Meet the 72-year-old that just made ESEA Intermediate

It's never too late to start trying.

In the case of probably the oldest player ever to advance up the ranks in ESEA, 72-year-old Eddy "eastRab" Montville has officially qualified for Intermediate after his squad Iron Wolves lost in the third round of ESEA Open playoffs this season.

The player joined up with Iron Wolves as they competed in ESEA Open this season. The team were able to go 10-4 and qualified for playoffs amongst the field.

However, eastRab's journey begins much, much earlier than that. He says that he was first introduced to Counter-Strike way back in the day where he would follow Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer Gustafsson on fnatic and then later FaZe when the Swede changed teams. He first began to play the game in 2016 when his son gave him the game for Christmas at the ripe age of 65.

While solo queuing as a Silver I, I became friends with BigBeefHarrison, s1ip, R54 and REKMEISTER, all of whom are in, or just out of college. We were friends in and out of the server and I was accepted as an equal, just one of the guys, something that didn't happen often enough when I was solo queuing. REKMEISTER took me under his wing and made it his mission to get me ranked up to Global Elite.

He would play with the squad several times a week and slowly became better. It wasn't until June 2021 when eastRab made it to Silver II and then February 2022 when he became a Gold Nova I for the first time.

In December 2022, at the age of 70, I was a Global Elite, proclaiming on Twitter that I was, perhaps, the world's oldest Global Elite. No one ever challenged that claim!

While he was playing matchmaking, his new-found friends continued to play in ESEA Leagues where he would watch their games if they were being streamed. eastRab never thought that he would be able to find a team himself until REKMEISTER asked him if he would join them for a season of ESEA Open as Iron Wolves.

I found playing on a team to be a different ballgame that just playing matchmaking. Everything was much faster, and I had far more responsibility on the team. My teammates are great, never expecting me to contribute more than I'm able and getting more excited than I am when I do something well.

At 72, eastRab had some difficulty competing with the rest of his much younger teammates. He suffers from arthritis in his left hand and wrist, causing issues for some of the keybinds.

I can't manage to use the WSAD keys like everyone else. My movement keys are ASDF, with A & F strafe left & right, D forward & S backward. The rest of my binds are also changed to keys I can actually reach comfortably, including Mouse 1 for shoot & Mouse 2 for duck. Necessity is the mother of invention.

While he might have struggled physically with the game, eastRab learned that he could be incredibly useful in a number of different ways.

I'm good with utility, learning all the important smokes and mollys for the maps we played, and I also did mid-round entries into sites to get the information to allow my teammates to win the round. A complete support player, although I describe my role as "quality bottom fragger".

During the playoffs, Iron Wolves earned a bye in their first round and then secured a 2-1 series win against DeepFriedFrenz to qualify for IM. eastRab struggled in the series, but his teammates were able to secure the win. This win was a great milestone for one of the game's older players, but that was not the true takeaway from the this last season of open.

It's not the competition, the league, the playoffs, or even just playing the game I love that makes this a memorable experience. It's the friends I've made, several of whom I've already been friends with for years both in and out of the server. When I'm in the server, I'm not an old man with chronic pain and chronic fatigue, I'm just one of the guys and when playing I'm ALIVE!

The older age of Mr.Montville, who is playing in the ESEA Open, draws some similarities to Lenovo's Silver Snipers project that aimed to show that age would not be a barrier to competing.

As for Montville, it remains to be seen if he will continue competing in ESEA for the next season or if this was just a fun experience for him. Either way, the entire adventure was not really about winning or qualifying, but playing with his friends and accomplishing goals he never thought possible.

It's also icing on the cake that my twenty-nine year old son brags to his friends about my accomplishments in Counter Strike.

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#1(With 0 replies)
June 12, 2024 03:36PM
Oh my god
#2(With 0 replies)
June 12, 2024 05:35PM
Hopefully his heath stays strong enough to become the oldest ever ECL player
#3(With 0 replies)
June 12, 2024 05:45PM
beautiful article
#4(With 0 replies)
June 12, 2024 06:56PM
Great write-up. Go eastRab and Iron Wolves!
#5(With 0 replies)
June 13, 2024 12:29PM
That's awesome, thanks for the article!
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