Written By: Steve Vegvari
Sandro Holzwarth has been on the eSports scene for just over a year and a half. The German Rocket League player has shown real grit and determination. This is what helped Mock-it reach the Rocket League Championship Series S4 finals late last year.
Sandro has a lot on his plate as a player. Balancing his desire to become a more sophisticated player with a full time job. Sandro realizes that nothing is forever, and has been able to showcase his performance on stage. As of now, Sandro and his team have joined Team Vitality and look forward to a promising year.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Sandro “FreaKii” Holzwarth. I am 21, from Germany. I am currently doing a voluntary year and playing Rocket League in my freetime.
Q: How did you first get into eSports?
A: I got into eSports back in 2016 when we managed to compete for multiple ESL Germany cups and receive an offer from “ENJOY”. We played the RLCS Season 1 Qualifier 2 under them and had a good run all the way into the upper and lower bracket finals. After that run, a big German organization called “PENTA Sports” signed us and we continued to play under their name.
Q: Has it evolved to the point you can call it your profession?
A: It actually never went to a profession for me if I am being honest. I am still working 7 to 8 hours a day and I only play Rocket League in my freetime. I want to change this since competing at this top level is hard and needs dedication to the game. For now, I am still able to manage both. The moment I felt like this could be a professional career was when we got picked up by PENTA Sports and later with Mock-it buying me out of the PENTA contract. I got another feeling that Rocket League might be a longer lasting journey.
Q: What is the eSports community like over in Europe/Germany?
A: It is not as big as it is in North America yet. But with every event, it gains more and more popularity. It is in a process to receive acceptance way more than it was a few years or months ago. In general I would say its a short step in front of a big jump towards an accepted profession.
Most of the tournaments and LANs I have been to have been in North America. It is always nice to travel because of a video game. However, I would also like to see way more big tournaments and events in Europe or Germany.
Q: What is has the team dynamic looked like between you, Paschy and Fairy Peak?
A: Our relationship always has been really good right from the start. Paschy and I were always friends but could just not team up. Finally playing with him feels just normal. Ever since I’ve known Fairy he has been on really good teams and I always thought his potential is incredible. Now that I have teamed up with him I can only confirm he can be the best player in the world!
Q: How does it feel to be playing for Team Vitality?
A: Vitality is the biggest organization I’ve signed with. I hope we can just continue playing our style and continue to be as successful. Vitality will do their best to help us to achieve those things and will try to make us build our own brand and name.
Q: What is it about Rocket League that grabbed your attention?
A: I always liked football and I also liked racing games. Rocket League combines these to genre and makes something incredible out of it. In Germany we have a TV show called “Autoball WM” which basically is soccer with cars. Of course they can’t fly and boost and all that stuff. Once I started playing Rocket League, I just got hooked and kept on going.
Q: What was the experience like competing in RLCS?
A: I already competed in RLCS Season 3 but unfortunately we did not make LAN. I can’t be too disappointed since it was the first season I played in League Play with Mock-it. I made League Play without any problems and also managed to qualify for the RLCS World Championship in Washington. It was really nice to see all these fans cheering and watching the games and also meeting them and the other pro players you talk to almost every day over the internet. When I attended the RLCS S2 Finals in Amsterdam as a viewer, I wanted to play on this stage so badly and tried everything I could to actually make it someday. I hope I can compete in future RLCS LANs again since the experience and the setting in general is another world, almost indescribable.
Q: What has been your biggest hurdle in regards to competing?
A: A big hurdle at the start was to convince my family and especially my dad that eSports has a future. To be able to compete at this high level in a popular eSports games is a huge deal and cannot be a understatement. When it comes to myself, I feel like sometimes I’m too nervous and not really confident about myself going into a game and this leads to mistakes and defeats. Everyone there is trying to help me with those issues. I already feel like I am becoming a better player every event; in game as well as mental.
Q: What is an important tip you can give out to anyone looking to pursue eSports?
A: Competing at a top level no matter where, if it is in sports like football or in a video game is not easy! Everyone should know it takes a lot of time and dedication to the game to become one of the best. If you are willing to do so go for it. Try your best but don’t be disappointed if it does not work. Also, make sure to always finish your school and education. eSports is not a job you can do an entire lifetime and someone just should not throw away a good education. But in general, I would say if someone is willing to stick to the game and try his or her best he will be able to at least compete at a very high level.
Q: What can everyone expect to see from you in the coming months?
A: Now that we are with Vitality, we are definitely playing the Gfinity Elite Series next to RLCS. Other tournaments which aren’t announced yet will be played as well. After my voluntary year, i will go full time in Rocket League since Vitality is giving me the option to fulfill this dream!
Where can people find you online?
A: They can find me on Twitter.com/FreaKiiRL and watch me stream on Twitch.tv/uhfreakii.
About The Author: Steve Vegvari
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.