ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / JOSHUA LEE – STAFF WRITER / SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2021 /
(This written interview was initially conducted June 21st, 2021)
Here at ESR we had the pleasure to interview a former professional Overwatch player who, at the time, had chosen not to disclose their name. However, they have since changed their mind. We present to you, our interview with RinaVX.
ESR: How long have you been playing Overwatch?
RinaVX: “5 years. I started when it was open beta until covid hit.”
ESR: What team did you play for?
RinaVX: I played for multiple teams. I played for Selfless, OpTic, then under GGEA which was owned by OpTic at the time, XL2, which was the academy for the New York Excelsior, and a couple of pug teams like ‘You guys get paid?’
ESR: Can you describe your time playing for these teams?
RinaVX: On OpTic we played for 8 hours a day. We started at 1(PM) and we ended around 10ish(PM). A lot of our blocks were 2 hour segments per team, we played against 3 teams everyday. We played from 1 to 3, 3 to 5, and then 5 to 6 was an hour break, 6 to 7 we had a review on what was going on. And then 8 through 10 was our final. And we just had Sundays off. And during that time it was pretty tough. We would just DJ it through the night, I would stay up late, I would play until like 4 AM. And I’ll be groggy as shit, wake up at noon and then start the whole day over again. We would do that 6 days a week. That lasted for 6 months.
ESR: What was the pay like?
RinaVX: I got paid 1,500 a month. I spent most of my money ordering McDonalds every day. So it didn’t literally account for much. Later, I got promoted and paid 2,250 a month. We had our own 401k, we also had our own apartments that we shared with 3 people, and health insurance at the time.
ESR: Are you currently active in the esports scene?
RinaVX: I’m currently off until Valorant becomes a less shit game to play, or a new fun game that’s marginally more popular comes out in the future.
ESR: Why did you stop playing Overwatch?
RinaVX: The balance, the politics that you had to play within it, a lot of it was mostly the politics, people valued things that really didn’t matter in the game, and the game became less about the game and more about the people you knew and how you acted around them, and who brown-nosed better. It was not the same game I started out with, it was different by the time I quit.
ESR: Overall how would you describe your experience playing competitively?
RinaVX: Fun. It was alright through the start of it and then later it just kind of became too stressful at a time. Always trying to edge each other out on who was better and who wasn’t. At some point you just kinda get sick of the rat race around you, all the people you have to deal with on a daily basis, especially since the target age is around 16-18. You have kids coming out of high school who barely know how to interact with each other, just trying to make it for the first time. Some of them are cool but most of them aren’t. It’s just whatever.
ESR: Would you say playing competitively wasn’t the most lucrative aspect?
RinaVX: No no no. F*** no. You’re f***ing playing competitively, unless you make it big you’re not making anything. Streamers make way more money. If you play competitively you’ll get stuck with shit contracts all the time, especially if you’re a kid, you don’t know better. Every kid that signs gets a shitty contract with really shitty pay, forced to do really shitty schedules all the f***ing time. Yeah most eSports players don’t get paid a lot. Mostly streamers and content creators get paid way more than actual players. Especially in Overwatch where people make nothing. You’re supposed to make, at minimum, 50k but that gets deducted by tax, if you have an agent, and so forth. People who play Valorant or CS make way more. People who stream those games or even streaming on Overwatch make 5 times or 10 times more money than any pro Overwatch player ever did.
ESR: So you had no idea what you were getting into when you started?
RinaVX: Not really. You play a game, someone notices that you’re good, you get signed, and kinda just ends from there.
ESR: Are you streaming by any chance?
RinaVX: Not that I want to but because I have to.
ESR: For any newcomers in the competitive scene, what would you recommend?
RinaVX: Get an agent. Get an agent. Get an agent. Don’t type anything that you might regret saying in the future, don’t be racist, don’t be mean, don’t be toxic, and uh get an agent.
ESR: How would you explain the lack of women playing in esports?
RinaVX: There’s a lot of systemic issues on why women don’t play in esports. It’s the fact that when people are around women they treat them differently, I don’t think there’s any gender difference when playing video games even if it’s a competition. I think within the next decade or so, we will find more women playing video games than we have ever seen. As of now, it’s mostly systemic against women because men and other women themselves mostly treat women poorly in video games. It’s also a male dominated scene so it’s hard for them to come along but I think nowadays people are getting better about it. So hopefully we will see more women playing.
ESR: Did you happen to play with and against any women competitively?
ESR: Who was the best team you worked with?
RinaVX: They all kinda sucked to be honest. I think the best team I ever worked with was OpTic. The staff wasn’t too bad and I enjoyed the players I was around and that made it nicer. It was a lot of upper management that forced us to do things we didn’t like. It was annoying but it wasn’t that bad.
ESR: How would you describe the work culture?
RinaVX: It’s video games. You play until you die. Video games are such an old adage that people don’t think it’s work until you actually make money off of it then it becomes work and it becomes kinda annoying. You do it enough times until you get burned out but that’s just kinda the culture to it.
ESR: What locations have you been to during your time?
RinaVX: I have been to California, Seattle, Texas, Quebec, and South Korea.
ESR: Which place had the best competitive scene?
RinaVX: They all felt the same.
ESR: So what games are you currently playing right now?
RinaVX: Mostly Valorant and sometimes Apex Legends.
ESR: Are fps your primary go to?
RinaVX: I’ve been a semi-pro in MOBAs and a pro in fps games.
ESR: Lastly, what is key in succeeding in competitive esports?
RinaVX: A 240Hz monitor, a really good internet connection, and 10,000 hours of game time. Just do that and you’re set. It’s real easy, especially in fps. All you have to do is drag your mouse to the opponent’s head and click on it. How hard can that be? It’s a point and click adventure game.
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