An Interview With Renault Vitality's Gregan

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On February 12th of this year, Vitality formally announced their first Rocket League roster as they partnered with Renault Sport and acquired the former Guess Who? trio. Right off the bat they demonstrated their commitment to success in Rocket League – and two months on from that inception, the results speak for themselves. The squad find themselves sitting 2nd in the RLCS Europe table with one match left to play, sitting above fellow Elite Series teams like Envy, exceL and FNATIC. And as for the Elite Series itself? A big win over FNATIC last weekend has put them into semi-final clash with Method this weekend – and if they can overcome the all-star lineup of former champions, they will advance to the Grand Final at the first time of asking.Debut seasons don't get much better than this, folks.If you're a regular viewer of Elite Series, you'll have likely seen one of the most important figures in their superb season so far – team manager Gregan. Previously a caster, he switched roles for Season 3 when the opportunity to manage the Renault Vitality squad arose, and since then he's brought the same energy and exuberance he showed on the microphone to the stage as he cheers and fist-bumps his players on each week. DuckMoriarty would be proud.But like any team manager, his role involves far more than just on-stage theatrics, and he and his squad have had to pull together and navigate a difficult schedule between Elite Series and RLCS action. With such pivotal games in both competitions looming on the horizon, we figured it was about time we sat down and had a chat with the man hoping to guide his team to #VforVictory.Unsurprisingly, Gregan is very happy with how the team's year has gone so far:'Vitality have had a brilliant 2018, even when we were finalising everything and they were playing under Guess Who, the team have outperformed their own expectations and are now considered one of the best in the world. Results-wise, season 3 of Elite Series and season 5 of RLCS have shown how we can be at the top of any European competition and we are incredibly proud of our improvement this year.'With Elite Series and RLCS matches often happening on consecutive days, the schedule is an intense one – but Gregan believes the demands of travelling will ultimately make his team better in the long-run:'The schedule is taxing on the players for sure. The players are professionals and have to deal with travelling and intense periods of competing. We make sure to get them home as soon as possible Saturday after playing Gfinity so they can get rested and practice for RLCS. At this point, the guys are building a fitness for travelling, playing early at Gfinity, competing under stresses and this will only make them better long term. It's not ideal, but everyone deals with it and betters themselves as a consequence.'Multiple times in the Elite Series this season, substitute Gnagflow06 has stepped up and performed strongly – and Gregan is more than happy with how he has slotted into the lineup often on very short notice:'Gnagflow has stepped up, but we definitely found out that he replaces Fairy Peak in playstyle better than Paschy which again, we learnt from and will plan for in future seasons. I personally tried convincing the boys to put me in as a sub, but they were brutally honest and suggested Gnagflow would be a better replacement; they were right! With the Renault Vitality starting roster being world class, we obviously want the main guys wherever we compete, but we have to be happy with how Gnagflow performed considering his last minute call ups!'Coming into team management this season, the most important lesson he has learned is a simple one: ALWAYS have a backup plan, and know your options for post-match food:'For me, the biggest lesson was things never go as planned. When you are travelling several players internationally on a weekly basis, with people who are often not used to it, you need to constantly be ready to find plan B, C and sometimes D. Also, I now know the Nandos menu off by heart.'A lot has been made of Gregan's energetic stage presence this season. Does he mind that – not at all, he loves it!'I'm gonna be honest, being on stage was one of the things I was most excited for joining a team for the Elite Series! I've never been an emotional fan of any sports teams, even my own (unless playing). But with Vitality and Rocket League, I can't help but explode after every goal. It helps the boys, as no matter what, they know I'm proud of them. The reset of a fist bump allows the teams to stay relaxed. But ultimately, I just wanna celebrate with the guys (and I like being on camera!).'His previous casting experience has meant he's spent a lot of time in front of the cameras this season regardless of his change of role, but does it help deflect pressure away from the team?'I think it helps yes, but more for Vitality. It's always important to have someone talking comfortably representing an org. I would say though, FreaKii and Paschy are more than capable of an interview, and I would encourage they get more offers.'Ahead of the monster semi-final matchup with Method, many have struggled to deal with their brash attacking play– but Gregan is confident Vitality have the firepower needed to overcome the team comprised of former Elite Series champions:'Method are a weird one for pro teams. Rix Ronday and Borito B are unusual to play and their experience at Gfinity will surely show. Shakahron is solid, and having coached him before, I wish him every success. Ultimately, Vitality are the best team on paper; as long as we focus and play our best, the result should follow. Best-of-7 is always good for teams as it helps them relax and adapt.'And when asked just how far Renault Vitality can go in 2018, he has a very succinct answer:'Two words; win everything.'A team full of talented players and brimming with confidence, associated with a major F1 team and coached by one of Rocket League's biggest personalities? There's no limit to just how far Renault Vitality can go in 2018; look at how far they've come in just two months. Gregan has every right to feel confident – if his troops can overcome Method, it would take a brave person to bet against them lifting the Elite Series Season 3 trophy.Make sure you don't miss their huge semi-final clash, as well as ALL the other big playoff matches we have lined up for you this weekend.Get your FREE tickets to come and watch all the action in the Gfinity Arena here, and you'll also be able to watch live exclusively on Facebook every single week.