As E-sports competitions gain more recognition on the national and world stage, its participants are cashing in.
A slew of popular games now features professional leagues of their own, including the classic franchises of “Halo”, “Call of Duty”, and “League of Legends” but new games as well, like “Fortnite”, “Overwatch”. One player from East Haven is making his mark on the E-sports scene as well.
His name is Kyle Storer – more easily known by his gamertag, “Torment." He – and 2 of his gaming buddies, are the reigning World Champions of the fast-paced, high-flying rocket car soccer game known as “Rocket League”. Popular for adding flair to the video game version of soccer, the game is one of the premier choices for E-sports professionals to create their legacies. Storer, 18, won the world title in 2018, and pocketed $75,000 for his effort (including another $5,000 for earning the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award).
“I had no idea it would go this far. I just thought I’d make a little money, I never knew I’d travel the world doing something I love," said Storer – who’s team, Cloud 9 Gaming, dethroned the undisputed kings of the young E-sport, a team by the name of Dignitas. Speaking of his opponents, Storer added “They’re an extremely talented team, and it’s an uphill battle against them but we pulled it out.”
Storer and his two teammates joined Cloud 9 Gaming after winning their first major championship at a gaming convention in Atlanta called Dreamhack back in 2016.
Popular for offering up tournaments for seasoned professionals of all games, the convention has been one of the main spots for big time E-sports action in recent years. Originally, Storer and his teammates went under the team moniker of “The Muffin Men”, but after their big win – Cloud 9 decided to offer them a deal – expanding into the world of “Rocket League” for the first time. Storer and his buddies had originally sought Cloud 9 looking to garner their support before that tournament. “We reached out to them and they had interest, but they didn’t want to do anything until we won our first major tournament at Dreamhack Atlanta.” said Storer.
It was also the first time that Storer and crew played the game together in person. In fact – he hadn’t met his teammates in person ever before the tournament – he only played with them online for about a year prior to that event. “Dreamhack was our first actual meet,” he said, citing the fact that his teammates lived in Toronto, Canada and Chicago. “At the top, everyone knows everyone, or at least knows of everyone, we’re all friendly and everyone gets along well when we play,” says Storer, noting that most top players in the gaming community are rather well-mannered and love to play with and against one another.
It’s also quite lonely at the top of the gaming mountain. According to statistics from Psyonix – the creators of “Rocket League”, there are only 933 players who achieved and maintained the Rank of “Grand Champion” - the highest achievable tier in the game’s competitive format - in the most recent season of competitive play. These players are considered the players with the greatest skill and chance to qualify and compete at major tournaments.
Now that Storer and his team have linked up with Cloud 9 – the sky is the limit – and they are traveling the world defending their status as World Champions. They recently competed in Germany – where the team gave a strong showing. Storer says because popularity of the game and sponsor interest does change, the time as a professional gamer can be limited. He hopes to remain a major part of the professional gaming scene as a player, coach, or manager for as long as he can.
If you would like to follow Storer’s progress, you can check out his gaming page on Youtube at
or on the gaming website Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/tormentrl