We get insights from the final two North American teams heading to the Finals in Leicester, UK.
Our World Championship Qualification Tournament casters Bruenj, Barney, Kitfox, and Hank are helping us conduct a series of interviews with the teams heading to the Finals in Leicester, UK on August 25 & 26.
In this final part of the series we gain some insight into the thought and strategy behind the plays from Bold and Brash and Legacy.
Bold and Brash
Nakuna, Kimesia, Jeremey. Midday will be substituting for Jeremey for the Finals
Q: You used a double Kung Fu Master lineup in your 1v1 rounds; what was the thought process surrounding that decision?
A: (Midday) We didn’t really have a thought process. I mean, Kung Fu Master balance-wise is very stable in almost all its matchups, but it’s just out of happenstance that two of our three guys are Kung Fu Master mains so that was the natural course of action.
(Kimesia) Kung Fu Master has favorable-to-even 1v1 matchups across all classes except one or two. With this in mind, it is better for Kung Fu Masters to lead the 1v1 rounds rather than a Summoner, who has some really bad matchups. Additionally, funneling all 1v1 rounds into one class would make it so that if the opponent is unfamiliar with the class, they would have a disadvantage regardless of which of our Kung Fu Master’s play. This would give us the highest chance of winning in the 1v1 rounds.
Q: You won the winners bracket, but your games were anything but easy. What do you think you need to work on before the Finals?
A: (Kimesia) I think our callouts need to be a bit better. The person that is tagged in might not be aware of assist cooldowns, opponent cooldowns, force tag-out timers, etc. Communication of these cooldowns is vital so we can alter our playstyle.
(Jeremy) We definitely need to work on our consistency. I feel like sometimes we’re on fire, and sometimes we’re not. I think that my team has a great mindset and doesn’t let the failures affect their performance.
Q: How do you determine what builds and strategies to use in your 3v3 matchups?
A: (Midday) For this qualifier I urged everyone to stick with what they’re used to; there wasn’t a lot of time to develop anything too fancy. Build depends a lot on the matchup too, for example some of us might spec something more defensive depending on the class of the opponent’s lead.
(Kimesia) The execute aerial combo [we used] was something that we were going to run regardless of composition. This was our main way to offensively tag-in. For a defensive tag-in, typically I run the defensive Petal Storm for teams that have aerial pressure such as teams with a Warlock, Summoner, Gunner, or Force Master. Petal Storm Toss is for an offensive assist or a save when our team is caught on the ground to do burst damage back to the opponent. I run Earth build RMB ability Sunflower for Warlocks and Assassins, otherwise it’s Wind build RMB ability Bees.
(Jeremy) From what you guys saw in the tournament, we mainly relied on Kung Fu Master plus Destroyer tag-ins to do massive damage. We were thinking about having the Summoner tag in for Bees during aerials and using the Destroyer to save, but we found the Destroyer tag-in easier to do damage to both the person coming in to save and the person the Kung Fu Master catches. Also, the classes we were going against had a lot of aerial pressure, so using the Summoner to save [from opposing team] aerials with their Petal Storm was the way to go.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the Finals?
A: (Midday) Meeting people and playing on a stage.
(Kimesia) The city. It’s always fun traveling to new places, finding out about the country, the history, cuisine, etc.
Q: This could potentially lead to your team representing North America at the World Championship in Korea. What are you most nervous about?
A: (Midday) The way I see it we’re easily the underdogs, so I’m not nervous about anything. However I do want to show good games.
(Kimesia) Our performance on stage [makes me nervous]. The only thing people will see from [the Finals] is how well we performed on stage. I don’t want to go out getting smashed.
Q: There’s probably no doubt Jeremy was the MVP in the Qualifiers; how do you play around him to really make your 3v3 style work?
A: (Midday) Basically we lead with him and that is our starting point. He has a great neutral game, is extremely consistent/reliable, outplays most other players in the opener, and Kimesia, Nakuna and Kimesia, or I can save him from almost all scrappy situations. When we make mistakes, we adapt accordingly, almost with the mentality of having a flow chart. For sure though, we still have a long way to go.
(Kimesia) I think all-star players perform really well alongside Summoners because of the amount of healing they can give to them; keeping Jeremey’s health high helps when he gets tagged in a second time. Typically my job is to keep Jeremey from losing HP, and Nakuna’s job is to punish the opponent when Jeremey catches them.
(Jeremy) I just play the neutral while my team comes in for the saves or damage pressure since KFM is one of the best neutral classes right now. The Summoner or Destroyer can stall a decent amount while putting a decent amount of pressure out, while the Kung Fu Master stalls for their cool downs.
Q: Is there any reason in particular you don’t have Nakuna play KFM in 3s and have Jeremy play something else? He’s also been known to play Blade Dancer.
A: (Midday) The biggest reason is that if you could somehow add up the skill of Jeremey’s Kung Fu Master plus Nakuna’s Destroyer, it would be much higher than Jeremy’s Blade Dancer plus Nakuna’s Kung Fu Master. While we were able to win a lot with the help of Kung Fu Master air finishers and Destoyer fury Execute interferes, I can say that in the hypothetical situation if the addition of skill with Nakuna’s Kung Fu Master plus Jeremy’s Blade Dancer was higher than Jeremy’s Kung Fu Master plus Nakuna’s Destroyer, that is what we would have used instead.
(Kimesia) We do it for the easy-to-execute Execute combo. It’s hard to mess up the Execute combo once we have the idea behind it. With the combo being easy, we can focus on other important things during a match, such as cooldowns and tag resources. Also, Destroyers have two escapes, meaning they can get caught more often without requiring us to save them. This allows us to breathe a bit more, whereas Blade Dancers only have one escape.
Q: As a newer team, how is communication behind the scene? Is there a shot caller or any individual roles?
A: (Midday) Behind the scenes? Hmm, personally I don’t think having a designated shot caller is a good thing in tag matches; everyone needs to communicate and be on the same page as each other. I think that’s part of why tag matches are so challenging. Every so often someone will say “tag out” and that person thinks they can stay in for a few more seconds until a new iframe comes up, and then they die anyways because they get caught and killed—which basically ends the game. Everybody on this team responds really well to feedback and criticism and is open to learning. Things of course can get frustrating at times, but nobody takes anything personally.
(Kimesia) I think communication could be a bit more streamlined. We all call out what we have and what we don’t have, and what they have and what they don’t have. It’s a bit chaotic but it gets the job done.
Niisam, Saeuri, Akito. Svnshower will be substituting for Akito
Q: Your only losses in the Second Preliminary were to Happy and Guardian. Have you made any adjustments to ensure you can beat them this time?
A: (Saeuri) Unfortunately, with the situation Akito currently has, we are in the midst of practicing with our new substitute, who I’m sure will prove to be just as deadly as Akito.
*Note: Akito is unable to attend the finals in the UK due to visa complications.
Q: You dominated the 1v1 matchups, but often found yourself on the defensive in the 3v3s. What do you need to do differently to turn that around?
A: (Niisam) We definitely have not been synchronized to our maximum potential. We’re working on that by practicing more often, and being more critical and open with each other.
Q: How do you plan to prepare against the likes of Guardian and Happy?
A: (Saeuri) Guardian, Happy, and Bold and Brash have been willing to spar us and help us improve. Not just for this tournament but to help us improve as players. I respect their integrity as individuals regardless of the outcome of the tournament.
Q: You played in both Preliminary tournaments to obtain your spot. Which one do you think was more difficult to play in and why?
A: (Niisam) The first tournament was definitely more difficult. We were going up against the two titans of North America (Guardian and Happy). Our performance in the second tournament however was subpar due to a lack of practice.
Q: Who do you see as your biggest threat at the Finals in Leicester?
A: (Seauri) I believe the lack of time to practice is our biggest threat.
Q: Saueri you’re the original Legacy captain, Akito came from OuO, and Nissam was a previous Guardian member. How did the three of you form a team?
A: (Niisam) Warlock/Destroyer/Assassin are a very powerful team composition, and with Saeuri and Akito being the strongest players on those classes (who still didn’t have teams), I reached out to them to form one.
Q: Compared to the other destroyers, Nissam is much “quieter” in terms of play, but he is still so very effective. What makes him stand out the most compared to the others in the tournament?
A: (Saeuri) I believe Niisam’s ability as a Destroyer to react to [enemy skills] makes him the most consistent Destroyer on any team in terms of performance.
Q: As a mix of veteran players coming from different teams has there been any conflict of communication or playstyles?
A: (Niisam) There have most definitely been playstyle conflicts. As we have been adjusting to the idea of having one hard party save (that being my Stone Shield) we were conflicted between playing defensive and playing offensive.
Be sure to watch the World Championship Qualification Finals on August 25 & 26, live on twitch.tv/bladeandsoul!