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Rocket League

12 Jul 2019

Fireburner: Passing the torch to the next generation

Photo Credit: (DreamHack) 

Recently Psyonix revealed in their fourth year anniversary blog post that Rocket League has been enjoyed by over 60 million players worldwide. Despite that large pool of talent, Jayson "Fireburner" Nunez stood head and shoulders above the rest as a founding member of Kings of Urban and NRG. Attending every World Championship to date, Fireburner proved he belonged with the best of the best, but unfortunately he remains the best to never win. 

King of Urban

Looking back at the scene for this article made me realize just how much has changed since RLCS Season 1. While there were a few familiar names (Turbo, Kuxir, Kronovi) a lot of players have since retired or fallen from the top of the scene. Kings of Urban were the number one team in North America going into the RLCS Season 1 finals but took a quick exit through stage left with losses to The Flying Dutchmen (all since retired) and FlipSide Tactics (only Kuxir remains from that roster) the tournament runners up.

The tournament MVP was not Cameron "Kronovi" Bills, but Ted "0ver Zer0" Keil who has been absent at the pro level since 2018. While some pros have remained at or near the top of the pro scene (Turbo, Kuxir, GarrettG, Kronovi) none have had the consistent career that Fireburner had.

That consistency is what makes Fireburner such a special player. Fireburner was the only member of the Kings of Urban (who would be bought out by NRG) to never be kicked or leave the roster. That consistency and loyalty was not always rewarded, unfortunately. In the middle of RLCS S1 qualifiers, Cody "Gambit" Dover left for iBuyPower Cosmic leaving Fireburner and Jacob "Jacob" Mcdowell forced to replace him. 

At the time I was pretty annoyed and so was my team mate, Jacob. At the time it was me, Jacob and the guy that left – that was the team… We were pretty annoyed at the time, not exactly because he left but how he left. That was more annoying than anything at the time. - Fireburner

Fireburner never seemed to let it get to him and the Kings of Urban grinded through online play winning ESL Weeklies, Monthlies, and other online events as they continued to prove they were one of the elite teams in America online.

That online success turned the Kings of Urban aka Fireburner, Jacob, and Kais "sadjunior" Zehri into Kings of North America winning the NA RLCS Season 2 under their new banner, NRG. The number one seed from North America went into the event as favorites, and iBuyPower Cosmic (who became G2 Esports) were nowhere to be seen as the reigning World Champs floundered in the regular season.

The biggest of stages for Rocket League pros moved to The Netherlands, and all eyes were on Fireburner, but unfortunately, NRG lost in the first round of the upper bracket and were unable to mount a large loser's bracket run finishing 5th-6th. At their lowest point as a roster, NRG was forced to make a change and Sadjunior was dropped and rising star Garrett "GarrettG" was acquired.

[zombify_post]