Vortex and z4mbu Interviewed - Reacting to Battalion 1944

You've all heard what Paradigm6 has to say about the upcoming title of Battalion 1944, that is, on the 1st February. You can check that interview out right here. Following that interview, we decided to ask a few players about the game, and we've managed to do so with two formidable local competitors, each related in someway to COD2. Let's hear from those who could be potentially playing the title this year on a competitive level. We'll start with Cyril "Vortex" Coppini and his replies. 

To begin, we'll start with an introductory question to familiarise yourself with our readers. Please describe your history as an eSports player in Malta, having especial detail on your relationship with the title of Call of Duty 2.

It all started back in 2008 when I was just 15 years old. Some of my schoolmates were all talking about how CoD2 was such a fascinating game and of course I wanted to give it a go myself. By doing so I entered in the "esports" world and before you know it, I started playing more regularly and I also started trying out and  playing new games which caught my interest such as FIFA (which I still play competitively) , Battlefield , Overwatch, Pubg and so on. Although I personally love CoD2, there were some periods when I stopped playing it because no one was organizing LAN events (long before gamers.com.mt was even a thing) and also when there was a huge hype going on about Overwatch (so I decided to train Overwatch instead).

Going back to CoD2 after a year of constant practice in Overwatch, was not as easy as people might think. I was used to the fast gameplay that Overwatch offers, so it felt a bit strange to play CoD2 again as it is quite a slow paced game especially in comparison with Overwatch, however I was delighted with the turn of events because I had the opportunity to try and win a major CoD2 competition!

2.) Call of Duty 2 was resurrected in the community last year; as Gamers.com.mt re-introduced the game in the Malta Cyber Series #3 and the largest event of the year - the GO MESF 2017. What was your initial reaction to this inclusion? Looking back now, reveal your thoughts on Call of Duty 2 in 2017.

Well, to tell you the truth I was not that surprised about the inclusion of CoD2 because my friend Vexin created a poll on the gamers.com.mt CoD2 facebook page and there was a very good response, hence CoD2 was re-introduced to the Malta Cyber Series #3. Since Battalion 1944 was announced long before the Malta Cyber Series #3, CoD2 players considered these two events as a stepping stone to prepare for the new title which is going to be released in February.

3.) Gamers.com.mt is clearly eyeing Battalion 1944; the apparent successor to Call of Duty 2 in terms of gameplay and community feedback. Bringing it to our shores would definitely be interesting and relevant. What are your impressions of the new title, especially after the beta recently? Have you had the chance to play the game yet?

Yes, I played Battalion 1944 and I have to say that things are looking very sharp and promising regarding the overall gameplay. It is true that the game needs some tweaking in some aspects but in my humble opinion, Battalion 1944 has all the requirements needed to be one of the top titles in the eSports scene (dedicated servers, balanced weapons, map design etc).

4.) Our last question. Bringing back Call of Duty 2 last year wasn't too attractive for youngsters starting out as individual competitors due to reason of aged mechanics and a fast-moving modern selection of games which would rather be played - but Battalion 1944 looks to change that with contemporary graphics alongside refurbished content. What potential do you see in the title for Malta?

Battalion 1944 can be that game that attracts both old school gamers and new gamers to play the same game. I think that if us Maltese gamers put enough effort in this game and train hard, we can compete with any foreign top tier clan.

Let's turn the page to see what Mike "z4mbu" Saliba had to say in response to the same questions. 

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 31st January 2018, 09:40

I'm Gabriel - 17 year-old student attending a sixth form with a little free time on his hands. I've been working with Gamers.com.mt for a roughly a year now - spreading my interests in technology, gaming and writing over the platform along with interviews and hardware reviews. All constructive feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with NoNames

NoNames is an odd name for the following five guys:  nieSow, Marre, xinjini, kN and bRUDiii as they're some great names with some great history, as the team formed from the remains of Online Owls and Team Legit, a couple original Battalion 1944 names. One of the earliest qualifiers for the event, the squad didn't even have time to think of a proper team name. Their early entry is due to their impressive record online, which some in the community are finding too impressive with empty accusations of cheating. Let's hear what Robin xinjini Korte, of 24 years, responded to our interview questions.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major? To be honest, we were not able to prepare at all. Since everyone still thinks that we have a cheater team, no one wants to play against us. I believe that there is a reason for this.  Roughly half of the Battalion 1944 community are ex-professional players from CoD 2 and 4, and of course,  they think they’re still the top players off the world. This might be true in some ways, but they literally cannot accept the fact that Battalion 1944 is a new game and it's only natural that there are new players with huge potentials. We look forward to disproving all of these claims on LAN and I'm looking forward to seeing all the faes, when we keep playing on LAN like we did online.  2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? Actually, I think we had this level from the beginning because we all played Cod 2 and Cod 4 competitive and that made it easier to reach a high level in Battalion 1944. The main problem was to gather a bunch of people who fit together and have fun playing with each other. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? It's obvious, isnt it? To win and prove that we’re a name to remember on LAN and online. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? It's hard to say; we just won every match and from our perspective, everything worked fine. Our team play was good, and overall the motivation within the team was great - well organized, and we cannot wait for the main event.  5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there? I think there is a lot of potential in this game. Same goes for all teams and players, and I'm sure we will see way more good players and new teams, which will improve the overall level of competition in the future of Battalion 1944. 6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? To be honest. it's nothing that we think about. For now, it's hard to say, because many teams are on nearly the same level at the moment, so it could be every team, I guess. It's all down to preparation now, and showing up on the day.  7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized? Of course -it doesn't make any sense to stop after the major. We will be competing for all upcoming events and I'm pretty sure, we will all meet again in the near future.  8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? Yes and no, the ideas behind their actions are clear, but I think there are some small points, that bulkhead should work over again. However, in general, the game is heading in the right direction. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons? Well, I guess it's easier to say what somebody would change than what somebody actually can change. I would probably work on everything and do some fixes here and there and I would concentrate on the main points which people give feedback about. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event? it's pretty simple -, train harder, work harder on your team play, analyze what went wrong and then get better after fixing all the issues. All of that should be obvious. It must be rather annoying to be accused of cheating in an online qualifier. However, I'm certain that the team's players couldn't care less - being so talented that you are apparently 'cheating' must feel pretty sweet. They'll be fighting with a fire to prove themselves at the Blitzkrieg Masters - I'd watch out for NoNames if I were you, they may have no name, but they've got an aim. 

Online Gaming Addiction Statistically Leading to Divorces - Thoughts

Looking around the web for some inspirational news to cover for all of you, I encountered a shocking piece of information which marries Fortnite and divorce through statistics - how one leads to another. How could such a statement ever be concocted? Well, according to the UK's largest filers for divorce petitions, nearly 5 percent of all divorces this year have blamed an addiction to online games, with special mention of Fortnite, as a culprit of separation. What?  Such research and information are what is continually fueling the system of thoughts which labels gaming as a  possible 'mental disease', which Gamers.com.mt can't stand, and we're sure you've all heard of this development. The UK company involved is that of divorce-online.com, having collected 4,665 petitions from this year; meaning that roughly 200 were gaming-based. According to the company, they aren't surprised at all by this statement, as they boldly stood by recent medical development by saying:  “No surprise that more and more people are having relationship problems because of our digital addictions.”  Let's talk about it. Before we discuss and protect the name of gaming, it will be said that it's likely that a few of the cases were indeed due to an incurable addiction, in which one of the partners could not do anything else but game all day. That is one extreme of the situation and one which is indeed an addiction that may lead to the termination of a marriage. On the other hand, here's our reasoning in defending gaming. The internet and online gaming have both become so influential that they are beginning to have an effect on all aspects of life, reaching out and having a presence in our lives due to the fact that we enjoy interacting with the two. Hence, negative things in life such as death, marriage, addictions and others may slowly become correlated with it as online gaming grows as an industry.  However, the most important aspect of this statistic, which few take notice of, is the fact that the degree of an addiction depends on the person partaking in the 'gaming addiction.' Unlike other surveys, which usually involve a much younger audience and discusses how gaming is affecting the youth and whatever, this information pertains to once-married couples; ADULTS. It's easy to make it sound like online gaming is a vacuum which sucks people in unwantingly, although some games purposely make it easier than others, it is expected that anyone above 18 years of age, especially if they are married, should strike a balance in life.  Gaming addiction continues to be a hot topic, with politicians claiming violence and parents being rather concerned overall. If gaming is interfering with your relationship, you've got to get your priorities straight - I mean this in no offence, simply referring to the adults involved. Personally, I'm not one to place 'gaming addiction' besides something as serious as drug addiction, saying that it's just as potent, but that's just my opinion.  Let us know your thoughts below!

FIFA 19 Tournament at the Airport Food Court

Following last year's incredibly warm reception the MIA Games Weekend, this year we are back with a tournament for the newly released FIFA 19 with the main highlight being the great venue and the incredibly social atmosphere.  Recap of Last Year Last year, MIA Games week celebrated the titles of Tekken 7 and FIFA 18 with dedicated tournaments and prize pools thrown in with a lively background consisting of board games, a DJ and a wheel of fortune - all maintaining a 'retro' theme. It's safe to say, that you all loved this event very much, as it was quite the shakeup compared to our usual events while the venue served as the perfect opportunity to reach out to travelling foreigners and also many Maltese people. The serving of hot food and airport shopping vouchers was thrown in, too, following a small entry fee.  This Year Kicking off on Sunday 14th October, the event will focus its main attention on the new release of FIFA 19. The event will act as the first ever Maltese FIFA 19 tournament, just as last year's did for FIFA 18. The tournament will be handing out huge shopping vouchers to the top three finishes, with first place receiving €200, second €100 and third €50; all of which may be redeemed at Forestals Matrix, SkyParks Business Centre. After much thought, the entry fee will only cost €10, although two separate vouchers, one of €5 for Matrix, SkyParks Business Centre and another one of €5 for the food court should altogether balance the equation. Yes, you heard that right, all who pay the entry fee will receive €10 worth of shopping vouchers - making it practically cost nothing!  Tickets are available from the MIA Administration Offices on Level 2, which are open between 08.00 and 16.00 on weekdays and from the Gamers Lounge in Msida. More info regarding the tournament can be found here - https://www.gamers.com.mt/tournament/184/fifa-19-tournament-at-the-airport-food-court

Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Entropy Gaming

Entropy Gaming, consisting of the following roster:  uzuma, dltr, zlatan, k1aStaR and sus , formed from the remnants of DefuseKids and always looked dangerous due to the individual capabilities. After a team change following a disappointing finish at Gallantry Budapest, the team has plenty of time to integreate their recent changes and perform well at the Blitzkrieg Masters. To learn more, we interviewed Axel  uzuma Maes on behalf of his team.  1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major?  After our disappointing finish at Gallantry earlier this year, we discussed the things that went wrong and the things that could have gone better. Our biggest challenge was to stop playing against ourselves and to keep the atmosphere positive at all times. The recent replacements, picking up k1aStaR and sus, helped out incredibly, as there’s a lot of extra positivity in our lineup. We practice as much as we can to improve the communication and to adapt better to our opponents during the game, instead of talking about what we could have done better after the game. 2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level? Most of us started out playing at the highest level. Though, it’s only just now that we’ve found the right set of players. After taking a look at the state of Call of Duty 4 in 2017, we knew we needed something new to play for. Battalion 1944 is still in a fairly early stage and we’re all eager to master the game. We’re all really excited of what is yet to come. 3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at? Obviously, our goal is to win the event. We’re investing a lot of time in the game, making sure we’re fully prepared to win against every team at the Major. We won’t disappoint. 4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? Unfortunately, the qualifiers were in the weekends, so for some teams, it was hard to play. Luckily, we managed to qualify during the second week which gave us time off on the weekends to spend with friends, girlfriends and family. I did like the system though; five different qualifiers where two teams qualify. All the teams who qualified deserved their spot and I’m glad we’re going to have an event this soon with the current best teams in the world. 5.) From the online qualifiers, what is your team’s judgement on the level of competition at this time in the title’s lifespan? How much room for improvement is there?  There’s a skill gap between some of the qualified teams in comparison to others, but in the end, as the game is still in development and not everything has been discovered yet, I expect some upsets in Amsterdam. The best team will be the team which plays together and reads the opposition better than the other teams- they will take the trophy home undoubtedly.  6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot? Comrade Gaming, Demise and Endpoint and hopefully Method, if they manage to sort their lineup out are at the top of the list for me.  7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized?  Absolutely. As far as I know, everyone in Entropy enjoys the game big time. Major update two has been a step in the right direction. I hope the game grows in numbers though because we’re 31 days away from the major and it’s quite hard to find decent public games on a regular base. 8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements? In general, all changes were improvements in my opinion. There are still a lot of things, including the economy system, that need refinement. I do have some questions about why Bulkhead launches updates close to events. The MU2 update went live 3 days before Gallantry whilst teams had been playing together and stratting MU1 for 3-4 months. At the start of September they'll launch MU2.5, introducing some huge changes to player models and movement. I do hope it’s not going to influence the game as much as MU2. So in general, yes, I appreciate the updates. The timing of launching the update(s) could be a lot better though. They could launch MU2.5 after the World Championship for example, but I’m not a part of Bulkhead and I’m sure they have their reasons to launch them at those moments. 9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons?  Weapons. I would make it more of a Kar98 - M1 game and get rid of the SMG meta. On some maps, SMG’s are very overpowered in comparison to the other guns. You need to have an A-game on the Kar98, M1, Gewehr or Carbine to compete against a Thompson or MP40, and still, it’s a 50/50 gamble for each gunfight.  Maps. Most of the maps have been balanced out, we’re going to start stratting Invasion soon. I’m really curious as to how the map has changed and about the new plays people can make. Mechanics. The movement feels great right now. I’m kind of disappointed that they will take out crouch jumping in MU2.5. In my opinion, it adds another dimension to the game. In CS:GO and Call of Duty 4 there were some jumps that were hard to master. It’s something you have to put the time into. In my honest opinion, getting rid of it reduces the skill gap slightly. 10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event?  Analyze the things that go wrong or went wrong in the past. Make those things a point of focus and work hard on them, both in-game and out-game. There’s a lot of highly skilled people in this game and the strength of the current teams is going to be nowhere near as good as the best team in a couple of months. Work together, talk to each other, have open communication and stay together. The game in my opinion, is a raw diamond and I hope new talent starts showing up fast. If your team hasn’t qualified for the major, don’t give up, please. There’s going to be plenty of events in the future. Good luck to everyone! Despite the recent change, uzuma, the 23-year-old player, is confident in his team's ability to perform in the upcoming event and potentially win it all. His comments on the skillgap are quite interesting, as of right now, the skillgap is quite narrow; we're receiving all types of answers for question six! Sadly, one team will place 16th and one will place first, that's just the nature of competition.  We'd like to thank uzuma for the interview! 

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