Torsos: “You aren’t going to get anywhere if you just stay in [Oceania], you have to be chasing the best players in the world”

Torsos and ZeN talked about joining Renegades, Worlds, and what it would mean to beat Evil Geniuses.

Image via Psyonix

With multiple RLCS Worlds appearances and dozens of domestic titles, the ex-Chiefs roster has put Oceania on the map for Rocket League. But in a major roster shuffle over the last two seasons, old guard players Jake Edwards and Matthew “Drippay” Den-Kaat have moved on from the Australian team, going to TSM and Evil Geniuses, respectively. Only Daniel “Torsos” Parsons remains from that unstoppable roster.

Torsos, alongside Aiden “ZeN” Hui and Cameron “Kamii” Ingram, has stepped up to lead his team to a fifth-straight Worlds appearance and their first under the Renegades banner.

The veteran Torsos and rookie ZeN talked with Dot Esports about their domestic performances, joining Renegades, and getting bragging rights on Drippay.

How did you feel after securing the first seed for RLCS?

Torsos: For me, there was a lot of relief. I had put in a lot of work to improve, and it’s basically full-time what I do, so I’m happy I made it. Having the first spot makes seeding at LAN a lot easier, so that’s great.

ZeN: It’s an even bigger relief for me I feel. I dropped a lot of stuff in my life to make this full-time. I dropped Year 12 at high school because I would be spending too much time away from school if I was traveling around playing, so I’ve put that on hold. Being the new player on the squad, I had put a lot of pressure on myself to perform.

Well, managing the expectations of school and other relationships is tough when you have to juggle Rocket League as well. But how receptive has everyone been about the fact that you do this, as well as understanding the sacrifices you’ve made?

Torsos: Personally, I found school really easy, so the balancing between school and Rocket League wasn’t hard. However, outside of the extra school work, everyone was super supportive of the journey, especially my friends. We always played competitive games together in school, so when I started making money off it, there was some kind of bragging rights there. I was a little bit of a tryhard—we all played competitive Team Fortress 2, but I was always the one on the div-one team.

ZeN: All of my friends play stuff like League of Legends and other tier-one esports, so when I told my friends I play Rocket League, they kind of took it as a joke. It was definitely on the down-low at school and between friends that I was playing professionally.

Did you ever feel concerned during the RLOM finals that you might drop a set?

Torsos: Yeah, we did. We were 3-0 down in both of our games, so we were really concerned. However, I’ve won so many series in reverse sweeps, so I knew we still had a chance.

After all the sacrifices then and the fact you come from Oceania, how does it feel to get another shot on an international stage?

Torsos: It is very good, because in OCE you never get any opportunities, so having the backing of Renegades helps us get to those big international events. I’ve also been a Renegades fanboy my whole life, especially in CS:GO, so representing them has been surreal. Quitting university was a big risk, but it’s paid off big time. I think if we didn’t make Worlds, we would have been letting down Renegades just after they picked us up.

ZeN: It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s unbelievable how many opportunities we have. I dropped out of my HSC to go to these events, so there’s a lot on the line when we play overseas.

You’ve been with Renegades for a month now after leaving the Chiefs. What’s been the biggest difference between having the backing of an international organization vs. an Oceanic one?

Torsos: There’s a lot more stability in payment, as well as the opportunities we get to play. That’s the dream when you live in OCE—you aren’t going to get anywhere if you just stay in the region, you have to be chasing the best players in the world.

This rendition of the roster has been together since the start of the year, but how well do you think you guys have come together over the last few months and are you starting to get more confident in your play?

Torsos: I think we still have a long way to go. When we start to play international teams, I think we will be a lot more comfortable. It was like this last season just after we picked up Kamii—during League Play we were really dodgy but once we get more practice we should be fine.

We have the potential to be a solid team, we just need to work some stuff out, and that takes time. Drippay and I were on the same roster for two years pretty much, and this is a completely new roster we’ve been playing over the last couple of months.

ZeN: For me, I think it comes down to getting more experience. I don’t have a lot of experience, whereas Kamii and Torsos have been to multiple international events over the last couple of years. Being the rookie of the team means that I have a lot to work on, but these events are going to give me the best chance of improving with the amount of exposure against international teams.

Coming in fourth last season at Worlds was a huge achievement for OCE esports generally, but what do you think you can do at DreamHack Dallas and Season 7 Worlds, respectively?

Torsos: DreamHack will be really good practice for us on LAN before Worlds. While we aren’t taking it entirely as a practice run, it’ll be a great way to get some more experience together in a LAN environment. It’s hard to predict where we will end up because I think we will improve a lot between now and Worlds, but making it to day three will always be our goal. At the end of the day, we want to win, and while that might not be realistic, it’s what we are trying to do.

ZeN: It depends on how we go on the day. Scrims are just scrims, so it’s hard to tell based on our results in those. Dallas will be a good benchmark as to how we will go at Worlds given it’ll be my first LAN in front of a proper crowd.

And who do you consider the biggest threats heading into those events?

Torsos: I guess NRG and Vitality are the easiest answers, but I wouldn’t mind playing against Evil Geniuses at DreamHack because they have Drippay now and it’ll be great to beat him.

Would it be a bit of an ego boost then?

Torsos: It’ll be kind of funny, not necessarily an ego boost. We are still close mates and we keep in contact, so it’s not like we hate him for leaving, but it’s always nice to beat your mates.