Blitzkrieg Masters Amsterdam 2018 - Interview with Team Tilted

One of the many European teams onboard for the Blitzkrieg Masters in Amsterdam is Team Tilted, a newer team ready to prove itself. Though honestly, it doesn't matter how 'new' a team is; one month is a long time to prepare for an event, especially after the practice exercised at qualifiers. Consisting of the following roster:  aerox, fanCy, dakkaz, jackis and RAIVZ are excited to prove themselves for the event. We reached out to the team and Boudewijn "aerox" Verleg happily let us in on a few replies in the upcoming interview. 

1.) How are you preparing yourselves for the upcoming event, the first ever Battalion 1944 Major?

We are a relatively new team, but have individually all been involved in the top end of different gaming scenes for several years now. That meant that we quickly identified our weak spots after just a few weeks of playing together. We’ve decided collectively to spend a few of the remaining weeks solely hammering out those weak spots with minimal work on areas of our game that we feel confident in. 

After those weeks of fixing our issues, we hope to successfully integrate our improvements into our overall game-plan and focus all our efforts in the remaining weeks on molding everything we’ve learned into a cohesive whole and working on our game in general, as opposed to meticulous specifics. 

2.) For how long has your team been waiting for an opportunity to play Battalion 1944 at this level?

I don’t think we’ve necessarily ‘waited’ to play at this level. It’s a natural culmination of everything the players have been doing all along. Pretty much every player in our team has played at the top end of the scene from the get-go, so for us if we’re being very levelheaded, this is simply a LAN with all the top tier teams. No different than what you’d expect from any other top LAN. Obviously it carries extra prestige and an extra large incentive due to the sizeable cash prize, but at the end of the day we can just see it as a LAN. A LAN we want to perform at, mind you, but a LAN nonetheless. 

3.) What are your goals heading into the event? What placing are you aiming at?

There should only be one goal when heading into an event like this and that’s to win the whole thing. Anything less and you might as well not go. Having said that, as long as I’m pleased with our performances at the end of the LAN, it’s not that important where we finish up. We will give it our all and see where the chips will fall. 

4.) What was your experience in the online qualifiers? Where there any negatives and positives you’d like to point out? 

Overall, our experiences were okay. Due to the volatile nature of the game, with multiple players switching team and whatnot, it was very hard to make accurate seedings. I think that may have hindered a few teams down the line, but I do not envy the position of The Plays whatsoever; it’s a hard job to do. 

Of course, the downside to online qualifiers, especially in a game as new as this with no demo system, was that there were ample opportunities for people to cheat their way into the qualifier. I’m not sure if anyone did, but the whole episode with nieSow certainly showed how flawed the concept of an online qualifier is. I understand why they did it, but I’d be remiss not to make mention of it. 

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? 

The competition, seemingly, is pretty high already. The game has been out for roughly 6 months and already there’s a very clear divide between skilled teams and lesser teams. I think the game will continue to evolve and so will the skill of the players. The early players of a game such as CoD 4, when contrasted with the players at the end of that game’s lifespan, look like they’re less skilled and I think that trend will be visible in Battalion as well. So I would say that I think there’s a lot of room for improvement because players always improve. People will find new ways to play the game, to use specific tricks and improve their aim. The game won’t stop evolving. 

6.) If not yourselves, what teams form the top competition for the first place spot?

I would expect to see CRG, Demise, Avenue, Entropy and EndPoint all be contenders for the title. All these teams have individual quirks that separate them from the pack and I think we will see those little things be the breakthrough in many of the games that will follow. Having said that, I have almost no information on the North American teams, so of course, they can come out swinging and surprise a lot of teams. 

7.) Do you plan to keep competing in Battalion 1944 after the Major is finalized?

As long as there’s something worth competing for, I will definitely keep playing. The problem is that this goes for many teams, so if there’s nothing to play for, we might see an exodus of teams and that would be catastrophic for the game. I just hope that Bulkhead has a clear vision for how they’re going to attract casuals, as that will be the lifeblood the game needs to keep going. Impressive LANs like this are nice to have, and as long as they keep coming people will keep playing, but I don’t know how sustainable it will be. 

8.) How do you view the updates which have recently hit the title? Have they all been general improvements?

Most of the updates have been very positive and have definitely added to the Battalion experience. The one thing that bothers me, however, is that Bulkhead seemingly subscribes to the Riot Games method of nerfing. Once they notice that a weapon is too strong, they nerf it into the ground and slowly build it up from there. Coupled with the economy system, long range weapons have been punished heavily and as a result, the meta dictates only a handful of weapons for both sides that can be seen as viable. Hopefully, these issues get addressed in the coming weeks. 

9.) What would you change, if you could, in Battalion 1944 mechanics, maps and weapons? 

I would overhaul the economy system, to where a coin will be given to a player for a kill and another coin will drop on the floor that you can pick up as is currently the norm. Maybe adjust the cost of weapons by 1.5 and maybe increase the kill rewards. If we take CS as a blueprint, if you’re stacked on money, you can buy a ridiculous arsenal for at least three, maybe even four rounds straight. In Battalion it’s not unfeasible to win six rounds in a row, lose one and then have to eco. 

I would also change some of the nerfs to the sniper rifle. There were two major issues plaguing the weapon I feel. One of them was that the weapon was too accurate in mid-air when not fully zoomed in, and the other factor was that the gun zoomed in a bit too quick, which meant that when you would do a running jump, you would be fully zoomed in before you hit the apex of your jump. This made it too easy to fly around the map with the sniper and make it almost impossible to be countered, especially if you have good aim. Just the accuracy and the zoom in time alone would be perfect nerfs I feel. 

The last thing I would change is having a look at the tagging system. When you invest so many coins into weaponry like a Kar or a sniper, you want to do damage, but I feel that tagging is happening too often. If you hit the arms or lower legs, sure, have it count as a tag. But just because the model is holding its arms in front of its body when aiming down the sights, doesn’t mean the rifler should be punished for hitting what would otherwise be a clean bodyshot. 

10.) Any advice for those Battalion 1944 rosters which are struggling to reach the level of competition needed for the event? 

Keep practising and either choose to fix your flaws or perfect your strong points. You can choose to play your opponents game, or your own and both have its perks. Just don’t try to hamfist a strategy that’s not working for you because you’ve seen other people succeed with it. Play to your own strengths or your opponents’ weaknesses and go from there. 

It seems that many teams are neck-deep into preparations; everyone's 'hammering' their slate clean to maximise their chances for the event. Will Team Tilted manage to stomp out the other top EU competition? We'll find out at the event! Thanks again to aerox for the quick interview, specifically. 

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 10th September 2018, 20:51

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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