What do you get when you take a free-to-play platform fighter and give it good online play, dedicated developer support and an exponentially growing fanbase? You get Brawlhalla, the smash hit indie game by Blue Mammoth Games.
When looking at the many ways Brawlhalla has become a successful competitive game, one word comes to mind: opportunity. And in the case of Cole “Cosolix” Bereskin, he’s taken the opportunity to become one of Brawlhalla’s top professional players and content creators.
Cosolix, a Brawlhalla pro signed to Shattered Dreams Esports, began playing Brawlhalla in January 2016 and became inspired to get good when a close friend placed a respectable 33rd at the Brawlhalla World Championships. The grind truly began in 2017, with Cosolix entering as many official and community-run tournaments as possible; he often brought a Macbook Air to school to practice when there was time. By mid-2017, Cosolix was confidently in the top 100 globally
“I put in the work.” Cosolix told ggn00b in an interview.
“There was a bug in the game that I kind of abused to get good. People would call me a one-trick pony. But my point of view is: you see something that works, you use it.”
He’s not the first pro esports player to take this approach; in The Smash Brothers documentary, top Melee player Hungrybox famously said, “I got good using gimmicks,” and for many years, this approach led him near the top but never the peak. When Hungrybox evolved his game, he captured the number one spot in the SSBMRank for three years in a row.
Cosolix faced a similar sink or swim moment when the bug he took advantage of was patched out (a testament to the thoroughness of the Brawlhalla dev team.) How did he adapt? A balanced diet of grinding ranked, dedicating time to practice specific combos and execution, and studying of the meta. This shift in Cosolix’s style came together at Shine 2017, where he made top 8 and solidified his place as a Brawlhalla professional.
“If you’re really trying to get good at a game, only play people who are equal or better than you. You don’t want to be carrying someone at a low level and you don’t want to be numbing yourself to people you beat non-stop because you’re not learning.” Cosolix says when talking about how players can improve themselves.
“Talent can help, but if you put in enough work in any game and have the right mentality, you can get far.”
Much like Hungrybox, Cosolix has unfortunately had to deal with a fair share of negativity for his play; Cosolix is the best Lance player in the world, and this weapon draws the ire of certain sections of the playerbase; at CEO Dreamland Online, his set versus the number three player in the world Boomie was streamed on Boomie’s Twitch channel and the chat was being especially toxic.
“[Boomie] actually stood up for me, and I really appreciate that.” Cosolix says. His attitude is quite positive all things considered.
“That’s just a couple thousand people when you compare it to the grand scheme of things and how many people actually support me.”
This mindset finds his way into the content he releases on YouTube; Cosolix has gathered over 50,000 subscribers to his channel with videos totalling over 8 million views. His content varies from video to video but his aim is consistent: he wants you to care about the channel.
“I don’t make the most addictive content, I don’t think. Some of my videos are tutorials, some are collaborations, some are me just memeing” Cosolix explains in regards to his process. “The point is to care enough about the channel [as a whole] so that if I make that one really good video, it can go viral.”
The proof is in the pudding, with Cosolix’s output on YouTube increasing due to the coronavirus derailing everything from live events to…society at large. The viewership and reception to these videos has been great, with one comment on a recent parody video titled “Longest Brawlhalla Combo Ever Made” reading:
“Cosolix is a genius with his videos lately. He puts a lot of thoughts into it.”
Finding the right approach to content creation is crucial as Cosolix contemplates how to approach an issue that looms over every popular video game fanbase that consumes content; what do you do when the game dies?
While Brawlhalla shows no signs of slowing down, every game has a lifespan and Cosolix is preparing for the next steps even if they’re in the distant future.
“Simply put, the goal is to get good at a game, and when you get good, find a way to build an audience. Eventually, when the game dies, you have a big enough audience to keep going.”
Having taken notes from the many content creators who either made the jump to a new game or who failed to adapt, Cosolix is ready for the future. Until then, he will continue to push himself as a top player while making videos that both he and his fanbase enjoys.
“If I can do this full-time, I’m not working a day in my whole life. I’m just playing video games, posting videos and doing what I love. That’s the dream.”
You can listen to the full interview with Cosolix here!