January 18, 2018, 05:11:43 AM
USEast: Central Europe: Moscow: Beijing:

Calendar

Schedule your match and veto map choices!
M98 (bet)
Jan 21
12:00 EST / 18:00 CET

Forum

Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 48154
  • Total Topics: 2633
  • Online Today: 13
  • Online Ever: 155
  • (October 10, 2013, 03:12:08 PM)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 15
Total: 15

Author Topic: [Interview]From Tinker to Champ  (Read 1594 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline FML|Mage

  • FML Bets Season 1 Winner
  • Administrator
  • Super-Blademaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4147
  • Total likes: 32
    • View Profile
  • B.net Account: practice_mage
  • Coins: 100
  • Country: USA
  • Race: Night Elf
[Interview]From Tinker to Champ
« on: July 21, 2014, 10:27:09 PM »
Mage: First off Mog, I'd just like to say congratulations on winning your first FML Season!  It certainly doesn't seem like that long ago that we had this hunt massing Tinker first maniac running around the maps harassing the hell out of players.  But as with everything else in life, time flies and the players mature.  I think I can speak for the rest of the community when I say it's been a pleasure seeing your game type evolve, and I expect we'll be seeing it go even further soon.  So, without further ado;

Mage: How did you first find out about FML, and when did you start playing?
Mog[Skynet]: I first found out about FML from sir Worpex. I, like many others, switched over to SC2 when it first came out, and after about 6-8 months I started really missing WC3, and getting really bored/frustrated with SC2. I started playing WC3 a little again, but didn't know where to play since bnet was overrun with hackers and all my old friends had moved on to SC2 or just stopped playing entirely. I don't remember how, but I ran into Worpex randomly and he told me they needed more players for the upcoming season of FML (It was Season 13), so I checked out the site, applied, and was accepted straight into the season! I had known Worpex for many years, having played for him in solo leagues for one of his old teams, and also having played in his old league WCO. I'm sure after my first match of the season, where I tinker hunt rushed SteppinRazer on Deathrose, then got flamed for the remainder of the game before finishing in 4th place, he regretted his decision of inviting me to the league, but I'm thankful he gave me the chance!  :icon_biggrin:
Mage: So, after your rough beginning to the FFA Masters League, what were your impressions for the rest of Season 10?  I presume that you didn't get flamed every game... hopefully
Mog[Skynet]:    Well...it was season 13 I believe. But I don't really remember much of the rest of that season. I think I consistently finished in 3rd place and I don't think I got flamed much for the rest of the season. I had a very quick change in play style, and rather than being hyper aggressive solo player, I became super passive hoarder. That didn't work out either, because I was too passive, but didn't get flamed much because people would just tome me.
Mage: Speaking of your interesting play styles, you were pretty well known for a long time as a Tinker first player.  How did that start?
Mog[Skynet]:    Hmm... I don't really remember when it first started. I just really liked the Tinker, even in solo leagues back in the day I would go Tinker first in a lot of different matchups. I think it began because I hit a wall in solo, where my mechanics simply weren't good enough to get any better, so i took a creative route and tried to develop a unique play style to catch players off guard. It didn't really work out too well for me in solo, but I became pretty good with Tinker, so I just kept using him. Once I switched primarily to Elf, I would mass hunt rush every race, and would pick Tinker first when vs HU only. When I started playing FFA, it just seemed normal for me to pick Tinker, because I wasn't comfortable doing anything but massing hunts, and I knew my play with standard hero combinations would be subpar because I never really played with standard hero combinations.
Mage: And how did playing with a Tinker work out for you in FFA?  I've seen some very mixed play with it, but it would seem to mesh better with Human if I'm being honest.
Mog[Skynet]:    Clearly, at first it didn't work out for me at all. But I don't think it was necessarily the Tinker's fault, I think it was more my lack of FFA knowledge and ability. I still tried to use the Tinker like I did in solo, using him in big battles, where I would end up losing because that isn't utilizing the Tinker's strengths properly (as Persuade pointed out to me on a large number of occasions). Once I adapted my play style a bit, Tinker started working out better for me. He is really great at creeping early game, and securing a lot of easy early expansions. So on a lot of big FFA maps, I can often times creep Tinker up to level 4 or 5 with relative ease, then I just have to gain a little bit of experience through engagements before level 6, where Tinker turns into a powerhouse. I really like Tinker because he gives me the ability to win a game, even if I'm losing a lot of big fights, or behind in hero levels, or even behind in gold. Tinker has the ability to win a game singlehandedly, and with Elf, it allows the possibility of hiding trees and securing a win through building kills. You aren't wrong about Tinker meshing well with Hu, because Hu can easily hide behind mass towers and use Tinker, and mixed with tanks that can be a total nightmare for any player. But since I don't play Hu... I think he meshes well with NE also.
Mage: Fair enough, but I've noticed that recently your play style hasn't included a Tinker in it.  What's the reasoning behind that, and do you think we might see a reappearance of the Tinker any time in the future?
Mog[Skynet]: I came to the conclusion that if I was ever going to be successful in FFA, I couldn't be a one trick pony, so to speak. I do still use Tinker, and if I recall correctly I won some games this past season with Tinker, including the semi-final. I think I definitely gained a reputation as just another hoarding Elf who avoids fighting all game until I can just win with mass gold or through building kills with tree hiding and lots of rebuilding etc. I'm not saying that reputation was wrong, but I wanted to do away with it by mixing up my play style more. I think by playing other strategies and utilizing other play styles, I improved my game and became more successful. So yes, the Tinker will still make appearances, but I can't say I will use him every game, because I don't want to be a predictable player who does basically the same thing every game. I want to be more well-rounded, so other players don't always know what to expect from me.
Mage: Which makes a lot of sense, and probably has a lot to do with your improvement as a player. 
Mage:  Along those lines, what do you attribute your progress as a player to?
Mog[Skynet]: I don't think I can attribute it to any one thing, because there were many things that helped me improve, and still help me improve. First, I listened to the feedback the more solid players of the community gave to me. My first few matches, I was lost. I had FFA experience on bnet ladder, but FML was a whole different challenge, and frankly, a whole different type of FFA than bnet ladder ever was. The constructive criticism players such as Magadansky, Renaud, Persuade, Wrecktify, and even Redkeekee (though his was more just criticism) gave me, really helped grow my understanding of FFA. Although it is going to sound really arrogant, I also have to attribute some progress to myself. I try to always have the mindset that I can learn and improve my game, and even though I don't necessarily practice playing games as much as others, I always take the time to watch my own replays, as well as replays of others. I watch my own replays to see ways in which I can improve. It is very revealing to know what was going through my own head while playing the game, and then seeing how wrong I was via replay. Early on, I would think I was in a good position, then watch replay and see I was getting manip'd hard by someone with 20+k more gold than me. My scouting and game sense were poor, and those are what I've always tried to improve on the most (and continue to try and improve). And of course I watch other players' replays to see their different playstyles, to see how they make decisions, and to find things I can take from their gameplay, and utilize in my own.
Mage: So let's go back a little bit to the end of Season 13.  I presume that you enjoyed FFA enough that you wanted to continue playing.  We know that you won this Season, and made the finals directly in Season 17, but what were some memorable moments in Seasons 14-16 for you?
Mog[Skynet]:   I don't have many memorable moments haha. Let's see... Season 14 I didn't qualify for. Then Season 15, my first memorable moment occured when I won my very first FML match in the qualifiers by beating DarkFlameMaster and Persuade. *disclaimer, that game Persuade basically suicided into DFM, and gave me the win, but it was memorble because I played decently and finally won a game! That game was also on Sanctuary, which kind of makes Sanctuary my favorite map. After qualifying, I didn't win a single game the whole season. And I honestly don't remember Season 16.... I don't think I won any games that season either. So... I didn't break through the wall until season 17. But I did very much enjoy playing the games and also being a part of the FML community, and in those seasons, albeit not very successful, I think I was slowly improving and learning a lot about FFA. It finally all came together for me in Season 17.
Mage: Hey, good things happen to good people and while it's not usually as abrupt as that you deserved it.  So, why don't you run me through Season 17 a little bit.  If I remember correctly you were pretty much dominating throughout the entire season points wise, and directly qualified for the finals.  What was your thought process going through that, and were you worried as we got closer to the finals?  Speaking as someone who has the sucking the entire season routine down, but not the first place run part, I can only imagine what type of nerves that might create.
Mog[Skynet]:    I think the biggest change for me in season 17 was my confidence. With the new format introducing so many players to the season, I felt like I had an advantage over a lot of players when it came to FFA sense and strategy. I don't remember exactly how the season played out, but I remember after winning my first match, I had a lot more confidence going into the rest of the season. When you get used to losing, or being in the middle of the pack (or bottom!), there is something about seeing your name in the top 8 section of the homepage and wanting to keep it there. Once I got to the top of the standings early in the season, it motivated me to practice more, put more effort into studying my own gameplay to see how I could improve, and studying maps and thinking more about my upcoming matches. Before season 17, I would see the match, maybe play the map 1 time, or maybe not even at all, and go into the game with no plan whatsoever, just telling myself I would adapt to however the game played out. In season 17, I started practicing the maps beforehand, learning about where the good item drops were, what a good creep pattern would be (especially with Tinker!), and going into the games with a plan. I would play out game scenarios in my head, like if player A spawns next to me, this is how I'll play, or if player B is cross map, I'll change my creep route to go this way instead of another. Those were aspects of FFA that I simply never put time or effort into thinking about, and in season 17, rather than letting other players impose their strategy of how they wanted the game to play out, I began to play my own game and force others to adapt.
I didn't really feel a lot of nerves until my last match on Gold Rush against Wrecktify, Ludix, and Svedirko. It was basically a Semi-final scenario, because the winner would directly qualify for finals and the losers would all play the Semi-final. That game I was very nervous, and the finals I was also very nervous, but the rest of the season I kept my nerves in check and just played my game.
Mage: While we certainly don't want to dwell on those finals instead of these, why don't you give us a quick run through of how they played out for those that didn't get to watch them.
Mog[Skynet]:   Well firstly, I hope most people didn't want them, because I played so terrible! I really let my nerves get the best of me, and the game didn't play out at all how I imagined. It was on Harvest of Sorrow and I spawned next to Seksi playing Undead. I knew Seksi wanted to tome me while staying low on supply so he could mass gold, and I also knew he would expect a 100 food chippo push, so I wanted to surprise him with a Lore rush. However, as many people know I don't hardly ever play Lore style elf, even in solo I never really went bear/dry. I ended up losing a 100 supply army charging into Seksi's heavily towered main base, and trying to fight in really bad choke points. After the initial lost engagement, I had a severe gold disadvantage and hero level disadvantage to Seksi, and so he did end up toming me rather easily. From that point on, I tried to rebuild constantly, but never really had the resources or time to do it. When j33 won, I told myself that could have been me if I had just kept my cool and played smarter. I told myself I would practice harder and if I had the opportunity to play in the finals again I would use this experience and learn from it. Thankfully, history did not repeat itself (even though it almost did!).
Mage: While I'm sure that you probably would have rather just won that finals, I suspect that the finals and the entire season probably taught you quite a bit.  For some of our newer players what words of advice might you give from lessons learned here.
Mog[Skynet]:    Some lessons I learned would be to keep a cool head and not let your frustrations get the best of you. As a competitive person, there were a lot of points in past season where I got extremely frustrated from losing so much, but rather than flaming others, or blaming inbalances, I looked at my own game and tried to evaluate how I could improve. Honestly, it sucks looking at your own games in replays, especially games you know you played poorly, but a person can learn a lot from looking at their own game. The other lesson I've learned, is tied to the first. Through looking at your own game you can see your own strengths and weaknesses as a player. The great thing about the FFA gametype is you have the ability to build your own playstyle around your strengths. I play with a wrist brace on my right hand (my mouse hand), because I have carpal tunnel. I know I will never be able to improve my apm or micro, because of my physical limitations. So I looked at what I do well, and tried to improve my playstyle around those strengths. I think some players get stuck in this mindset like "I will never be able to micro like (insert solo pro player here), so I will never be a good FFA player". But that is wrong. Look at past FML champions like myself, J33, Renaud, etc. as examples of players who don't have the best micro, but still find ways to be successful by adapting our playstyles around our strengths. P.S. no offense to J33 or Renaud, I think they are both great players! But yeah we don't have as good micro as champions like Maga, Rain, or Wrecktify.
Mage: Wise words, and something I think a lot of our players could focus on, even the solo pros in the league.  After finishing off Season 17, what were your goals coming into Season 18.  I presume that winning it all was goal number one, but how about some different goals along the way, perhaps based off of what you had previously learned.
Mog[Skynet]:    I knew with the smaller field of players, that Season 18 would be a bigger challenge. My goal was to make it back to the finals. I almost finished last in my first round on Twilight ruins, but with some luck I managed to pull out a come from behind win. After winning the first match of the season, I thought I really had a chance at making it back to the finals if I kept practicing hard. I wanted to prove to people I wasn't just a lucky hoarding elf, but a real competitor who could potentially win any game I was thrown into. That was my main goal of the season, and I thought if I made it back to the finals I would achieve that. Then winning was even more awesome!
Mage: Well, I would say that it worked out and then some! 
Mage: Now that you've won a season of FML, what are you setting your sites on as your next big accomplishment?
Mog[Skynet]: I'm a very competitive person, and I am not satisfied with just winning one season. I know I can still improve a lot as a player, and that my game has a lot of holes in it. I don't view myself even as a top tier FFA player. I think Wrecktify, Persuade, Seksi, and Ludix are the best right now, and I still feel like I need to work more to get on their level. So that is where my sites are set. I really want to perform well again next season--to prove to myself and others I am not just a flash in the pan, but can be consistently good, rather than consistently lucky!   
Mage: I think I've taken up enough of your time so far, but could I interest you in a quick word association game before we go?
Mog[Skynet]:   bring it on!
Mage: Okay, I presume you know the rules.  I say one word and you say the first word that pops into your head. 
Mage: Warcraft
 Mog[Skynet]: Tinker
Mage: Asian
Mog[Skynet]: Moon
Mage: Sun
Mog[Skynet]:   Moon
 Mage: Travel
Mog[Skynet]:   Ireland
Mage: FML
Mog[Skynet]:   Worpex
Mage: Worpex
Mog[Skynet]:   FML
Mage: Heat
Mog[Skynet]:   Miami
Mage: Google
Mog[Skynet]: Chrome
Mage: FIFA
Mog[Skynet]: World Cup
Mog[Skynet]:   Pinballmap
Mog[Skynet]:   Germany
Mage: And one last one that's not really a word association, but what's your prediction for who will win this years world cup!?
Mog[Skynet]:    Netherlands! I was rooting for them last season (after USA was eliminated of course). This year they are out for revenge.  Last season... I mean last world cup of course
Mage: Haha well for us Americans the season really is only every 4 years!  Just kidding. 
Mage: Any shoutouts or acknowledgements you'd like to give?
Mog: I would like to give a shoutout to the whole FFA community, who make this game fun and competitive still even after all these years. To all the admins, who run this awesome league. To Worpex, for giving me the chance to compete in this league even when I was an awful FFA players. And for everyone I've become friends with who have helped me improve and grow as a FFA player. Especially to Persuade, and Wrecktify, who I look up to the most as players and who have probably taught me the most. And I would like to give a shoutout to Mage, who is a great admin, and who I enjoy shoutcasting with when our schedules allow for it.
Mage: Many thanks for taking the time to do this Mog, hopefully we'll be seeing you back here before too long if all goes according to your plans!
Please like my post and not Wreck's.

Offline Persuade

  • FML Champion
  • Super-Blademaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1806
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
  • B.net Account: persuade
  • Coins: 100
  • Country: Lativa
  • Race: Random
Re: [Interview]From Tinker to Champ
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 01:11:11 PM »
okay for the n'teenth time,

wreck and me were on peace and he backstabbed me, it was not a suicide

Offline FML|red7z7

  • Administrator
  • Super-Blademaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1203
  • Total likes: 39
    • View Profile
  • B.net Account: red7z7
  • Coins: 189
  • Country: USA
  • Race: Undead
Re: [Interview]From Tinker to Champ
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 01:20:58 PM »
Good interview. I especially liked the parts about how Mog stepped up his game with increased amounts of planning and analysis of maps/matchups. Mog is clearly one of the top players now and that is a good illumination of the reasons for it.

Offline Searcher_FF

  • Shaman
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
  • B.net Account: Searcher_FF
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Race: Undead
Re: [Interview]From Tinker to Champ
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 03:20:07 AM »
Mog maybe is the only player who takes FML seriously now. Much respect!

Offline FML|WorpeX

  • Administrator
  • Super-Blademaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4002
  • Total likes: 138
  • Crypt Lord King
    • View Profile
  • B.net Account: WorpeX
  • Coins: 141
  • Country: USA
  • Race: Undead
Re: [Interview]From Tinker to Champ
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 07:37:49 AM »
Awesome interview!!! :D Really enjoyed this one.

Offline fow

  • Grunt
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
  • B.net Account: fow12
  • Coins: 100
  • Country: USA
  • Race: Orc
Re: [Interview]From Tinker to Champ
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 08:57:22 PM »
mog and mage. ever since i came around season 10. i always got you two mixed up. your names for some reason in my head always got mixed up lol. anyways good interview mage. and mog too. i watched the games. mog has the best rebuilding skill ever.

Offline FML|Mage

  • FML Bets Season 1 Winner
  • Administrator
  • Super-Blademaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4147
  • Total likes: 32
    • View Profile
  • B.net Account: practice_mage
  • Coins: 100
  • Country: USA
  • Race: Night Elf
Re: [Interview]From Tinker to Champ
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 10:30:08 PM »
@Pers uh huh, sure yeah.  Whatever you say buddy

@Searcher I wouldn't say he's the only one to take it seriously, however I think it might be fair to say he puts in the most effort to study his upcoming matches, practice specific routes, etc.  And, it is absolutely showing.

@Red Completely agree.  I know you missed when Mog first started, but the change has been pretty incredible.

@Worp Yeah, much better than that one I did with the FML founder :P

@Fow Thanks!  It's nice to be confused with Mog and not Maga for a change.  Though I'm pretty sure Maga is simply because of the name and not because of my awesome skill with Undead...
Please like my post and not Wreck's.