Stockton University was defeated by Northwood Blue University in the grand finals of the 2022 Collegiate Rocket League World Championship through a 4-0 sweep, finishing as runner-up.
Given Stockton's arduous journey towards reaching the finals, which saw them win the quarterfinals and semifinals in relative succession all on the same day, before receiving the sweep, it would have been unsurprising to see them lament from their failure of becoming world champions well into the night.
Instead, as said by Brian "Busse" Busse, the team will cope having maintained their pride. After all, in collegiate Rocket League's inaugural global event, it was them who took part in its grand finals, an extraordinary feat any other side would relish in having. That sentiment is further augmented for Busse, who had personally competed in the collegiate scene for roughly three years and saw it develop from a ragtag apparatus to a cohesive pipeline of talent for the professional level.
Shortly after his defeat to Northwood, Busse spoke to BLIX.GG to discuss Stockton's journey to the grand finals, his experience in Dallas for Worlds, the development of the CRL scene, and much more.
Thanks for doing this interview, Busse. Obviously, it was a tough series for you to absorb. A 4-0 sweep is not something you would have liked to receive given that it took you quite a lot to reach this point. Even so, I'd like to know your initial reactions towards competing in the grand finals.
I mean, it was awesome. I've been playing the in CRL for three years now and I've always wanted to get to this stage, so it was nice to finally get there. In the end though, losing 4-0 really sucks but I'm just more motivated for next season now.
Talking about like this entire spectacle that was Worlds. You took part in this LAN which was the first iteration of its kind and featured both North American and European teams. Given your career in the CRL scene, how do you view your experience to compete against both NA and EU teams in this LAN?
Yeah, it was awesome. The EU players, they came in expecting it to be easy so it was nice to kind of humble them a bit. None of them made Day 3 but I'm excited that EU's gonna be here now because I know that scene is going to just keep building and becoming better and better, and eventually the World Championship is going to be great.
Directing the focus back to you guys, you played a pretty stacked schedule on the last day of competition which saw you play three consecutive series from quarters to finals. What was the team's mindset heading into this gauntlet-esque day?
Honestly, we knew were the underdog but at the same time, we knew we were one of the best teams out there. Everyone doubted us and I feel like my trash talks had people hating on us and stuff, but we came in knowing we are one of the best teams. Yes, Northwood is really good but we knew that, against any other team, if we play our game, it's a win guaranteed. And when we faced Northwood, we knew we had to ice up a bit and it just didn't go our way.
Given that Stockton lost in the Grand Finals and came so close but being so far from the title, how are you taking this result? With considerable pain over the defeat or immense pride for having reached the finals?
We got second losing to LionBlaze and the rest of Northwood. We knew we were probably not going to beat them 10 times out of 10, but we got second at least so I know we played up to our potential. But I still have another year left. I'm not really too disappointed because I know we're going to be even better next year and the events going to get even bigger. Although it sucks to lose right now, I know there are more opportunities in the future.
Will Stockton be back and the Grand Finals in the next Worlds?
Yeah, for sure. That's all I'll say. *laughs*
I'd like to know your thoughts on competing in Dreamhack, staying in Dallas for this inaugural occasion for the CRL, practicing and scrimming with different teams, and essentially meeting everyone.
I honestly loved it. I've been to other LANs in the past but none were up to this level where we had practice rooms. We're at Dreamhack competing for the biggest prize pool by far. Overall, it was an awesome experience so I'm just really happy I got to experience it and know if I keep grinding this game, there'll be plenty more experiences like this to come. I'm very happy and I'm ready to have some fun tonight since this tournament's over.
How many drinks are you going to down?
Probably 10 beers and probably some other things.