A chat with Season 1 champions iBUYPOWER Cosmic

Picture acrobatic cars playing soccer. That's Rocket League, and it's a new esport. Provided by Psyonix.

iBUYPOWER Cosmic came into the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) as the massive underdogs after losing their star player, Cody "Gambit" Dover, due to health issues. Despite all odds, they managed to take the whole thing with wins over favorites FlipSid3 Tactics and Northern Gaming. We caught up with them shortly after their huge win.

They were all seemingly in a state of tired shock after taking down the tournament's favorites one at a time in a row. According to Cameron "Kronovi" Bills, they started to feel it was their day "around when we beat Northern Gaming [in the upper bracket finals]." When asked how it felt to beat Northern Gaming, Kronovi said, "We prepped for Northern when we were at the hotel, and me and [Ted "0ver_Zer0" Keil] were going over VODs trying to understand their tendencies. We came into today with a gameplan; we knew we could beat them, especially with how we played after FlipSid3."

"Northern, on the other hand, had only played Exodus and Genesis and both were sloppy sets," Kronovi continued. "In the end we were super excited to take the 4-2 win especially after we got beat up early, losing 5-0 in game one." 0ver_zer0 added, "After we beat FlipSid3, we knew that if we played at that caliber Northern Gaming just wasn't going to be a problem."

iBUYPOWER Cosmic said this was a win for their team play, showing their flexibility as zer0 and Kronovi switched roles for the day. Zer0 explained, "I kind of changed roles today. We felt different and I took that more defensive role and let [Kronovi] and [Brandon "Lachinio" Lachin] take the ball up. I was just able to work with them and help the team. I don't feel like any of us carried [the team]; it was a team effort all the way."

Said Kronovi, "I don't think we proved that we are individually the best players, [but] what we showed teams is that at the LAN event anyone can beat anyone, especially the teams that prepare well for the LAN and work hard. Teams that can stay focused under the pressure will thrive at this event."

When asked about how they were keeping themselves pumped up, Kronovi said, "I wanted to make a point to be very hyped up. High fives after everything, positive reinforcement after everything good, and forget all the bad things." Zer0 went on to add, "There was a time in the FlipSid3 game where we messed up and our mentality was 'We got this still. We're still here.'"

Everyone else at the LAN was trying to quietly ignore the crowd and let it flow over them. iBUYPOWER looked to use the crowd for their advantage, jumping up at every turn and hyping the crowd up with them. Lachinio said, simply, "We handle crowds so easily. We play so well when we have the crowd behind us. Thank you."

When iBUYPOWER came into the tournament, we placed them third in our Power Rankings and expected quite a rough road for them. Then, when they won the grand finals 4-2, they showed the world they can reign once more. 0ver_zer0 was awestruck. He said, "It's indescribable, man, I truly cannot describe how I feel right now." Lachinio was feeling similarly: "I couldn't believe it, I dropped my headset and I went to hug them." Kronovi added, "We didn't want to read the negativity [before the tournament]. We used that doubt and we practiced knowing that we would sweep this tournament from everyone. That doubt fueled us to work harder than anyone else and work to win this whole tournament."

In the end, the team loved the tournament, citing an emphasis on composure and adaptability over pure skill. When asked what they felt was the biggest surprise of the event, all three said, "The production quality was insane. The stream and graphics are so good for us to see and watch our game grow."

All three wanted to say something to their fans. Lachinio started: "Thanks to everyone who has followed me and supported me and has made this possible for me, a huge thank you to all of you." Kronovi added, "Thank you all so much." Finally, tournament MVP 0ver_Zer0 said, tearing up a little bit, "Thank you to everyone who stood up for me when people told me I was never going to be good enough. Thank you to the people who said no [to that], who understood my potential and supported me on stream and on twitter. They know who they are. Thank you so much."

With the RLCS Season One wrapped up with what seemed like a massive underdog story, as Twitch host Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez put it, Rocket League esports have arrived. iBUYPOWER Cosmic look ready to fight hard to hold onto that number one title and show why they're the best team in the world. The future looks bright for both iBUYPOWER Cosmic and the game they champion.