Top Rocket League pro jstn. pulls out of Intel World Open due to burnout

He says the pandemic has impacted his mental health and he needs time to reset

Rocket League pro Justin ‘jstn.’ Morales has pulled out of the Intel World Open, saying that he won’t compete in the tournament next month. He explained his decision in a TwitLonger statement posted to his Twitter account, saying that while he is definitely “not retiring,” he won’t be taking part in the tournament.

The Intel World Open is an Olympic-affiliated tournament with a $500,000 prize pool, split evenly between Rocket League and Street Fighter V. Teams of three players from the same region can compete in open qualifiers to earn a place, before working their way up to Regional Finals where the real prizes are on offer.

However, jstn. will be a big miss at the tournament, having won three of the last four Rocket League Seasons with NRG, and the team looking on track to secure another title in RLCS Season X. He cites general unhappiness, the  World Championship being cancelled, and the online-only nature of the Intel World Open as the major reasons for him pulling out of the tournament.

“The thought of playing something that doesn’t involve a LAN kind of ruins it for me,” he explains, “especially after playing a year of RLCS X and qualifying for Worlds just for it to be canceled.”

He also explains that his motivation has taken a blow, and he is burned out as a result of online play. “I have been dealing with a lot of demotivation and just have been depressed, and my mentality is nowhere near as good as it used to be. [The] main reason being, no LANs. I miss going to LANs with my team and close friends in the esport and, of course, my family.”

The pandemic has had a huge effect on the esports industry, but on a personal level jstn. believes that it has had an adverse effect on his diet, sleep schedule, and general happiness. “The reason why I always look dead whenever we score or even, in general, is that deep down, it’s just been difficult for something to make me happy. Nothing makes me happy as of right now.”

After a post-Championship break, jstn. anticipates that he will be back competing for NRG, hoping to “come back stronger and return to my old happy self before the next season starts.”