Every day the atmosphere at the Boise State Esports Arena is different. Different students and varsity players shuffle in and out every day competing in a variety of different games and broadcasts. With that said, the arena does still have it’s regulars. There is no more of a regular to the arena than Rocket League varsity player Gabriel “Gil” Reynolds. No matter what day it is, it is extremely likely you’ll see Reynolds in the arena practicing Rocket League.
Reynolds Amazing Fall Semester
Reynolds currently plays Rocket League with Emiliano Flores and Kyle Ady. These three players have made quite a name for themselves in the past semester, securing a Mountain West championship victory and perfect season. But the most prestigious tournament that all collegiate Rocket League players aspire to compete in is game maker Psyonix’s officially supported CRL tournament. CRL requires all participants to compete in qualifier tournaments to make it to the regular season. As a result, only the top collegiate teams and programs are represented. To simply qualify for CRL is considered an honor in itself.
Boise State, since its founding, has had it’s Rocket League team try to qualify for CRL. For many years, that goal remained elusive. But thanks to extremely talented players like Reynolds, Boise State broke through in 2022 and qualified for CRL in Spring and Fall. Not only did they qualify, but they excelled in CRL during Fall 2022. Boise State had a CRL regular season record of 13-2 and finished as one of the top three teams for the season.
Preparing for a Very Important Spring
This impressive performance doesn’t just give the Bronco’s bragging rights, but it also helps determine who will make it to the CRL World Championships held this summer. As Reynolds himself explains, by performing well in CRL’s regular season and playoffs, teams can earn the opportunity to compete on a much larger international stage.
“With one west team already qualifying, the top three will make it (to worlds). So as long as we keep up what we did this last fall we will make it to worlds. Which is a really great feeling,” said Reynolds in an interview.
While the prospect of making it to CRL worlds is exciting, the Broncos have a long way to go to get there. They have to still qualify for the Spring CRL season and do just as well as they did in the fall to stay as one of the top three teams. Reynolds is wasting no time practicing and preparing for this upcoming season.
“Right now, we’re just getting back into a rhythm, getting back to where we were at the end of fall,” said Reynolds. “From there, we’ll probably implement a lot of gameplay tweaks. Last semester was about maintaining a good mentality as a team. So this next semester is going to be more gameplay focused.”
And so Reynolds continues to spend hours in the arena practicing and competing in scrims. Ultimately drilling the same gameplay techniques over and over again until they become second nature. Will all that practice will ultimately lead Boise State to international Rocket League fame? That remains yet to be determined.
-Written by Jacob Palmer