The journey of EG’s newest Star: Boostio
With the Last Chance Qualifiers standing in the shadow of VALORANT Champions, it’s time to dissect just who the players are that wait in the wings coming into the new year. And with Evil Geniuses beginning to finalize their VALORANT roster, one name may raise an eyebrow–but not for the reasons you may think.
EG’s duelist extraordinaire, Kelden “Boostio” Pupello, has been carving out his own esports story since 2018. While he’s the newest signing at Evil Geniuses budding VALORANT roster, their ace has a history far more rich than you might realise.
Debuting alongside Karasuno during the second season of Overwatch’s Open Division in 2018, Boostio was an obvious contender. Not only was Boostio able to pilot the vast majority of DPS heroes the metagame asked of him, but he was a playmaker which made him stand out amongst the amateur talent attempting to breakthrough. Boostio didn’t just try and break through to greener pastures in Overwatch–he left an impact.
Be it agile, flank heroes like Tracer or marksmen like Hanzo or Widowmaker, his performance alongside Karasuno during 2018’s Open Division thrust him into the discussion when it came to Overwatch’s amateur scene, Overwatch Contenders. This air of untapped potential would foreshadow his career in Overwatch as a whole.
With such a glowing debut under his belt, it was only natural for teams to take notice and for the next two years, Boostio would battle the best contenders Overwatch Contenders had to offer and managed a successful stay. Playing for teams like Skyfoxes, GOATS–yes the team that the dreaded composition was named after–and Wave Check.
Nearing the halftime of 2019 he rejoined Skyfoxes to compete in Overwatch Contenders Season 2. After placing 4th in the group stage, Boostio and Skyfoxes would take an early exit out of the playoffs losing to Phase 2 in a narrow 5-game set.
With a disappointing 5-6th place finish Boostio and Skyfoxes would part ways and the young star would then spend the next half year competing back alongside Karasuno attempting to make magic once more.
Battling through Overwatch Open Division once more was a fairly easy task for the DPS ace as Karasuno would advance to the final through the upper bracket and defeat Maryville University 4-2 to secure first place and a seed into Overwatch Contenders Trials, the relegation tournament that filters teams both up and down.
Together they fought through, qualified for Overwatch Contenders proper, but found middling results, highlighted by their Week 2 silver medal finish during 2020’s Overwatch Contenders week 2 tournament.
Transitional skills are always difficult to correlate in esports, however, it was clear that Boostio had a mechanical knack for FPS, so when his name began floating around the early North American VALORANT scene, few fans were surprised. Taking into consideration how well players like Andrej “babybay” Francisty and Corey “Corey” Nigra transitioned to VALORANT with a similar skill set–not in terms of level more so what attributes and skills they brought to the table–Boostio’s move to VALORANT made perfect sense.
After initially finding his VALORANT footing alongside teams like Second Wind and Spacestation Gaming, Boostio would join Evil Geniuses on September 27th. And thus far, Boostio has maintained his potential alongside Evil Geniuses.
Take for example his impressive stats from their recent victory over Built By Gamers. Across 3 maps Boostio accumulated 75 kills, 59 deaths, 15 first kills, an average combat score of 264 (ACS) and 161.7 average damage done per round. Mind you this is against a top 20 team in North America.
Boostio’s impressive performances don’t end there. Another great example hails from his performance against NRG Esports at the Nerd Street Gamers Summer Championship. Wielding 3 different agents, Boostio managed a 231 ACS, 145.2 ADR with 10 first kills–in a 1-2 loss to NRG.
Don’t take our word for it, EG’s own head coach Christine “potter” Chi gave a glowing review of the young star.
“[Boostio] is a very confident player,” she explained. “He’s got a lot of energy and we really needed that as a squad. It really brings the vibes up, and not only that but the kid is talented. He’s just got raw skill.”
“You can immediately tell when you watch a Jett player who’s playing a different game than everyone else and [Boostio] is absolutely one of those players.”
That kind of review, with that level of experience, and with the support of one of North America’s premier esports organisations is a recipe for success. With a team lead by a legend and packing their own potential–Boostio is on track to not only match the same level of glory he captured in Overwatch–but surpass it alongside Evil Geniuses.
It’s only a matter of time.
Images via Riot Games