A fan-favourite and pillar of the EU competitive community, Gabe “Aroma” Hamshaw is ready for today’s LCQ.
Starting as the  seed in the tournament, his Snackle Boxes team will have to come up with something special to earn a place in LA.
That won’t stop the confidence from flowing through the veins of “the ONLY Cornish Partnered streamer.”
Aroma told The Rotation: “There have been days where I genuinely think we could beat anyone in this qualifier. It just comes down to if we show up on the day.
“It’ll be the same for the rest of them. It’s one day of CoD to qualify for Champs. I can’t believe that it’s even this scenario. It’s not even Saturday-Sunday. It’s ridiculous.”
He comes into the event on the back of an undeniably impressive T16 result at the Boston Open.
Having beaten the  seeded Trash Bros at the event, momentum will be behind the team. Even then though, Gabe thinks he could have gone further.
He said: “I don’t go to an event to get T16. Do you know what I mean? I’ve beat 11th seed. I guess it was an upset based on seeding, but like when I’ve played them, I’m just thinking you’re just so much worse than the people back at home.
“Honestly playing EU players, it’s so much harder than playing NA. Those LATAMs are just weird. We shouldn’t have lost them.”
Poor Boston preparation
In the lead-up to the Boston event, Gabe suffered with “Super Covid”. Both of his eardrums burst and he partially lost hearing.
He told us: “The preparation going into Boston couldn’t have been worse. I literally couldn’t have been worse.
“With COVID I had two burst eardrums. I couldn’t hear anyone, I couldn’t see properly.”
Trying to compete in that kind of state isn’t at all easy on the mental.
“I got mashed tatty brain trying to scrim like it. I’m not getting any good practice. It was just playing reps.”
“So I’ve gone to the event on no good practice, maybe a day or two before the event I could kind of hear, even in Boston I couldn’t hear properly.”
Switching roles, still frying
With the nature of the constant rostermania in Challengers, roles can end up swapping around a lot.
Aroma told us: “I promise you. I’m hitting levels again, but it’s weird. I keep switching roles or whatever. I don’t care about that. It’s easy to do that.”
Gabe’s only managed to secure a single top-eight appearance this season.
He added: “This year is more understandable, I’ve been getting top 16 all year.
“I’ve got top eight once. I beat JCwyley. I shouldn’t even be thinking about having to be them. It should be standard. It’s mind-blowing to me, I’m so f***ing good at this game.
At times this year, Gabe has been playing in every conceivable role on his teams. Understandably, his ability to still perform regardless of role leads to some incredible confidence.
He said: “I’ve literally been the Scrappy of EU… ish… ish. He drops a 1.4 and I’ll drop a 1.2. On any gun, in any role. I’m sat here main ARing, flexing and subbing in the space of my month.
That confidence is good but above all, it’s time for something more settled.
“I’m doing it all. For the love of God, I hope just I just get some sort of consistency.”
Even with the fact that he has only managed one top-eight finish in a Cup this year, Gabe still comfortably qualified for the LCQ.
He’ll take on former teammate Chaaxter in the first round of the competition later today (July 24).
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