We catch up with Genericname 12345 and Guardian as we head into the Battle Brawl on March 23 & 24.
The Battle Brawl will see two teams from North America, and two from Europe, all competing for a $50,000 prize pool—but more importantly to see which region will be crowned the “Best in the West.” We caught up with the North American teams to see how they’re feeling coming off the Qualifiers, and what their plan is for the Battle Brawl on March 23 & 24.
Zach, Virus, Duck Balls
How do you guys feel coming out of the Qualifiers? Is North America taking this tournament?
[Zach] We played pretty bad in the qualifiers, but we're confident in our abilities and team. With a little more time to practice I think we should do fine against Europe. I won't say North America is for sure taking the tournament but I think we have a good shot.
Zach, how has the transition been switching to Warlock?
[Zach] I think I had a really bad showing during qualifiers. I usually play better which makes it look like I don't know the class that well. In reality the class plays itself and is super easy to pick up; I think the hardest thing would be learning how to [perform the warlock-specific skill combination] leech + q and that isn't even hard.
Virus, how does it feel having to compete against your previous teammates Yisuni (The Way) and Svnshower (Guardian)?
[Virus] I feel bad having to compete against them because we went through a lot together last year as Team Hurricane. We have taught each other a lot about the game and we know how each other plays. We had a lot of cool experiences together as a team, and I hope they are enjoying their new teams.
Duck, where did you get the idea of running Shadow build [as a Destroyer] for the Warlock matchup? Do you not think Earth is good enough?
[Duck Balls] Like every matchup in Blade & Soul at this point, the build I play mostly depends on how my opponent reacts to situations, or how their normal flow of [the] game and tendencies are. Shadow build just sort of fits for how Warlocks in North America play at the moment. I think Earth is situationally still good, and which of my several builds I play going forward will ultimately depend on how I evaluate the other player.
What are you guys looking forward to the most with the upcoming live event? Spending any extra time in California?
[Zach] I think we’re looking forward to getting to travel and play on-stage, and it’s always nice to see your friends. As for spending any extra time in Cali, all of [the North American teams are] getting a place to stay together for a couple days so we have time to do our own things.
Who/what team are you spending the most time trying to adapt and strategize for?
[Zach] All of the teams basically play the same comp which is a Warlock, some form of enhancement/stall class (Assassin/Kung Fu Master), and a spin class to save (Blade Dancer/Destroyer). So we're not preparing for someone specific, but instead looking to play better vs. the same comp.
Being the first Battle Brawl, what are your thoughts on how it has gone so far?
[Zach] We think the qualifier ran very smoothly with one exception, so it’s been pretty good so far. Hopefully the live event does the same and we have no delays. As for how it’s gone for us, we played pretty badly during qualifiers so hopefully we bounce back and are able to place decently.
What’s next for Genericname 12345?
[Zach] For right now were focusing on Battle Brawl. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We don't know what [the meta could be during] Regionals; it could end up being something completely different, so we don't want to commit too early. If it’s something relatively close to our comp and only requires 1 reroll [to another class] we will probably stay together.
Dahbears, Ikenie, Svnshower
Dahbears and Ikenie, it’s great you’ve managed to stick together since Regionals, and with Svnshower stepping in you’ve obviously done very well in this tournament so far, but what happened to Vape? Where did he go?
[Dahbears] Yeah, post Worlds we had a plan to stick together, we vibe really well as a team and all of us were happy with our composition. Unfortunately, work prevented Vape from being able to commit to the dates of the tournament as well as practices. He might come back to play in the future, and who knows what the team will look like then, but Svnshower was definitely a good replacement to fill his shoes. Definitely glad we were able to have him join the team.
Dahbears, where do you stand on the NA vs. EU debate? Obviously from our interview with Tenah a couple weeks back he has a clear #1 pick for the world’s best team, but between the regions who do you think is better? Who is taking this tournament?
[Dahbears] Well, we ended up fighting both the EU teams at Worlds last year, and we will be fighting the same people mostly again when they come to North America. I'm sure Bad Intentions is looking for revenge (hopefully Tenah uses the bathroom this time) but the same goes for us. Worlds was definitely a growing experience for all the players that went and I promise we won't be getting 6-0'd this time. There’s a different mindset between a lot of players from both regions whether it be playstyle/class balance/player strength. That being said, who is better between Europe and North America? I guess that's why we're having this tourney. You'd be stupid to count out any of the teams.
Svnshower, obviously this is a new team. How does it feel to be on the opposing North American team from when you went to Korea last year?
[Svnshower] It took a little getting used to for all of us, but it's great! We're all friends so it was a pretty easy fit. I couldn't have asked for better teammates, both on Hurricane last year (huge shoutout to Virus and Yis), and now with Guardian. Coming from one top team to another, and especially filling in for such a strong player as Vape on Destroyer—who decided to take a break from competing—the main goal is to keep that standard and keep improving as a team. Everyone knows what to expect from Guardian; as a Blade Dancer, it's my job to continue to support and enable those plays in 3v3.
Ikenie, you’ve made it to a final without one of your strongest Warlock opponents, Yisuni, also being there. How does it feel?
[Ikenie] It feels a bit weird, but at the same time I understand that nobody has their spots guaranteed when it comes to competing. Someone is always going to try to step up and claim the spotlight, and as much as I could sit here and say I want everyone to win and make it to Cali or Korea or anywhere, unfortunately that’s not the case, so it makes me just that much more thankful for the opportunities I get.
How much do you have to practice to be the 1st seed for North America?
[Dahbears] A lot of our prep leading up to the qualification tournament was readjusting Svnshower to fit [with us], as well as playing with a Blade Dancer instead of Destroyer in our composition. But all of us are solid players and have been playing around tournaments since the start of the esports scene for our region. A couple days a week and some review of how the matches went is generally our go to when practicing 3v3. 1v1's are usually left to how we see fit. We've also played against a lot of the people in North America which definitely led to a lot of success during the tournament to prepare for specific play styles.
Having met some of these players already last year, who do you look forward to seeing again the most?
[Dahbears] We had a really good time meeting the European peeps and hanging out with them when we had down time in Korea. They're all cool people, and [we’re] also looking forward to meeting Pjeb and Mr B this time around.
What’s next for Guardian?
[Dahbears] Well, after playing in the Battle Brawl tournament we hope to keep participating in more tournaments in the months leading up to Worlds and attending it again, but that's still a while off.
Thank you to Genericname 12345 and Guardian for taking time out to answer our questions! Also a special shout out to one of our casters—Gummy—for assisting us with the North America interviews.
Click here to read our interview with Bad Intentions and Bowlcute Fan Club—the European Battle Brawl finalists.
Stay tuned to esports.bladeandsoul.com as we head into the Battle Brawl week with exclusive interviews, previews, and highlights, and be sure to head over to the Esports Forum to talk shop with other fans, and the competitors themselves.