We get insights from the final two European teams heading to the Finals in Leicester, UK.
Our World Championship Qualification Tournament casters Bruenj, Barney, Kitfox, and Hank are helping us conduct a series of interviews with the teams heading to the Finals in Leicester, UK on August 25 & 26.
This is the third of a four part series, and this time we’re getting a look into the minds of the European teams Positive Vibes and Bad Intentions.
BrotherBill, Antrax, Symex
Q: Antrax, you utilized “Sacred Flames” (Force Master ultimate skill) to its fullest potential in 3v3. Are you guys figuring out new creative ways to set up ultimate skills?
A: (Antrax) Sacred Flames is really strong when combined with my teammates' aerials. Especially when combined with Bill´s Blade Dancer aerials, it provides a lot of damage and ensures a kill most of the time. Using it by yourself as Force Master is really difficult and not really viable though. We do have some creative ways as well to bring this ultimate into use which you might be seeing in the Finals.
Q: Now that Summoners are even stronger, is there any chance we could see Symex play his Gunslinger in the Finals?
A: As it is now, Summoner is very powerful so Symex probably won't play his Gunslinger, at least in 3v3. Maybe you will see him play it in 1v1.
Q: Any preference for teams you’d want to face?
A: This year all the teams are really strong. We prefer fighting team Bye!, however, since we can exploit some of their weaknesses.
Q: BrotherBill, would team Positive Vibes versus team Goblin Spiders be a grudge match—facing your ex-teammates with a different Blade Dancer?
A: (BrotherBill) Nah I wouldn't call it a grudge match. I'm the one who left them in search of a new team, and they simply found a replacement later on. It will be fun to fight my old teammates though!
Q: Any particular North American team you are looking forward to meeting or sparring, during the LAN Finals in Leicester?
A: Yes, Midday19 (on team Bold and Brash). He’s a legendary player. We're excited to spar various North American players, since it's a new experience for us. New players to fight, new playstyles to see.
Q: What do you think are the merits to using a Wind Blade Dancer over Lightning?
A: (BrotherBill) I think the Wind build is superior to the Lightning build in a 1v1 situation, mainly due to the shorter cooldown on Dual Strike and the fact that it is a stun instead of a daze. In a 3v3 situation I would almost always recommend using the Lightning build due to the un-tabbable aerial combination you can perform with Dual Strike and Five Point Strike. Wind is however better for maximum DPS during a wallbang, for example—insane damage output.
Q: We saw some ridiculous plays coming out of Antrax, especially with those absurd Firestorm deflects. How has your playstyle changed to accommodate this new tool?
A: (Antrax) The recent changes to Firestorm are great and changed my neutral game to some extent. I can now try to predict my enemies’ crowd control (CC) abilities to punish them with a deflect a lot more often because the cooldown of Firestorm gets halved when you deflect an opponent’s skill. As a result of this I can use Firestorm freely in my neutral game now. Because of the cooldown being halved I am able to use it in my combos shortly after deflecting again, which was a problem before.
Even throwing in deflects in Tag Matches can change how the game goes because I don't really trade a big cooldown, and it heavily punishes my enemy for hitting into it. For sure it was a good change for Force Master and it definitely is a really great tool when used to its fullest potential.
Q: If there’s one player that you think will give you the most trouble in the Finals, who might that be?
A: Ace Five, because he's playing a really powerful class and he is the ace of his team.
Q: Antrax, your positioning had secured yourself and your team the victory several times. Do you think this knack for positioning is going to help you in the coming Finals?
A: (Antrax) Good positioning on Force Master is very important and can come in handy in some situations. Staying close to the wall when you catch your enemy off guard is especially important because you can pull off 100-to-0 combinations with ease as you might have seen in my 1v1 vs Tenah.
Tenah, Mr B, Ryuki
Q: Out of the pan and into the fire! Your reputation continues to precede you; are you nervous about maintaining it throughout the Finals?
A: No, we are not nervous, just excited to go to Leicester and compete against these teams and decide which team is number one in Europe. We expect all matches to be intense and we do not want to underestimate any team, so rest assured we will try our best to win this tournament.
Q: Looking at the team’s playstyle shift over the last year, there is a bigger focus on setting up kills in tag matches with Ryuki and Mr B. What would you say are the main reasons for it?
A: (Tenah) Well first of all Ryuki and Mr B just work really awesomely together. And secondly, comparing last year’s World Championship metagame with this year’s, you could say that Warlock has more moved into the support role instead of the one who makes the kills.
Q: We heard Tenah and Ryuki met up for practice prior to the Second Preliminary tournament. How important do you think socializing with teammates outside of the game is?
A: It is more important to work well together and feel comfortable in a team rather than just having the best players on one team. So we would say it is definitely important to socialize with other teammates. There have been other teams in the past that have disbanded just because of them not fitting well personality-wise together. That's why LAN events are also playing a big role in the future of your team, since they pull you together and you meet your teammates in real life.
Q: After being knocked out of the first preliminary tournament by your team’s previous member Luki, how were emotions going into and after the matchup with team “Papi Enoll” this time?
A: It didn't matter if it was Luki's team or anyone else. It was a really unfortunate loss, but a deserved one. Most of us weren't prepared for the tournament and barely played. For example Tenah had to study the entire month of July to pass all his exams for university. As for this tournament it was just important to be done fast; we didn't want to get into the pressure of actually dropping out so we were just hoping to qualify through Winner's Bracket, which we in the end successfully managed. For this qualifier Luki's team definitely has been a threat, and we had to play really carefully in order to win. That being the case, it was even more surprising to see them drop out so early in the Loser's Bracket.
Q: Ryuki, what about the Assassin class itself do you think allows you to make all those clutch moments happen? Since you are the only Assassin left for the Finals, is that going to give you the edge over other team compositions?
A: (Ryuki) I love to pick classes with high mobility and because of exactly that reason, I am able to clutch out some situations. On top of that, Assassin is in a very good spot 1v1 and 3v3 wise. Of course it is not only the class, you have to predict the enemy movements very well and make the right decision in a split second, since one little mistake can cost you the game.
I wouldn´t really say that we have an advantage of me being the only Assassin, since most of the teams are used to fighting an Assassin by now. But we can still manage the pace of the game very well, due to our composition.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most for the LAN Finals?
A: We are looking forward to having an awesome time with all the other teams, from Europe and North America, and hopefully manage to qualify a second time for the Blade & Soul World Championship.
Q: Your matches against Positive Vibes were ludicrously intense. Will any of the other teams offer a similar challenge, or did your real competition already get eliminated?
A: We have learned a while ago that it is definitely a bad idea to underestimate teams. Regardless, all teams definitely deserve their spot at the World Championship Qualifier, and will all be offering a hard competition.
Q: With how much stronger Soul Fighter has become, is it possible to see the mythical Tenah Soul Fighter?
A: (Tenah) I have been asked more often about pulling out my Soul Fighter in tournaments. It is more likely going to happen in a scenario where percentage wise my match up's are better on Soul Fighter than on Warlock. But I will try to make the viewers happy and show off my Soul Fighter gameplay. In case we succeed to qualify for the World Championship I am convinced I have to play my Soul Fighter in 1v1 since Warlock is in a really bad spot 1v1 wise in Korea. Also in Korea you can choose the class you play after knowing who your opponent is. If the opportunity arises at the World Championship Qualifier I would love to play my Soul Fighter.
Q: With how many Destroyers we’ve seen so far, it’s evident that Mr B has a very particular playstyle; it seems to be working very well, but how would you describe it?
A: Most Destroyers are very predictable and easy to read their next steps. However this does not count for Mr B, as he manages to surprise his opponent every day, which makes him so much more dangerous than others. The mix of "yolo" gameplay and reactionary gameplay makes him just so incredibly strong.
Be sure to watch the World Championship Qualification Finals on August 25 & 26, live on twitch.tv/bladeandsoul, and stay tuned for our interviews with Bold and Brash and Legacy!