Rocket League stars play homage to Squishy following retirement announcement
Mariano "SquishyMuffinz" Arruda, known more colloquially as "Squishy" in his veteran years, has announced that the first RLCS 2024 Split will be his last as a professional Rocket League player.
Rounding off a stellar eight-year playing career, starting at Chronix in 2016 before moving on to The Muffin Men, Cloud9, and NRG, Squishy will retire as at least a one-time World Champion, four-time Major Champion, and a legend of the game.
The 23-year-old will play one final split under the iconic The Muffin Men name, before turning his head towards full-time content.
SquishyMuffinz announces pending retirement, calls out RLCS 2024 format
Taking to social media, SquishyMuffinz announced his retirement in a huge statement, where he thanked fans and fellow players for years of support, reflecting back over his career proudly.
But his goodbye was also filled with ammunition that will be pointed towards Epic Games and BLAST, as players have already taken aim at the publisher and RLCS partners for the underwhelming 2024 season announcement.
"I originally planned to play this entire season," he said in his retirement post on Twitter. "With the RLCS announcement, I now understand why there was some fear from orgs that ended up scaring many away from joining the RLCS in the later stages of the offseason."
He said that his team couldn't secure an organisation for the year, with as many as six org deals falling through at the last minute. "The new season format is also not something I am interested in, especially with the potential of another very long offseason," he added.
"I simply can't go the whole year putting all my effort into competing without having a salary especially since it'll have been almost a year since leaving NRG and having no salary by the end of split 1."
SquishyMuffinz isn't the only retiree either, as former Dignitas and OpTic Gaming player Andres "dreaz" Jordan also blamed the new format as he left competing behind.
Rocket League pros play homage to SquishyMuffinz
Despite the terms of his exit, the Rocket League community has all rallied to Squishy's post to honour this icon, who will go down on the Mount Rushmore of the beloved esport.
As arguably the most influential player of all time, a number of current RLCS pros at the highest level took to social media to confess their admiration for Squishy.
Reigning World Champion and prodigy Alexis "zen" Bernier first said, "Thank you for being my source of aspiration and it was my dream to play against you in RLCS... you were an incredible player thank you for the good times."
In a heartwarming touch Squishy also honoured zen, by responding, "You’ll be the best this game has ever known, I’m honoured to have played any part in that."
Evan "M0nkey M00n" Rogez also told fans of the influence Squishy had on his career, adding, "Thank you for everything you did for RL and for me by your youtube videos when i was a bad diamond 2, you helped me a lot to improve in game."
A similar sentiment came in from Axel "Vatira" Touret, who said, "I remember when i was so bad i wanted to be like you , I was watching all ur videos, like honestly thanks for what u accomplished on the game as a player and as an aspiration."
Other young pros at the upper echelons of Rocket League also honoured Squishy by saying his content and mechanics were highly influential in getting them to where they are today.
Jack "ApparentlyJack" Benton and Finlay "rise." Ferguson both revealed stories of watching Squishy to get better, as the latter added, "literally my main inspiration in this game and the person who first motivated me to go pro."
Some of Squishy's older friends and foes also opened up on their battles, as four-time World Champion Pierre "Turbopolsa" Silvfer said, "[It] was a pleasure competing against you all these years (besides that one time) good luck and have fun this last split. Legend."
Former teammate Garret "GarrettG" Gordon had this to say: "Grateful to have been a chapter in such a legendary career, best of luck this split Mariano."
Noted by Squishy as his best teammate and influence too, Jesus "gimmick" Parra added, "Grateful to have met you and work on everything we have together, accomplished everything we have, and to be able to call you a friend, you are a radiant soul who will continue to light up the community you have created. Love you, squish."
Other legends like Cameron "CJCJ" Johns, Dillon "Rizzo" Rizzo, Jos "ViolentPanda" van Meurs, and many more also honoured Squishy. SquishyMuffinz will go down in Rocket League history as the true epitome of the butterfly effect, as his impact rings true every time the in-game countdown bells from 3 to 2 to 1. Happy retirement from us, champ.