FreaKii Discusses Adjusting To Bubble And 'Super' Teams, Late-Season Resurgences, And Evolving Into A Trusted Professional (Part One)
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The tenth season of the Rocket League Championship Series will be forever cherished for the year that the esport made huge changes that benefited the scene unequivocally. With an array of storylines unfolding each week, whether it be the rise of cracked young stars, the emergence of a total-Rocket League Team BDS, or a shock upset to the hands of an unknown bubble team, the community has never been stronger.
However, one success story that has been swept under the rug is the re-emergence of Sandro "FreaKii" Holzwarth, who endured a bumpy season to eventually come out as the leader of a top-four team in the highest-staked Regional Event of the year.
As a long-standing veteran of the game, Freakii's ability to come from one of the best teams in Europe back in Season 5, then down to the Rival Series, and rise back to the top of the tree in RLCS X is one that has been undervalued.
The climb back to success has been a long one for the 25-year-old German, but a positive start to life in RLCS X was a key factor. "I think we started really well in the Fall Split," began FreaKii.
A quarterfinal in their second attempt of the split showed that alongside Maarten "Oscillon" van Zee and Maik "Tigreee" Hoffmann, Fadeaway had the ability to dance with the giants. It was only a 1-0 game five deficit to an immense Renault Vitality that had Fadeaway eliminated from the regional, leaving much to be positive about.
FreaKii continued: "But we were lacking consistency over the whole of the season with Fadeaway. We had really good performances and one tournament and the next one could be literally the complete opposite."
Despite a solid start, results soon came few and far between for Fadeaway, and FreaKii believes they were one of many teams that struggled to adapt to a much wider pool of talent.
He said: "With the old formats, it was definitely like you basically been playing against the best of the best for a whole season. In the new format, you've also been playing bubble teams here and there."
"So it's a good practice, technically, for all the teams to play against someone who would not play against usually play. But at the same time, obviously, that can also catch you off guard because they play differently."
"They have different play styles. And that can also be a big factor for inconsistencies. I feel like not only us were struggling, but also some of the best teams, like Oxygen (Solary), were also struggling to find that consistency at the start of the season. It was definitely hard to get used to the format"
However, a fresh start in the Spring Split with 'Godsmilla's Team' (soon to become BS+COMPETITION), alongside Leon "Godsmilla" Mares and Bruno "AcroniK" Lopes saw a team rise from out of a murky pool of struggling sides to become a shining star.
FreaKii's complimentary style, on and off the field, saw him heap praise on his teammates, beginning with their fresh rookie, Acronik.
"We did have that little bit of randomness that these teams we struggled against at the start of the season had as well," explained FreaKii. "As I said, it makes pro teams play more inconsistent."
"It's hard to predict someone you don't know yet. So this could be a big factor of why. Sometimes we might have played in a way where the opponent's team could really not read us at all - and that's the reason why we got so far."
As for Godsmilla, his rostermania turmoil had him contemplating quitting before his namesake team formed, according to FreaKii, and it was the trust between the two that allowed for the team to blossom.
FreaKii continued: "I had some talks [with Godsmilla] because we'd known each other for quite a while. When he got benched by singularity twice, he was questioning himself. He was like, should I actually play this game? Or should I just sit on the bench and play my sub role? I could see his hesitation on whether he should keep trying to play.
"I just told him not to worry. I don't need to achieve certain things because I've basically achieved everything I want in this game. I have played LAN and won events. It's not for me to team with someone and then just instantly replace people just because they might make a mistake or two. That's not who I am.
"He trusted me."
With Godsmilla under his wing and thriving in a free and comfortable role, FreaKii had transformed into a role model for his new squad, pioneering these two high-flyers to two semi-final appearances in under a month's span.
"Just because I have maybe had some achievements in the past, it's not like I now don't care what is going on," Freakii started. "I do obviously want to win,
"But my overall understanding of how this scene works has shifted a bit from a few years ago. I think that friendships are a big reason why you can stay motivated in this game because if you just look out for yourself at the end, you will have no one."
"I feel like that's where my kind of understanding has shifted to, where it's like, yes, I do want to win. Yes, I do want to have good teammates. But I also want them to understand that I'm not here to just kick them, or I'm just yet to leave for the next better opportunity."
BS+COMPETITION has now parted ways with AcroniK, leaving Godsmilla and FreaKii to embark on a new journey.
For the future, after becoming a steady team in the upper echelon of European Rocket League once again, FreaKii has his eyes set on a LAN again, targeting a live event as a milestone he'd like to hit going into next season.
With only six teams qualifying for international tournaments from each region (should Psyonix keep the same format for RLCS Season 11), the BS+ will need to take their late-season performances into the new era. Another new team, another season to improve. FreaKii's out to get back on top, and the young Germans could be the answer that he's been after for so long.
Part 2 will see us dive into some of FreaKii's best and worst rosters, career goals, and lack of regrets.