Noly talks being the first Red Bull player in Rocket League & RLCS 2024
Joseph "noly" Kidd has today signed a partnership with Red Bull, making him the first player in Rocket League history to pair with the elite brand.
This comes in the wake of the new RLCS 2024 season, where noly has formed Torment's Minions alongside stalwart players Jacob "JKnaps" Knapman and Robert "comm" Kyser.
Ahead of the partnership and the new season, we sat down with noly to talk about everything that he wants to achieve with Red Bull, his new team, and whether social media retirement talk was true.
Red Bull Partnership
Congratulations on signing with Red Bull. How does it feel for you to be joining an elite group of esports athletes under this sponsorship?
It's a little bit like, "Wow, holy s**t." It's quite big. But also, it's something I've known is happening for a while now.
Ever since I was 13 or 14, I wanted to be where I am now, wishing to be on stages, wishing to play professionally, and wishing to be a part of good exclusive brands like Red Bull, so it was only a matter of time before it was going to happen. But it's still quite insane that it has happened now.
What doors does this Red Bull Partnership open for you? Is it something where we'll see you pivot a little bit to do some more content? Or is it everything behind the scenes?
I think both. I'm always open to whatever Red Bull suggests, and it's a case of the more the better. Behind the scenes too, it's good to know people who can help me be at my very best performance as well.
This partnership will see you become the first Red Bull-backed Rocket League professional. How important is it to see Red Bull to be taking that step into Rocket League and begin strengthening that relationship?
I think about it every day. It's surreal because in Rocket League, there's never been a player who's had an individual sponsor to that level and being the first. It's given me quite a sense of, not necessarily an ego boost, but fulfilment. I feel quite happy with it and I'm like more secure with myself.
Red Bull, which is a big brand, they're coming to me for a reason. It's providing that security for myself.
Why do you think that they chose to partner with you instead of anybody else?
The fact that I'm a natural-born winner, I think that says it all. They want someone who can represent them at the very top, and that's what I provide.
What is your main goal from this Red Bull partnership? What would you like to achieve, if you could achieve anything, within it?
I can speak for Red Bull when I say we want to win. Their goals align with mine, which is why the partnership is going to be so good. If I win, they win. If they win, I win.
So it's, it's good on both sides. I think we're going to look out for each other. Make sure we can both prosper and see how it goes.
RLCS 2023 offseason and forming Torment's Minions
Looking towards the new RLCS Season now, how has this offseason been for you, having left Gen.G, flirting with Karmine Corp again, and then forming Torment's Minions?
It was brutal. The entire off-season and the entire process was a mix of hell and heaven. I was at one of my lowest lows, and then instantly something popped up, and then I'm back to my highest high again. All that happened before Worlds and even before Boston, so I had a while to digest it and process the whole thing.
And, when Karmine came up and said, "Yo, come and play in, Flip & Spin," and I won that, it turned the offseason around for me with more eyes looking my way. It was confusing, but I think it was a learning process nonetheless.
Was winning the Flip & Spin tournament pivotal in you forming this team?
Well, JKnaps wasn't trying out with anybody for a month and a half. He wanted to take a complete break from the off-season, and then with Comm, he was wanted by a few teams as well, but I think once he saw I am still a winner, he edged more with me. Then JKnaps came back, and he fit into the puzzle perfectly.
I think [Flip & Spin] definitely helped. As soon as I won, many more people were like, "Yeah, we want you, now."
North America has undergone quite a transformation this last year. How do you think your roster stacks up against the other big changes in the region?
To be honest, being realistic, I do think we're top three, top four. I'd like to put myself top one, and I believe that we can be. On the day, it depends. Individually, some of these players are going to play in and turn it on in certain games. But in terms of being consistent with a core play style and actually being able to get wins, I think that's what we have compared to most other teams.
I do think we're Major contending, and then once you're at a Major, it's a big role, and luckily for us, we're all LAN winners. I believe we can reproduce that again once it's at that time.
Given the shortened 2024 season, how much emphasis are you going to put on getting off on the right foot and hitting the ground running?
Initially, you don't want to give them confidence and let them beat you early on in the season. Then, they can feel like they can beat you for the rest of the season.
We want to come out and show them that we are the big dogs. You have to respect us and step up to us. I think that's the main thing. But also, you're seeing a lot more players from other regions moving over. I think that will keep happening to make the region more competitive and I think it's good for development.
Speaking of which, how are you finding life as a quote-unquote import player, especially around this time with the holidays and off-season?
The holidays were rough, being away from family. I knew the season was going to start in January, I knew it was going to be quite abrupt, so I made the choice not to go home. I decided to stay and fully grind to be prepared for the season.
I always knew I was going to live in America, though. Like I said, when I was 13 or 14, I knew I'd be a professional player, I knew I'd have big sponsors, and I knew I'd be in the US, Texas specifically. I feel quite natural here, quite normal, and I think I'll be here for a while.
RLCS 2024 announcement, retirement talk, and goals
We've seen your initial reaction on social media to the most recent RLCS season announcement. Now that you've had a little bit of time to digest it, what are your thoughts on the upcoming season?
Even though I've had time to sleep on it, I woke up this morning in the exact same way. I'm doing my best to keep positive, even after being dealt with a s**tty hand, per se.
But I'm going to get on with it. My tweet was out of frustration, but that doesn't mean that this season is given up on. If anything, it means that this season means more to me than any season before. I don't really feel the love from the game, despite me loving the game, it's a bit of a one-way relationship.
I'm going to give my all anyway, to try and win everything and maybe hit someone with a mic drop.
What message do you think the announcement sends out from Epic towards sponsors and organisations that want to get into Rocket League, like new orgs or Red Bull?
It's not a good message, obviously. I think it's a message where it's a case of, "These are our rules. If you want to come in, live by them."
I don't think they're turning people away, I do think Epic have this approach of "Everybody's welcome," that's evident in the offseason, and I don't think that shies away from partners and sponsors as well. It's extended to them.
But it is, "If you want to join the Epic family and be part of Rocket League, you're going to have to live by the rules and, and go with it."
We did see you say on Twitter that retirement might be on the cards. Is that hyperbole? Or is that something you would actually consider if it stays this way next year?
Yes. 100% it would be something I consider. My youngest self was always tied to my wanting to be a professional. I didn't want to work a job I hated with things that changed and decisions that I didn't agree with. My outlook on that would be pushed towards disliking it.
If I don't like my job, I'm not going to put in as much effort, which wouldn't be fair to my teammates, an organisation that pays me, or the competitors and potential partners as well.
It is a bit of an exaggeration, that's why I said I will see how the season goes and see if anything can change. Hopefully, it changes for the better since Rocket League is all I've ever known for the past seven or eight years.
With your new team, a new partnership, and a new start, what are your goals for 2024?
To win. Simply to win. That's my only goal. It's the one thing I live for.
How do you define winning? Does that define as Regionals, Majors or Worlds?
Worlds. Worlds is my main goal. It always has been, and it always will be. I'm a little bit harsh on myself when I say my career will be a failure unless I win worlds.
I think that is the mindset of the upper echelon of players who have been there, and I do believe that I can be there myself. I want to win Worlds, and the way to do that is by giving it my all for the entire season, as well as my teammates, and trying to play consistently throughout each event because it will be a long season.
What is different about this year to maybe previous years where you think you can go better and lift the world title?
I don't think anything is different. I think the fact that I'm still the same me proves that I can go higher. Over and over again, I've proved people wrong. Those who have doubted, I've always come out on top. Even though I've had my losses, I always get back up and strive even better. I think that motivates me.
I think that being the same me, but also adapting to new ecosystems and new people, new talents, I guess that will make a better me.