In December 2019 we had the opportunity to do a video interview with Riccardo “Washout” Beccaria, Professional PUBG Player for eSuba and Italy Team Captain.
Like many of us, Riccardo doesn’t have any memory of him not playing video games.
When his father gave him a Playstation 2, he picked up the controller like it was second nature. He discovered in himself a desire to be better than everyone, regardless if he was playing against friends or foe.
When he turned 10 years old, Riccardo jumped into online gaming. He soon realized the skills he developed playing local were not enough to compete online.
He kept pushing himself and by the time he was 15 years old, he went to his first official LAN tournament, the PG Finals. It was the first Official National Championship in Italy, which later became an official Italian league run by ESL.
At that time, he was playing Call of Duty and competing on Xbox. His team even placed 4th out of 16 teams. It was at that moment when he realized a career in esports could actually be a thing. The fact that he was by far the youngest competitor who made it to the finals also helped.
Transition into Esports
The years passed but his desire to compete remained the same.
By late 2016 Riccardo was still competing on console. How exactly does someone who played on console all his life turn PC pro in one year?
The answer is pretty straightforward and it’s the recipe every high performer is following. Natural talent, a desire to compete, and an insane amount of practice.
Riccardo’s move from console to PC happened at the same time when Battle Royale started to pick up steam.
At that time, H1Z1 was the main game for battle royale enthusiasts. Riccardo spent his first months as a PC gamer winning BR games and falling in love with the genre.
In March 2017 PUBG was released, crushing Twitch and Steam records. It boosted battle royale from a mod to a full-blown mainstream game. The switch was obvious, everybody jumped on the hype train with Riccardo being one of them.
The early days of PUBG were a bit of a wild west, with no ranking system or flagship tournaments. The only way to get noticed, besides being a high-profile streamer, was a constant presence in your region’s Top 10. That was exactly the opportunity Riccardo needed.
From Highranked to Pro
With millions of active players and thousands coming in every day, hitting Top 10 was not an easy feat. Riccardo spent day-in and day-out playing PUBG to secure his place on the leaderboard.
Auzom, one of the major TO, announced the First Nation Cup, bringing together the top players from every country.
Riccardo’s home country was not exactly famous for its esports scene. Italy placed 19th in the world power ranking and Riccardo himself was not part of any team. He got recruited by the Captain of the Italian Team based on his stats from the EU Leaderboard.
The power ranking turned out to have little to no effect.
His team finished 5th and his performance placed him first in Italy and second in the whole tournament. Two weeks after the tournament, offers started rolling in.
There is a big difference between going Pro and staying Pro.
Riccardo stated that it can take only one tournament to shine and get selected. But afterward, the real work starts.
Getting selected is the easy part. To turn pro, you need to perform better than everyone in a big tournament, once. But for the few that succeed there are thousands that fail. To stay pro, you need to outwork everyone in the world every day.
After he got signed, Riccardo faced a difficult choice. A choice that could make or break a professional player.
Do you go all-in on this path, in this fairly new career or do you keep your safety net and go with a more traditional choice? In his case, the traditional choice was continuing his studies.
He realized that splitting his time between esports and education was not possible. He decided to pause University and continue with his career choice.
At that time, everyone and their mom were making PUBG tournaments. To stay relevant, you pretty much had to take part in every one of them. After he got signed, he spent the next 6 months playing at least one tournament every single day, with no days off.
He started traveling the world playing PUBG. He took part in 5 Major/Premiere LAN Events and had outstanding results:
- 3 European Finals (Major Events)
- 1 EMEA Finals (Major Events)
- 1 EU/CIS/NA Final (Premiere Event)
His performance boosted the team. They ranked 17th in the world by the end of 2018. He was the Team Captain.
The power ranking turned out to have little to no effect. His team finished 5th and his performance placed him first in Italy and second in the whole tournament. Two weeks after the tournament, offers started rolling in.
Washout and Dygma
When Riccardo made the switch to PC, he started to invest a lot of time into finding the best setup for his needs. Looking for the best keyboard, he found our Kickstarter campaign.
He realized that Raise had a better design and functionality than the rest of the gaming keyboards out there. It was the high-end keyboard that could give him a competitive advantage.
It was a perfect match.
Riccardo became one of our early Kickstarter Backers. When our first test units were ready to ship, he was one of the backers who got one.
With esports evolving every passing day, so should the tools used in this sport (yes, it’s a sport). Even though esports venues are getting bigger, that’s not necessarily true for the actual place where the players perform. Cluttered setups and the big stands of some monitors are still a problem. Players are forced to perform in weird positions to accommodate every situation LAN Events could throw at them.
That’s where Riccardo got the most value out of our keyboard. He was able to move away from the popular tilted keyboard position that’s so common at LAN events. By splitting the keyboard, he made enough room for his mouse and monitor.
Having 8 thumb-keys won’t turn you into a professional player overnight. It also doesn’t help that we are used to pressing one big button with two fingers.
There is an adjustment period that will differ for every individual. In Riccardo’s case, it took him around two weeks to start utilizing the thumb-keys at their full potential. As he said:
“Having more keys on the spacebar is a Tier 1 Benefit. It means more actions and faster actions. You have to get used to it for a while, but with muscle memory, you’ll be able to move your fingers less and you will be able to be faster than ever.”
In competitive esports, every second can make the difference between winning and losing. Any feature that will make a player faster will give him an advantage.
Spending hours in the same bad position will ruin your health. Spending hours competing in the same bad position will ruin your performance as well.
The risk of injuries and burning out gets higher as you get more invested in your performance. Keeping a close eye on your well-being will provide you major returns in the long run.
There are also more aspects to esports besides playing games. Like any other athlete, esports players have to travel a lot from venues to hotels and gaming houses. They also have to take great care and manage their gear. In this context, practicality and ease-of-use become important factors in the experience.
Riccardo used to waste countless minutes every time he had to pack his gear for a tournament. Searching for lost keycaps and battling the maze of cables every time he traveled had become a pain. With our premium case and practical package, the annoying hustle of traveling with your keyboard is a thing of the past.
Against All Odds
Riccardo’s first full tournament with the Dygma Raise was the ESL Berlin Winter Season. But he was already playing in the Contenders League at the time.
There were 32 teams trying to qualify for the final, split into 2 divisions. The top 8 and bottom 8 were changing places as the finals approached.
Riccardo’s involvement in the Contenders League meant that he wasn’t allowed to play in both tournaments at the same time. While every team in the tournament had 45 matches to gather points to qualify, Riccardo and his team were only able to attend 25. That meant their changes to quality were cut in half from the get go. They also had to play close to perfect to even get a slight chance of making it to finals.
When the final week kicked in, they were so far behind they needed to win every game out of two to make the cut.
With just one game left and other teams going after them, they certainlty felt the immense pressure. Riccardo remembers spending 15 minutes in game, motivating his teammates.
In the end, they managed to qualify by just 2 points and went out to win the final.
Riccardo’s story is one of consistency and perseverance. His generation is facing a shift in what can be considered a high-performance athlete.
We’re excited for the future and we plan to build it. Our keyboard allows PC gamers to reach their maximum potential through efficiency and better functionality.
Riccardo’s experience with the Raise is a testament to the benefits of our product. We can’t wait to watch Washout perform in 2020. Keep an eye on the General of Italy.