Tell me, Chance, what got you in to pro gaming anyway?
While I was growing up, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in the “real” world, but I knew from a young age that if I could have it any way, it would be to play video games for a living.
We’re living in a different time, though. When I was growing up, most of the kids that were near my age were rarely able to afford video games, but now it seems like every child is born with a PlayStation or Xbox controller in their hand! Of course, every kid at my age back then wanted to “play video games for a living,” but unlike most, I was serious when I said it...as you can tell!
I'm sure you're aware that 4seasonsgaming is based in Australia. Have you ever had the pleasure of holidaying or competing in Australia? What other countries have you visited through-out your career?
Unfortunately, I've never been to Australia. I’m a fan of warmer climates, so I’m sure I’d love it there!
As far as what countries I’ve visited throughout my career, I've been to France a number of times as well as England, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and all over the United States. I really have to thank EG for the majority of the traveling opportunities I’ve encountered.
Chance's 3rd Place IEM US snap
A pro-gamer scout (believe it, they do exist!) by the name of Andrew "Gellehsak" Ryder once suggested to DaHanG and I that we should get in contact with Evil Geniuses. Within just a few short days following that conversation with Ryder, we were speaking to the managers of EG.
Sponsorship deals and large multi-gaming teams are still very rare over here in Australia. Would you be able to tell us the player benefits of being with a large pro-gaming sponsor?
First off, it is because of our sponsors that I’m even able to be considered a “pro gamer.” Without our sponsors, I wouldn’t be able to travel or experience gaming on the levels that I am.
EG has lifted a number of burdens off of my shoulders. When you’re a gamer looking to take any game seriously, the first barrier you’ll face is the sheer cost of it all. Hardware, travel, and food are just a number of expenses that will put dents in your wallets, and with EG, I don’t need to worry about any of that!
What advice could you give to our Australian duelers who want to compete internationally, but don't have the opportunity to practice with, or even match up against, world class players in Europe or America?
The best way to practice and compete with other players is to build a grassroots movement or community within a given game. When a game has an actual community following it, leagues can be created and out of leagues come scrimmages, dueling face-offs, and other forms of tiered competition.
Dueling or playing against other players of a similar skill level is actually a difficult feat in most countries right now. I encounter the same dilemma in the U.S. Games are underdeveloped in most countries. All you need is to have a few passionate gamers set up a league and you’re good to go.
Chance competing in Edmonton
Oh, without a doubt, I’m an underdog for the event. But you know what they say about underestimating your foes!
As far as the sheer pressure of the coming event, I don't feel any pressure when playing against any of my opponents. I think that may be because the level of competition is quite intense. You really have no room to break under the pressure or to feel nervous. Though, I do think I’ve probably outgrown the ‘nervous’ stage most gamers experience when they’re starting to take the game seriously. But, we'll see how I feel when match-time draws near!
Pressure and nerves can sometimes get the better of players, especially in big tournaments. Is there anything you do leading up to an event or just prior to a match to 'switch on'? Perhaps Chance’s Quake Live ritual to get yourself psyched or pumped up so you perform at your highest level?
When tournament time comes, emotions start playing a big role and I become a bit hyperfocused on the event at hand. It varies though. One event I’ll be extremely shaky and nervous, and other event, it all comes easily and naturally. It might be different for everyone, but I think what works best for me is just to relax. Before I press F3 though, I make sure I have my strategies fresh in mind and I'm ready to do my best.
Analyzing replays can usually be a knowledgeable factor before playing an opponent but we have found it is also just as important to overcome weaknesses in your own game as well. Can you recall what obstacles you had to overcome before taking your game to the professional level and how you approached fixing or bettering them? Is there anything in particular you feel you want to improve on to take your dueling further into the next level?
I remember timing being one important hurdle I had to better understand then overcome in my game-play. Kronos, a friend, rival, and former top player in North America, taught me invaluable information on timing and the usefulness of understanding it all. I learned how to position myself by watching his demos/recordings and I ended up building a more ‘aim-heavy’ style to my movement.
On a side note, I know many aspiring gamers are finding there aren’t many worthwhile ‘skill enhancement’ guides to Quake. Very few professional players offer advice and the available lessons found throughout the internet are often outdated and useless in competition. I’m looking to change this by writing a guide in the near future on this subject which should help players build their own strategy in-game. Ideally, I’d like to provide to other aspiring gamers tools that I just didn’t have available when I was first taking Quake seriously, but that can also help them advance in their skill at a measurable speed.
As far as how I can personally develop now, I simply need more discipline and awareness of the evolving meta-game and player-specific nuances. Once I get that down, I’ll be set.
Do you prefer to do the analysis yourself or do you seek criticism from your teammates to give you better feedback on your game style and faults?
There was a point in my career where I was more interested in how others thought of the game than I was in formulating my own solutions to competitive obstacles. Right now, I usually wait until I’m extremely desperate before asking anyone of their opinion. It might be a pride issue, but I also think I learn better when I can see it or discover something for myself.
Modern psychology may suggest that we very often need someone else to point out our flaws because we're human and we make a lot of mistakes in assessing our own situations, but I believe the best thing we can learn is how to think critically for ourselves and reason through our own problems in the same manner. I think the greatest strength a dueler can have is the ability to think objectively in the heat of the moment and do the right thing even if it seems frightening.
If DaHanG offers me any advice though, I'm very receptive to it...though, that doesn’t mean I can implement it easily!
Back Row LTR: dkt, griffin, rapha.
Front Row LTR chance, sparks.
I really have no single highlight that could be considered the most monumental event of my career. The experience of just traveling the world and meeting new people is a highlight in itself. If I were an actual champion, I’m sure I’d have a few particular matches to talk to you about, but I’ve yet to reach my goals in that department! It will happen soon, though!
But really, I was very happy with my placement in Edmonton and I really felt like I deserved it. It was the most recent event opportunity and it put my foot in the door for the World Finals as it stands right now.
I have no regrets as I don't live like that. Regrets aren’t useful to me. I do learn from my mistakes, and though I've made many, I have gained such wisdom from every single one.
Thanks for stopping by on the road to the IEM World Finals and providing us an understanding behind a Pro Gamers mentality during tournament time. We wish you the best of luck in both the World Championships and, of course, with the rest of your gaming career! We look forward to hearing about the next steps and pathways you chose to follow. Any shout outs or appreciation you have to any people or sponsors?
Thank you for opportunity of being interviewed. Special thanks to Intel, SteelSeries, Bigfoot Networks, Gigabyte, Kingston, and MSi for being so supportive and allowing me to travel the world doing what I love!
Good Luck, Have Fun! This has been Mickzerofive from 4SeasonsGaming.com telling all you Quake Live fan's to keep your pants on during the ESL IEM World Championships.