Collegiate Player Spotlight: Wayprotein
Welcome lovers of Rocket League, and more specifically, Collegiate Rocket League! Throughout the next couple months of the CRL, I will be taking some time out of each week to interview a collegiate player playing for one of the top teams from each of the four regions! For those who are new to the Collegiate Rocket League scene, these interviews should provide some great insight.
The first player I had the opportunity to speak with was Wayprotein from Texas A&M. He was on their team during the Tespa Summer Series, where TAMU earned the title of National Champions over five weeks of tournaments. Texas A&M is currently the number one power ranked team in the South Conference, and recently won their first Conference Round-Robin match against Auburn. Wayprotein also recently competed in TexasRL’s Dallas Open LAN, where he earned the second place prize of $500 on his team, “Player 3 Loading…”
Check out Wayprotein's Rocket League Montage #1 below:
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Wayprotein!
Question and Answer with Wayprotein
What is your full name?
How did you get the name Wayprotein?
I had a stupid-kid XBOX name and one day I was joking around with my friends, I came up with this name “Wayprotein”, and they said “that’s stupid as heck” so I paid ten dollars to change that to my name. It’s been that ever since.
What college do you play for?
Texas A&M. I’m a second-semester senior.
How did you first find out about Rocket League?
I was at my girlfriend’s graduation in Austin. I was just talking with her family, and her brother who is a couple years younger than me asked if I had played Rocket League before. I told him I had seen it around, but I hadn’t played it. He said, “Dude it’s only 20 dollars and I’ve had a lot of fun with it, I recommend it.” So from there I got home and I was talking to my friends that I was playing Destiny with, and I told them, Look: it’s twenty bucks and i’ll pay for your game if you just try it out with me. We did it, and I think we just laughed for a week straight.
When did you think about becoming more competitive with Rocket League?
I had one year left of college, and I thought: this is my last chance to be really good at a video game while in college. So I doubled down, and started playing it a ton. I always have tried to get better, even today I don’t think that I feel competitive compared to the next tier of players, so all I do is try and get better. Where it’s taken me is–well, I don’t think I am a part of any tier–I just want to constantly improve as a player.
What was the key to your improvement as a player?
I think it ebbs and flows, I think myself and others often times tend to get stuck in one spot and plateau a little bit. Then I watch one video or receive one piece of advice and it hits me. That happens to me all of the time, where I have a realization and it takes me a week or so to implement or adjust, but once I do, it’s a game changer. If I had to pick one reason: there was an old podcast by Liefx and Kevpert, and listening to the way he[Kevpert] talked about not just how he improved, but the way he takes care of himself mentally and avoids tilting, it was really game changing. That’s when I started to care about mindset in my play, and that’s when I started to see more consistency in my improvement as a whole.
Do your teammates have a similar mindset to you when it comes to in-game attitude?
No, I think that we are on very different mindsets, and that just boils down to personality. I don’t think it’s a good or bad thing. If I’m on a team at school or at work, I know how to work around those people, and know what makes them tick. Will[Wlil]’s a really intense player, but when things go well he likes to joke around. Where as Josh[Average Player] is not really as intense, but he’s more reserved and doesn’t really like to talk as much from time to time in the competitive setting. So a lot of different mentalities, but we know how to work around each other and work through our differences.
Describe you and your teammates style of tilting.
Average Player’s reaction is to tend to wait until things calm down and then possibly talk about a specific thing that was going on. Even if he is mid-tilt he often won’t chime in or say anything. Will is definitely the most fiery. That comes with how intense of a player he is. But he does it with sincerity; if I say, “Hey you’re coming off as a little harsh here”, he will immediately retract his comment and apologize, realizing his mistake. Emotion does get the best of everybody sometimes, but we have a strong communication system and are okay with being open with each other about how we feel. There’s no fear and so it never damages our team.
What got you into the college Rocket League scene?
I hung out in the CCA(College Carball Association) Discord for months, and there were no A&M players. And I was looking on the esports organization and I was talking to them and I said we had no plans for a RL team. And I looked on a dead facebook post on our esports organizations page, and Tophat posted, saying “Hey I have a friend (Matt), and we are looking for some people to play with” and they were around my level, so we started playing together, and once we found more players of equal caliber, we made it official.
How have you enjoyed your Collegiate Rocket League experience thus far?
It’s been a lot of fun, but a lot harder than I thought it would be. Just with the way college works, it’s such a unique atmosphere, that three players of varying skills levels can come together and they have to play with each other because they are the best in their college. In RLCS and community tournaments, you just pick up people that are friends, or at the highest level, which is a completely different situation. Working through having players with vastly different ages, personalities, and skills levels, is a huge challenge. At Texas A&M, we have the biggest CRL program of any school in North America, so there is a lot of competition for starting spots. I also dabble in running the organization, and with so many quality players trying out for a spot on the top team, there have been some really hard moments with telling players they need to work harder or improve before they are able to play.
In the recent CCA Power Rankings, you were given the power ranking of number one in the South Conference. Do you think the committee gave your team too much respect, or do you think that you deserve that top dog spot?
I’m flattered, first of all. I think that in the context it makes sense, but power rankings are just people’s best guesses, that can change within a week, a month, depending on how we play tomorrow. I appreciate it, but i’m not resting on it if that makes sense. The fact that we beat LSU in the Tespa Qualifier, and with our roster being a little bit stronger than Auburn’s coming out of the qualifiers, I think it’s a fair ranking. Auburn is definitely a strong team too, with the god Trut3, of course.
How did your team prepare for the first week of the Conference Round-Robin, with your match against Auburn?
We were really unprepared, I’m just going to put that bluntly. We have been unable to practice, just because it’s a busy season. I was coming out of the Texas LAN, and I was extremely exhausted. As a team, not one of our best series, as an individual, probably one of my worst series. Going into the match, I said, “Look, this isn’t a must win. Use this as a look into what we are as a team, and we will go from there.” Fortunately we did get the win, but it was just that, a marker for where we are at and what we need to work on in the future.
What has been your favorite moment throughout your career as a college Rocket League player?
My favorite moment without a doubt was beating LSU to qualify for the Southern Conference. They are an extremely good team, and we’ve known that for a long time, and we had never taken a series off of them in the past. Coming into the qualifier with a pretty much new roster, having just recently worked on the team personality, the team style, and being able to adjust mid-series after a loss, leading into three straight convincing victories. It was an incredible feeling for everyone on the team. It was a statement that we [Texas A&M] are here, and we are gonna fight.
What changes would you like to see in the next season of the Collegiate Rocket League?
Having more available broadcast spots to sign up for, anything we can do to get the College scene in front of more people and in a more professional manner. They(Psyonix)’ve got some professional broadcasts lined up for week three and four, and that’s great. Every week I’m having alumni or people in our esports organization ask us when they can catch our games and where it’s being streamed. I’d like to see a bigger commitment to that. I understand it is the debut season of the Collegiate Rocket League, but I think they would see a huge audience join in to watch their school play in high level games.
What’s been the toughest thing for you as a player on a college Rocket League team?
There are a lot of mental barriers that go into it, and it’s different depending on where you are in the order. When Will came along, I wasn’t the top player anymore, and I had to shift my mindset from being the leader to someone who’s learning. That was difficult. If you don’t play that role well, then it can very mentally challenging to keep your confidence at a high level. There are also challenges for people like Will, who come in at the top level and have the task of coaching and guiding the talent underneath them so that they will improve as a team.
Once you graduate, do you want to have a role at TAMU for Rocket League, or will you be ending your career as a Rocket League Aggie?
I will always be involved, no matter what. I will take a kind of back seat with Rocket League in general after the CRL, cause I’m starting a full-time job and life is going to pick up. However, I will always be involved, whether it’s a coaching role or whatever. I will want to expand my participation beyond college as well, maybe with a competitive RLCS team or perhaps dive deeper into the YouTube videos. No matter what, I will be involved in some capacity.
Any last words?
Nothing comes to mind, but shoutout to you[Phat] for doing all of this and for doing all of the player spotlights and all of that. I’m really excited to read all of them, and you’re doing a great job of getting people interested in the college scene.
I would like to thank Wayprotein for taking the time out of his day to talk to me about himself and his team. He’s a really great guy, and definitely a talented Rocket League player. Look forward to seeing him on twitch.tv/rlesports on October 23rd!
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