It’s not entirely about that circuit life for OpTic Gaming’s pro players. Behind the scrims, the tournaments, the constant travel, there’s simply the game – the reasons they play, and the moments that drew them in. We’ve asked them to share a little about their favorite gaming moments in general – to remember that rush.

OpTic PUBG player Ian ‘Bahawaka’ Crowe is currently known for taking heads and lifting loot on Erangel, but the public nature of his gaming career is significantly older than PUBG – or even the modern Battle Royale genre in general.

Actually, push that clock back farther – Ian’s favorite moment in gaming can be found right on the cusp of what would eventually become the streaming revolution that’s since defined the scene.

“I kinda stopped streaming now, but I used to stream a long, long time ago – back when it was and transitioning into Twitch,” reminisced Crowe. “I was basically still in high school, playing Heroes of Newerth over the summer.

“It was sick to actually have an insane viewer count. There was no drive, like, pushing for that. Also, getting to kind of beat down on other Twitch streamers at the time – that would always get you a nice kick to your count over theirs.”

Of course, standards for what constituted an impressive viewer number were rather different back then. As Ian recalls, he topped out at about 2,000-2,500 viewers that summer – enough to secure him the #1 spot on temporarily. Then real life caught up to him. “Awful internet – it might have been the summer as I was going into college, and I couldn’t stream during college. Something like that.”

He still occasionally gets visits from his old audience – on the rare occasion that he does pop into Twitch, an old mod will come by and discover that they still have permissions. Even as Ian’s prepping for the next major tournament, or getting busy at getting better, a part of him is still rooted in those early days.

“Knowing how connected I was with other people – when you have thousands of people watching, there’s so much support and involvement, and I felt I was making a difference with a lot of people, bringing that entertainment value, cheering people up, or making people grow as better players.”

Would he want to go back, at expense of his current endeavors? Not as much, said Ian. “I can’t say I regret it, because I’m happy in the moment I’ve gotten to. But, hopefully, I end up finding the time to get back and [stream].”