An Interview with Stuart “Mezy” Tufft of Team Viral ahead of his team attending Gallantry LAN in Budapest.
Hello Stuart, I hope you are doing well. Let’s start by talking about Major Update 2. Bulkhead have been running and tweaking the MU2 beta a fair bit over the past few weeks, what do you think about the changes that have been made?
The changes are extremely positive and a definite step in the right direction. It’s been up in arms whether the timing was/is correct, in terms of practising for a major tournament. The general feel of the game will appeal much more to spectators, but I feel the level that the players/teams are able to achieve may be lesser and not truly reflect the high skill cap that B44 provides.
Imagery courtesy of Team Viral
In terms of competitive Battalion, what do you think MU2 brings that MU1 did not?
Competitive Battalion hasn’t changed a massive amount. The only change that I see noteworthy is that of the economy system. The older version felt like it fit the game well but perhaps didn’t lend itself to portraying an interesting narrative as opposed to previous, where everyone had similar weapons regardless of the outcome of each round. There is much more swing in terms of momentum when it comes to winning rounds (much like CS) which could make games snowball. It’s definitely worth mentioning the SMG’s which now feel like they have a place in the game, which I expect will play a big part in the upcoming Gallantry LAN.
You and your teammates competed quite a lot during MU1, how has your team adapted to the changes brought in by MU2?
Our team has adapted well. We have intentionally set as much time apart from our day to day lives to playing time in. I personally think that the top teams will be the ones who put in the hard work in terms of man-hours and not those who have come complacent in their current standings. The game is at such an early point in its life cycle that it’s more about putting the time in learning the specifics of the game and the engine. Change is inevitable in a modern game that looks to appeal to a specific audience. I feel that the need for communication and confidence in your teammates is going to be paramount. Here at Viral, we are all friends who have stuck together through the teething stages of early Battalion. We are extremely confident going forward in MU2.
Your team has stuck together with no changes since after i62 when Hecka joined. Have you been able to build up good chemistry over this time?
As for me, Mehpixl and Hecka all played COD4 together the transition was second nature. We have always had chemistry, we all have great friendships in and out of the game. We looked to bring in Hecka for i62 however due to personal commitments it wasn’t possible. We are all like-minded individuals which go a long way in how we see the game.
We are getting close to the Gallantry Budapest LAN, what are you guys doing to prepare for the big event?
We have spent time going through how we want to play specifics of each map and the general approach we want to take in terms of aggression. We have created a team identity. We’re all extremely committed to the cause of winning this LAN. As I said before we’ve looked to put in as much time as possible both practising and theorising. Topping that off we are going to boot camp a few days prior to the event.
Mezy for Team Viral at i62
Back at i62, you played very close matches against Endpoint and Avenue, both of whom made it to the final. Are guys looking to redeem yourselves in Budapest?
Redeeming ourselves sounds quite negative, we put up good performances but just fell short. I see those games as learning experiences and motivation. That feeling of disappointment after a loss lingers long after the end of the game, which as I say, drives me to perform better. I hate losing but I feel specifically that has gone a long way in terms of our growth as a team. At i62 we struggled to be consistent, we have put all of our efforts into eliminating that aspect of our game. I am confident in our abilities and I feel like we have a strong chance to win the tournament, so we will have to beat all of the teams that we come against. Endpoint will be a good match (both mainly English teams too) which should be good for spectators to watch but when it comes to avenue they have changed their whole roster so that’s just like playing against a whole new team.
There are quite a few top teams attending Gallantry, who do you think are the favourite(s) to take the title?
Team Viral. I think Endpoint also deserve a mention. I’m interested to see how Endpoint performs without J.
With so many teams attending there are a few teams that will surely be under looked, who do you think will turn out to be better than anticipated?
Personally, I haven’t been keeping track of teams who are attending. Viral have been mostly scrimming vs the top teams and we tend to focus on what team we are facing next.
Fair enough, well that is the end of the Interview. Thanks for joining me and good luck at Gallantry!
Thanks. I’m gonna to give my own twitter a plug @MezPlays it’s where shit goes down.