For those of you who don’t know, KOU or Kings Of Urban is a Professional Rocket League team who currently holds the #1 spot in the latest [NA] Pro League Power Rankings. Their team consists of Fireburner, Moses, Jacob and their manager usedwolf. I wanted to catch up with them to pick their brains about their beginnings, current success, and the future of Rocket League.
Every team has an origin story, but I find KOU’s very interesting and it actually starts well before Rocket League was even released.
Fireburner: I started Kings of Urban in SARPBC. A few months after the release of Rocket League, I created a team with the same name with Gambit and Kyle Masc. Once we upset iBP Cosmic in MLG our team started getting a lot of hype because we were the first team in RL to beat them in a series. After MLG we picked Jacob up because we felt like we needed a change. Although a few weeks later Gambit left KOU for another team so Moses filled his spot. We didn’t really know each other beforehand but I’d say we are all really good friends after being teammates.
Like I said, that is a great origin story! They took down the “Goliath” of Rocket League only to have their team shaken up and placed back together with different pieces. Another little tidbit there was that Gambit was once part of KOU! I was unaware of that information and wondered why he left.
Fireburner: He left on kinda bad terms at the time because he left the team saying he was bored of the game and was going to stop playing competitively but he joined an EU team that was considered to be a top team at the time about a week later. It was a bit frustrating for us at the time but we have gotten over it and don’t hold it against him anymore.
Jacob: I feel like we’re a better team with Moses now as well, I don’t think that we could have gotten number one on the power ranking at this time with gambit still with us.
I cant blame them for being frustrated at the time, I mean that was pretty shady on Gambit’s part. But there is always another side to a story so maybe we will get Gambit’s take on his decision to leave KOU in a future interview. That being said you can’t argue Jacob’s statement as they clearly hold the #1 spot with out Gambit on their team. After another strong week and being awarded that #1 spot I wanted to know how it effected them or if it even surprised them as iBP Cosmic had been #1 for a very long time.
Moses: It wasn’t too much of a surprise for us actually, we felt we had been the #1 team for a while just didn’t have the chance to play Cosmic at all over the last couple of months.
Spoken like true winners, if you don’t think you are the best then why play in the first place. Moses stated that they hadn’t had the chance to play iBP Cosmic for months but what they have been doing is putting on a show of talent and skill taking down almost every single team they have come across. So what makes them so good? What is it about KOU that makes them so dominant and well run?
Moses: I think our really solid rotations allow for a lot more quality chances when attacking as well as always having someone to block a shot near our net or cut down the angles quicker.
Fireburner: That and we feel that we have really good [communication] throughout our matches so we always know where everyone else is on the map.
With the #1 spot and a spectacular record it is hard to argue against their strategy. So they are good, great even, what is it that they hope to accomplish on this stage? Do they have a bigger picture in mind?
Jacob: We’re hoping that we can dominate through both Europe and NA while the scene continues to grow. As a team we are hoping to best the top teams of Europe, and represent NA.
World domination! How much bigger can you really get than that? They want to be the very best not only in North America but the best in the world. Why can’t they? Or are they already? The International Playoffs are coming up and they have the chance to prove to the world they are the best Rocket League team in the world. But what if they fall short? What is their mindset going in to this big event?
Fireburner: We hope to ultimately know how we would fare against top EU teams since being in NA we rarely get the chance to compete against them in tournaments because at the moment there are almost no international tournaments. We are going into it believing we can beat any team that we come across but if worse comes to worse we hope to take it as a learning experience for any future international tournaments.
Something tells me they will do alright in the International Playoffs, I would put my money on KOU to win it all. Now Jacob mentioned just a moment ago that the Rocket League scene is growing. With e-Sports becoming a very huge movement, making itself something to be taken seriously these days I wondered if KOU could see Rocket League become a staple of e-Sports like League of Legends and Star Craft.
Usedwolf: Absolutely. Rocket League has become a game that everyone talks about. It’s going to continue to grow. It’s just a matter of time before we start seeing bigger tournaments and eventually LANs.
I certainly hope so, Rocket League (in my opinion) is the only game that literally is 100% all skill. In other sports games (or games in general), I feel it is 50-50 in terms of the player making an action and the computer deciding whether or not you succeed. You have to know where to be on the field, when to attack and when to defend. What you and your teammates do WILL be the reason you win or lose, it is that simple and that is why Rocket League is such a beautiful game and why I believe it will one day be the #1 e-Sports game out there.
Now there is more to Rocket League than just the Pro scene and I wanted to see where KOU stood on a couple hot topics and fun ideas in the world of Rocket League. As of late Wasteland has been attacked and protested against for being put into the competitive/ranked playlist. I wrote an article on Wasteland just yesterday explaining my feelings about the whole situation, but I wanted to know what KOU thought about it. Are they okay with it? Do they think it should be removed?
Moses: It’s not a personal favorite of mine but I think it’s a map in the game and deserves to be played in ranked.
Jacob: I don’t mind it’s addition to competitive, it’s nice that they are giving the non-standard maps a chance in ranked but how often it shows up needs to be reduced.
I completely agree with them, especially Jacob’s statement. Like is said in my previous article, it does come up quite a lot. Staying with arenas for a moment, I wanted to get their thoughts on the newly implemented Rocket Labs and the 3 maps currently in the playlist. Many players think they are messing the game up by adding different styled maps, but as Pro players are they fans of any current Rocket Labs arenas?
Fireburner: Yeah we all are fans of all 3 of the new Rocket Labs arenas. We think that adding new maps to the game is a good thing for the competitive scene as it will add variety and introduce new tactics and strategies for the new maps. Maybe with enough new maps we will see a pick/ban system in pro tourneys in the near future.
Once again we agree and I think Fireburner is right on the money. How can you go wrong with variety? I believe it is the best thing for Rocket League going forward. Speaking of variety, what about the variety of cars? More specifically, the variety of iconic cars like the Delorean! I have been on a mission to get Psyonix to give my idea a chance, my idea being bringing the Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters into the game. I have a whole detailed article about it explaining how they could make this work. But what about KOU, are there any iconic cars they would like to be brought into the game?
Jacob: I’d like to see the mystery machine brought into Rocket League, even if it’s just a Merc decal.
Moses: I’d like to see the Batmobile as well, that would be awesome. I think it would be cool to take the one from the video game Arkham Knight actually haha.
While I had thought of the Batmobile before, Moses is absolutely right. It would be awesome if the Batmobile was brought into the game. I bet you would see games of nothing but Batmobiles! Jacob also has a great idea, I hadn’t even thought of the Mystery Machine. How easy would it be to decal the Merc with this awesome idea! The point here is that Psyonix has a chance to add great content in the game with these iconic cars, EVERYONE will love them no matter what they are.
I wanted to end with something for the readers and other Rocket League teams looking to make an impact on the world. With all of their success and great team chemistry I wanted to know if they had any tips for up and coming teams and also the question that is one EVERYONE’s mind, What is the key to a good aerial skill set?
Jacob: For any teams wanting to work their way to the top, I would tell them to spend time playing with their team and to work on communication. As for the Aerial skills, I wish I knew.
Haha, I guess that will continue to be Rocket Leagues biggest and most frustrating question. These guys know their stuff, they are a force in the Rocket League world and I have no doubt that they will be one of the best teams for a long time. I just want to thank Kings Of Urban for being absolutely fantastic and sharing some time with me to talk about the game we all love so much. Rocket League!