Earlier in the week, local Rocket League young gun, Hawk, announced that he has found a new team since his departure from The Chiefs Esports Club. We were able to sit down with one of his teammates, ZeN, to talk more about the roster and how it all transpired. Interestingly, the third member of this trio is the well-known Japanese player, ReaLize.
It’s a given that this announcement gathered a lot of attention from the Rocket League community, as two Australian-based players would be joining forces with a Japanese player to form a very young and talented roster. Although they cannot compete in the Rocket League Championship Series due to age restrictions regarding Hawk, they mentioned that they will be competing in all possible competitions to the best of their abilities.
Background of players in the roster
Shogo “ReaLize” Ikeyama
Aged 18, ReaLize is a Japanese Rocket League player that is known for being a freestyle player and has had his plays featured on montage teams such as Pulse and AllTheRage. Outside of Rocket League, he has also been playing Fortnite at a competitive level. ReaLize has been titled by many as the one to watch coming out of the Asia region.
Notable Competitive Teams:
Aidan “ZeN” Hui
Aged 17, ZeN has a competitive history dating back to 2016. He began to appear on the radar of competitive Rocket League in late 2017, where he joined Legacy Esports. The following year, he was part of Avant Gaming for the Gfinity Elite Series. He has since ran into some bad luck with teams, but we hope to see him overcome this.
Notable Competitive Teams:
Connor “Hawk” Baldock
Aged 13, Connor came out of nowhere to make himself known to the mainstream audience of competitive Rocket League, signing to The Chiefs Esports Club and helping them reach Dreamhack Montreal. He was titled as a superstar by the club, for being so young but still able to keep up with the veterans.
Notable Competitive Teams:
Weeks leading up to the announcement
We started off our interview with ZeN by asking how this roster came together and what transpired leading up to the decision. “In the weeks leading up to Dreamhack Montreal, I had confirmed a position with Ground Zero Gaming and hoped to play the up-coming RLCS season with them,” said ZeN. Following the unfortunate news that he was dropped from his team, ZeN continued, “seeing as that fell through after Dreamhack Montreal, I was teamless. With less than 24 hours before sign-ups closed for RLCS, I had to make decisions as to how I was going to tackle this season.”
ZeN had been in discussions with Hawk throughout the Dreamhack Montreal event and they had thought of competing with the Japanese player, ReaLize. “Hawk and I had been playing ranked together before and during Montreal. When Hawk eventually mentioned the prospect of teaming with ReaLize, it was almost as if the stars aligned, as ReaLize has been a player that I’ve respected for a very long time and I believe he is incredibly gifted. It’s no surprise that he has the most potential coming out of the Asia region,” said ZeN.
RLCS age restriction and plans to tackle the issue
Due to Hawk being below the age of 15, and to age restrictions with the Rocket League Championship Series, this roster will not be eligible for this season’s event. Despite the road bump, this isn’t stopping them from competing to the best of their abilities for the rest of the year and beyond.
Requirements for RLCS:
ZeN talked on the topic of age restrictions by stating, “Hawk is at a young age and only being eligible for RLCS late next year, the three of us have agreed to play out the rest of this year and next year in all tournaments apart from the World Championship.”
“With this long-term commitment from all of us, I believe it’s a vital step in finding the international success that we’ve all been working for,” concluded ZeN.
View on Rocket League in Oceania
A hot topic as of late has been the state of Rocket League in Oceania. We thought it would be great to gain some insight from one of Australasia's top players, to showcase his thoughts on where Oceania currently stands.
ZeN expressed to us that he feels the region is currently very static, by explaining that, “we currently have very minimal and small prize pool tournaments and not many top four teams compete in them, mainly due to the small amount of competition for those in the top four.” He continued on the topic by saying, “at the moment, the scene revolves around scrims being the primary practice. With the departure of The Gauntlet, ran by Yumi, there is very little opportunity to practice playing in official games outside of RLCS League Play.”
“If there was a way to improve the quality of competitive play in the scene, garner higher prize pool tournaments, and raise the number of dedicated players willing to practice, then I believe that everything would ultimately fall into place to help the growth of Rocket League in this region,” concluded ZeN.
Although this roster will not be competing in the Rocket League Championship Series this season, they are definitely a roster to watch out for in any up-coming competitions based in Australasia. We do hope that they are able to find their feet and stick together, as cross-regional play is definitely new to Oceania’s Rocket League scene.