“My friend showed me a flier and he said, ‘Hey why not try out for League of Legends or Super Smash Bros.?’ I said, ‘Sure, why not?’” recalls Cabreja. “I was a little nervous at first, not knowing if my skill level was there, but when I came into the room, my coach Abraham sat me down, asked me what rank I was and when I told him, he was a little surprised.”
Cabreja says that shortly after the exchange, the two played a game together. Abraham was impressed and the pair really clicked.
Now, Cabreja is a starter on Iona’s League of Legends team. But even though he’s been playing the game since he was 11 years old, playing on a team is a whole different ball game than how he used to play. “I have to really focus on working with a team, communicating, always talking, working with them,” says Cabreja. “And I have to understand that the enemy team also has a team that’s all communicating. It’s a very different change of pace and a whole different game honestly.”
While playing on a team is a new experience for Cabreja, the college esports player says the team feels like a family because the captains and players support each other wholeheartedly. “I thought being on a team would be a little more taxing,” admits Cabreja. “I thought it would be a little crazy. I was honestly nervous about balancing my schedule, especially commuting up to 45 minutes a day, but I’ve managed to balance it really well, having my captains also be very lenient with practice and being lenient to reschedule games just for one player. It’s really nice.”
When it comes to aspiring college esports players, Cabreja’s advice is simple. “Go for it. If you do feel like your skill level is at that point, definitely try out,” he insists. “Even if you’re a little nervous like I was, still try out because in the end I was very happy with my decision to do it, and now I’m on the team and I feel like it’s one of the best things I could have done.”
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