It was announced over the weekend that David “yumi_cheeseman” Lane has been acquired by Canadian organisation, Team Reciprocity, as a Coach and Manager for their Rocket League roster. We had the opportunity to sit down with Yumi and gain a better understanding of the move and what his intentions are moving forward.
Up until recently, David “yumi_cheeseman” Lane has been better known to the global Rocket League competitive community as an analyst and caster based out of Australia. Yumi has been the main Australian on-air talent for three seasons of the RLCS Finals; season three, four and five. Yumi started his journey in Rocket League in November of 2015, where he competed as a player in the title. Following his stint as a player, Yumi began running power rankings, podcasts and casting professionally in 2016, before his first paid casting gig at the Sennheiser Classic Finals on December 12th of 2016.
Due to visa problems when trying to attend overseas Rocket League events, Yumi has been dabbling in other talent opportunities, with appearances at the likes of PAX Australia for the PUBG Redbull Fight or Flight competition. Other titles aside, it seemed Yumi’s heart was with Rocket League, as on October 26th the announcement went live for his move to Team Reciprocity.
We kicked off our interview by asking Yumi what the move entails, and his expectations coming into the role. “Moving to Team Reciprocity (REC) and coaching should be a fun new adventure. I love the REC boys and I’ve spoken a lot with Ferra and Fruity over the last couple of years. I really respect them all as players (except Fruity) and as people (except Fruity),” said Yumi.
“From my experience with them at Montreal, Reciprocity seem like an amazing organisation, which helped me decide to join them. They care a lot about the players and seem to want to bring some more content to Rocket League,” continued Yumi.
“With casting taking a backseat due to visa issues, location issues and what not, it only made sense for me to lean into coaching. I’d already been coaching multiple teams for many years, so it’s not a huge professional leap for me. But it is a huge leap geographically,” finished Yumi.
On the topic of how he felt about the organisation as a whole, Yumi discussed how this role came about and the process involved. “I’ve been speaking with Ferra over the last couple of years, usually about Rocket League results and what not. They’ve always been strong and solid, but have continually fallen in tense situations at Worlds. After going down in game five against G2 Esports during Season 7, Ferra reached out to me to see if they can turn their strong abilities into strong results moving forward,” said Yumi.
“It took some time and trialing, at the likes of Summit and Montreal, but with a new organisation and the amount of support they’re getting from REC, it made sense to join,” concluded Yumi.
Now that Yumi has officially acquired the role, we asked about his intentions with the roster moving forward. “Reciprocity have been together for so long now, they’re the second-longest running trio at the moment in Rocket League, and have continually improved by themselves. With such an established team, playstyle, and strong results, it isn’t so much about changing their playstyle and how they play, it’s more about trying to help find as much consistency as possible. Things like providing an extra set of eyes, figuring out how to take a series, and reduce the amount of time spent doing admin work for the players,” said Yumi.
When talking about what his intentions are, we asked if he plans on receiving any help from a wider coaching group. Yumi fired back by saying “no, coaches are very new to Rocket League and are only just receiving ‘support’ from tournament organisers. Rocket League also isn’t as intense strategically as the likes of Counter-Strike, so one coach is enough.”
Yumi went on to close this part of the interview by talking about the location situation and his plan to tackle it. “I’ll be working remote from Australia, but will be at events alongside the REC boys to help them there. This means I’m staying up til’ at least 6:00am every night to be able to participate in scrims and chat with the players.”
“I would be happy to move overseas at some point, if it made sense. But that’s not on the cards right now,” concluded Yumi.
David “yumi_cheeseman” Lane’s thoughts on Rocket League in Oceania.
Like many of our other interviews, we closed out our interview with David “yumi_cheeseman” Lane, by asking his thoughts on Rocket League’s competitive atmosphere in Oceania and how to improve it.
“Oceania struggled at the beginning of the year. With Drippay leaving for North America, a huge hole was created in LAN experience locally. Any time a top player leaves, it causes a huge shuffle. With that move being made, it created a set of teams last season that were all competitive with each other, but lacked any super teams that could get super performances. Even still, it’s just one poor season for Oceania, but I’m pretty confident that the top teams in Oceania right now can have some good overseas performances later,” said Yumi.
“Unfortunately in Oceania, we don’t have the level of infrastructure that NA and EU have. We’re a smaller region and aren’t run directly by Psyonix, which means we get a lot less viewership, money and overall a lot less tournaments. It’s created an atmosphere where it’s only worth being the absolute best,” continued Yumi.
Yumi went on to hint at the gaps being filled in the community by stating “that being said, we started as a community-driven region. We’re looking to do the same to fill the gaps that are missing in terms of tournaments here, with The Gauntlet, Frequency, Nordic and hopefully some more stuff next year.”
Closing out the interview, Yumi spoke about what he believes needs to be done to improve the competitive scene in Oceania. “We’ve had literally two tournaments of any kind this year, RLCS and Dreamhack Montreal qualifiers. The Gfinity Elite Series stopped, and left a giant hole in our calendar. The community groups weren’t able to fill the gap. The Gauntlet was fine, but was still only a $120 weekly tournament, and didn’t cater well to teams that are outside of that top two and three,” said Yumi.
“Overall, I want to see Oceania treated as though it’s a core part of Rocket League. It’s hard for people to be invested in the region when it’s not treated as such in the first place. More tournaments, more international exposure, more international results, and more content around the players – there’s plenty of things that can help the region, so we’ll see how it goes,” concluded Yumi.
Following the announcement of Yumi to Team Reciprocity, the team managed to take down Complexity Gaming but sadly fell to Team Vitality in Season 8 of the European RLCS. His next match with the team will be against Mousesports on the 4th of November, which will be a top of the table clash.
You can stay connected with Yumi by following him on Twitter.