Almost one year ago to the day, Tristan "tristn" Roberts spent his weekend at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas on his way to securing his first Collegiate Rocket League title as part of the Akron Zips dynasty that's been building quickly over the past couple of years.
Today, however, tristn's goals are set a little bit higher - becoming the greatest RLCS player in the world - as he begins his first season as not a sub or stand in, but fully integrated piece of the eUnited Rocket League lineup.
After a tumultuous first year in Rocket League, General Manager Matt Potthoff stepped in and elevated tristn - who had been the team's substitute player - on September 13th. Since then, the team has shown a level of energy which seemed to have been missing since the original roster of Hockser, Ayjacks and Roll Dizz was around - which was exciting to see from Potthoff's point of view:
"Tristn made a seamless transition to our starting line-up once Hockser was put on the bench. I was deeply impressed with his ability to adapt on a day's notice against professional teams. Tristan deserves a starting position and I can't wait to see him grow in our system. It seems every week he is gradually getting better and better"
Additionally, coach Sub'N had this to add about Tristn's immediate impact:
"From the start, working with Tristn I noticed a couple of traits that immediately impacted the team in a positive way - adaptability and mental stability. Right off the bat he made it clear with his play that he doesn't care what his role is on the team, if the team needs a change he's going to be the first to volunteer. And what is impressive is that even if he is doing something outside of his comfort zone he still helps the team maintain mental composure necessary to win matches."
To be clear - the highest echelons of Rocket League are much different than the CRL. Playing in the Grid and RLCS X has brought a whole new set of challenges Tristn's way, but the foundation that he built in the CRL has gone a long way to ease himself into the spotlight. Tristn added this about the differences he's seen:
"Collegiate to Pro Rocket league is a huge difference with the main factors being consistency, speed, and playing at the top level. One day I went from playing pretty good players throughout the collegiate scene to teams like G2, NRG, NV, and SSG etc, the difference hit immediately. I will always have my tendencies of playing throughout all levels but I really got the feel of how far I can push my abilities at the next level. Going back on the differences, everyone in the pro scene plays with more pace and hardly any mistakes which is very difficult at times but I’m getting used to it."
When asked about his goals for the upcoming Winter split and Grid (which eUnited just qualified for yesterday once again), Tristn added:
"My goal for this team is to simply win. I have gotten a taste from the last split and towards the end of the grid but I believe that it is the main goal. The other key goals include improving as a team, forming more bonds with my teammates and showcasing the best version of myself to help contribute to a winning team. I believe that we can compete with the top of the scene and that we will be there soon."
On a whole, it has been eUnited's modus operandi to not get the superstar, mercenary style star player on their team and win - it has always been a story of eyeing and developing talent from the bottom into champions. Tristn is just another chapter of that story: being called the CRL equivalent of "jstn." to playing that very same "jstn." week after week.
The future is now.