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The mentality and the skills of a winner! Interview with Gears pro player Crushmo!

Today is October 7 and some of you are already playing Gears of War 4. If you were not lucky enough to get an access code or you did not pre-order the ultimate edition that grants you access to the game before October 11th, we’ve got you covered! The hype is unreal! The launch of the game kicked off with a very exciting Gears of War 4: Live that went extremely well for The Coalition Studio and the fans of the Gears franchise. Before starting to cover blunt updates and news on what the game has to offer, let us focus our attention on Crushmo. He is part of the Enigma 6 team and will be competing in the Gears of War 4 launch invitational. Eight teams from four regions will be going head to head on October 22-23 in the MLG Columbus arena!

    Briefly, what is your personal story? How did you get into Gears?

It was a while ago. My best friend and his brother had an Xbox 360 and he had Gears of War 1.  I watched them play the campaign and thought the game looked good. After that, I started playing with my friends 1v1s and he was better than me. I am a competitive person and I didn’t like losing. I decided to get my own Xbox, practice and beat my friend at this game. That is how it started.

    I bet you’re really excited for Gears 4. What controller do you use and what are the sensitivity settings?

Of course, I am excited for Gears 4! Right now, I am using a regular scuf controller.  I play at a sensitivity of 12. All my settings are set at 12. It is one of the lowest sensitivity compared to the rest of the pro players. I also play alternate with the controller.

    Are you going to check out Gears 4 on PC? I am asking because the game can has cross-play between PC/Xbox even for LAN games.

I will check out the game on PC just because I love Gears of War and just out of pure curiosity. I am a console gamer and I will rather play it on the Xbox 1.

     What is your favorite Gears game, map and game type?

My favorite has to be Gears 2 because that is when I started to play competitively. It’s hard to pick a favorite map though. I think I will pick Jacinto as my favorite map. Execution would be an obvious pick because it’s a classic game type. In fact, it all started with execution. That is what Gears is all about.  However, I have played escalation and I enjoyed that game mode as well. I have to pick escalation because we played execution for such a long time and a change was more than needed. Escalation is exactly that! A necessary game type change that is going to take over.

    Do you think escalation is a good game mode for the competitive scene?

Definitely, yes. Escalation is made for competitive play. If you ask pro players if they enjoy it, if it is good or how is it going to work, I am sure they are going to give you answers on how it can be fixed or changed. However, overall this game type is great.

    What is your favorite weapon? What do you think about the weapon balancing in Gears 4?

I would have to say it is the shotgun/gnasher. After I get to play more of the game, I can give more information. In the beta, the pistol was useless, while the lancer was really strong compared to all the other weapons. Hopefully, the weapons will be well balanced.

    You are part of Enigma 6 team and you are going to compete in the GoW invitational on Oct. 22. Congratulations! Any expectations?

Right now we do not have information about who we are going to compete against. Not a lot of information is out concerning the settings. It is a new game for every team. At this point, anything can happen.

    If you can use one word to describe your team what would that word be?

It is a brand new team. Me and Noxious have been a duo for a while now. It is not the first time we would play together. Also, I have competed in event alongside Hudsonz. I believe it was called MES and we got second place. We have team work but to use one word? It is a bit difficult. Maybe chemistry.  That should be the word to describe my team right now.

    Do you think that people being able to play on PC, that will change the dynamics of the community? New platform, new people? What is your personal opinion on the matter?

I am open to accept new people in the Gears family. The people that do not have Xbox consoles are given the opportunity to play it on PC.  Hopefully, they will be curious enough to check out the game, play the campaign and why not, try out the multiplayer. Using the mouse and keyboard should make them comfortable enough to play Gears competitive. Not everyone wants to make the switch and play on console and use a controller. It is not for everyone. It’s a matter of preference. Personally, I see the difference when I try to play games like Dota, League of Legends or CSgo. For me, it is not as comfortable to play with a mouse and keyboard compared to using a controller. I think that the game being available to be played on PC, is a good thing because it’s an opportunity for more people to check out the game.

    Do you think the playlist should be divided between competitive and social? Is that a good thing or a bad thing for the community?

Anyone can still play those playlists. They are available for everyone.  Pro players or people that are high skill need a challenge. Gears 4 will have ranks and a true skill matchmaking. That is definitely good because people stopped playing ranked due to the lack of fun, bad matchmaking. Some people got matched with players that weren’t on the same level. It was not fun for both sides. If you just got the game and you wanted to try a certain game type, you would get paired with people much higher ranked than you. That is one of the reasons why I think the playlists being separated is not a bad thing. What if there won’t be enough people playing a playlist and that can be an issue. For example, taking too much time to find a match. Having a better ranking system that is based on skill ranking should help out the game a lot.

    They built this game to be an eSports game. What about the people that are not interested in the competitive aspect of Gears? What are your thoughts on that?

There are so many game types available. The social playlist is diverse and offers a lot of alternatives for people who are not interested in the competitive play. Bots can join your game or you can play Horde 3.0 that looks amazing, by the way. Also, there is the campaign. There is a lot offered for all the players. Let’s take for example, Call of Duty. They did the same thing. Do you know how many casual people are playing the game as well? The fact that it is based around eSports does not change much.  The only impact that it has is that it makes the game more competitive. Casual players that look up to pro players will have the desire to grind more and to improve. Tournaments with money prize pools and other events bring in new players. For the majority of people, building Gears around eSports is a good thing.

    Advice for newbies? Tips and tricks?

I think the most important thing is to stay positive! You have to watch streams, observe good people play and of course, play against better players. This is the best way to learn the most! Also, never give up and you will improve. Do not just play ranked or social and think your skills are better than everyone else’s. That is not how things work. You might have numerous kills but when you play with people that are on the same skill level, then things will change. You have to grind and always play against people better than you. The new matchmaking playlist, if you grind enough and you get a good rank, you can play against very good players. That is how you get recognition! Also, play GameBattles too because you never know who you are going to be matched with.  You can even play against Optic or E6 or any other team on the ladder. It is not easy at first, that’s for sure but persevere!

    Of course, but as a new player isn’t it necessary to have a welcoming community?

You shouldn’t really focus on the community. At least, not at first. You are not there to make friends. Of course, you will establish friendships and you will meet nice people from the community but that shouldn’t be your main goal. Personally, I am just doing me. I am doing my own thing. This is how I got to be part of E6.  I am a French Canadian from Montreal. At first, I wasn’t speaking a single word in English. I taught myself how to speak English so I can play competitive and play with better players.  If you really want something, you can do it!  You have to put the effort into it and believe! If you are a new player and you want to be part of the competitive scene, there is nothing that can stop you!

    Let’s talk about the future of Gears. Will the game succeed or fail compared to other big titles? How do you think it will play out? It is still very early and the hype is real.

With the pro circuit and the tournament that has been already announced, a lot of money on the line and various teams that are getting sponsored, bigger tournaments etc things are going the right way for Gears. We are up there now! From all the console games like Halo, Call of Duty are losing ground. Gears is growing!

    What can go wrong though? What can cause this game to fail?

I doubt there is anything that can make this game fail. Jack Felling and all the devz are doing a great job at promoting the game. I think that might have been one of the issues before.  Right now, they are investing a lot of money in promotion and marketing. They are doing an amazing job keeping the people hyped and excited to get the game. For the previous games, it was not the same. Now, you see all those celebrities playing the game and investing time and money into play tests. Devz and the whole team show they really care to deliver a game that can last and can be enjoyed by everyone.

    Do you think having platforms like Twitch and Youtube helps get the attention of new Gears players?

That definitely brings in more people. Depending on the tournaments,  the number of viewers can change. The GoWUE was not promoted as much as Gears 4. For the new game, numbers will increase and it will be a lot better. It’s a new game with new game types. Plus, now that money is involved in the game, sponsors will bring people that bring more teams and that builds up the hype.  

Thank you Crushmo for sharing your inspiring thoughts and ideas, and for taking the time to offer your input on several aspects of the game. You can check out Crushmo on twitter @E6Crushmo or you can follow his Twitch stream.

Every pro player has a story and it is more than interesting to see the determination and passion of some players to be the best in a game. A winner has to have a competitive mentality. Crushmo has such a story and such a mentality. After discussing with him, I started having hope for new players and new teams. Plus, during the interview we also gave me some hair tips! Maybe being skilled at Gears is linked to having great hair! Who knows, right? We have to keep an eye out to see what is going to happen at the Gears of War 4 launch invitational. So far, from the Live Stream Event on October 5, we saw that Optik is a strong team but do not be fooled. Teams like Infinity can always be a huge element of surprise especially if you look at their track record. The same can be said about Enigma 6! Gears 4 is a new game and we have yet to see who is going to dominate the battlefield. We can only attempt to offer predictions!