Written By: Steve Vegvari
Luis “iRemiix” Galarza Figueroa began his eSports journey primarily playing top down competitive games. Since his transition to Overwatch, iRemiix has placed in the Overwatch Contenders tournaments with Kungarna.
Having grown up in Puerto Rico, iRemiix had to make a tough decision earlier this year. After Hurricane Irma hit, it shook his world. Without internet or power, iRemiix was forced to leave his home in hope of landing a position with a team and continue to pursue his dream of competing in the Overwatch League.
iRemiix has began to carve a name for himself for maining as Reinhardt and Winston. A big factor in his disciplined skill is his efforts in playing alongside Bischu; his longstanding teammate. Together, they landed on the Los Angeles Gladiator team.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Luis Galarza Figueroa. I grew up in Puerto Rico and I have been playing games my entire life. Ever since I was a child, I have felt the need to compete and be the best at whatever I’m playing. Overwatch and the Overwatch League is my chance at doing something bigger.
Q: How did you first get into eSports?
A: Growing up in Puerto Rico, playing online games on my PC was a great way to connect to the world outside. I would play games like Starcraft and League of Legends in their ranked system and was finding a lot of success there. Watching the big tournaments with the pro players. The crowds and all the hype of being on stage, I knew it was something I wanted for myself. When I started playing Overwatch was when I began to realize I was good enough to actually make this happen.
Q: At what point did you know this is what you wanted to focus on?
A: I had been training in League of Legends and was ranked very highly, but having started around Season 4. When Overwatch came out, it was a perfect opportunity to use what I had learned about competitive gaming in a fresh game environment. I changed to focus on Overwatch, and there’s been no looking back since.
Q: What was it about playing the tank role that drew you in?
A: I love being the tank, and playing heroes that can make space for my teammates. Truthfully, I want to be the one to make the big play, and playing a tank gives me that opportunity
Q: Any tips for players looking to fill the tank role?
A: Communication is the key. When on Reinhardt, you’ve gotta be the voice of the team. Let them know when you’re going in or when you’re dropping your shield. Everyone depends on you to lead the charge so staying vocal and helping coordinate plays is essential. With Winston, it is more about talking with specific members of the team who are going to dive the backline with you so you can all hit the target at the same time.
Q: You’ve recently joined the Gladiators team, how did that come to fruition?
A: I was actually being scouted by multiple teams for the Overwatch League. The biggest factor for me personally was that I stay with my friend and off-tank Bischu. We played on Kungarna together and developed a great synergy. So we would go into the practice room or a custom lobby and just practice strats or dives together for hours.
I think that kind of connection is something teams do not often value as highly as they should. Bischu and I are such a strong frontline when we play together. Gladiators wanted us to stay as a team.
Q: With things starting to really ramp up for you in the new year, have you found yourself changing your daily grind at all?
A: Absolutely. Training for the Overwatch League is unreal. I don’t think people realize just how much we practice. Not only are we scrimming a lot, but afterwards we have homework from our coaches. We often go over specific maps and strategies that we actually get tests on. It can be overwhelming at times. Everyone on the team has such a drive. It is a big help to have a bunch of guys nearby working just as hard as you.
Q: What does your routine look like leading up to a tournament?
A: In previous teams, we would grind a lot. In Gladiators, it’s so much more professional. For every scrim, we are practicing specific strategies, team comps, vocal callouts. I’d say it’s just more organized and structured, compared to playing before Overwatch League. There is no room to slack off ever now. All of the teams in Overwatch League are so strong. To beat them we are just going to have to work and train harder than everybody else.
Q: Has there been a standout moment since you’ve started competing?
A: The biggest moment of my career has to be our tiebreaker match with Cloud9. We were fighting for a spot in the Contenders League. In a way, it was also to show the upcoming Overwatch League teams that we could compete at the top level. The match ended up going to tiebreakers, and we had lost on that map to C9 before so there was definitely a lot of anxiety in the team.
We kind of talked to each other before the map. Everyone agreed that this was the moment to just believe in each other and play our hearts out. Winning there, and upsetting all the C9 fans was unforgettable to me.
Q: What can everyone expect to see from you in the coming months?
A: Me fragging out obviously haha.
Q: Where can people follow you online?
A: You can find me streaming on Twitch.tv/iremiixz. Follow me at Twitter.com/iRemiix_OW to catch up with what I’ve been up to.
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.