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Up-and-coming Esports photographer highlights Boise State at CRL

Boise State traveled to the CRL World Championships this summer. The tournament was the largest and most prestigious the Bronco Rocket League team ever attended. Boise State met all sorts of different teams from North America and Europe during the event. They also met an aspiring Rocket League photographer named Tracey Makwakwa.

“Tracey reached out to us before worlds, looking to to expand her already great resume into esports,” said Boise State Esports head coach Dr. Haskell. “It was a perfect opportunity to offer Tracey back stage access to one of the top teams in the world and help capture the biggest collegiate event in the world.”

Coaches Payton Wilkin watches on as Boise State competes at CRL Worlds. (Photo credit Tracey Makwakwa.)

Makwakwa is not only an independant photographer, she also streams Rocket League on her Twitch page as a twitch affiliate, and also casts Rocket League. She does both under her online name “Rocketstar.”

History in Photography

Makwakwa first got into photography during high school. She originally didn’t plan to be a photographer. Instead, she wanted to a be a reporter for the school newspaper. She approached a teacher asking for a photographer who could provide photos for the stories she wrote.”

“I asked the yearbook teacher, who was in charge of the photographers, [for a student to work with],” said Makwakwa in an interview. “She outright told me they don’t have enough students interested in photography.”

Makwakwa would have to learn how to shoot photos herself during her work at the newspaper. Eventually photography overtook her initial interest as a reporter.

“I ended up shooting more than I was writing toward my senior year. I went from being a journalist who just took photos, to [a photographer] trying to get on the front page,” said Makwakwa.

Over the next few years Makwakwa would do photography for various bands, radio station 94.5 The Buzz, and eventually The Houston Press. During the COVID pandemic, Makwakwa took up an interest in Rocket League and started streaming it on her Twitch page.

“I learned of RLCS…after going to [a RLCS LAN in] Los Angeles I told myself, ‘You know, I don’t see many photographers,'” said Makwakwa. “‘I bet if I brought my camera to the next couple of RLCS LANs, maybe I could build a portfolio to show that I could do well in esports photography.'”

Coaches Payton Wilkin and Doc Haskell watch on as Boise State competes at CRL Worlds. (Photo credit Tracey Makwakwa.)

Ever since then Makwakwa has been attending various Rocket League events and taken photos of various teams. When the time came to cover CRL Worlds, Makwakwa looked at a list of all the teams competing and saw only one that stood out to her. Juding by the website you’re reading this story on, it’s obvious who she picked.

Going Forward

Looking ahead, Makwakwa said her next big event will be Dreamhack Atlanta. Makwakwa will be taking photos at the event and will also be streaming as Rocketstar. Those interested in her services as a photographer can contact her by visiting her professional website. She can also be found on Twitter for those interested in her carrer as a streamer/caster.

Written by Jacob Palmer