Written By: Steve Vegvari
Denis “Frag” Kara is a Germany based Rocket League player. Since 2015 Frag has played on a number of European eSports teams like the now disbanded Team Prismatic, Pure Xcellence and acting substitute for The Juicy Kids.
Most notable is on September 21st of last year, Frag announced that he would be joining the Team EnVyUs roster during the Gfinity Elite Series Season 2. Frag splits his time with a number of teams and is quite active as a streamer on Twitch. This has allowed him to constantly be challenged and work on his in game skills.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Denis Kara, and go under the alias “Frag” in the gaming scene. I’m 19 years old, from Germany and professional Rocket League Player for Team EnVyUs, Academy, and The Juicy Kids. Which competes in the Rival Series of the Rocket League Championship Series.
Q: How did you first get into eSports and how did you found out about Rocket League?
A: I made my first steps even before Rocket League came out. I’m a very competitive person. I started playing pretty early in a semi-professional role in Counter-Strike: Source. I never made the big step out of the national scene with my friends team. During the tough time, I needed something more casual so I got into Counter-Strike Surfing, which is in other words, speedrunning on maps for the best time. This is where I found many long-time friends including Remco “Remkoe” den Boer, who is the Rocket League World Champion for Season 3.
When Rocket League came out, I saw Remkoe on my friendlist playing “Rocket League” for few days straight. I asked him why he plays it such actively. The answer was simple: “Don’t spam me, just get it”. So I did, and that’s how I got into the game.
Q:When did eSports turn into a possible profession?
A: It was quite a hard time at the start. However, I never lost the motivation to improve on myself. When smaller tournaments finally came out, I used to grind them even if it was just for 250 Euros for winning a four hour tournament.
After all the grinding a new tournament format came out by Gfinity; the Gfinity Elite Series. It gave new players the chance to prove themselves under a big stage with a professional environment. When I heard that I was one of them playing for Reason Gaming, I started noticing the pattern of me actually traveling every Saturday. I would go to London just to play one series of Rocket League and get paid.
Q: How did you first get involved with TeamEnVyUs?
A: I was always a fan of their Counter-Strike and Overwatch Teams. I was basically fanboying them from the start on and never ever thought about being one of their signed players. My first contact was right when the Gfinity Elite Series came out. Team EnVyUs was looking to built a fresh Academy lineup for Rocket League next to their eSports World Championship team. It’s quite a dream and honor to think they saw the potential in me.
Q: What is it about Rocket League that grabbed your attention?
A: Having a rocket boost at the back of the cars and combining it with soccer is crazy, and this describes the game. It’s easy to understand and made extremely fun with a group of friends.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to see added into the game?
A: I would love to see more support for fans and the teams by adding player or team designed elements. How cool would it be to have your own decal or banner with all of your team’s names, sponsors and the appropriate colors?
Q: When playing competitively, do you have a designated role you play i.e.: offensive, defensive?
A: When playing competitively with my team we don’t really have designated roles for each player but we could say that Killerno7 is more the offensive striker on our team. Stocki and I are mostly switching up between defense and setting up passes for each other. We usually try to force a standard-rotation which makes it much easier to force pressure and do teamplays.
Q: What has been your biggest hurdle in regards to competing?
A: One of the biggest hurdles for me was to handle the pressures during the games. There are actually two different versions of pressure in Rocket League. One, the in game pressure from the team and the other is the on stage pressure.
When you play in a eSports competition, where you have to win to grab the cash prize can affect you pretty quickly. Underestimating your opponent for a minute, can lead to you making mistakes because of the sudden pressure of having to win the match. Learning to stay calm during a pressured situation in defense from the opponents was very hard to learn so you do not panic and avoid making a stupid mistake which can cost you a game.
Also, It is a lot harder than I thought to switch off the thought of having a big viewership watching you, 50’000 people at times or even many more. Especially playing on offline match on a stage with a live crowd was more nerve-wrecking than I thought. I can still remember playing my first qualifier match for the World Championships on the official stream. I was extremely nervous. Finally, I am getting more comfortable to the viewership. It will help me in future to stay calm and concentrate just on the important things.
Q: What is an important tip you can give out to anyone looking to pursue eSports?
A: One of the most important things I learned over time is that you have to be really patient. Almost nothing gets given to you, so you have to try to make the best out of it by practicing. Everyone starts by losing games, but you can use these to find and improve the mistakes you did.
Q: What can everyone expect to see from you in the coming months?
A: This year has been quite incredible for me, because I’ve learned from so many people and gained a ton of experience. Additionally being part of Team EnVyUs and in the World Championships has opened many different doors for the future.
What you can expect for sure is, that I will stay competing in this scene until the very end. Where and what? Well, I’ll let the future decide.
Q: Where can people find you online?
A: You can find me on most channels, so follow me to stay up-to-date. Twitter.com/Frag_RL, Twitch.tv/FragRL and Youtube.com/FragRL. I really want to thank all of my fans and friends. I big thank you to Team EnVyUs and their sponsors. Also, my manager Jordan and The Juicy Kids. I wouldn’t be here without you.
Thanks for having me.
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.