Friday, May 24, 2024

Hometown Heroes: Mistic

Written by:
Bonnie Qu
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Escrito por:
Bonnie Qu
Copywriter
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Editado por:
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Friday, May 24, 2024

Hometown Heroes: Mistic

Team Liquid Crest Logo Light Version
Written by:
Bonnie Qu
Copywriter
Team Liquid Crest Logo Light Version
Edited by:
Team Liquid Crest Logo Light Version
Graphic design by:
Friday, May 24, 2024

Hometown Heroes: Mistic

Team Liquid Crest Logo Light Version
Written by:
Bonnie Qu
Copywriter
Team Liquid Crest Logo Light Version
Edited by:
Team Liquid Crest Logo Light Version
Graphic design by:

Longtime Team Liquid Valorant fans may remember that last year, we produced a series of articles titled ‘Hometown Heroes’, which functioned as a way to showcase the diverse backgrounds and upbringings of all our Valorant players. This year, we’re bringing it back for our new additions. This installment will focus on Mistic, our endlessly dependable controller!

Mystic was born and raised in the south of England. If you’ve ever read a classic novel where the characters decided to take a sickly family member to the sea in hopes that the sun and sea air would cure them, that’s where Mistic is from: the sunniest place in England. Before he began his esports career, he’d already had two regular jobs, which gives him a leg up over most other esports athletes in terms of life experience. Read on to find out more about Mistic’s upbringing in a small town, his first ever professional contract, and which Team Liquid Valorant player has an incredibly in-depth skincare routine.


Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

I was born in the south of England, in a city called Chichester. I grew up in a town right next to it, called Bognor Regis. There’s no point mentioning the first one, actually. The one more relevant to me is Bognor Regis.

How would you describe it to someone who’s never been there before?

Apparently, it’s England’s sunniest place. It’s along the coastline, so we got a nice rocky beach five minutes away from where I grew up. It's a small town. I think it's got a population of around 25,000. There is a town center and stuff, and we got a cheap cinema — that’s good — but other than that, nothing too exciting here.

What was it like getting into gaming?

My dad bought me a PlayStation 2 at a very young age. I was four or five, and that sparked my enjoyment for gaming. So, yeah, I was a console gamer growing up, until about 14, when I had an iMac and some people that I was watching on YouTube were playing CS:GO. So I was just like, “I really want to try this out.” I had 30 FPS, it wasn't the best gaming experience ever, but it was something I instantly fell in love with. And randomly I had a few classmates at school talking about CS and I was like, “I can make extra friends now.”

So I got into computer gaming at around 14, and ever since then, I've barely ever been playing for fun. I'm quite a competitive person. So I always try to challenge myself and be the best — at least out of my friend group — at whatever game we're playing at that time.

Was gaming a big thing among you and your peer group?

Yeah. In school, I used to play football, and I was friends with a lot of the people in the football team. I randomly overheard two or three people talking about CS and I think I jokingly said, “yeah, I'm better than you,” even though deep down I knew I was so bad. But then I became really good friends with them, because PC gaming is not popular at all in the UK, in my opinion. I think it's mainly console there. That's why I became really good friends with these people, because it was something I enjoyed, and I didn't know many other people that enjoyed it, too. 

A couple of times, people would be like, “what are you doing?” Teasing me, joking about it. As the years went on, it was like, “you play on PC?” Early on in my life, it wasn't that big of a thing. But, yeah, as you see, nowadays, it's definitely grown a lot.

You mentioned you played football growing up. Is that something that you're still interested in?

I've kind of lost a little bit of interest, especially since the team I support — Man United — is straight ass right now. They're not good. So I — Eamon, across the room, just celebrated. But I still keep up with it, I know about the transfers, I watch international games... I guess it is an interest of mine.

You said your town was really boring. Does that mean you wouldn’t recommend anyone visit there?

I don’t know… there’s a holiday resort called Butlin’s. I used to work there, as my first ever job, actually. I know they have these fun fair kiosk things. I was 16, and I was just basically like a runner — like, I’d just do anything. Whatever I could to make a little bit of money. I only had one other job, which was working in a supermarket called Tesco, just stacking shelves and stuff like that. So, yeah. It's experience. I'm happy that I got it, right?

Yeah, I mean, I think you’ve lived a lot more life than most esports players your age. For a lot of them it’s just school, and then gaming.

I think I'm quite lucky when it comes to that. But gaming… like I said, I played it for fun with my friends. I was quite competitive. So I was always challenging myself to try and get the top ranks in all the games, and my friends just kept saying, “you're good at every game, you’re quite talented,” or whatever.

To be honest, I didn't think about going pro in any games. I watched CS, and I thought it’d be sick to have this job, but it never crossed my mind that I would ever be in that position. And then Valorant came out, and I got it on day one. I was like, “I'll see where this goes.” Originally, it was more of a hobby, just for fun… then Covid happened and all the stars kind of aligned. I had nothing to do but play Valorant, because I had to stay at home, and I met the right people. That’s where my professional career came from.

What was it like with your family and the people around you when you decided that this was what you wanted to do?

Although my parents did help me buy a PC and all the gear and whatever, they thought I was wasting my time. They were not fans, deep down, and I knew that as soon as I started. I met Boaster and I started practicing, and being in that team environment… I knew that this was something I wanted to do. And my family weren’t the biggest fans because they thought I was wasting my time up until the point where I showed them my first contract. So, yeah, I think it's just hard for parents nowadays to understand how esports works. You just gotta show them.

Do you have any siblings, or are you the only one?

I have a younger sister. I think she looks up to me and I've actually just bought her a PC for Christmas. So, yeah, she enjoys it too… 

Younger siblings are for passing expectations off to, so if she goes and becomes a professional gamer too, well…

Yeah. I don't know if my dad will like that or not.

So, Team Liquid isn’t your first professional team. What was it like to be on Fnatic?

Fnatic was the first contract I got in esports. That's kind of crazy. It was a long grind, [playing] unsigned. Me and a couple of other people were playing for six or seven months, and I remember at the time, my parents gave me a deadline. My parents gave me a deadline until November to find a job, and I extended it to December or January to get signed. 

It was a very intense moment, and the feeling of getting signed back then was amazing, because it was a huge relief for me. My parents’ expectations just dropped because I wasn't under a time frame or anything anymore. Everything was super new to me — meeting staff, doing content for the org… the pressure of playing for such a big team. It was a good experience, and I'm so happy that it happened.

So when you moved over to Team Liquid, being at the Alienware Training Facility, and then moving to Berlin, what was that like for you? Was it your first time living away from home?

It wasn't my first time living away from home, because I moved out when I was 19 to live near the Fnatic offices. The first time I went to the training facility in Utrecht, it kind of blew my mind. I was like, this is the real deal. You always watch the videos of the CS, the vlogs, and you think, “Yeah, that place looks unreal,” and to be there in person was a super cool experience. Moving to Berlin was obviously a big change, moving away from home and family, but we're here for a reason.

How often do you speak to your family now that you're living away from them?

I try and call every weekend. I really just speak with my girlfriend every day.

Do you think your family would ever come down and watch a game while you’re in Berlin?

I think my parents want to see me play one day. I keep telling them to wait for the right event, because I want them to see what esports really is. I think just Berlin isn't the place to do it, because it’s not the biggest of crowds, but yeah. I’m just waiting. One day they’ll come to one.

So it’s not your first time living away from your parents, but is it your first time living with teammates?

Yeah. We have our own rooms, but I’m roommates with nAts, and it’s very easy to live with him because he’s not high maintenance at all. This whole experience just has definitely brought us together. You can even look back two or three months ago – we’re definitely a lot closer now, just by the nature of it. I know [nAts’] sleep routines, he knows my sleep routines… I've found out that he has a crazy skincare routine.

Keiko did tell me that you guys did an escape room at one point. Were you in the group that won?

Of course. We were the smartest group.

When you’re destressing from matches and practice, what do you like to do?

Generally, I try to stay away from Valorant. I don't mind being on my PC, but I try to stay away from it. But sometimes I can't help it and I just randomly find myself on the game. Recently I've been reading a little bit, actually. I’m reading Dune right now, because I went to see it in cinemas. It’s amazing.

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Apesar de atualmente trabalhar na redação da Team Liquid, em outra vida Bonnie escrevia sobre esports falando principalmente de Overwatch.

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