Australian esports organisation Mindfreak recently took out the APAC Six Invitational Qualifiers for Rainbow Six: Siege in Sydney. We threw a few questions at Ethan “Riz Raz” Wombwell and Connor “Kngz” Wickham to find out how they prepared for this tournament and what they’ve got in store for the next stage.
How do you go about team selections for a tournament like the APAC International Qualifiers?
Ethan “Riz Raz” Wombwell: We make sure we are putting 100 per cent into everything, whether it be in our practice or in our game days. As of right now we stand on top of APAC due to our integrity and commitment.
What does your diet look like in the lead up to an event like this?
Ethan: Our diet is pretty comfortable – we don’t force anyone to eat something they wouldn’t at home, although we always try to make sure it’s healthy.
What about your schedule – how many hours of the game would you put in per day?
Ethan: As a team we play close to six hours together, although individually we would put in almost two hours alone working on aim and movement.
How do you stay focused over multiple days of competition?
Ethan: We always aim to try and forget about the previous days, we take our mistakes into account and move on to focus on the new day like it’s Day 1, resetting ourselves in a sense.
Do you get much time to celebrate your win afterwards, or is it straight back into the grind?
Ethan: We usually take a couple days to relax and celebrate, but the grind never stops when you want to be champions.
How do you think Australian esports differs from that of overseas markets, especially in terms of the skill levels? Do you think you’ll be at a disadvantage overseas?
Connor “Kngz” Wickham: Australian esports is definitely behind the rest of the world; the organisations are less funded than international teams, which means little to no boot camps overseas to train against our competition. The connection between, say North America and Australia, online makes it very hard to practice against them at home. We will definitely be at a disadvantage compared to those that get to practice against the teams competing, but we will still put in all the effort we can and go for gold.
What kind of research do you do on the competition going into a new tournament?
Connor: We watch the previous games of all the teams competing at the event to find similarities and odd strategies used and try to prepare counter strategies.
How are you planning on preparing for Montreal?
Connor: A lot of team practice, watching the teams we are expecting to verse and scrim the teams we can.
Without giving too much away, what kind of gameplan are you looking at?
Connor: We will spend the next few weeks looking over VODs (videos on demand), which is gameplay of the other teams from their respective qualifiers, and try and decipher their game plan, from there we will look to counter what they do. But in the end, a lot of our strategy comes mid-round, when we have to adapt to the enemy’s movements and kills that occur during the game.
What’s the goal for Mindfreak in 2018?
Connor: Mindfreak’s goal for this year is to remain the top team in APAC and to really show the rest of the world at invitationals that APAC is a force to be reckoned with, and we deserve to be competing with the best.