The first PUBG Global event of the year has come and gone with a flurry of some of the best matches we have ever seen. Some teams performed above expectations and some teams performed well below, but one thing that was obvious to anyone that has watched any of the competitive scene this year, to be consistently competitive in the new world of PUBG, you need far more than just the ability to click heads. With that in mind, I asked 6 pro players 5 questions to see what they were thinking heading into Phase 2 of the NPL in less than a week. The players that I managed to get the thoughts of are…
Adam from the second best team in the world - Shoot to Kill (now Lazarus).
Valliate, from the team that was the closest to making it to London without actually going - Why Tempt Fate
Miccoy, from a team that struggled early and came on strong at the end of Phase 1 - Ghost
wo1f, from a team that were strong early and struggled at the end of Phase 1 - Endemic
TaylorJay, from a team that went into the relegation battle and survived - eUnited
LosHD, from a team that fought their way up from the Contenders League last season - Mustache Dave (now The Rumblers)
Here’s what they said…
1. What, if anything, is different about your approach to phase 2, compared to how you approached phase 1?
Adam: Our approach doesn't change. We practice to learn and play to win. We will only improve going into phase 2.
Valliate: Our approach to Phase 2 is going to be a little bit different in the sense of gearing all our attention to the new point structure and playing a heavy risk reward style which plays into our strong suits more as a team actually. In Phase 1 we had the new point system in mind when making a lot of our decisions but in the end a lot of decisions were made half way in the sense of not fully committing to our old playstyle pre kill heavy point system and not fully committing to the very aggressive playstyle that this point system rewards. We are definitely on the right track but just need to tweak a few things in certain situations.
Miccoy: We have a new IGL (Me) before it was like me and Frolicer co-IGLing and causing some issues because we would want to do different things sometimes. I’d say also the team now clicks a lot better and Shrimzy’s personality fits in very well! We will be more aggressive and not play edge as much.
wo1f: Approaching phase 2, we made a player and a coach change. Hoping some new staffing with some new up and coming talent help us moving into phase 2. We would like to be a much more aggressive and confident team in phase 2.
TaylorJay: Our team’s approach for phase 2 is similar but I will say we are way more focused and taking it more seriously. We wanna show up this phase and get a top 3 placement.
LosHD: Phase1 we played NPLC and phase2 we made it to NPL with the "big boys". Approach is pretty much the same, play your own game and give it 100% every game. There is no room for slacking or rookie mistakes anymore.
2. What other leagues have you been watching and what have you learnt?
Adam: We've been watching all the other world leagues, especially leading up to the FGS, and we learned a ton about how other regions go about the game. The lessons we learned on the global stage will only make us a better team amongst our own region.
Valliate: As of right now during the offseason we took a bit of a break to refresh our minds so we can come back with full focus and not burnt out. We have watched a bit of the Global Faceit event in London, but we are going to start heavily looking into different playstyles from different teams that we don't play against to see if we can implement something from these aggressive teams that can suit our playstyle. After going deep into vod review in the coming weeks we will definitely make some adjustments if we see things that we feel suits us well.
Miccoy: I personally have only watched only a little of PEL and FGS but don’t really take much away from it since it seems the meta/playstyle is very different in each region
wo1f: We have been watching all of the NPL vods, other main pro leagues (PKL, PCL, PEL), and the Faceit Global Summit to see what we can learn about different playstyles and how to play different circles from where we loot on the maps.
TaylorJay: I've been watching PEL and Faceit a bunch and watching how these teams play. I’m learning new spots and new pushes that teams might do to get into zone.
LosHD: I’ve been following PEL, PKR and PKC. I think PEL teams are still trying to figure out the meta except for teams like Liquid, ENCE and few others. Korean teams are super aggressive and it feels like sometimes they are taking unnecessary fights early game.
3. Who is the best fragger in NA, that's not currently on your team?
Adam: Best fragger NA is Coach Didz, I mean have you seen the guy play? Nutter.
Valliate: I would have to say Sharky, ever since he joined Tempo and had a solid support system behind him that differs from some of his previous teams he has definitely stood out as one of the best fraggers in the scene for sure.
wo1f: There are too many really good fraggers to say for sure, but Shinboi who is currently only 16 years old will most likely be the best fragger in the game when he turns 18 and is able to compete. He has insane raw mechanical skill.
TaylorJay: Man that’s tough, there are so many good NA players right now. I'd have to say Sharky or Kaymind. They have been showing great stats and have great aim.
LosHD: I can’t name just one because all these players have different playstyle. But my picks would be Sharky, Hetror and Venerated.
4. Where do you think is the best loot spot (ignoring clashes) on either map for comp games?
Adam: Anything central is the best, but it also depends on the style of your team. On Erangel, Pochinki is king. On Miramar, Hacienda is king.
Valliate: The best loot spot on Erangel would in my opinion have to be Pochinki for sure. It has fast rotations, decent car spawns, good loot, and has a lot of empty space around it allowing for safe rotations early game. The best loot spot on Miramar would have to be Pecado for very similar reasons. It has great loot, multiple car spawns, and is connected to pretty much all the main roads allowing for fast rotations especially in a map like Miramar which if you don't have safe access to main roads you will be stuck rotating for ages taking long road routes or terrain routes
Miccoy: On Erangel, Pochinki because you have the shortest rotates to 9/10 zones and can usually guarantee yourself a good spot in zone. Miramar I’d say either Power Grid or Minas Generales just because you start off on high ground and can see plenty of stuff around you right off the start of the game.
wo1f: Pochinki is by far the best loot spot in the game. Decent car spawns and free rotates to almost every possible circle in the map earlier than others as well as being able to reach easily from any plane path due to it being in the middle of the map. Pecado is equally as strong as Miramar for the same reasons.
TaylorJay: The best loot spot on Erangel would be eUnited loot spot or Yasnaya. The best loot spot on Miramar would be Hacienda or San Martin
LosHD: Erangel I have to say either Pochinki or Yasnaya and Miramar it’s probably "Hacienda split" or Chumacera.
5. If you could change just ONE thing about comp PUBG what would it be?
Adam: More nades, we need more nades.
Valliate: I would change some things with the circle algorithm relating to so many heavy hard shifts. It's very hard for me right now to suggest a specific change that would make everything better without trialling a few things or messing with a few different algorithms, so I don't have a proper answer on how to fix this issue without saying something as unhelpful as "NO MORE HARDSHIFTS" because hardshifts in my opinion are definitely a part of the game that I feel is good. It creates a lot more of an in depth game when it comes to playstyles, decisions and strategies, however, I would definitely like to see them toned down and not have four hard shifts late game back to back.
Miccoy: Add money as a reward for winning games to maybe make it so people don’t die to blue in the 1v3s or 2v4s at the end of games. The more incentives for trying to win in every situation the better!
wo1f: Competitive PUBG just needs to be better advertised. It seems like a lot of the public just doesn't know it exists. The competitive settings make the game so much better than the stock version and I wish more people saw and found interest.
TaylorJay: I would add better plane paths or some way that everyone can get to their loot spot without losing timing or not having vehicles
LosHD: Remove lvl1 helmet, armor and backpack.
So there you have it!
It’s easy to see why the fight for Pochinki lasted the whole way through the FGS now, and certain players, (including an up and coming player and even a coach!) look like they may have targets on their backs for the foreseeable future!
Phase 2 of the PUBG NPL starts on the 4th of May and is broadcast live on Twitch, so don’t forget to check it out!