In my latest interview for “In the Driver’s Seat”, I had the absolute pleasure and opportunity to chat with CHASER, the General Manager of the Bulls. CHASER became General Manager after the start of Season 11 for Minor League Esports (MLE). Not too often do members of MLE become a General Manager during the course of a season. I was interested in knowing how the transition has been in taking on his new role and more about him as well.
To start, what has been the most difficult aspect of being a General Manager? Inversely, what has been the best part? Have there been any difficulties in transitioning into your new role?
The transition has been pretty seamless, really. Taelo did a tremendous job in setting me up for success. We talked before he ultimately stepped down and shared with me all his insights. I of course was understanding of him needing to step back from being the General Manager too. He needs to take care of himself and he’s always welcomed back to become a Bull, if that’s in the cards.
The most difficult part so far has been learning all of the ins and outs from a League Operations (LO) perspective. E.g. learning how to use the new replay bot. I am thankful that I have prior experience with being a General Manager for Baltimore in United Rogue, so that helps in understanding LO related matters.
The most rewarding part has been seeing all of the hard work we have done in the offseason pay off during the regular season. Our Champion League squad may be the best we have ever had and we have had three rank outs with Academy League too. Hard to see our players rank out but it is super exciting to see and I’m happy for them and their own development. It is so rewarding to seeing that type of success. Rainbownoms has been great as our Assistant General Manager and the Master League and Premier League teams have been wonderful to have around. Our drafts across all four teams went perfect and our success so far this season really vindicates our draft decisions.
When did you join Minor League Esports?
I have been in the League since [season] 5 or 6 (I cannot exactly remember when), but I first got on a team in Season 9. Before I got into the League, I was doing a lot of work with Boost Legacy including moderating, casting, administrative work, etc. When the community organizations were picked for the RLCS qualifiers several seasons ago, Boost Legacy was not picked. I saw that Minor League Doubles (MLD) was picked and I wanted to see what their production value was like. I tuned into an MLD stream and saw InanimateJ and Curtis casting, wanted to join immediately because of them. I also felt that MLD made every play and every player special and I wanted to be a part of that.
I gave a lot of effort in season 8 to be on a team, but unfortunately, I did not land on a team. I was a 13.5 [salary player] at the time and felt like I could bring a lot of value to a team but still was not drafted. For season 9 then, I really doubled down my efforts and went fully in on tryouts, participating in them nonstop for a month. I would stay up late and attend multiple tryouts a day just to improve my chances of getting on a team. That effort paid off as Rainbownoms selected me 6th overall for the season 9 draft. I did not expect to get selected that early, so it was rewarding that all my effort during tryouts paid off.
What has been your overall record as a player?
I have gone 48-37 overall, including playoffs. I was around 500 two seasons ago and had a winning record last season.
What is your favorite car in Rocket League?
The octane, my titanium white octane specifically. When I first started playing Rocket League I was a paladin main. That was before I knew anything about hitboxes and the like. Then once I started getting better and took the game more seriously, I switched to cars more popular within the scene.
What is your preference, 2s or 3s?
I would say 3s, just based on rank. I peaked at 1476 at the end of last season. My goal is to push for Grand Champion and would like to hit it, but we will see what happens. I would love to win an MLE Championship too.
What is your favorite non-standard mode?
It would have to be a toss-up between rumble and hoops. I like the aspect that anyone can beat anyone in rumble due to the power-ups. I also like how beneficial hoops is to my aerial pay and I can really practice my reads in hoops.
What is your favorite MLE memory?
I have three MLE memories that really stand out. The first being when I got drafted for the first time. I was in a call with my friends during the season 9 draft and they knew how much I wanted to be on a team. We were all watching the draft together on stream and it was incredible to be able to celebrate with them when I was drafted.
My second memory would be getting to play with Vandy during season 9. We had such great chemistry and it was super deflating when he ranked out the day before the playoffs started. We brought in our reserve Rook to start for the playoffs and we, unfortunately, did not have the same chemistry due to a lack of playtime together. We played against the Bears and did not like our chances due to our recent roster changes. We battled through and brought the series to a deciding game 5, but ultimately lost. Super proud of how we played considering the circumstances and I am left wondering how Vandy and I would have done if he had not ranked out. I feel like we would have had a great shot at the Orange Conference title.
The last memory I want to share is our playoff series last season against the Dodgers. Season 10 as a whole was a lot of fun with the Champion League squad. Anyways, we lost the playoff series in Game 5, in overtime, and it was super deflating. It was made extra tough for I felt like it was really my fault that we let in the series-deciding goal. However, my adrenaline was at an all-time high during that moment. I messaged Furphy afterward and it was heartwarming to share a mutual respect for one another. Both teams battled so hard for the win. It was the best series of MLE I have ever played in. The playoffs are a totally different experience.
Please watch the Dodgers and Bulls series in its entirety here!
What is the best part about being a Bull?
I would say our comradery and our chemistry is our most unique attributes of being a Bull. We all want our teams on the Bulls to succeed. It’s awesome to see each squad improve over the course of the season. For example, seeing our Academy League squad go 16-9 with no 12.5s is exciting and inspiring. I should say though, a lot of the franchises in MLE have their own special communities too.
What is your favorite hobby outside of Rocket League?
Really into iRacing right now. It’s not quite a full simulator, but close, with my Logitech wheel and pedals. It is a bit expensive to get into, but the enjoyment pays for itself. You can work on building your safety rating and track rating and you can also choose between rally car and Formula1, for example. Also, I enjoy cornhole too.
What made you want to take on that responsibility of being a General Manager? You could have always said no when that opportunity was presented to you.
I know Taelo would not have brought up that possibility with me if he felt like I could not do it. Taelo helped to mold me into the leader I needed to be, he trusted me, which means I could trust myself. Along with my experiences in United Rogue, I know I could handle it. Especially with the amount of hard work we did in the offseason, I had trust in our team as a whole. I thought about applying for a General Manager position in the next offseason too, so the process just became expedited a bit.
How did you get your discord name?
It’s simply a variation of my last name, a nickname of sorts.
Where do you see yourself in 2-3 years?
For right now, would love to stay on as General Manager of the Bulls going into next season. Perhaps another team calls for me, you never know. However, I am loyal to the Bulls and in debt to them for taking a chance on me.
Outside of MLE the wife and I are looking to buy a house soon and start a family.
Any last comments or words before we wrap up here?
MLE better watch out for the Bulls, for we have 4 teams to fear. Fear the stampede, charge on.