The Wargaming League APAC Season Finals are underway at the ESL Studios in Sydney (watch it live here). Leading up to the first Semi-Final round, we got to interview two of the players competing in the tournament, Christian Andre Safko (Saffe) and Muhammad Afiq bin Ab Wahab (maaw) of Team Efficiency, and see what they’re looking forward to from the event.
What is it like to be part of the Wargaming League APAC Season Finals, especially with the event being in Australia?
Christian: For us it is very exciting, I’d say we’re one of the newest teams. When I say new team, the team has been around for a while, but this season we have about four to five new members so that’s obviously a big change when you use seven players to play. I think we definitely achieved our expectations, if you want to put it that way. The original goal was to stay in the league, then it was to be in the top six to get to the qualifier, and then it turned into a case of “okay we’re in the qualifier, let’s push to get into the actual finals” and now we’re here. So I think everyone is really excited, especially the guys that have come in from overseas. They get a trip into a different country.
Is anyone from the team here in Australia for the first time? What’s it like for you to be here?
Afiq: Yes, this is my first time coming to Australia. The weather is really good, much better than Malaysia, of course. So far, I’ve noticed that the shops close early. It’s not something we’ve found in Asia; we have a larger nightlife. Overall, it has been good.
What sort of practice/training did you go through leading up to the tournament?
Christian: We have been pretty casual about the last of the final preparations. At the end of the day, there is no pressure on us. We’re playing EL Gaming – they’re a professional team, they train ten times more than us, they have been all over the world playing, and therefore, we kind-of know where we’re at. There’s only so much actual training you can do one or two weeks before an event. It’s what we’ve put in the whole season. That’s either going to tip us over the edge or we will fail, I guess. Even though I wouldn’t even call it a failure because once again, we’re playing against the best team in the region. So, we don’t have anything to lose.
Is there any preparation with regards to tactics? Do you tailor/change your strategies depending on which team you’re competing against?
Afiq: Yeah there is. Usually, we just watch the past games for the next opponent we’re going to fight, and then we’re going to see whether our current strategy we have will work; our current objectives, is it good enough against that [opponent’s strategy] or we need to change something. Most of the time, yes.
What are you looking forward to the most out of the tournament?
Christian: I think it will just be a really fun experience, being up on stage. Actually, at the end of the day, we’re here, we’re playing a game that we enjoy, we play it for fun, and being able to travel having everything organised for you, just to do what you enjoy doing. I don’t think anyone can complain about that, to be honest with you. We’re looking forward to it and we will make the most out of it.
Many thanks to Christian and Afiq of Team Efficiency, and Wargaming for the opportunity.
Brendan travelled to Sydney as a media guest of Wargaming.