Gorgeous, formerly known as 1DINK, is the only North American team that qualified for the ESL Winter League 2016. The roster fields long-term players, and new players alike, with various competitive experiences. Undoubtedly the best team NA can muster at this current period of time.
We took to ImJekel on his take of his own team, their chances on ESL, and his thoughts on the NA scene. Find out his thoughts in the interview below. 1DINK have changed their name to Gorgeous, but for the purpose of this interview, we will reference their old name.
What is 1DINK's history in AVA? Not many are aware of when and how 1DINK formed?
I started 1DINK as a casual clan and we still have a lot of casual players in the clan currently. As many of my friends from past clans started coming back to the game we slowly developed a more competitive squad. However, we really had no intentions to play ESL seriously after our first outing went poorly due to wire issues, and any attempts to play after that left us without enough players to compete. When we competed in the Winter CCS we received a lot of hackusations, with people saying things like "lets see you do that in esl", or calling us match channel heroes and we found ourselves beating top teams quite often, so we decided to compete to both prove ourselves and find out where we stand.
1DINK is the only NA team to make the Winter League. How does being the only NA representation add to the pressure of doing well in the event?
I don't think it adds to the pressure at all, none of us are really concerned about that. We do hope our run in this league inspires more NA teams to take part and work on improving their own teams.
What do you think of the NA scene currently, and how could it be improved? Do you think ESL does enough for the NA community?
The NA scene is in a terrible state and needs a lot of help to get back to something that resembles competitive. I think a lot of people tend to focus on bringing players back to the game who used to play, but honestly I feel that will never truly happen. If we want the scene to improve whats left of the NA competitive players need to focus on teaching new talent how to play much like our team has done. As far as ESL, I don't think enough is being done to help the scene. Building new players and teams takes time and there are a lot of NA players out there, just not many that are on the same level as the top EU teams right now. Having our own tournaments, even with smaller prize pools would certainly help, because I feel a lot of the teams don't sign up because they know they are going to get wrecked by teams like Global and Celsia so why bother. As for things that would help the NA players, not being allowed to play a single map on our server is a huge blow to us as a team, our scope for example plays with over 150 ping vs 1 ping scopes from EU; he's at a huge disadvantage. It is also a deterrent to any other NA teams that might want to compete in the next league.
Your team has strong individual players like Brev and Studlock. How do these players contribute to your overall team style?
Brev is our IGL, on offense being one of our strongest rifles/second scope we try to get him in a position to get opening picks. Stud tends to play more of a backup role and tries to stay alive to defend the site/catch rotates after the set. Having that shared experience in the team between the 2 of them really helps the rest of us play better. Style wise we really don't have a set style we try to play as we feel is needed to get the win. Sometimes you will see us play more aggressively and sometimes more passively, whichever we feel will work better for us.
Speaking of players, what is the full lineup for your team and each player's specific role?
Imjekel is the entry fragger and PM/backup rifle. 1shotKING is the lurker and backup rifle. Studlock is the main scope. Brev is the in-game leader, and is a backup scope. kanklto entry frags. NoSoundBro is another entry fragger and backup rifle.
1DINK is sitting in Group B. You'll be competing against a top two team (Global) head on, and you will have the likes of SyroN and Hollows to contend with. How is 1DINK going to prepare for these teams?
Practice, going into the qualifier we didn't go over strats or practice at all we played strictly off game sense and the buddy system. We plan to work on that during the course of the league, setting default strats and positions for the team on all maps. We also want to focus on taking advantage of our teamwork; we try to make our strong side of any map be the more difficult side using teamwork to bring us ahead in those situations - like you saw on Hammer Blow (offense)/Cannon (defense) vs RokaHeat.
We saw 1DINK perform at a top level on Cannon in the January 5on5 Cup, however, on most other maps 1DINK suffered large losses (7-2, 7-1...etc). How are Bo5 matches going to effect 1DINK's capabilities?
I don't feel that is a fair statement, out of 3 maps vs RokaHeat we won 1 and almost beat them on their best map. We did falter on Hammer Blow but I feel our lack of practice and setting up defaults for the maps hurt us. Our offense was really strong we just weren't sure what spots we all needed to play on defense and it lost us the map. We did play poorly vs Nefaste on India but most of us had very little sleep and we practiced none beforehand and that hurt us a few times during the tournament due to poor setups/team confusion. We just need to take some time to setup default strats for both offense and defense for all maps and we will do just fine in the 5 map format.
What do you think of the Winter League compared to the standard cups? Do you think this Winter League is better for the few NA teams than just standard two day cups?
I think it's very nice we can schedule matches for different times when possible, however the normal cups allowed split server rules which is far more beneficial to NA teams than making scheduling issues easier.
Any final shoutouts?
Shoutout to all the 1DINK guys and misspistol :D, and shoutout to the NA competitive players stop clan hopping and making pug teams for tournaments, find a group of 5 and work on your team play and strats and start representing in competition again.