Better known by his gaming alias ‘Ocelot’, Rodriguez has spent half his life in esports.
Starting out as a World of Warcraft player when he was just 15 before switching to the wildly popular team-based League of Legends, Rodriguez was one of the first gamers in the world to make a name for himself and build up an image and fan following.
“In that game [World of Warcraft] I became one of the best players, if not the best player, in the world,” Rodriguez tells me proudly. “This is where I started building my brand: Ocelot and ‘Ocelot World’, which is what I used to call it, and I started to get merchandising and sponsorship deals.
“Fifteen years ago I had to create my own path, there was nobody like me. There was nobody who made enough, or had enough success, that they were known by people. You can even Google it! There was nobody.”
After switching to League of Legends, the Spaniard led his team in numerous tournaments before eventually deciding to retire from the sport and use his winnings to found his own successful esports organisation, G2 Esports (originally Gamers2), in 2014.
Today G2 is one of the largest esports teams in the world, with players competing in games including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Rocket League and Rainbow Six Siege.
G2 has numerous tournament wins to its name, particularly in League of Legends where it has won eight European titles before being beaten in the semi-finals at this year’s world championship.