Rapha (video gamer)
|Date of birth||March 16, 1989|
|Games||Quake Live, Quake III Arena, ShootMania|
|Career prize money||$100,000 USD|
Shane Hendrixson (born March 16, 1989 in Rockford, Illinois), also known by his pseudonym rapha, is an American professional esports Quake Live, Quake III Arena, and ShootMania player of the team SK Gaming. Since he appeared in 2008, he has won thirteen major Quake tournaments and has placed top three in virtually every other participating tournament. Due to Hendrixson's consistent career performance and calculated style of play, he is considered to be one of the greatest Quake players of all time.
After four years of limited practice—able to play a mere two to six weeks out of each year—Hendrixson joined SK Gaming in 2008. He immediately emerged as a top contender, taking third place at the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) USA and grand finals. His calculated ability, illustrated by timing, predicting, and positioning, earned him the nickname "five steps ahead," which has been jokingly echoed by the community. At the end of his opening year, he took first place at the ESWC Masters of Athens and followed that achievement with two first place victories in 2009 and five more in 2010, securing his status as a leading player.
Brought to QuakeCon by his father at thirteen years of age, Hendrixson attended the annual event where he was inspired by the 2002 champion John "ZeRo4" Hill and fell in love with a game that had "the perfect balance of speed, tactics and skill all rolled into one." During his teenage years, he traveled between his divorced parents' houses and seldom played, for he lacked consistent access to both computer and Internet connection. As a result, he progressed slowly his first four years, playing a mere two to six weeks out of each, and since he could practice online only while living with his father, Hendrixson turned to watching point-of-view demos, particularly of his idols, John "ZeRo4" Hill and Anton "Cooller" Singov. When asked about his inability to train during his early years, Hendrixson stated, "I try not to think about it. I mean there's nothing I could have done to change it." He has also gone on to say, "It has kept me humble. Since I had so few opportunities, I have to make sure every event counts and that I give it my all."
In 2008, Hendrixson signed with the professional electronic sports organization SK Gaming, and he practiced often with teammate John "ZeRo4" Hill. After disappointing results at the Electronic Sports World Cup Masters of Paris where he failed to make it out of the group stage, Hendrixson returned home to prepare for the competition's grand finals. During this time, Hendrixson found that "something just clicked," propelling him to take third place and 4,000 USD at the grand finals. Months later, Hendrixson achieved his first major victory at the Electronic Sports World Cup Masters of Athens, where he defeated Sebastian "Spart1e" Siira, and solidified his status as a top player.
On November 6, 2012, SK Gaming announced rapha as a player on the organization's new ShootMania team. He stated learning a new FPS game was "refreshing" and also "a nice change of pace" compared to mostly dueling in Quake Live.
In an interview with SteelSeries, Hendrixson imparted his post-retirement plans to study mobile electronics installation at university and throughout his appearances the following two years hinted at a possible halt in competitive play. Finally, in 2013, Hendrixson revealed a new statement regarding the subject of retirement:
I think I'll just look at it like 'Hey, if I have the time to go play in a big tournament and can prepare for it, I will, so I won't say that I'll 'retire'. I'm going to always leave the door open. I've accomplished quite a bit in Quake, and to me I don't really look at it like 'Okay, I've finally won this. Now I'm good.' I've always tried to take it one tournament at a time, and I'm always looking to win, and do more, and I think it'll always be that way. If you don't look at it that way it's so difficult to win against someone who really wants it more than you."
Style of play
Hendrixson is most well known for his strong positioning, calm disposition, and ability to foresee his opponents' course of action minutes into the future, which Hendrixson attributes to his earlier years of playing basketball, saying it helped him develop the "ability to see the play unfold before it even happens and being aware of everything around you." In fact, Hendrixson believed any sport taught the importance of fundamentals. Noticing the parallel between sport and Quake, Hendrixson realized "how important it was to get the fundamentals down and master them, because when you're having an off day, you can always fall back on them. It becomes second nature to you." When questioned about his preferred style, Hendrixson said, "I know for myself that some games I've played, based just on the way I feel that day I've favored one [style] over the other. Almost always the strategy portion in my case." [sic] Hendrixson has described his biggest strengths to be "getting into the head of my opponent. Being able to be not just one but at times three, four, sometimes even five steps ahead of what they're going to do. And if they change something other than what I thought, being able to adapt quickly to the change and doing what I can to turn it in my favour. Sometimes my aim helps, but to me I aim well because of the way I think. It's not really a big reflex thing."
Following Hendrixson's defeat at DreamHack Winter 2012 to Orekhov "Evil" Sergey, Sergey described Hendrixson's style of play:
Against Rapha, you need to know the things he starts his game with. He calculates a sequence of armors (spreads around in a circle within their proximity) and likes to take advantageous positions. He plays very standard, dry game, without special aggressive moves or focus on specific weapon(s). We rarely see him hitting four rails in a row. More likely he will use rocket-shaft combo and play safe. He seems to be like Cooller in this case. This is very effective against weak players, but against strong it is very predictable.— Orekhov "Evil" Sergey
The year following this statement, Hendrixson faced Sergey at QuakeCon 2013, and in response to his and other players' styles, Hendrixson explained, "I'm not going to worry about how he's playing or anyone else. Like always I'm just going to look at the strengths and weaknesses of who I have to play and from there just worry about myself and try to make sure I'm giving myself the best chance to win no matter who I have to play. The only thing I can really control is myself and how I'm playing. I try not to think too much about how good someone else is at the time. I just respect what they bring to the table and try my best to overcome it."
Before tournaments, Hendrixson describes himself as "nervous" and "anxious," but when finally sitting down and getting into the game, "all of that [melts] away." Though he has even noted nervousness as "being helpful", he feels "there's no reason to feel down or let pressure get to you. I can't do anything about the previous games anyway."
All winnings are in USD.
Quake III Arena
|2008||Electronic Sports World Cup Masters of Athens||Athens, Greece||1st||Duel||$7,500|
|2008||Electronic Sports World Cup Grand Final||San Jose, California||3rd||Duel||$4,000|
|2008||Electronic Sports World Cup USA||Online||3rd||Duel||$4,000|
|2008||Electronic Sports World Cup Masters of Paris||Bercy in Paris, France||13th||Duel|||
|2006||Cyberathlete Professional League Championship Finals||Dallas, Texas||9th-12th||Duel||$750|
|2013||Launch Tournament||Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco, California||9-12th||Elite||$500|
|2012||Curse Invitational Tournament||Online||1st||Elite||$1,000|
|2012||IGN Pro League Season 5||The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada||3rd/4th||Elite||$2,667|
- "Introducing SK Gaming's ShootMania Team". Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "rapha: 2011, the big four and ZeRo4". SK Gaming. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "IEM 3-a-days: cooller, rapha, dandaking". ESFI World. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "E-Sporting Chance: Hacking Dreams". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Quake Champion crowned at QuakeCon". GameSpot. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Esport Index QuakeLive player: Shane 'rapha' Hendrixson". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "1on1 with rapha". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Rapha - blessed with a gift for Q3". Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "ZeRo4 and rapha join SK Gaming". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Interview with Evil". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "World's best Quake players compete at QuakeCon". Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Quake Champion crowned at QuakeCon". Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "QuakeCon 2015 Results". Team-Navi. 29 July 2015.
- "QuakeCon 2015 Results". Team-Navi. 29 July 2015.
- "QuakeCon 2014 : Les résultats". Team-aAa. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "Rapha takes silver at DreamHack". Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Rapha with double gold at QuakeCon 2013". Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Dreamhack Winter 2012 - Day 3". Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- "Dreamhack Winter 2012 QuakeLive". Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "QuakeCon 2012: Cypher The Champion!". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "QuakeCon 2012 LIVE Report". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "SK Rapha Wins Dreamhack Summer 2012". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "DHW: Cypher sweeps rapha". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "Quakecon: rapha is the champion, 3:1's Strenx". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "QuakeCon 2011 - Finals". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Cypher wins his second DreamHack in a row". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "UGC: Cypher is the champion, rapha 2nd". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "rapha defeats Cooller, retains IEM crown". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "Cypher — DreamHack Winter 2010 ?? Quake Live". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "rapha defeats Cypher, wins BEAT IT". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "FnaticMSI PLAY BEAT IT Launched - over $65k in prizes!". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "American Championship Finals - Season V - Intel Extreme Masters - Electronic Sports League". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "Cypher wins ASUS Summer, 3-0's Cooller". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "k1llsen is the champion of Gamescom". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "rapha is out of QuakeCon 2010". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "QuakeCon 2010 Coverage is over!". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Rapha wins Quake Live Big Bang Pre-QuakeCon Tournament". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "ESWC 2010 Results". ESWC. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Electronic Sports World Cup". ESWC. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "rapha wins IEM4 Quake Live World Championship". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "American Championship Finals - American Championship Finals - Season IV - Intel Extreme Masters - Electronic Sports League". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "Dubai Main - Global Challenge Dubai - Season IV - Intel Extreme Masters - Electronic Sports League". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "COVERAGE: Global Challenge Dubai Quake Live Introduction". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "COVERAGE: GamesCom Final Standings". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "ESL World: GamesCom 09 - Gamescom 09 - Season IV - Intel Extreme Masters - Electronic Sports League". Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Rapha takes $14,000 for first place at Quakecon". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "QuakeCon 2008". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "ESWC Masters of Athens". ESWC. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "ESWC Grand Final 2008". ESWC. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Electronic Sports World Cup 2008". ESWC. Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "US Qualifiers for ESWC 2008". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "ESWV Masters of Paris". ESWC. Archived from the original on 30 July 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "The CPL Championship Finals". Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "ShootMania Storm launch events include $100,000 tournament and worldwide meetups". Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- "IGN ShootMania Launch Party: 4Kings take 4th!". Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- "The Curse ShootMania Invitational Tournament Begins Today!". Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Curse ShootMania Invitational Tournament". Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "IPL5 Shootmania Round-up + Interview with SK rapha". Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Earnings on e-Sports Earnings
- Elo ranking on QLRanks
- Profile on Quake History
- Configuration on Gamingcfg
- rapha on Twitter