Lifestyle and Hobbies Outside of Rocket League with ViolentPanda



Fri 23rd Nov 2018 - 7:44pm

Rocket League requires a lot of skill and the esports scene in general is often underrepresented in society, as it is 'just a videogame'. Contrary to this belief, esports professionals, including Rocket League professionals, such as Jos 'ViolentPanda' van Meurs, need a lot of determination and commitment to do what they do. The same can be said for other sports or hobbies that an individual may commit to, and so we talked to ViolentPanda regarding the hobbies he does outside of Rocket League and how they might relate to a Rocket League professional life.

When asked about his hobby of running alongside professional player Alexandre 'Kaydop' Courant, ViolentPanda says, "I wanted to get more in shape and to just feel better." In feeling better comes a healthy mentality, and this is always a favourable part of any person's life when doing anything.

Bearing this in mind, then, mentality is also very important for Rocket League. For more information regarding the mentality of a Rocket League player and how crucial it might just be, check out the article 'How Important Mentality Really Is - Tips and Tricks with ViolentPanda'.

Otherwise, as ViolentPanda says, "I don't think working out will make me feel better." In terms of mechanical ability in the game, this is certainly true, as mechanical skill comes with frequent practice and simply just playing the game.

However, remembering to have a healthy mentality is a whole other aspect to becoming a fantastic player. This is a very undervalued side of Rocket League skill and having a healthy mentality can most definitely come from participation in other hobbies outside of the game.

Not only this, but as ViolentPanda states, "It will make me feel better about myself outside of the game," and having a healthy self-esteem is nothing to complain about.

In terms of being a Rocket League professional, it could be questioned if balancing practice in game can be easily balanced with your personal life outside of the game. For ViolentPanda, being in the RLCS (Rocket League Championship Series) and other major tournaments such as ELEAGUE or DreamHack, practice time is bound to increase.

When asked if this makes it difficult to balance professional life and personal life, ViolentPanda replied, "No, because I still have plenty of time to do everything I want outside the game. We only practice in the evenings."

This is important, as in order to balance hobbies outside of Rocket League and maintaining frequent practice in the game, you may consider using a schedule. For ViolentPanda and Dignitas, two hours per day on evenings is an efficient method of improvement, whilst also being able to sustain plenty of time for a personal life outside the game, perhaps to do other hobbies such as running in ViolentPanda and Kaydop's case.

In reference to an individual's mentality, especially in the life of a professional player, hate comes from many directions and is sometimes inevitable. When asked if he is affected by the hate from social media, ViolentPanda responded, "To be honest, I don't get fazed by the hate we get nowadays. I used to take it personal but over time, you learn it's something you shouldn't think about, because those people don't know what they are talking about."

Not only can social media bring waves of hatred towards players and their teams, but also the expectations that individuals have may be very high, especially for two-time World Champions. High expectations may result to pressure to meet them, and after asking him if this is the case for him personally, ViolentPanda said, "There is always pressure when you are expected to win something. But when I am at an event or playing, I don't think about it too much."

In general, then, simply having the ability to block out negative comments and ignore any difficult expectations followers may have of you will result to a more positive mentality, which, again, is going to help you in becoming a better player in the long run.

At the level players such as ViolentPanda are at, the amount of conversation surrounding them, especially around the RLCS period, will be high. Even in the off-season, discussion surrounding players is really quite frequent in the community. Cutting yourself off from the limelight is something every professional might have to face.

Fortunately, however, ViolentPanda told us, "When I am not doing anything in the esports/Rocket League world I don't think about Rocket League too much and just do my personal stuff."

From ViolentPanda's responses, it can be said that to maintain a healthy mentality as a Rocket League professional, you should:

  • Not think about negative comments arising from social media and block out the hate.
  • Try not to think too much about extremely high expectations from followers, as not meeting them could damage your self-esteem and, therefore, gameplay.
  • When not in the esports scene, you may want to think about Rocket League at all and focus on yourself, to avoid any negative conversation surrounding you or your team.

For aspiring Rocket League professionals, knowing how to fit in an esports life with other aspects of life including school and outside hobbies is really something worth knowing about. As a final word from ViolentPanda, we asked him about how he, personally, dealt with fitting in Rocket League and school and any changes he might have made to his lifestyle to advance forward.

In response, ViolentPanda says, "School and Rocket League was hard to combine for me because I had a lot of events that I had to go to and my school didn't support it at all. It depends what kind of education you are doing and what kind of plans you have set for yourself. I decided to quit my school because at one point I really was seeing a future in Rocket League for me, but I don't recommend doing this when you are not sure this is something you can do full-time." 

So, if you aspire to become a professional Rocket League player, you will certainly want to consider all the points mentioned throughout this article, but mostly be sure that you can see yourself heading in the right direction before making any quick decisions that are potentially life-changing. Although, it is important to remember that reaching professinal status in Rocket League, in itself, is most definitely life-changing.