RONA MTSC Roses: E-sports Lives Here
By Tami Nishimikado
The Daily Magi
August 21, 2073
E-sports has taken time to find its footing in Mitakihara Town, but the Mitakihara Town Sports Club has made significant strides to incorporate it as part of the city's sporting fabric.
Founded in February 2040 by a French-Korean mahjong professional, the late Choe Myeong Hwa, and sanctioned as a wing of the Mitakihara Town Sports Club in April of that year, the MTSC Roses are an all-female corps of professional e-sports gamers from Western Canada who are trained by former gamer professionals from Asia and Europe and who play a variety of online games competitively year-round. The money gained is primarily used to fund for future college expenditures, though some who play past the mandated retirement age of 25 play competitively under the team MTSC Roses Plus, albeit for reduced salaries and for smaller, regional tournaments.
"My wish was for this city to take e-sports seriously as other sports, since mahjong is not strong enough to be considered popular here," Choe said in an interview in 2041. (She passed away in 2055.) "It has taken time for Roses to grow into a strong professional team, but over time it will get there and win tournaments on a consistent basis."
Arguably, the most successful team among the Roses is the League of Legends team, of which the MTSC Roses, sponsored by RONA since 2041, are known around the world for. They entered the North American League of Legends Service in 2041 and within five years, entered the Challenger Series, for which they remained until 2050, when the RONA MTSC Roses were promoted into the League of Legends Championship Series.
From that point on, the door bust wide open. The Roses would go on to become the first-ever highly successful all-female League of Legends team. In 2050, they would defeat teams like Team SoloMid, Cloud9 and LMQ to advance to their first-ever League of Legends World Championship. But they would suffer hurdles along the way, as they were schooled by the likes of Star Horn Royal Club. OMG, SK Telecom T1 and the giants, Samsung Galaxy White.
Years of making it to Worlds but coming up short would pass before the first-ever team of players created the dynasty that would stand to this day, in 2062. The 2062 version of the RONA MTSC Roses, comprising of Elena "Em" Mochizuki, Raimu "SoWhat" Nejikawa, Isuzu "Suzy" Shiranui, Fumio "Flame" Murakami and Kokomi "Coke" Shiina, stormed their way to the World Championship Final, demolishing the once-invincible Samsung Galaxy White to bring the Summoners' Cup to Canada for the first-time in history.
The lineups have changed since then, but the glories have not. This year's team, composed of Claire "Oktober" Rouge, Ellis "Heater" Fahrengart, Fianna Ray "Freo" Ordessia, Rinslet "Rilla" Laurenfrost and Terminus "EndGame" Est, is arguably the most dominant RONA MTSC Roses side to ever don the iconic pink shirt and white Daisy Dukes (known locally as the Pink and Daisies). Installing the uptempo, high-pace, high-intensity style of play from the Korean powerhouses, the Roses finished every contest on an average of 26 minutes, with only three games going past 29 minutes.
"It's not easy to be a professional LoL player but as athletes, we visualize the battle, envision the playing ground and instill the belief in fighting for each other," said Oktober, the designated captain of the side. "We are very good at what we do because we've spent a good deal of our time in this game."
Rilla believes the same way.
"I believe the playing field has changed dramatically ever since we broke the Asian deadlock and gave Canada its first-ever Summoners' Cup years ago," she said. "All of a sudden, everyone wants to take us apart but we are all happy being here in M-Town and playing for everybody in Canada. The E-sports scene is growing and its because of us that we're raising the bar."
"I want to put on my resume that I won the Summoner's Cup and schooled our main global rival, Samsung White," said EndGame. "Then afterwards I can do my best...to cheer the losers up. But I won't give away my secrets."
"Playing League of Legends professionally is like playing tennis or soccer or field hockey or even running cross country: you need to answer its calling and embrace it," said Freo. "For us, this is our calling, this is our job, and we want to win because we want to make our families proud and we can take care of ourselves. We won't play this professionally forever, but since we're employees of the Sport Club, we do take our job seriously."
"This year's finals will take place at BC Place and I hear it's going to be a sellout if we make it to the final," said Heater. "It's nice to not have to play in Los Angeles for once. It's too small. We like to play in front of big crowds because to us, playing E-sports is a bloody big deal. So if Korea or China or Europe wants our Summoner's Cup, you're gonna have to deal with the best girl power the world has ever seen."
In addition to the Roses, Mitakihara Town Sports Club has a men's e-sports branch, called the Tim Hortons MTSC Clovers. However, they have failed to earn the same success as the Roses, though with time, that may change.