Stake: ''We want top four [in EU] and know that we are capable of it''
Hot on the back of a top-four finish in the Spring Series, The Canyons were picked up by Giants Gaming, with the team name 'Vodafone Giants'. The roster of Marc ‘Stake’ Bosch, Damian ‘Tox’ Schaefer and Samuel ‘Zamue’ Cortes, alongside substitute Ibrahim ‘Wolf.’ Ben, and coach Francisco ‘Arleyobi’ González had finally found themselves a settled home after months of different team names and organisations. Within less than a week of being picked up, the RLRS side who narrowly missed out on promotion, secured another top-four finish in the Eurocup 10K, beating the likes of Dignitas along the way.
This young side has attracted a lot of plaudits with their cohesiveness and confident displays in recent times, all the while being in a “slump”. Stake, an amicable and charismatic player and person, described their performances at Eurocup as “so bad”, believing that the RLRS side could have done much better if they weren’t ‘low on confidence’ coming out off the back of this hectic schedule. Bold words from a team that has stealthily crept into the bracket of top sides, despite not being in the top league. With Giants Gaming behind them, this side is destined for great things, now having a settled roster, home, and friendships within colleagues.
Much of the hype around the ex-RCD Espanyol outfit has been as a result of their recent acquisition from Giants Gaming, who Stake brands “the biggest Spanish esports organisation”.
“Being a Giants player will motivate us a lot, and give us confidence [to represent them]” - Marc ‘Stake’ Bosch.
Their recent performances indicate that they show no sign of slowing down after their narrow miss in the promotion playoffs. Giants expect Stake and co. to be a “Top ten EU team and win every tournament in Spain. In our first tournament we got a top 4 finish in Europe, so the expectations aren’t bad”. Back-to-back top-four finishes have shown that they are definitely capable of doing so too, despite Stake explaining why he still thinks they played so badly.
“We struggled, I think we’re kind of in a slump now. We were playing bad scrims and bad tourneys and we played bad against Mouz, and against Monkeys, a team that never scares us. They are good [players] but we think we are better and expected to beat them 4-0 or 4-1, but got taken to game 7 and nearly got reverse sweeped. We beat Dignitas but they are still not at their best level whilst trying out Joreuz. We then got a perfect trip to Vitality, [where] we didn’t score, we were trash.”
Stake joked about they just need a short break to end their spell of poor performances, showing the young man to be a humorous and pleasant character, and it was clear to see why he gets on with his teammates so well. The tight-knit team on the pitch also share a close bond off the field too, with Stake, Zamue and Tox all enjoying each other's friendship; something that Stake feels contributes to their gameplay.
“Since I started competing I always wanted a roster that I will feel comfortable in, and be friends with, and I have been friends with Zamue for a very long time now. When we found out we were playing well with Tox, who speaks Spanish, this helps a lot. He’s also our friend now, and we will keep playing together now. We have the confidence and trust in each other now that when we are in a slump we will be able to come out of it. Being in a long term roster gives you the confidence and motivation that my teammates will do well if you’re not.”
The addition of Tox has also been instrumental to the Vodafone Giants Roster, adding to the duo of Stake and Zamue, all of whom have now been together since January 7th 2020 under Yikers. Tox joined Yikers with a reputation of being somewhat Toxic but has since proved his doubters wrong, becoming the focal point of this dangerous embryonic roster. Stake voiced his initial concerns about the Germans reputation, stating “In the past, he has been young and known as being a little toxic, and when we first started teaming up I was afraid that people would hate us.” before discussing what an asset he has become to the team.
“Now he is sixteen and when I got to know him he is a very nice guy, confident, motivated, never toxic. He is the motivator in the team now. When we score he is always shouting (celebrating) and is the main communicator. He is the one who is communicating everything. I think he is an important key on this team”.
Since acquiring Tox, the trio have moved from Yikers to RCD Espanyol, to Stonkers/Canyons, and now to Vodafone Giants, however, Stake also recognises the importance of coach Arleyobi, who has been beside him since August 2019 at 1 Bim 2 Bam. Touching on Arleyobi, Stake said “Having two people (Arleyobi and assistant coach/sub Wolf.) behind you always supporting us at every scrims and tourneys helps you gain confidence.” and believes the side has embedded well enough to be one of the top sides in EU, especially when LAN tournaments return. “I think we will be much better on LAN. I’ve played with Zamue on LAN before and every single Spanish LAN we have been in we have won.” Stake says, adding “Tox gets more motivated for LAN too”.
The sky's the limit for when the talented trio hit LAN tournaments and RLRS / RLCS starts up again and depending on how the new format of Rocket League esports pans out, they have their eyes on the major trophies. In the offseason they want to retain their top-four status, should they compete in anything before the next season. Should they be invited to events like Summer Grand Prix, Stake says “we want top four and know that we are capable of it”.
Stake added, “In the new format [of RLCS/RLRS] with minors and majors it will be a failure if we don’t get to the minors, and the majors as a minimum would be awesome, but it depends on who qualifies [and the structure]”.
“We feel that we’re RLCS level. We shown that in Eurocup beating some good teams, but even in future tournaments we will make top 3, because it is different playing with an amazing prize pool and we will have a lot of confidence and motivation”. - Marc 'Stake' Bosch
Despite recent achievements, Stake holds achieving RLRS as his best individual achievement to date, with the Spring Series being his best team achievement. “Individually, I was in the bubble scene for a long time, always being one goal, or one game away from RLRS, and when this year started if I said if I didn’t get this I don’t know what I’d do. But I found Tox and Zamue and my best achievement was getting RLRS, because of how hard it was to make it. I know the Spring Series had way harder teams, and Eurocup and ESL Masters vs Barcelona, but I fought for RLRS and when I made it I was just crying, I was so happy”.
This young side is evolving, and their best achievement to date, the Spring Series, was just the beginning of what is yet to come, especially with their confidence in each other. Watch this space RLCS, Vodafone Giants are looking to make waves.
For more exclusive interviews with your favourite Rocket League players, stay tuned here at GGRecon.
Images via Javier Munante Balivar | Twitter - @chukyrl