Is this finally NRG’s season? They’re sitting in the Top 4 going into the final day of the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Season 8 World Championship in Madrid, and will face either Spacestation Gaming or Veloce Esports in the semifinals for a shot at the grand finals.
The North American giant has remained dominant following the offseason addition of three-time RLCS champion Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver from EU. Alongside longtime members Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon and Justin “Jstn” Morales, they’re looking strong going into Sunday.
Amidst the action on Day 2, which saw NRG top reigning RLCS champions Renault Sport Team Vitality, we spoke with Jstn about his attempts to become a better-rounded player, looking forward to potentially living with his teammates, and future competitive and content plans.
Rocketeers: How is the setup onstage?
Jstn: It’s kinda nice, I don’t mind it. I thought the chairs were going to be really bad, but they turned out to be really nice. I like the mesh on the back, with good airflow. So it’s fine.
The PCs feel nice. Usually they don’t really feel that good and I feel really bad on them, but they feel really smooth. So yeah, they’re feeling really good.
Are you jealous that you’re not living together with your teammates, or are you more relieved?
Both. I mean, living with Turbo and Garrett would be kind of weird: I’m 17. But I’m also jealous, because… have you seen the interviews where one walks into the other’s room? I’m like: man, I wish I could do that, you know, just make everyone laugh. I’m kind of jealous, you know? But maybe next year I’ll be moving in with them, when I’m 18. So I’m excited for that.
What do you think of your teammates’ mechanics?
Garrett is getting better at the mechanics. Yesterday, Turbo was really good. He did a ceiling shot pass to me, so that was not expected. You’ll probably never see that again, but they’re definitely getting better mechanically. They’ve got the smarts, I don’t have the smarts. I have the mechanics, they don’t really have the mechanics. But we’re all working to get better at everything.
From the start you’re known as the most mechanical player, but the meta changed and solo plays might get shut down more. Is it still that important to have great mechanics?
A little bit. I feel like it’s more about smart stuff. Like Sypical: he’s really mechanical, but he doesn’t really use it. He’s super solid on the field, he knows where to be all the time.
You don’t always have to use your mechanics, you just have to position yourself better on the field. And that’s what I’ve been working on myself. I’m not trying to be really flashy anymore, ’cause the meta has shifted and being super mechanical is going to make me out of position all the time. So I’m just trying to play smart, and whenever I really need to use it, I have it—so I’m just waiting and playing super smart.
— Rocket League Esports (@RLEsports) December 13, 2019
You mentioned you’re only 17—you’re still quite young. You came into the scene two years ago, so where do you see yourself two years from now?
Hopefully still with the same team. Living in a house together, you know, making content with the boys. Still making LANs, hopefully winning championships, just winning stuff… having a blast with them. That’s all I really care about.
Do you think you can continue staying on the same level with NRG or do you think you need to rework certain things to stay on top of the meta?
I feel like recently I’ve been slacking a little bit, because I’ve been doing school a lot. Since I’m 17, I’m almost done with school, so I feel like once I’m done with school, I’ll be full-on grinding and practicing everything. I definitely feel like I’ll stay with the meta for a while. So, I’m feeling good when I’m done with school.
And when you’re done with school and you get more time, you mentioned making content. What can we expect from you in the future?
Ooh, I have some videos right now on my computer that haven’t been edited yet. I need to find someone to edit that for me. Hopefully some vlogs with the boys, maybe some funny house moments together, some competitive videos on my YouTube, 6mans, maybe going over team replays and stuff like that. I’m definitely looking forward to that.
Who else do you think is really going to make the scene visible on the content side?
Hmm. If Aztral gets into it, since he’s really mechanical as well, he’ll definitely have the flashy side, so everyone will enjoy that. I feel like he would pop off on the views. And Arsenal, he’s funny, so he’ll pop off on the views as well.
Definitely more people need to do YouTube though, and that’s why I’ll be starting soon. You have Rizzo, Squishy, Kronovi, other people… no one really uploads, everyone is just focused on the RLCS. We need some new people in the scene to start uploading more.
Additional reporting by Andrew Hayward
Photo courtesy of Psyonix