FaustoCoppii On The IEM Oakland, The Competitive Scene, And Necessary Game Changes

After Team PogChamp qualified as the fourth and last European team for the IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational, The Shotcaller talked to PogChamp’s team captain Thyge “FaustoCoppii” Nyborg.

First, congratulations on your qualification for the IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational. How does it feel to achieve that huge goal after pulling off such a strong comeback?

It’s hard to put words on it. When we reached the finals we were just happy we even made it there. To be honest we were not expecting to qualify for the IEM Oakland since we are kind of a new team and only playing together for about a month. After the first three games of the finals, it looked quite bad since we placed 9th, 18th, and 20th. We did not expect to qualify anymore but the mood wasn’t really down at that point and one of the strengths of our team is the chemistry within the team. We didn’t tilt and we knew would have to go out there with a bang and kill as many players as we can. Instead of being afraid to push we started to be very aggressive which resulted into a 2nd and a first place in the last two games. The hype was insane. A surreal feeling!

For those of you who couldn’t watch the tournament, we have included this short recap of Team PogChamp’s journey:

Everyone knew the open qualifier would be rough. How did you and your team experience the procedure?

I’ve been positively surprised. The procedure was kind of slow so we always had to wait for the next game to start but thinking back it was okay. We also need to think about the casters. They need breaks as well and that’s understandable. We could have used some more information. Almost everyone thought all the qualifier matches would start at 12 p.m. CET but half of the groups actually started at 4 p.m. which got announced on pretty short notice. My overall feeling is that I was positively surprised and I would also say this if we wouldn’t have qualified. Also, the scoring system was really good and we surprisingly didn’t encounter any cheaters. We have been fearing the worst. In my opinion, it’s been a fair qualifier.

What do you think about the outcomes for some of the other favorite teams? G2 for example dominated in round one and two to fall short in the finals.

Honestly? It’s sad to see! I didn’t really know the G2 line-up until this tournament but I was very impressed how dominant they played when I watched those games. In the end, it just shows that we need more games to be played in PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS. The format is still too random, too RNG based. Our first three games in the finals did not in the first place fail because we played it poorly but because of unlucky and completely random circumstances. I think due to all the random elements in the game you need more than five games to determine the right winner. I mean, you get the right winner because that’s the team that performed best in those five matches but it’s not necessarily the best team. In this game, consistency shows how good you really are as a team. Obviously, you need to show that you can win games but also need to be consistent.

As we are talking about consistency, your team is currently qualified for the November edition of the PUBGOnline Showdown and competing in Lobby I of the Auzom Premier League. In the latter, you are one of the most consistent teams with an almost 90% top ten placement ratio. Are you content with the results of your team?

That’s quite fitting to that we have talked about before. I am not happy with us. I am happy that we can place that well consistently but that is not necessarily because we are playing well. That could also be because we are playing too scared. We are currently trying to change our playstyle to be a little bit more aggressive to pull the wins out instead of placing among the top five consistently. So, in the end, we are happy that we can place that well at an average but we don’t want to be “a top five team”, we want to be the best.

You are 29 years old. In most esports players are retired by that age. Given the fact that a lot of successful PUBG players are already around thirty and often retired pros coming from other esports titles, how do you see your chances for a long career in PUBG?

I think they are good because I don’t see PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS as a game that requires that much muscle memory and so on. When you get older you become a little slower so your aim probably decreased. With PUBG isn’t another story than with Counter-Strike for example. You need that quick and very precise reactions while in PUBG you also need that in some situations but it is more about positioning and tactics. The strongest teams right now are those who bring in a lot of competitive experience from other games.

The ESL will fly your team out to Oakland, all costs covered. You will definitely receive a good amount offers from different esports organizations. How likely is it that you’ll accept an offer before the event?

It is definitely possible but that will depend on what gets on the table. We are not in a hurry signing a contract. We are trying to be smart about it. That’s all I can say.

What aspects of the game would you like to see changed before the IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational kicks off?

That’s a long list. That’s a very long list. To narrow it down to the essentials:

Something they cannot change up to the tournament is the water strategies and in general water circles. I mean, they probably could change it with a simple adjustment to the algorithm that prevents the circle from centering on the water. Water is extremely game breaking, probably the most game breaking thing in the game at the moment. It is horrible to play as a player, for spectators it is super boring to watch pro teams swim around and casters have nothing to talk about. It is just bad for everyone. In this regard, they are working on the bullet penetration so that you can shoot players underwater but that’s just a patch on the wound. We just need a competitive map that doesn’t have water in it. It also creates those bottlenecks which I think are bad for the momentum of the game.

The next thing is the circle. I think a revamp of that whole system is needed. That one circle that gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller all the time while you have to be in it… I don’t like that. I think it gets very claustrophobic in it. You are locked and it forces some stupid fights that are not needed. I used to play Arma III Battle Royale, that’s where I’m coming from and the circle mechanic over there works quite different. As soon as the next circle appears a timer counts down. When the time is up, the circle locks. Whoever doesn’t make it in, takes immense damage but in the meantime, you can push all the way around the circle and flank enemies, there is no damage penalty for leaving the circle while it’s unlocked. I really like that system and would wish they would implement it into PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS. It would open up the game for a lot more tactical decisions and so on.

If we are keeping the current circle system, I would like them to slow down the circles. I don’t mind playing a game a little longer, like 40 or 45 minutes, that shouldn’t be an issue. Especially in the late circles, you should always be able to outrun the circle. We have tested that during our scrims and pretty much all teams involved agreed that this would be a good change. The circles update faster, but they move slower.

Anything you would like to address towards your fans, competitors or organizations that might be interested in signing Team PogChamp?

First of all, I want to give a huge shoutout to the whole competitive scene! We have a really great community. I love the scrims and how we work together in general. I feel like there is a really good atmosphere and really appreciate that. Just the fact that some many people wrote to me after we qualified for the IEM Oakland is amazing. I’m sorry to see that a lot of my friends didn’t make it in but it’s been rough. To the organizations: If you want your name to be represented in the IEM Oakland, contact us! 😉

Thank you very much for your time and best of luck in Oakland!
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Alexander Hugo

Alexander studied Media and Communication Management in Berlin and London with additional two years of legal studies in Osnabrück, Germany. The Shotcaller is his second esports related project after founding PENTA Sports in 2014.

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