ben1337 likes his team's odds in the Global Challenge
With the MDL Global Challenge kicking off today, Collin "CarbonDogma" Davis sat down with Ben "ben1337" Smith and Ian "motm" Hardy. The pair talked about motm's time with Singularity, Party Astronaut's evolving roster, and their expectations for the Global Challenge.
motm, you played with Singularity for a while when you [and Gage "Infinite" Green] replaced Victor "food" Wong and Anthony "vanity" Malaspina. How was it being able to play with them for the time you did?
motm: I dreamed of playing with players like that, those are my friends and I think they are incredible players. The experience of playing with friends like Ryan "ryann" Welsh, Josh "oSee" Ohm, and Cameron "hydrex" Kern. It was incredible... it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
What happened in the end for you to end up leaving the team after such a short time?
motm: What happened was the team believed that bringing in someone like Alan "Shakezullah" Hardeman, someone who's an actual caller, even though I came in to fit the role as an in-game leader, [would] establish more structure in the team so it would be easier for them to compete against higher level teams. So, they wanted more structure.
ben1337, with your previous lineup consisting of Casey "SideStep" Hartzler and Nick "zeptic" Kaoud, what ended up being the reason for their ultimate removal from the team?
ben1337: So basically, we just took a chance on both of them to try and mold them into better players and see what they could do with Tom and I around them, to help improve them. But it just ended up not working, they didn't have the same goals as I wanted us to have. So, in the end I just felt like if we wanted to win and participate in [the upper level] of MDL then we would need to make changes and remove them. It feels like it's working well.
How exactly did the move to get Robert "robby" Brown and motm come about? I know that robby and stellar played a lot together before so was that a factor?
ben1337: Right when motm was going to play with eUnited I messaged him and said "we'll wait, I want to play with you again" because we played on Etherian together and I liked playing with a lot, and he's a really good teammate. And so, we had to wait a week to play with [motm] because he was playing with eUnited, so we didn't play at all for a week and I was like "we need to pick him up". With robby, I played with robby as well and he's just a really good player and a really good fragger, and his mindset has changed and he really want to improve and he knows the game is important and you can do a lot in the game because he has sick skills and he's improved a lot.
In the StarLadder Major Berlin Americas Minor Closed Qualifier that happened recently, you guys ended up losing to Luminosity and Envy. Were you expecting a better result out of that qualifier?
motm: 100%. We felt like coming into that we were prepared. We thought this is a great chance for us to make the Minor. Going against Envy with their really new roster, going into that best-of-three versus them. Our preparation and having a combination of a new roster we though this is our chance to make the Minor and it just didn't work out.
As far as this MDL season goes, I would say it went pretty well. You went 11-6 and then you beat The Quest in the semi-finals. Do you think your form was somewhat surprising, how do you think this season ended up overall?
ben1337: I think the season went really well and we meshed really well. We made great strides in our teamwork and how we play off each other. I just felt like it was good. I just felt like we lost to teams we shouldn't have as well during the season and I think it was a lack of preparation, and that we later realized we needed to prepare for everyone and respect everyone. But like we need to play to our strengths.
motm, you played with The Quest for a short period of time so how was it being able to beat them in the quarterfinals to make it to the semifinals?
motm: My history with those players runs very deep, I've played with them for years. When I was originally on the come up that's who I was with, that core of players...
Like Broken Alliance and stuff?
motm: Yeah with Ryan "Snakes" Amann and Logan "Voltage" Long. History just keeps going deeper and deeper as we go. I actually left The Quest; it was a much different lineup, but I left The Quest to join Singularity. There was a bit of tension in terms of that but I'm still really good friends because I've known them for years.
Finally, for the Global Challenge the next two days what are your sort of goals for this event?
Win? Anyone in particular you want to beat?
ben1337: I just want to showcase our skills and bring our peak level. If we bring our peak level, we can beat anyone.
Alright, last question. Who is the best in-game leader in MDL?
Party Astronauts will need to be in peak form as they are set to take on Vitality in their opening matchup of MDL Global Challenge today at 11 AM EDT.