CGPL: To Cologne and back, an interview with Aaron 'AZR' Ward

Thread started by defcoN on Saturday, 7:10pm September 27th with 28 replies. Views: 5,293

defcoN
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Tonight we sat down with Aaron 'AZR' Ward from our very own Vox Eminor to discuss their recent trip to Cologne Germany for the ESL-One tournament, CGPL and the current state of Australian Counterstrike.


You recently returned from ESL-ONE Cologne, how different would you say the European play style is compared to what you're used to in Australia? Do you feel as though the time spent overseas helps you progress as a team even though it is limited?

The European metagame is constantly changing and evolving. Teams are adapting to one another so quickly it is constantly forcing teams to look for new styles and strategies to trump their opponents. In Australia the metagame is very stagnant, all teams play a very similar style without much variation. When you do see new things from the Australian scene it is usually from demo watching and we are primarily playing catch up with the rest of the word. The stints we have overseas are basically us getting a first-hand taste of what is popular 'now' in their scene. We learn what we can, we bring back what we think will work for our team and try to put it in practice. However we find ourselves having to revert to old strategies and play styles that we have since moved on from against Australian teams due to the unchanging metagame here.

Cologne saw the addition of two new maps in Cobblestone and Overpass, what was your experience on these maps and were teams regularly looking to practice on them going into the event?

Having Overpass and Cobblestone added to the pool provided some much needed variety to what has been a very consistent and now stagnant map rotation. It was also refreshing to learn new smokes and lines on these added maps, which in turn boosted our motivation in Europe. Unfortunately the Australian community did not share the same mentality and we struggled to find scrims on Overpass and Cobble, so we then made the decision to just veto them despite the European teams being keen to practice them once we arrived. From the experiences I've had in matchmaking, in-houses and pugs I now think that Overpass is a great map and very fun to play. I was a little skeptical about Cobblestone initially, however each update that Valve brings out seems to make it a little more reasonable in favor of competitive play.

In Australia currently Train and Season appear to be two of the lesser played maps in both practice and competitive matches. Are Cobblestone and Overpass viable replacements in their current iterations for the Australian community and how do you think the community would take to these new maps in competitive play and practice?

Personally I have never viewed Train as a great competitive map (in CSGO), the ESL Tournament shared this view and omitted it from rotation, and I believe there would need to be a few modifications before it could be taken into consideration again. Season has a lot of potential however the general consensus is to veto it whenever the opportunity to play it arises. The Australian community is always trying to keep up with the European scene, so in that respect I feel as if we should mimic their map rotation. If people give the new maps an honest chance I feel as if everyone will really like playing them!


You went undefeated this season and only dropped a single map out of all your games, does this give you confidence going into finals or does it create a certain pressure that you feel you have to live up to?

The results we had in the regular season are irrelevant, as a finals series on LAN is an entirely different ball game. We have confidence in ourselves that we are the best team in Australia both on and offline. Nothing else matters.

Something the spectator community has wanted for a long time are LAN finals, but as players do you enjoy a LAN environment over an online one and are you looking forward to these upcoming LAN finals?

I honestly believe the only advantage online games have in comparison to LAN is perhaps being more comfortable, being alone in an environment you are accustomed to removes part of the pressure to deliver results, and it is due to this that most players tend to perform better online as opposed to their LAN counterpart.

In terms of everything else, there isn't much to dislike about LAN. You are forced to play outside your comfort zone as I mentioned previously, which in turn dictates which players can step up when it counts and perform under the spotlight, and which players crumble under the pressure. All the external variables such as lag, PC performance and even having different monitors get thrown out the window when you come to LAN, as everyone is on a level playing field. Usually players and teams who are more experienced in a LAN environment tend to perform better, however there is always the potential for first timers to surprise everyone. Almost every team is formed online and LAN is often the first time you get to meet your teammates and further extend the bond and chemistry that exists between players, which is a great social aspect of having a LAN. Overall the best four teams from this season are attending this LAN and I am looking forward to playing against them!


Your undisputed position at the top of Australian Counterstrike as well as your teams LAN experience makes you the favorite for the upcoming LAN finals, are you worried about any of your competitors?

The only thing that could hurt us is taking the opposition lightly, it hasn't worked for us in the past! 3 other teams will be attending the LAN finals and we will not underestimate any of them.

Looking towards 2015 and onwards what are the long term goals for Vox Eminor?

As a team we would like to continue our current form domestically, however internationally we would like to progress a little further and upset some of the European teams in a tournament, something I believe we are perfectly capable of doing.



You personally had an amazing performance at ESL which impressed many people both globally and back home, how do you feel you performed?

I'm lucky to have such great teammates which help me perform to the best of my ability. Chad is really good at orienting strategies that play to our strengths and it is because of this that I was able to play so well at ESL.

What changes did you make on an individual level to prepare yourself for this event, did you ramp up your aim practice or is Unity really the key to success?

Coming into the event I did a fair amount of bot practice in addition to scrims with the team every day. Everyone has their on and off days and I just felt like I was in the zone for those particular performances. Unity is a great service but I think it just prepares me for the worst, haha :P

Given the immense amount of support you receive from the community anything you would like to say to them? And any shout outs you would like to make?

Thanks to our sponsors MSi, BenQ and MWave! Also a big thanks to the Vox Eminor organisation, (Richard and Chris) without you guys this wouldn't be possible. Thanks to the community for supporting us while we were overseas and shout out to the Hype boys!

A big thanks to Aaron for sitting down with me. You can catch all the division 1 CGPL action on October 19th either in person or through the official CGPL stream.
Posted 7:10pm Sep 27th 14
Sponny
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

You guys just need to find your strongest type of game and fucking deliver it on the europeans. I think i've told you this already but I don't think you got the message. So just be over confident and lay your game on the Euros and be smart enough to tweak when they figure it out.

The biggest problem is identifying your strongest play style in a substandard tier of players. Just keep trying and you'll work it out I'm sure.
Posted 7:32pm Sep 27th 14
Ak47eh
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014

Scenario. Your team wins T side mirage pistol. The CT team is likely to CZ-75/Armour pistol round. You adapt your strategy to suit and play a long range anti-eco.

This is an understanding of the meta game.

It exists as much in counter strike as any other game. It just depends whether you care enough/are intelligent enough to have the discussion.
Posted 7:39pm Sep 27th 14
Garrrry
Posts: 1,197
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

You guys just need to find your strongest type of game and fucking deliver it on the europeans. I think i've told you this already but I don't think you got the message. So just be over confident and lay your game on the Euros and be smart enough to tweak when they figure it out.

The biggest problem is identifying your strongest play style in a substandard tier of players. Just keep trying and you'll work it out I'm sure.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014
you actually have no clue, but do go on
Posted 7:53pm Sep 27th 14
tonk$
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._.
Posted 8:02pm Sep 27th 14
Sponny
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

Quote from lambr on the 27th of September 2014

Scenario. Your team wins T side mirage pistol. The CT team is likely to CZ-75/Armour pistol round. You adapt your strategy to suit and play a long range anti-eco.

This is an understanding of the meta game.

It exists as much in counter strike as any other game. It just depends whether you care enough/are intelligent enough to have the discussion.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014

CT's buying 2nd round has been relevant since 2004... I guess it took you 10 years to catch on
Posted 8:27pm Sep 27th 14
Sponny
Posts: 308
Level: BRONZE
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

You guys just need to find your strongest type of game and fucking deliver it on the europeans. I think i've told you this already but I don't think you got the message. So just be over confident and lay your game on the Euros and be smart enough to tweak when they figure it out.

The biggest problem is identifying your strongest play style in a substandard tier of players. Just keep trying and you'll work it out I'm sure.

Quote from Garrrry on the 27th of September 2014
you actually have no clue, but do go on

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014

850 posts and not knowing who I am... classic Australian CS noob.
Posted 8:28pm Sep 27th 14
prakM
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lol AZR is literate? Isn't he the IPGN bully...
Posted 8:29pm Sep 27th 14
Dealzz
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

You guys just need to find your strongest type of game and fucking deliver it on the europeans. I think i've told you this already but I don't think you got the message. So just be over confident and lay your game on the Euros and be smart enough to tweak when they figure it out.

The biggest problem is identifying your strongest play style in a substandard tier of players. Just keep trying and you'll work it out I'm sure.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014
you actually have no clue, but do go on

Quote from Garrrry on the 27th of September 2014

850 posts and not knowing who I am... classic Australian CS noob.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014

Wow you are known for a video game.

Get some sun
Posted 8:34pm Sep 27th 14
AJK
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shout out to the Hype boys!

Quote from defcoN on the 27th of September 2014
why are you shouting at us.. this isn't ipgn..
Posted 8:34pm Sep 27th 14
MC
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Really good read! Thanks @defcoN and @AZR
Posted 8:39pm Sep 27th 14
Blynxz
Posts: 2,020
Level: BRONZE
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

You guys just need to find your strongest type of game and fucking deliver it on the europeans. I think i've told you this already but I don't think you got the message. So just be over confident and lay your game on the Euros and be smart enough to tweak when they figure it out.

The biggest problem is identifying your strongest play style in a substandard tier of players. Just keep trying and you'll work it out I'm sure.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014
you actually have no clue, but do go on

Quote from Garrrry on the 27th of September 2014

850 posts and not knowing who I am... classic Australian CS noob.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014

rekt @Garrrry
Posted 8:50pm Sep 27th 14
Garrrry
Posts: 1,197
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yer he got me, damn
Posted 8:52pm Sep 27th 14
Scholes
Posts: 356
Level: BRONZE
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I really hate this word meta game.... It doesn't really exist in an FPS.

You guys just need to find your strongest type of game and fucking deliver it on the europeans. I think i've told you this already but I don't think you got the message. So just be over confident and lay your game on the Euros and be smart enough to tweak when they figure it out.

The biggest problem is identifying your strongest play style in a substandard tier of players. Just keep trying and you'll work it out I'm sure.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014
you actually have no clue, but do go on

Quote from Garrrry on the 27th of September 2014

850 posts and not knowing who I am... classic Australian CS noob.

Quote from Sponny on the 27th of September 2014

Your attitude is the reason you will never ACTUALLY achieve anything, Big Spon.
Posted 9:20pm Sep 27th 14
deliboi
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Props to Hype for getting where they are with hard work and seeking help in such a short space of time.
Posted 9:27pm Sep 27th 14