OEM Interview: Dezibel from Avant Garde
Thread started by Flam3z on Friday, 2:43pm August 19th with 3 replies. Views: 1,446
2:43pm Aug 19th 16 and edited 4:13pm Aug 19th 16
I'm back with one more interview before the OEM Finals starts this weekend. In case you missed the last interview I did, it's here. I was hoping to do more, but everyone's busy so my second and final guest will be Raymond "Dezibel" Odisho from Avant Garde!
Hi Dezi, I know quite well Counter-Strike was not the game you started off with. For the readers, what other games did you play competitively?
Dezibel: Originally I played Call of Duty 4 for a couple years, I didn't make much of an impact on the scene until the game really started to die out, winning out a season of CGA before moving across to CS:GO with a couple of my teammates from back then. Some have stuck around and still play whilst others have seemed to have gotten lives and stopped playing video games entirely (competitive-wise). I was still quite young back then and the game was purely just for fun for me and wasn't anything too serious.
I'm sure there is a lot of history behind your team, so how did your team form?
Dezibel: Prior to me joining the team late last year in place of Ahren, the team was playing under the name Faux Gaming with the lineup of (Ahren, Noisia, sK, qoN/xav, zedzke), finishing 3rd in CGa that season. A few days after I got picked up, we joined Paragon eSports for the duration of the FFYI and other off-season competitions up till the beginning of last season.
We had a little bit of a rough patch during the FFYI as we had a really good chance of earning ourselves a CGp spot. We defeated GUTS in the first round and went up against Vendetta in the second round, the winner of our match would play off against Citadel Gaming who we had really great results against in past competitions at the time. Unfortunately we lost to Vendetta and had to face off against Sequential Gaming for the 2nd seed out of groups and we ended up losing to them, ending our run in the FFYI. We got over the big loss later and instead used the experience as motivation to do well in CGi last season to develop our skills and slowly deepen our map pool as we barely had enough time to do so in the off-season.
Prior to the commencement of that season, we joined Infernum Gaming, an organisation that was a part of the Oceanic Pro League in League of Legends at the time. We kept a consistent practice schedule on the set nights, a regular night was an hour or two of "theory" and the remainder of the night scrimming against higher level teams. Throughout the group stage of CGi, we only dropped one game which was against Control.VP. We felt our losses were coming down to one common denominator - more experienced and seasoned players. We went into the finals very confident and that showed in our earlier matches in the finals, we eventually progressed into the grand final which was against OVO. After a hard fought series we eventually fell to OVO and it was a difficult loss to take on and wasn't something we were prepared for after a season of great results. Talk of us not deserving Division 1 the next season at the time was quite harsh to hear for everyone in the team. It gave us that motivation to prove people wrong and I guess further prove to ourselves that we were able to compete at that level.
Progressing into the most recent off-season, Infernum Gaming management notified to us that they were going to sell their League of Legends spot to a new organisation which was expanding into the Oceanic region. They asked us if we were interested in joining. The deal went forward and we signed on with Nuovo Gaming with the same core 5 we had for close to 6 months at the time.
We were a bit shaky during the beginning of the off-season as we felt it was a better time than ever to have players switch roles and have time to adjust. Noisia at the time was the In-Game Leader and expressed that he felt he was no longer comfortable in calling. He would rather instead step into a lurk or fragger role. This was a difficult task for everyone in the team as we had previously attempted to seek assistance by getting a 6th player in the form of a coach who would be able to provide input during games. Our attempts in finding a viable coach were unsuccessful which meant this could not be an option in the near-future. To compensate the lack of a coach we gave the IGL role to Xav and it was a difficult adjustment for everyone. We were competing in the weekly ESL ANZ Championship Cups and things were not working out against Division 1 level teams which is what led to the team deciding that a roster change was necessary for the team to move forward and progress. The team had a few options at the time and it took us a couple weeks to make a decision which ultimately saw IyeN join the team in Xav's place.
We had some great results straight off the bat after we picked up IyeN in the weekly ESL ANZ Championship Cups and from there we've just been working on our game by fixing our mistakes and deepening our map pool. Before the beginning of the Oceanic eSports Masters league we came together and joined with AVANT GARDE who have helped us out in every way alongside our sponsors Corsair, AMD and NETGEAR. We've had really great results in all the competitions we've participated in so far and hopefully we can continue our success into the Oceania eSports Masters LAN Finals.
What was the key to your team's success and do you think you have found the right bunch of teammates to play with now?
The most obvious thing would definitely have to be longevity. Even though a couple roster changes have been made along the way the core 3 of the team has been together for well over a year now. Having a positive playing environment and sharing the same goals as well as being able to effectively motivate each other helps our team succeed.
I think being able to interact and communicate with your teammates outside of the game is really beneficial and something I feel as though lower teams may be missing in their team dynamic. From my experience in teams where players just showed up to matches and scrims, and then left soon after, the playing environment is extremely different and affects the team chemistry negatively in my opinion. This current lineup has had the biggest potential than any other team I've previously competed with, and the ability and ideas that everyone brings to the table are detrimental to the teams past, present and future success.
This year, many older and more experienced players have retired. There has been more young upcoming teams like yours. Do you think it's the beginning of a new age for Oceania Counter-Strike?
Dezibel: I think this all comes down to the stability in teams as this has been a big issue here in the Oceanic region. Teams are slowly realising that instead of making new teams every season that if they stick together and learn off their experiences and continue developing as a team that they will be rewarded of their hard work and efforts. Also feel as though that the new younger teams have been able to pick up on meta shifts faster than the older and experienced team,s where they may have just stuck to older playstyles. The skill gap is definitely narrowing between the top teams at the moment and we could soon see at least 2 Oceanic teams at a major once again and more teams qualifying for overseas competitions.
Congratulations on qualifying for the Oceania eSports Masters LAN Finals! Is this your first Nationals? And how many of you have LAN experience, if any?
Dezibel: Thanks Flam3z! This is not my first time at a nationals event, towards the end of my first season of playing CSGO competitively IyeN and myself competed at the Azubu Australian Masters LAN held in Sydney in 2014. It was a great experience meeting the top teams in Australia. Getting steamrolled every game wasn't as fun though.
In terms of our team's LAN experience, sK has joined IyeN and myself in the infamous Prowess.Melbourne LAN team on multiple occasions now. Winning majority of the local LANs in Melbourne in recent times. Noisia flew over to Adelaide to compete in the Gigabyte Arena LAN with xav and Ahren when they were in the team at the time, which they won. Noisia has also played in a number of NSW BYOC LAN's. Zedzke has also started attending LANs in Brisbane so I'm confident in our team's individual skill on LAN at this stage. This event will be the first time that we will have all met in person and played together in a LAN environment, so this will be a great learning experience for us definitely.
What are your expectations for the upcoming LAN Final? How do you think your team will do against other 3 teams in the competition?
Dezibel: The boys finished 3rd in CGa 2 seasons ago, we came 2nd last season in CGi. We've got a good feeling of coming 1st this season. We've only ever come up against Parallax in ESEA which we won, but I don't believe we've played them in a best of 3 recently so that would be a tough one to call at this stage. We had a close series against Team ASDF in groups losing 2-1, if we both meet in the Grand Final I am confident that we can take the win this time. As for our first opponent against Athletico, I really think this will go down to who performs on the day. We've met in finals several times over the past year and I guess it's been a shared rivalry between the teams. Our most recent encounter they defeated us 2-0 in the SL i-League qualifier and they've been given a opportunity to play overseas together. I would definitely put Athletico as our hardest opponents at this LAN by far. Those guys have spent together competing on a LAN environment, especially coming out of a win at the ESL ANZ Championships and putting up great results in China.
Any feedback you want to say about this season or any improvements you want to see next season?
Dezibel: Apart from the unfortunate DDOSING in the first couple games, the season has run flawlessly. CSGOLounge inclusion of CGp matches has been a great addition to the Oceanic scene (now dead).
The exit of PeanutGalleryTV from casting CyberGamer matches is a big thing to note. Unless other options emerge and display the same level of professionalism and produce the same level of entertainment that PeanutGalleryTV brought to Oceanic Counter-Strike, this will be a big loss to the scene.
Only suggestion or feedback I have for the season structure itself, would be to expand the number of teams qualifying to LAN somehow. More players need exposure at a National LAN environment. It will only improve the scene's skill and accomplishment. It's understandable with a 12-team league and venue/time restraints that impacts this issue a lot. I don't believe an 8 team LAN for 12 teams is a good idea which is how it was previously ran. Teams shouldn't be "rewarded" when they're in the bottom half of their group. A 6-team LAN would make for an awkward finals structure also. I think the only options would be to keep it to a 4-team LAN or expand to 16 total teams in CGp with Top 8 qualifying for LAN finals.
How busy is your schedule? Do you think there are too many tournaments this year?
Dezibel: It was getting a bit hectic mid-season of the OEM as we had to play two superweeks. We made it work, but it left us with minimal time to get some extra practice in as we had something like 3-4 BO3's and 2 oBO1's to schedule around people going away for work. It wasn't that bad as we were able reschedule games with other teams to the following week if we had to. Overall it was fine, it was bordering towards being a little bit too much. Teams may even decide to not compete in certain competitions that they deem unworthy of their time with little or no chance of a reward in the end just so that they are able to free up some time on their schedules for practice or for new tournaments.
What do you hope to achieve in 2016 and in the years ahead?
Dezibel: The future is definitely looking bright for Counter-Strike in the Oceanic region and would be ecstatic to be a part of its tremendous growth. Our goal at this stage is to cement ourselves into the Top 4 of Oceania and compete in overseas competitions. 2017 will be a really big year for Oceania CS!
Last of all, any shout outs or last words you want to say?
Dezibel: I would like to thank the management team at AVANT for their encouragement as well as the support from our sponsors Corsair, AMD and NETGEAR. Big thanks to the CyberGamer Admin team with the OEM league. A shout out to all of our team's fans and followers. Keen to see everyone at the LAN!
Thanks Dezibel for having a chat with me. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter
Avant Garde will be facing Athletico in the Semi-final tomorrow evening at 4pm AEST. Tune in to see his team in action here