Singapore World Cup team: National Service, Contenders experience and T500 plays
NS: National Service
One of the hardest part of trialling Singapore talents is the scheduling aspect. All Singaporean men 18 and above have to report for a 2-years mandatory stint in the military(NS). Where they were posted, when they had to report into service; all this had to be accounted for during the player selection process. It meant flexibility(or the lack of it) in future scrims and it also affected how much time they had to queue in the competitive ladder- to brush up their skills.
Additional things I noted were: players who had been grinding in recent Contenders teams + players who grinded the ladder recently and hit a high rank in different servers. The latter was important in a small server like ours- being able to hit >4200 on the Korean and NA servers showed fundamentally solid mechanical prowess. Being a ladder god meant little for bigger regions with a selection of players from OWL and the T2 scenes, but in Singapore, it showed a certain measure of mechanics.
For the tanks, I decided on Sachokk and Xenofly. Both had immense Contenders experience; much more than anyone else in the same role. Both are also in teams that have made it to Contenders playoffs this season. Czwc as main tank was a potential pick and he had improved tremendously since I last saw him play a year back. I am also impresssed by Czwc’s dedication to improve; he plays a lot in the NA server and has reached >4100 with 200 ping- not an easy feat. Once, before the Gladiators scrims, I saw him in Shaz’s game and even the other coaches have remarked on seeing “that Singaporean friend of yours” in their GM games. (The Singapore accent is a very obvious one) Similarly, Infectious as a flex tank had went through incredible improvement since I last coached him in 2017/2018. He’s also really hardworking; approaching experienced players and coaches for VOD reviews to up the level of his play.
In the end, Sachokk and Xenofly’s experience shone through with their shotcalling and consistent mechanics. One of the hardest thing to do is not to pop off but to remain consistently competent throughout scrims. That consistency coupled with recent high level experience was the key reason in both being selected for the final 7. Many times, they would also be the ones rallying the team through a lost fight.
In the 7 players selected, 3 are dps players. Because of our small trialling pool of players, I felt it was more important in the upcoming meta of 2/2/2 that the Singapore team had to have more players with the capability of playing a wide selection of projectile and hitscan characters between the three of them. Unlike the tank department, none of the dps players had much experience in the last two seasons of Contenders. There were guys who headshotted a little more than the other guys and there were guys who communicated a little more than other guys. Unfortunately, the dps department was also an area where there were a lot of people reporting to NS(National Service) and that was a factor in the final decision. In the end, while accounting for NS, I chose the players who performed the most consistently throughout losses and wins. That would be Akame, Yuris and Bubblekitty.
Azalea was a potential candidate. His calm shot-calling and mechanical prowess made him a powerful dps player. However, his enlistment this year into our military made it hard to pick him. I hope one day it would be easier to defer your enlistment when you have to represent your country. This isn’t the first time someone got chosen over another because of NS; regardless, he played well in scrims and would have been in the final three otherwise.
In Support picks, I went for Jerviss and Zeonflux. Jerviss’ shotcalling was the strongest out of the candidates. He made the correct decisions and made sure character swaps to a different comp for each map were accurate and powerful.
He’s also the only one that has Contenders experience in both the Pacific and Chinese region. Similarly, Zeonflux has vast Contenders experience; he’s currently playing for Global Esports and his team has made it into the current Playoffs for Pacific Contenders.
The other players contesting for the support roles(Vips, Ayako and Savior) are all good players in their own ways and that made the support role the hardest one to decide on. Ultimately, if two players played similarly(in mechanics and in how they comms), I went for the player with more experience.
OWWC is a high tempo LAN environment and having competitive experience has shown itself to be one of the most important things in a player’s repertoire. That being said, any player in the 12 men should be proud of themselves for being the best players in Singapore. We are a small but proud community and I am confident that any 6 out of these 12 players could make a deep run into Pacific Contenders. Selecting the final 7 was really hard for me and that IS a good thing- it meant there were such a large number of competent players that I really had to think through each and every decision.