mCe helmed SoaR through a fantastic first MDL season — but his work isn't complete yet

mCe: "It is going to be very difficult to replace Snakes"

The elder statesman of SoaR touched on the upcoming match with Rise, his teams chances in Relegation, and the recent ESEA rule change.

Whilst waiting for technical issues to be sorted out at the ESEA MDL Global Challenge venue, we got a hold of SoaR in-game leader Matthew "mCe" Elmore.

This will be your first big LAN as a team, have you done any special preparation?

We actually got in a bit of trouble because [the event] was supposed to be in December. I took a new job, so I've only been able to play three days a week. We have had some good practice. I don't think we are as good as we could be coming into this, but we'll be ok.

On top of that there was also the player break around the holidays, is that a concern?

It was tough to begin with, we were really struggling in practices because we all collectively went into a slump. I'm not worried at all now though, we played on Tuesday and it went extremely well.

You and Rise are well-acquainted to each other at this point. How does that come into play when you both are playing for the biggest prize in either of your teams careers?

Credit to Jared "osorandom" Hartman, I think he is a really big part of that team. I think what benefits us today is that he can not talk except during timeouts. That will be big in terms of adjusting for stuff, because we play such a random and loose style that it is hard to see what we do. Our Counter-Terrorist side is where I think they will exploit us really hard, because we do play repetitive setups. It will be interesting because we know each other so well.

You shouted out osorandom, can you talk about what your own coach Teric "Bibby" Ingram does for you?

Bibby is more of an analyst than a coach, I would say. I don't know how much of a difference it would make, because I'm very strong-willed about things. He does a good job, he recommends stuff to me, he talks to the guys when I'm not there. We have another guy, Marcos "tacitus" Castilho, and he has been helping us a lot as well. He's come in when Bibby couldn't be there. But Bibby does a good job, he does what he is supposed to do —  now it is our job to try and go off that.

You guys already knew that Ryan "Snakes" Amann would not be able to play in Pro League due to his age, now it has come out he also won't be able to play the next season of MDL. How disheartening is all of that?

With Pro League it sucks, but we were prepared for it. But for Snakes — and all of the young players, Nick "zeptic" Kaoud, Jason "neptune" Tran — it sucks. I really don't agree with the rule. As far as for us, Snakes is probably the best player on the team, and it is going to be very difficult to replace him. I really don't know what we are going to do, especially if we have to go back to MDL.

How do you like your chances against the field of teams in EPL Relegation, should you fall to Rise?

Ghost scare me, to be honest. I think they match up very well with us. I think that GX can do a lot of damage as well, but our organization is where we will be able to pull through against the likes of them and Rogue. Ghost put in a ton of time, historically I have always had trouble beating that core of players. So they are the ones I am worried about, because I know what to expect from GX and Rogue. Ghost will sometimes play like us where I might say "I feel like rushing B seven times in a row", that is what scares me about them.

You yourself have history with that team as you coached them for a bit, do you think that will help you against them?

I think it might help them against me more, because when I was coaching them I was IGLing. Then I kinda got screwed over, to put it lightly. But I think it is also a great story for me, because I may have a chance to knock them down to MDL, so I'm excited for that chance.

A lot of the teams here are kind of experiencing roster hell right now, any thoughts on that?

I think it is just unlucky when the season ended, because we were wanting to try people out, but we have to wait until after this, because we have no idea what is going to happen. Obviously now we know we have to replace one person no matter what, so it makes it easier.

All these teams have now been solidifying their rosters, we lost Nick "alter" Jackson to Iceberg, Ryan "ryan" Welsh to Swole Patrol, and Jake "kaboose" McDonald and Tyson "TenZ" Ngo to ex-Naventic. So we lost a lot of the options we wanted to try and play with because everyone else is already getting ready for next season.

Being a team that has come up through the ranks so quickly, what does it mean for you guys to be here?

I honestly don't think [my teammates] comprehend it yet. As somebody who has played for years and not been to a LAN like this ever, I don't think they really understand how special it is. They know what is going on, but it won't click until we start playing. We'll have the chance to play one of the best Australian teams, Space Soldiers, possibly the winner of AGO and eXtatus if we perform against Rise.

It's a cool experience, like when I got to play TyLoo in SoCal, which was the first international team I got to play. I think they are excited, my worry is nerves, to see how well we all stay put together.

This MDL Finals match represents the next wave of North American talent, yourselves and Rise. Who do you think some of the players or teams after that will be?

I really think Iceberg is a sleeper team. I have a ton of a respect for Warren "hades" Rettich, I think he is a good IGL and gets a lot of shit he doesn't deserve. As much as I hate Eric "kwong" Kwong, I think his team has a good chance to do damage if they can put it together. Josh "oSee" Ohm is by far the most underrated player outside of Pro, Blake "Strings" Stringer is a monster. Ghost Academy has a chance, depending on their leadership.

I think AZIO are really going to shock some people, we've played against them a couple times. Other people I talk to say they aren't that good, so I don't know if they just match up against us well. They are a Midwest team, so I have LAN'ed against a lot of them. I really feel like they are going to have a chance. JackRyan is very similar to myself, except he watches a hundred times more demos than me — it's incredible.

And FRENCH CANADIANS, if they would ever stick together.

SoaR are currently waiting to play Rise Nation, with a spot in the next season of ESL Pro League on the line. The result of the match will also impact which group the teams are placed in for the main competition, which will take place tomorrow.

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