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 fragger Michael Robins was but a lad when the gaming bug bit him, thanks to – of all things – the nature of Corporate IT culture. “When I was a kid, my dad used to work for a bank in London, in the IT department,” reminisced Robins. “When I went to work with him one day, just on their lunch break, I guess, there were 32 of them playing Quake against each other.”

If any game can claim itself to be the grandfather of modern esports, it would be hard to deny Quake the title. Though it was far from the first multiplayer FPS, its 1996 release coincided with modernized networking tech and 3D gameplay – a perfect storm of circumstances that made it the game to define an era. It was also the game to take the veil off Michael’s eyes as to the possibilities in gaming.

“Up until then, my experience with video games in general was a hobby you would do at home on your own,” said Robins. “Kinda just seeing people coming together and playing video games” ultimately led him down the road toward competitive shooters.

It wasn’t Quake that made that final push, though. A few hardware and console generations later, Call of Duty 4 on the Xbox 360 sang its siren song.

“That was the first time it was kind of easily accessible to go online, meet new people, play against people from all over the world – and there was kind of the social interaction with the first time there was in-game voice and stuff like that,” said Michael. “Leading on from that, just that whole competitive thing chucked in with the social interaction was what got me invested in gaming.”

And pride. Definitely a matter of pride. What got him plugged into the tournament scene was simply “wanting to feel as if I was better than X many people in the game, and having a page that said that. Something that was, like – I guess a track record of how many people I dicked on.”

With his push into PUBG, that list grows longer by the year.