Nutty dudes were one of many group stage surprises on day one of EPIC36. The mixed team carried reasonably low expectations even before they were forced to make a last-minute change and bring in Felix “inf1nate-m” Kenney. However, they managed to overthrow the top seed in their group on their way to a second place finish, easily passing into the play-off phase. UKCSGO caught up with Rhys “Rhys” Stumbles and inf1nate-m after the successful group run.
So obviously you are here with a stand-in, why did you pick inf1nate and how has that been?
Rhys – Yeah, I think we gave inf1nate three hours notice at 11pm on Wednesday because shoobie was unwell and it’s unfortunate he couldn’t play with us. We would’ve loved to play with him. I think inf was in the TeamSpeak when we needed somebody and he said he probably could. I’ve played with him for a year so I know he’s good, so it was good to get someone who could actually play the game. He mesh’s with the group really well.
Do you think that’s really helped?
Rhys – It’s nice because it means we all get on and there are not many situations where it’s awkward or like difficult.
Inf1nate – We all see the game pretty similar so it makes it straightforward.
You got removed from BLVKHVND recently, do you have a point to prove?
Rhys – They probably have more to prove than me, that the changes worked. It just came to a point where internally the team wasn’t clicking anymore. The decision was for me to step away, they removed me that’s fair enough, we didn’t see eye to eye on some stuff and they wanted to go one way with the team and I wanted to approach it a different way. I don’t think I have anything to prove, we didn’t expect to make it out of groups, we expected to be drinking today.
This is your first LAN, seemingly no first LAN jitters though?
Inf1nate – I don’t know, I’m a pretty composed person anyway. I don’t see it as a big deal, I’m coming in with no expectations whatsoever. It’s just nice coming back to the game five days ago and now I’m playing at a LAN, getting thrown straight in the deep end.
Did it help having the two easiest games in the group to start off with, getting you back in the swing of things?
Inf1nate – Its always nice to, no disrespect to them, have warmup games. There’s no pressure on those games, especially coming in with minimal expectations. Makes it a little bit easier than coming in thinking we need to get upper bracket here and beat these teams at this point. At the end of the day we are here to have fun and that’s what we are doing.
You took down the top-seed in your group, then you had a rough game against B-list love island, what do you think happened there?
Rhys – We picked Nuke. That was the first mistake, because obviously, nuke is a more tactical map. You need a lot of experience and our team is still a bit inexperienced in a team environment. We just kind of lost every aim fight we took as well, its unlucky. I know they just beat Scambit on Nuke again so it was just our map veto. They are all really individually skilled, it was always going to be tough.
A lot of people have been mentioning that if you contact some of the higher up UK players asking for advice, more often than not they try and help out or at least respond. Have you ever done this and how big of a help was it?
Inf1nate – Fact. Yeah, instant fact. When I was playing regularly I was, and he wont mind me saying this, speaking to Ping all the time. We were watching demos three to four times a week, and any questions I had he would answer. People like him are so easy to talk to, they aren’t going to like ego you. I think especially with Ping, both people see it as a learning opportunity, both sets of people get something out of it. I would say about people being afraid to ask, like advanced and top players, there’s no harm in asking. If they say no, they say no because they are probably busy. I doubt you are going to spend an hour in the server with mezii but people I know have dropped him a DM and he’s responded with massive paragraphs. Which is like the best advice you are gonna get from someone in the scene.
Rhys – I agree with that. People at the top will always try and help if they have the time. Like you said, its a benefit to them as well. When I started calling in order to get to another level I messaged top IGLs in the UK like Adam (Adam9130) and they were all really down to sit in the server and go through stuff. I do think it comes down to being confident enough to message, the worst thing they can do is ignore your message. You haven’t really lost anything, there’s not really any harm to anyone.
The 1v3 clutch against Scambit, did you know you were going to win it?
Inf1nate – I think people can relate, sometimes you just know you are ahead of the game. You just feel in control the whole time, that’s how I felt. You just get a feeling, you just have to back yourself in those situations. Especially against teams seeded higher than you. You just got to back yourself, bite into it, get the first kill and then isolate the 1v1’s. You aren’t expected to win those ones anyway, so there’s no point in second guessing yourself, if it doesn’t workout you lost a 1v3 that you had a what 10% chance of winning anyway.
In general there is a lot of mixes at this LAN. Do you think that’s a problem with the scene or is it just due to the more casual nature of EPIC in comparison to other LANS?
Rhys – I think its because of a few things. The UK scene has gone through a shuffle recently, lots of players found themselves without teams or teams are disbanding. So there’s a lot of teams that could be here but just it was too short notice to get here. Also UK teams are beginning to pick up EU players which makes it hard for them to get here, especially when the moneys not really worth it. It’s fun but you aren’t going to make any money, so unless you get a org sponsoring you its not worth your time as a team. It also comes down to orgs putting in, the Into The Breach thing, sponsoring a player was a amazing thing for someone who wouldn’t of got here otherwise. It’s getting orgs to fund teams to go to these events, that what our scene is really lacking.