Written By: Steve Vegvari
Ted “Iridium” Smith is an up and coming eSports competitor. The 20 year old Cleveland based player has spent the last two years engaged in the Rocket League eSports community. During his time, he played for Flux eSports, Aura Frost and SoaR Gaming.
Recently, Iridium has been transitioning himself to compete in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. He has since dipped his toes in the competitive side during TwitchCon ‘17 and has been committed to streaming on a full time basis.
Play in the Rocket League Canadian Challenge for your piece of $20,000
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Ted Smith, but I’m know as Iridium in the virtual world. I’m 20 years old and I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I am currently pursuing my goal of becoming a full time streamer. As well as competing in the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds scene.
Q: When did you first start playing games?
A: I actually had to ask my parents about this question because it was so long ago. I started playing games when I was 4-5 years old on the NES and PlayStation 1. I remember always having to ask my mom or my brother set up the NES for me so I could play Mario or some of the other classics we had.
Q: How did you get into competing?
A: I’ve always been a competitive person. I actually didn’t even know competitive gaming was a thing until I was about 15 or 16. At that time I was playing a ton of Call of Duty. One day I heard about GameBattles on MLG. Through that site I found the pro circuit and instantly fell in love with the competitive scene. I then started playing GameBattles 2v2s with my friend and was hooked on eSports ever since. From there I eventually moved to PC with games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike when I was about 17.
Shortly after getting into Counter Strike, I heard about Rocket League and decided to check it out. I bought Rocket League towards the end of July 2015 and played the hell out of it. Before long I got “decent” enough at the game that I decided to check out GameBattles to see if they had any tournaments for Rocket League. Long story short, I would participate in all of the 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 tournaments I could find through GameBattles I eventually got into the weekly tournaments ran by organizations.
Q: How long were you playing Rocket League Competitively?
A: I played Rocket League competitively for almost 2 years and had a lot of ups and downs during the whole experience. But all in all it was a very enjoyable 2 years.
Q: What made you decide to transition to PUBG?
A: The main reason I decided to switch to PUBG was simply just because I was getting bored with Rocket League in the state that it was in. I had clocked over 3,000 hours into it and had played for about 2 and a half years, and just got bored with it. I still feel like they need to implement something new. So who knows, whenever that happens, I may come back to compete in the Rocket League scene.
Q: What was the biggest hurdle during the process?
A: The biggest hurdle transitioning in the process from Rocket League to PUBG was definitely the viewers on Twitch. I am always streaming on Twitch whenever I’m playing. Whether you are a full time streamer or are striving to be one, your viewer numbers really mean a lot. So to see my average viewers tank from about 40-50 on Rocket League to about 10 or so on PUBG really threw me for a loop.
I try not to focus too much on that and just have a good time with whoever is in the stream. I try to learn and progress to the best of my ability in which ever game I am playing, which is currently PUBG, Counter-Strike and another Battle Royal game called Islands of Nyne.
Q: You’re pretty active on Twitch, do find your community helps build your strengths when gearing up for a competition?
A: When I was competing in Rocket League, my Twitch community would be really supportive and encouraging. Whether it was a weekly tournament or the RLCS qualifiers, they would always wish me luck and to go kick some butt. With PUBG, there aren’t many competitions that are as easy to sign up and play in as some were when Rocket League was getting started in eSports. I’m sure whenever the time comes for the next competition, my community will be just as supportive (if not more) as they were when I was competing in Rocket League.
Q: You competed during TwitchCon 2017. Can you walk us through those experiences?
A: Sure, so before I went to Twitchcon 2017, I looked at the events that were going to be taking place that weekend. I was hoping to find some Rocket League competitions that I could play in, but sadly there were none. I knew I wanted to compete in something at TwitchCon and saw that the annual H1Z1 Invitational was taking place. This time there were 3 different tournaments going on. There was one for the pros (All-Stars), one for the streamers/influencers (Legends), and one for anyone who wanted to attempt to play for a shot at the $50,000 prize pool(Challengers).
So, I ended up getting to play in the H1Z1 Challengers tournament as my first LAN event ever. It was on a game that I had played for a while in the past, but really hadn’t put any time into it for months. It was pretty nerve-racking since the stage was very big with all 75 players, surrounded by a fairly big crowd. I didn’t place well at all. I ended up in 69th, but either way it was a really amazing experience for my first LAN event ever.
Along with the H1Z1 invitational, OMEN by HP was also putting on a special PUBG tournament called the OMEN Challenge. 40 of the top pros and streamers/influencers would play against each other throughout 2 games. They were also running games for amateurs where anyone could play against each other and high ranked players. My friend “Holo” was playing in the pro tournament, and the next day after that tournament we ended up playing together and had a great time. We played on the same stage and setups as the pros in front of a big crowd as well. The H1 Invitational and the OMEN Challenge were great icebreakers for my LAN experience in eSports. I hope to have many more experiences like that soon.
Q: What can everyone expect to see from you in the coming months?
A: In the coming months I plan to continue streaming everyday. I will be progressing in battle royale games and FPS games I have been playing. I plan to play in as many competitions as I can in PUBG and continue grinding the Alpha for Islands of Nyne.
Q: Where can people follow you online?
A: You can find me on my twitch stream everyday over at Twitch.tv/Iridium. As well as on Twitter to stay up to date with everything that’s going on in my life Twitter.com/iridiumrl.
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.