Mitch “Dream” Malson competed during the season 10 Challenger League, and attended the NAL 2020 during his tenure with Tempo Storm. Now he plays under the Mirage banner. We caught up with Dream to discuss the effects the pandemic has had on his career, and hear about the origins of Dream Clap.
Steve: How did you initially get into esports and what led you to compete in Siege?
Dream: I think I was lucky. To be honest, when I first started Siege, I didn’t really like it that much. I came from Arma, which I loved and played way too much. My Arma friends used to also play Siege all the time and made me play it with them. That’s why I started playing the game a lot.
If I was going to try and make it, I wanted to be with better players. I was ranked Gold, thinking I was crazy to join a team. So I started talking to people in ranked and trying to make friends. I kind of got lucky with who I met. I got on a team that was trying to make CL with Alex “Butterzz” O’Campo. “I got lucky” is what I always say.
How has your competitive career been affected by the pandemic this past year and a half?
I think it did a lot more when I was on Tempo than now on Mirage. We were supposed to be living in a team house for eight months, and it just kept getting pushed back. So that was really hard, to not be able to move in with your team and actually have that camaraderie and that cohesion. A team house can bring people together.
On top of that, Ubisoft was saying for so long that we were going with LAN, and then COVID hit and that was not happening anymore. That was another really tough spot.
Has that changed? What’s the dynamic now?
I’m definitely more motivated. There were some rough patches we had last season which we really worked through as a team, and I think we came out stronger because of it. We’ve all been really motivated lately and playing really well. I’ve been really proud of the team.
Where did the “Dream Clap” originate from?
When I was on Tempo two people on the team had to do face cams for all our games. And when I’d get really excited, I just started clapping. I was just hype because we won. It really took off. I did it once, and I saw GIFs of it everywhere. People still use the GIFs!
What are some fond moments you look back on from your time competing in the NAL?
A big one for me is the one LAN I’ve ever made so far: the USN in 2019. That’s a huge memory for me on Tempo. It was actually at the Rio in Vegas. That was both my first ever time in Vegas, my first time at a LAN event. There was an actual crowd. That was one of the last big LAN events that had a crowd and I just remember the energy from it. I can’t wait until they let audiences come to the arena when we play. It’s going to be so much fun.
What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career?
Not to take anything for granted. Esports can change so fast. Just enjoy it while you’re here, enjoy every minute of it. Try and be the best you can be and just be ready for whatever’s next, you know?
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Hopefully going to the Major and going to the Invitational. Besides that, I don’t know what else I got going on.
This interview has been edited for clarity, style, and pacing.