To be a professional League of Legends player, your life is defined by opportunities -- even the ones you miss. So when the opportunity to turn pro arrived on Gabriel “Revolta” Henud’s doorstep, he was faced with a difficult choice. CBLoL was in its infancy and lacked the infrastructure of the major regions at the time. Up to this point tournaments had been held online and the prize pool was RP at best.
So would he play it safe and take the easy route in life? Or take a chance and never be left wondering what if?
In the end it was his parents that encouraged him to follow his dream of being the best player in Brazil. He was young -- he had time to make mistakes. But missing out on an opportunity like this would weigh heavier on his shoulders. When Revolta stepped on stage for his first offline tournament he knew he’d made the right choice.
I played my first tournament in Sao Paulo back in 2013. It was then that I felt the crowd cheering from each play. I felt my team giving their life to win and it was then that I completely fell in love.
Despite bouncing around from team to team early on in his career, one team remained consistent. Keyd Stars (formerly Keyd Team) would be a revolving door for Revolta. His first departure was to pursue college and a higher education, but he later abandoned it and returned to the team. He would then accept an offer to join CNB e-Sports Club, only to watch Keyd become CBLoL champions after CNB were knocked out in the semifinals.
Once again, he would rejoin Keyd only to be embroiled in personal conflicts and was subsequently benched. It was the lowest point in a career that had already been a rollercoaster ride. Though it was at this low point that a new opportunity came knocking. INTZ e-Sports approached him for a spot as their starting jungler. They were a 2nd tier team, a far cry from Keyd or CNB, but Revolta saw promise there.
“INTZ's offer really caught my attention because they came up to me and said we want to be the best and we want someone like you to be with us.”
So Revolta’s roller coaster started to climb back up on the wings of a new team. He was now the senior player, and had to take over shot-calling duties. He had to learn how to become a leader and put aside the hot-headedness of the past. It was a rocky start, but eventually INTZ came into their own. Through superior communication and great aggressive jungling from Revolta, they managed to claim the CBLoL title. They would go on to be runner-up at the 2015 International Wildcard Invitational, narrowly missing out on competing at MSI. So it came as a shock to everyone when Revolta announced that he would be returning to Keyd Stars -- for money of all things.
“The scene needed a reality check because there was an image that the team will always be unified and friends and win everything, but it doesn’t always work out that way.”
In the end, it was the uncertainty of being a pro player that caused him to follow the money. Careers are fleeting and the pressure to capitalize on such a brief period of time won out. "The Mercenary" moniker was born. He was a fighter willing to battle for whoever paid the highest price. Despite the decision and the hate it brought on from the community, deep down Revolta still had the drive to be the best. A poor performance on Keyd, largely due to the team being unable to unify, caused Revolta to returned to INTZ with one goal in mind -- compete internationally.
“To imagine myself at Worlds with my family watching, my friends watching, it is something that I want a lot.”
Under INTZ, Revolta would go on to win CBLoL once more and compete again at the IWCI -- though again, he would narrowly miss out on playing at MSI. Now INTZ has a chance to perform on the biggest stage, and when the prize is as huge as trip to Worlds 2016, then Mercenaries will fight just as hard as any other soldier.
Whatever the result this opportunity will be one of the defining moments of his career. Will it be an opportunity taken, or one that slips through his fingers?