2016 is almost over, and we here at The Meta are celebrating by paying tribute to the teams, players and vague concepts that made it worthwhile. Our MVP awards will be ongoing throughout the holiday season, so check in now and then to see who and what we decided to shower with praise.
Some years, the title of MVPizza Roll is a hotly contested topic. This time around, we think you’ll agree that there was only one decision we could have made: please congratulate the Sauce Boss himself, Pete Zaroll, on receiving one of The Meta’s highest honors.
What most characterized Pete Zaroll’s 2016 season, for me, was his personal reinvention. To go from a little pizza roll with googly eyes to the absolutely shredded Hot Pocket-looking motherfucker we saw at IEM Oakland must have taken a willpower and training regime we can hardly imagine. Also, he grew legs, which, like, how does that even happen?
I’ll admit that Zaroll’s presence this year was diminished compared to 2015, when Totino’s were absolutely dominant. We didn’t see a return of the 2015 Totino’s invitational, where top Call of Duty teams competed for a prize pool of $34,000, a sum that would be paid out in the form of 453,333 pizza rolls and tragically lead to the early death of tournament victors Rise Nation.
Nonetheless, Pete Zaroll has been a central figure in esports this year, whether we wanted him to be or not. He keeps us honest; he keeps us humble. He’s there, in our darkest hour, when any restaurants nearby that deliver are closed, when we’ve had just a bit too much to drink, when the microwave’s soft hum calls to us like a siren song. He is always, always waiting.