the scene, most people took his side on the matter which ultimately caused a bad image for me. Since then I haven’t consciously made any changes with regards to my attitude or how I go about things, the only thing that’s changed is after being picked up by Exdee Gaming a month or so ago, it’s my responsibility to act accordingly and make sure I keep the team’s name and brand in a good light. That would be the only thing getting in the way of some antics, haha!
Mr. Low – You recently made the switch from PS4 to PC. Why and how is it going now?
Well, before I made the switch I asked a bunch of people if PC is actually better than PS4. Everyone said its way better because of the higher frames, responsiveness and the fact that it’s just smoother. Also, I really needed a new setup for my studies as well so I made the decision to sell my PlayStation to benefit my gaming and my studies of course. It took me about a week to get used to Rocket League on PC. It’s shockingly different to console, but now I’m really enjoying it. Most, if not all, high-level players are on PC and I get to play with most of them a lot in privates/scrims which is also really beneficial to my game. Whereas on PS4, I didn’t get exposed to that high-level play, therefore I am really happy to be on PC. Oh, also because of those workshop maps!
Mr. Low – WSG is a new organisation headed by two of your family members, Veihalis (cousin) and PaPa_Capes (brother). How does the backing of such a start-up organisation which is growing fast, and the captaincy of a mature player such as Capes, who has also been to LAN before, help you?
Being part of WSG is actually amazing because of the fact that you have that support system. I mean, whenever our games were streamed there were more than 10 members watching so it kinda adds pressure but also makes you perform better in a way because you know if you miss a ball you’re going to get burned in the WhatsApp group later or on Discord. The most advantageous part is being PaPa_Capes’ younger brother. I have learnt so much from him and the fact that he’s our captain makes a huge difference on the field. All this will contribute to our success!
“I think you just have to keep going, working hard and eventually it will pay off. I think if you have a goal, if you want to be the best, etc., then you have to work hard towards that. You should also ignore those trying to bring you down.” – Noble ZA
Kian “Noble” Noble ZA
Noble ZA – you strike me as one of the most mature and well-spoken teenagers in. How do you think that helps you in being a very important player in one of the top teams in SA?
I think that being mature, especially in a game like this, makes you an easy person to approach, and even easier to play with. Not getting tilted after losses (which I am still yet to master) will benefit you and your team greatly in the long run. I think in my situation with my team it helps because we gel very well in more than just the game. We have no problem chatting for hours about anything and this is why I think we have great chemistry as a team. I also think that the chemistry, and understanding we have with each other, is what makes us such a hard team to play against, but I would be lying if I said it was just because of me. I think I have a great team on and off the virtual field – they are all great players in the game but even better people outside of it.
Noble ZA – what is the one thing you would like other aspiring RL youngster to know? What advice can you give them?
I think you just have to keep going, working hard and eventually it will pay off. I think if you have a goal, if you want to be the best, etc., then you have to work hard towards that. You should also ignore those trying to bring you down – if they will take time out of their day just to try hurt you or insult you, then honestly they’re not even worth taking notice of. Plus, it will feel damn good when you prove them wrong. Trust me, I know.
I hope all of you have enjoyed the thoughts of these young yet mature players. Keep an eye out for them at LAN and in the future!