Sitdown With Grey, French Championship Winner
Joseph "WALKMAN" Hamdan
Nov 24, 2017
Inside Paris Games Week Convention. Grand Finals between Rogue Firmament and El Firmament
The weekend of November 3rd-5th was a huge weekend for Splatoon 2. Not only was Squidstorm 2017 (the first major LAN organized by the competitive community for the sequel) taking place in America, across the Atlantic Ocean the french qualifier’s finale for the Splatoon European Championship was underway at Paris Games Week. It showcased four teams which had fought to earn their spot in the finale in Rogue Firmament, Rising Moon, El Firmament, and Silver Hawks. The winner of the French Championships would be eligible to participate in a much larger tourney featuring some of the best teams from around Europe. The other countries holding qualifiers and sending representatives for the event being Russia, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The French Championship being held in front of a large audience at the event and watching at home cheering on the teams in support of who would best represent the country of France. After taking out the possible favorites in Rising Moon and later El Firmament, the winner in a dominating 3-0 finish turned out to be the pickup of members from french teams Rouge and El Firmament. Rogue Firmament consisting of Grey and Erza of Rogue alongside Celkio of El Firmament and Arc of Stay Fresh established that they would not let anyone stand in their way of reaching their goal and now await the next stage of the event ready to take on the other nations’ representatives in the Splatoon European Championship. I caught up with my good friend Grey of Rogue Firmament to chat about his own Splatoon career and winning the French Championship at PGW 2017.
WALKMAN(W): Hello Grey, why don’t you start us off by introducing yourself? What are your favorite weapons, what role do you usually play, how did you get into competitive Splatoon, and what team you are on now?
Grey(G): My favorite weapon is currently the NZAP, I'm playing support, I came in the Splatoon community because I played only for fun with my friends, then I watched DUDE's (ThatSrb2DUDE) videos and I wanted to play competitively. I'm currently playing for Ethereal.
(W): So Ethereal is your team for international events and Rogue for French events correct? How do you think Ethereal matches up with other international teams, do you consider you guys to be a top team?
(G): It's correct, I think Ethereal is a good team which is improving its level day by day as we are training seriously, we are also in S division [in Leagues Under the Ink] so I believe we can match-up against other top teams.
(W): What do you think separates the french scene from the global scene, do you prefer to play in french events or international events?
(G): There is way more people in the global scene, so there's more tournaments (with cash prizes), more events.. and there is also a greater number of teams which leads to more competition and therefore a better level of skill. I prefer to play in international events because it's more catchy, the level is high, and I'm improving myself.
(W): What do you consider your biggest accomplishment thus far in competitive Splatoon(Either Splatoon or Splatoon 2)?
(G): My biggest accomplishment in Splatoon 1 was beating NSTC 5-4 (when I was in Cooldown) in eSPL (league with 16 top teams, japanese/EU/NA), and also playing at a great level for 1 year with top players from other teams. In Splatoon 2, my biggest accomplishment was to beat TESTA (top japanese team) 3-2 with Serenity (Arttu, Ryanator,Dragonuto and me), I was freaking on fire, the insane 3v4, Greygasm, and I teamed up with people I didn't especially know, but now I'm happy to have done this, I also read the twitch chat and it was really a pleasure to read that, I can't describe my feelings of this moment.
(W): Oh I definitely remember that NSTC set having been on the other side of it. It was a close game and if I recall correctly you guys beat us with a last second rainmaker push on Arowana Mall. I watched that set over so many times wondering what went wrong and how we could have beaten you, but you guys were just too good that day. As for the TESTA set when Ryan disconnected and you forced to finish the game 3v4 what was going through your head?
(G): I was like "Oh shit..Not like this" but i didn't gave up, I was very focused to win the game and I was confident of myself.
(W): Which of the two do you prefer, Splatoon or Splatoon 2?
(G): I prefer Splatoon 1 over Splatoon 2, even if I think that overall, Splatoon 2 is better than Splatoon 1, I have way more fun to play on Splatoon 1 because the gameplay is just so much better.
(W): Knowing you were a former Dynamo Roller player in the original Splatoon and the fact that Dynamo is now considered a very weak weapon in Splatoon 2, do you think that is why you enjoy the original more in terms of fun? What would you do to make the Dynamo Roller strong again?
(G): The original Dynamo was perfect, a perfect kit (echo+sprinkler), perfect stats, I was playing in my favorite role, I really enjoyed the game with it. If I want to buff the Dynamo, I will buff the regular flick (buff the ink coverage and damage). Increase the range by semi-line [in the test range] with the regular flick and put a good kit on the tempered dynamo (Splatoon 1’s 3rd dynamo variant) like sprinkler+inkstorm. A normal flicks did 40p on splatoon 1, but on splatoon 2 it only does 30p...
(W): Have you played any other games competitively before or is Splatoon your first? What makes Splatoon so special that you decided it was the game you wanted to dedicate yourself to?
(G): I played competitively in Call of Duty before Splatoon, I was playing at a great level, I also played Super Smash Bros 4 competitively and Overwatch. I'm focusing on Splatoon because the gameplay is different from usual, I have fun playing it .
(W): Oh I actually never knew that about you, what about LAN events have you ever played other LAN events for Splatoon or Splatoon 2?
(G): Yes, I played at the ESL in March 2017, I played at an event in France in July 2017, and November 2017 at Paris for Paris Games Week and ESWC.
(W): I think I already know the answer, but which of these events was the most fun for you and why?
(G):Paris Games Week, because we won and I met people, i'm still so happy about that
(W): How did you decide on the team you would be competing with in the European Championship at Paris Games Week?
(G): At first, it was supposed to be Rogue, (Sorin, Banana, Erza, and me) but Sorin and Banana could not play it, so Celkio and Kiver were supposed to play with us, but Kiver had Squidstorm with STDx the same weekend as the top 8, so "Arc" played with us, I was very surprised how well he played it, was a great choice to pick him :)
(W): Well with a team that was seemingly not your first choice how did you expect to perform in the tournament? Did you consider yourselves the favorites?
(G): We had Rising Moon in semi-finals, I wasn't expecting to win against Rising Moon for me, I wasn't in a good mood in real life, I didn't play since 1 week, we didn't practice as much as the other teams, I saw us as the "underdogs" but we won against Rising Moon, my team did an amazing job, we had EL Firmament composed of Zolairx, Agito, Sky, Monke, in finals and I was pretty confident about winning this one. I'm really happy about our run !
(W): Speaking of Zolairx and Agito, weren’t they your teammates on Cooldown in the original Splatoon, what was it like going up against them in the grand finals?
(G): I wasn't much worried about that, facing my former teammates (Zolairx and Agito) with Erza (also my former cooldown teammate) was actually really funny.
(W): What was it like playing live in front of so many people, it seemed to be a very large audience at the event and over 4,000 people watching you on twitch?
(G): I wasn't stressed by the fact of 4000 people were watching me but i was stressed because people I know were watching me, I was shaking at the start then I completely focused on the match.
(W): What do you think made you get focused, anything someone said or just getting into the game and playing?
(G): I got into the game since I needed to, I was the shotcaller/leader for the team, I didn't have to be stressed but I had to have a perfect game-sense to lead the team.
(W): Now that you have won the French Championships do you expect to win it all at the European Championship against the other countries? After your performance winning the French qualifier do you consider yourselves the favorite?
(G): We are really looking forward to possibly winning the European Championship.We are very confident of us but we are also not sleeping on other teams, we will do our best.
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