Esports as a whole has seen tremendous growth recently, reaching and creating numerous communities with new products, new faces, and (our favorite) new games. These games typically have small, budding communities that are close-knit and supportive to the players and spectators within. There comes a certain point where these games begin to see its competition grow stronger, stakes become higher, and the rewards become larger.

Strictly Business finds itself today, banking on the rise of Paladins as an emerging esport, with a star pick-up of the Ambition roster and their unrivaled play in the Paladins Console Wars Qualifier leading up to DreamHack Valencia on July 14.

Paladins is not a new game, but it is still growing as a competitive esport. Recently, many big-name organizations have picked up teams competing in this underrated title, including Strictly Business.

When they picked up a high-tier competitive Paladins team, Strictly Business expected to be up there with the best, hoping making it to the major event in Valencia and support an emerging scene with the added exposure Strictly Business could bring to the game.

What we were not expecting was for our team to emerge undefeated and lay claim to their spot in Valencia without batting an eyelash. They fought for what they wanted and took it with no second thoughts. We here at Strictly Business could not be more proud.

I caught up with the Captain of the Strictly Business Paladins team, Tyler “Shoo” Sigston, to talk about his team’s recent acquisition by Strictly Business and their thoughts of the upcoming major.

Q: Can you tell me a little about you and your teammates, how you came to be and your experience before coming on with Strictly Business?
A: We have been teaming on Paladins for about 4 months now. Wxnderful, Skeppii, and Kcam were all Overwatch players which is actually where we all met. Woosh was a Professional Battlefield player, Zoom was a Season 1 Rainbow 6 Siege Pro, and I played Smite competitively Season 2.

Q: How did your team come to be under Strictly Business?
A: We signed with sB because Polo gave us the best offer out of all the organizations who wanted us. All of the people in sB are awesome and in the short time we have been representing the name they have done a lot for us.

Q: What do you think being under Strictly Business will bring to your team and competition?
A: I believe that being under sB will help a lot with gaining exposure, for us players personally and the Paladins scene itself.

Q: What can we look forward to with your team and Strictly Business?
A: Everyone can look forward to us staying around for a long time, we are going to continue grinding to stay at the top.

Q: How do you guys feel about your recent undefeated status leading up to DreamHack Valencia?

A: Practice makes perfect, all we did was scrim and grind. Anyone can do what we did if they put in the time. We feel very confident in ourselves as a team going to DreamHack undefeated.

Q: What are your thoughts leading into Valencia? Any concerns or fears for yourself or the team?
A: We’re just looking forward to some good games. The team does not have any concerns or fears, we have spent months preparing for this and are ready for Valencia.

Big things are coming soon, and you are not going to want to miss it. As we move forward with this team by our side, we plan to help bring this game to the forefront of competition and the pinnacle of esports.

Like many games out there, Paladins has the potential to draw a big competitive scene and an even bigger crowd. Thanks to HiRez Studios, this game is being built with players in mind and is helping players like Tyler “Shoo” live out their dreams. Thank you Paladins, thank you HiRez, and thank you Strictly Business for picking up this team to help show what they can achieve. The sky is the limit, but these guys are showing they have so much more in store.

As we approach DreamHack Valencia, July 14-16, make sure to keep up with Strictly Business and the Paladins team to see how they are preparing to take on Valencia and all it entails. Make sure to follow our twitter account to keep up to date on all details regarding Valencia, the team, and Strictly Business.

Written by Brandon “Raezien” Simmons.

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