Toronto Defiant’s newest rookie gives his first interview since joining the Overwatch League.
Few rookies in the league have gotten the same props as Luka "Aspire" Rolovic for their flashy plays, clutch moments, or even hard carries. That’s why we knew we had to get in touch with him before the Defiant take their second shot at Stage Knockouts this season.
Aspire's introduction to the League
I’d like to start by giving a huge thanks to you for taking the time to answer some questions. You’ve been a class act, and one of the most fun players to watch in the Overwatch League.
There are many reasons people love Overwatch on the casual and competitive level, so what is it that made you want to chase a professional career in the game?
I have always been a very competitive person since a young age, but all the sports and games I grinded up until Overwatch never showed much promise for a potential professional career. I did not realize until recently but all the times I failed at reaching the next level in each respected sport or game taught me what it truly took to become one of the best at anything in life. For this reason, about two years ago, I decided to put all my effort into Overwatch, the most recent game I truly felt passionate about and still do to this day.
After receiving a temporary 30-day contract with the team, and then receiving another 30-day extension for the Summer Showdown, at what point did you begin to think or even know that the Defiant wanted to pick you up as a permanent member of the team?
As everyone might remember, I was first picked up playing the “Hard Hitscan” role for the team which includes essentially every hitscan hero other than tracer. While I proved that I could be dominant in the league on those given characters, Heesu is an extremely good and proven player in the same role so, going into the next month, I had to prove myself on what is basically another role, playing Tracer. Once I performed well during the Summer Showdown, I kind of knew at that point I would be staying with Toronto for a longer period of time.
Adjusting to a new team
During most of your experience in Overwatch, which for the last year and a half has been in Contenders, you’ve played with mostly American teammates, with a few Canadian and European teammates across that time period. What’s it been like now playing on an almost all Korean roster and coaching staff within a Canadian-owned organization?
Joining the team on short notice and playing with five other Korean players definitely caused me to struggle at the start. All the things I took for granted playing with English speakers, such as fight planning and general callouts/adjustments during the middle of fights, were much harder to catch on to and it forced me to learn to do most of it on my own. While it caused me to have a slow start, playing with very little English comms I believe has made me a better player by simply increasing my in-game awareness, for example. Additionally, the coaching staff did an amazing job of teaching me everything I needed to know in an extremely small amount of time.
Rookie Role Star
The return of Pine and WhoRU, Develop entering the Overwatch League, SparkR joining the starting six of the London Spitfire for a short time; there was quite a bit of movement in the DPS world within the surrounding 30 days of your original temporary contract. Out of all these transfers though, you’ve had the most influence, and most game time. Are there any players new or veteran to the league that you’ve used as benchmarks for yourself in the first months of your Overwatch League Career?
I honestly have yet to use other players’ gameplay to measure how well I am doing so far in OWL. My coaches on Defiant have been really good at always giving me things to improve on and not giving me any reason to look at other players performances and relate them to mine. Everyone has different ways of playing the game on any given hero so I’m just trying to be the best version of myself and my coaches do a great job of keeping me in that mindset.
The Defiant won 3-2 against the Paris Eternal on Thursday, the only two maps dropped being when you were subbed out for Na1st during maps 3 and 4. During those maps, we saw Na1st playing a lot of Tracer, the same hero you primarily played during maps 1 and 2. What is the strategy behind swapping out you and Na1st? Is there maybe a different playstyle the team runs depending on the player, or was it maybe originally planned for Na1st to play less Tracer during those maps?
It all has to do with what specific map and team we are playing against. Na1st is a much more flexible player in this month’s meta, so if we feel we will need to utilize that on a given map then we swap him in.
Your Tracer has been far and beyond your most notable and recognizable hero play thus far. With Widowmaker duels and Tracer duels being such a popular test of skill for DPS players in the league. We’d love to know who your favorite, and/or most difficult Tracer duel has been for you against a player of another team during games.
I haven’t had too much experience playing against the top Tracers in the league, but, based off Tracer duels in specific, Yaki is by far the best. I have yet to play against someone who has better mechanics in the duels than him.
End of the Season
The Rookie of the Year Award will be given at the end of the season to the first season player that has had the most impact and success in 2021. Though you weren’t there at the start of the season, your presence is now well known around the league for your consistent performances that are helping to bring out the best in your team. Do you imagine yourself in the Rookie of the Year nomination picture? If not you, then what fellow class of 2021 player do you think should be awarded the title?
While I may see myself in the discussion, I do not personally believe I deserve it. I have not played enough games and my impact on each official, I believe, cannot match that of Pelican’s. His overall level of play for a rookie is unreal and his dedication to grinding the game every day for 12+ hours makes me believe that he deserves it out of everyone.
You haven’t had many opportunities to speak out to fans across the league and esports community yet. Is there anything you want to say to the people that watch and support you?
I definitely want to thank the unmatched level of support I receive from everyone. It helps my confidence a lot in officials when I know my fans have my back and I genuinely appreciate it. I can’t wait to keep improving and show everyone how good I can be. And I believe the best of me is yet to come and I will forever be grateful for those who support me along the way. I won’t forget it. Thank you.
Aspire holds a very fair middle ground of self-confidence and self-improvement. His success has pushed his desire for improvement even further, and with a mindset like that, how could we not root for the guy? He clearly has many things to come, and hopefully, we’ll be talking to him again to follow up on his next achievement.