Jstn Opts Out Of Intel World Open After Opening Up About Mental Health
Rocket League's competitive scene was dealt a huge blow in recent weeks, with Epic Games and Psyonix opting to not hold a World Championships due to the ongoing global pandemic.
Despite a vocal pushback from players, who argued that other leading esports such as Riot Games' VALORANT are surpassing Rocket League in status due to hosting international events, Epic rolled out information on glorified regional events to conclude their vastly improved Series X format.
The last offline international event occurred in December 2019 for Rocket League, in which Garrett "GarrettG" Gordon, Pierre "Turbopolsa" Silfver, and Justin "Jstn" Morales took home the Season 8 World Championship trophy for NRG, overcoming reigning champions Renault Vitality.
Seventeen months later and current World Champion, Jstn, has felt the impact of being away from the main stage, and announced that he will not be participating in the Intel World Open due to having a lack of motivation and a mentality that has deteriorated during the online era.
Taking to a Twitlonger, Jstn said "I won't be competing in is the Intel World Open. Just the thought of playing something that doesn't involve a LAN kind of ruins it for me, especially after playing a year of RLCS X and qualifying for worlds just for it to be cancelled."
He continued to say "The reason for this is because I have been dealing with a lot of demotivation and just have been depressed, and my mentality is nowhere near as good as it used to be. Main reason being, no LANs. I miss going to LANs with my team and close friends in the Esport and, of course, my family. I miss taking pictures with fans and signing a bunch of stuff for fans around the world.
"Since COVID started, I've had the worst diet, the worst sleep schedule, and I would sometimes go months without seeing the sun and still do to this day. Not going outside for months messes with you."
Is Jstn Retiring?
Despite a lack of motivation, Jstn is not retiring any time soon. The mechanical monster reiterated that "No, I am not retiring. I will still be competing in Majors and the NA Championship", during his Twitlonger.
Many fans have noticed Jstn's lack of motivation in recent weeks, specifically with his blacked-out facecam and omission of emotion following goals. Addressing this, Morales said "The reason why I always look dead whenever we score or even, in general, is that deep down, it's just been difficult for something to make me happy. Nothing makes me happy as of right now. I feel like I always have to act like fake happy if that makes sense, and I honestly hate doing that."
Rather, it appears that Jstn will be taking a well-earned break after the Regional Championships, to come back with a refreshed mind and continue to compete alongside GarrettG and Mariano "SquishyMuffinz" Arruda. He finally said: "After the Championship, I will most likely be taking a short break from Rocket League", before adding: "I will continue competing and trying my hardest with Garrett and Squishy. I just really need some time off, and this summer break is the best time for me to reset my mental and hopefully come back stronger and return to my old happy self before the next season starts."
Who will play in the Intel World Open?
With 21 territories/countries competing in four regions, players from the same country can team to form their own national team. Some teams such as Renault Vitality may opt to stick together, boasting a fully French squad, whilst other teams may look to swap and change players.
Should a full team stick together, the players will have to drop their organisation's name and sponsors, and compete under their countries banner.
So far, some teams have formed to represent their country, such as Italian roster Francesco "kuxir97" Cinquemani, Lorenzo "Dead-Monster" Tongiorgi, and Ario "arju" Berdin, and Portugese roster Alexandre "AcroniK" dos Santos Lopes, Finlay "rise." Ferguson, and André Filipe de Jesus "Xpére" Ruivinho Costa.
Will Jstn taking a break from the IWO, long-standing partner GarrettG may look to make a force with Envy starlet Nick "mist" Costello and G2's Jacob "JKnaps" Knapman such as we saw in JohnnyBoi_i's international showdown.
Image via Psyonix