If you have spent any time in or around the UK scene you would have heard of Kyle “Swaggy” Wilson, he’s known for his time on organization such as Chetz, NerdRage and Fierce but is also equally known for his orgless rosters going by the name Royals. In recent history, Royals have become a UK majority lineup with Edgaras “entz” Luksas and John “Dutchy” Holland.
At EPIC37 however, Swaggy is without Royals and has stepped in to mix with Arctic Raptors. The squad has had a tough group but is a dark horse to make it into the top four and after their loss to K10 UKCSGO’s Dafydd Gwynn had the opportunity to chat with Swaggy about Arctic Raptors, Royals winning Main and attending EPIC LAN.
Starting off, how have you enjoyed the LAN so far and are you looking forward to the rest of the weekend?
Yeah, it’s good so far, other than it was way too warm in the hall, but it’s good to see/meet Lake and everything for the first time, because I’ve known him for quite a while. It’s good just getting to know the guys, because, you know, they all accept me here so it’s nice to meet everyone for the first time and just learn how everyone plays and what they like and everything.
Speaking of the Arctic [Raptors], before you came into this what were your thoughts on the lineup and now how is it playing with them?
I didn’t really have much thoughts, I’m not really too in tune with the scene, to be honest. But like I said I know Lake, I know c60, so I knew who they were and what they’ve done, so I wasn’t really expecting much. I thought it was a good chance to maybe teach them something as well as gain some experience that I can hopefully pass down and just meet up with them because I’m good friends with a couple of them so it’s nice to help them out.
Would you say they’ve impressed you so far or are you enjoying playing with them?
I’m enjoying playing with them, it’s a mixed bag of being impressed. I think it’s kind of obvious the experience difference, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing because I was kind of expecting it and I’ve tried to sit down and be like “If this is happening, do this” you know. If we are losing a round or something I’m willing to say after “next time if this is happening we need to be reacting faster or doing something else” so it’s something I was kind of expecting and I’m happy to help out, which was the whole point of me coming here.
You just lost to K10, it was 16-8 and not the prettiest of games, what are your takeaways from that game and what do you think of K10 in your position?
The takeaways from the game was in our mid-rounds and our after-plants, we didn’t execute on sites effectively and in after-plants, we didn’t communicate enough to actually win out rounds, so we had advantages nearly every round, but we never really capitalized on it, so we always allowed them to come back in by not being thorough enough or when we are executing we are missing a step.
With K10, there isn’t really much to go on. I feel they just played hyper-aggressive on the CT-side, which caught us out a lot, which is fair enough because we never really punished them for it so they kept doing it. Then on T-side, I felt like they just called something from spawn every round and then just went into it, but again it was working so there was no reason to not call that.
To do with EPIC overall, this is one of the most stacked LANs in terms of players that we’ve had for a long time, but not necessarily in terms of teams because there are quite a lot of mixes. What were your expectations coming into this?
I thought top 8 100%, and then if we can get into top 4 it would be a good event. We’ll see what happens for the rest of the event, but so far we’ve had a bit of a shaky start but I think the guys just need a little more time to settle in and then hopefully they can and we can get a couple of upset wins that people wouldn’t expect.
There’s a load of stat players here, who are your favourites for the event?
My favourites for the event? I feel like – it’s a tough question – I think I obviously a lot of people will look at EMasters to want to be a team that wins it because they are the team that just came off winning iSeries they should – but I know they’ve had really poor form online. Then there’s obviously the mixes of like Thomas and smooya, which are obviously more famous as well. I think a mix will definitely win it. I think EMasters will slip up because again they’ve got a stand-in and they’re taking DeXter online so he’s gonna be back to AWPing at this event and I think that could because the practice that they’ve got recently to be null, so I think it will be a mix who wins it and I think it’s way too close to call who actually wins it.
Would you say that mixes kind of have an advantage on LAN? We’ve heard in the past there’s a lot of screaming and there’s lots of steps and stuff, and mixes have no pressure as opposed to teams, so would you say they have a bit of an advantage?
I think they have an advantage in the fact that they have no expectations and no pressure, but past that no. You can even say online – “Does a mix have an advantage?” – in a way yes, a mix will always by default have a lot of communication, they’ll have no pressure at all, but in a team you learn how to play against a mix and if you practice effectively you will know how to beat a mix, and also the problem is right now I think a lot of teams don’t veto correctly, you need to veto differently against a mix and against a team. I think if teams would veto better and actually just not let anything get in their head and stay focused the entire time, like keep a good atmosphere, they should beat mixes no problem.
As someone who doesn’t know much about vetoing, and I’m sure a lot of people don’t either, could you just break down how to veto, or what makes a good veto?
Yeah, so it really depends on what type of team you are playing against. You can either veto for yourself or veto to counter the other team, but I know for myself I’ll veto with an aim to get a specific map that I know the other team plays in best of ones, so that could be like, you know, we maybe ban a map that we play as well like really early to kind of throw them off and make them ban something else, but against mixes it’s different you want to ban maps where you know you aren’t really well practised on, so if you playing against a lot of mixes and you are looking at a map like Ancient or Overpass, well maybe not as much Overpass, but Nuke, these type of maps, Vertigo works well, where you can absolutely run over a team if you absolutely know what you are doing and you are drilled on it.
Moving away from EPIC slightly, so with Royals, you guys have now become a UK core, how are things going on Royals just generally?
Yeah it’s really good, there’s a little bit of inexperience showing with xavi-, tvs and Dutchy, but it was kind of expected when me and Ed (entz) came into the project, we knew what was going to happen, but we’ve won, I think, every single official bar a seeding match against Viperio, but I don’t really count that because it’s a seeding match. Other than a group game against – in Kyzer – against 1pin where we lost 16-14, but even dox will tell you we were in favour to win the entire game we lost it because we were losing advantages in after plants from just inexperienced decisions, so that’s where the inexperience is showing for a bit, but again me and Ed have put in a plan in progress to try and fix this and teach xavi-, tvs and Dutchy a little bit more and try and push the progress along.
As of right now I’m really impressed with everyone’s progress, everyone’s attitude, everyone’s dedication, the team environment is amazing. It’s the first team I’ve been in where the environment is this good. You’ll see players after practice will come and sit together for 5-6 hours, not even necessarily just playing, just talking, and it’s just the first time I’ve had something like that. I think it’s really built a good togetherness and it’s built a really good team spirit, so I’m really motivated going forward because I think in a months a time when the players full on settle into the team, get a bit more experience, the potential is really high.
Should we maybe expect to see Royals at a UK LAN any time soon ?
What are your expectations for main?
Just going all the way through?
Advanced is a must. I think we win it. I think there’s a couple teams who are definitely, you look at them and you are like you know, these guys are quite good. Anonymo, Snogard Dragons, which is a German team, there’s a couple teams as well who are not bad, they could upset you, but I think what we want with our aims, is that we should be looking to win it.
For sure, well other than kind of like one question, which I’ll ask afterwards, that’s all I have, is there anything you kind of want to talk about before –
Can Freddie finish his article? (Laughs)
Okay, I’ll leave that in.
And then, my kind of final question would be, so obviously iSeries has been a bit of a hot topic recently, in the scene, right? There’s been this conversation between EPIC and iSeries, with that conversation in mind, how has this EPIC been? What is the comparison?
I think it’s like, I can’t really make that comparison because I’ve not attended an iSeries since 2019 when it was back in Multiplay so I can’t really comment on that, but I mean from my experience even when it was in the Multiplay, and it was ran better, even when you had messioso adminning, I still always preferred EPIC because it’s just more communal, in a way, and I think it’s more for the people and for the players while iSeries is kind of catered to everything, and I never really liked that you know, it’s the tournament aspect why I come to that event I don’t really want to be there [at iSeries] much for the social aspect in a way.
I’m here to compete and that’s kind of why I like EPIC because it’s straight to the point you know? Everything about it. There’s nothing, it’s not a big community if you know what I mean? It’s not an extended community.