Road to Genesis 5: Team Olive
Joseph "WALKMAN" Hamdan
Jan 16, 2018
Each and every one of them has always been considered a top player, but with coming together and forming Team Olive, they became that much more feared. Near the end of Splatoon 1, they were one of the top teams. Going into Splatoon 2, they carried this momentum to once again be one of the best teams around. Now with the upcoming Genesis 5, they are seen as one of the favorites to win it all and it’s easy to see with their consistent top placings tournament after tournament. I sat down with the four Team Olive members headed to G5, team captain Sendou, DUDE, Nikey, and Sorin to pick their brains on their history and how they will approach such a big event. This interview shows that even though they are top players, they definitely have a good sense of humor and attitude closing in on G5. Enjoy!
WALKY: I’m sure you guys don’t need any introduction, but why don’t you all introduce yourself to everyone?
DUDE: I’m DUDE, ThatSrb2DUDE. Youtuber, Twitch streamer, Twitter user, Splatoon 2 player.
Sendou: SendouC. Youtuber, Twitch streamer, Splatoon 2 player and so on.
Nikey: I’m Nikey, I’m a competitive Splatoon 2 player of course and I don’t use Youtube much, but I stream on Twitch pretty often.
Sorin: I’m Sorin, I’m 19 years old. I live in Paris. I’m a student mostly before being a Youtuber and Twitch streamer, but I love Splatoon and I’m looking forward to Genesis 5.
WALKY: Alright, to start off where is everybody travelling from and basically how you are going to be getting to Genesis 5?
Sendou: Well I can answer for me and Nikey, so we are going to be travelling from Finland and take a plane to London and that’s where we are going to meet Sorin and DUDE. Then, be taking the plane from there to Oakland.
Sorin: Yeah, basically I’m coming from Paris on the Eurostar and I’ll meet DUDE at the St. Pancras Station and we’ll go together to the airport where we are gonna meet Sendou and Nikey.
Sendou: Yeah and the Eurostar is basically like a train.
Nikey: Yeah, actually I was in London recently so it’s nice to be back there for a moment.
(team all laughs)
DUDE: Missed my chance to meet Nikey too.
WALKY: Oh that’s pretty cool, that you guys are all gonna meet up and then go.
Note- Team Olive assures me this was their cheapest option as well, going from their respective countries would have been more expensive.
WALKY: How does it feel to be the only full European team at Genesis 5?
(Whole team laughs)
Nikey: Well that’s the simple answer.
Sendou: Well, of course we have to be representing European Splatoon. Like, there are many good teams in Europe, but of course not all of them have the means to go to a LAN like this in America. So it’s kind of cool to be the first one to get to do this and show what European teams can do.
Nikey: Yeah, aren’t we like the first fully European team to go to a Splatoon LAN in America?
Sorin: Yeah I’m looking forward to Splatoon 2 evolving more for esports and sponsors so we can have all the top European teams clashing against all the top American teams in a LAN soon. It never really happened unless you count E3.
Sendou: I just remembered that Rising Moon was the first [European team] but if you want to count [E3] I don’t know.
DUDE: It’s also a good thing, how we’re the first ones considering we are one of the most popular teams while also being European because we are kind of opening the door for other European teams who may look up to us. Like “hey these guys are travelling” and they may want to travel. So it’s an eye opener or at least gives them the idea that they could as well. Considering some places in Europe to America, some planes are super super cheap. My plane from London to some places in America is actually cheaper, sometimes, than already being in America. In reality it is not that bad, just the added set up with VISAs and stuff like that.
WALKY: Building on that, are you guys only staying for the event or are you guys planning on staying in America longer? Also is this the first time being in the United States for any of you?
DUDE: I’ve been to America way too many times.
Nikey: It’s going to be the first time in America for me and Sendou so that’s pretty cool.
Sorin: Yeah I’ve already been to Florida and New York with family and as an exchange student before.
Sendou: But of course California is a bit different so that’s why we are kind of taking a few days after the tournament just to see the places a bit.
Sorin: We have two days basically.
Sendou: Yeah, so the tournament is Friday and Saturday. Then Sunday we are mostly going to check out Smash finals I think.
Sorin: Yeah, but Smash finals is only in the evening I think.
Sendou: Then we have Monday, Tuesday to do the touristy stuff you do when you go to a new country for the first time,
DUDE: Tuesday, we are leaving in the evening.
Sendou: Yeah, but we still have some time.
DUDE: Yeah, yeah. Let’s go to Disneyland on Monday.
WALKY: Did you guys plan any specific places you want to go?
Sorin: No, but we should think about it actually
Sendou: We are just focusing on the tournament first. Then, we can lose focus after that.
WALKY: Seems like a good strategy.
Sorin: Maybe we can do a team photo on the bridge, that’s one of the things we had thought about.
Sendou: Yeah that was one of our goals, to take a team photo next to the Golden Gate Bridge. Let’s see if we reach that goal.
WALKY: Alright that’s pretty cool, so why don’t you guys tell us a little bit about the origin of Team Olive, how did you guys form, and who came up with the name?
Sendou: Well, I can I guess go since…
(Rest of team laughing hysterically)
Nikey: Oh, I want to hear this one too.
Sendou: For those who don’t know, personally I have a lot of experience with every member of this team, like with Nikey, you of course know we all played with NSTC (I was their teammate). Later, we played with DUDE and Sorin in Chimera. So really the origin of Team Olive was really another LAN focused event. An online series that led to a LAN which was the ESL Go4Splatoon series. So there we had a pickup called BYE and for the LAN we had the team of me, Nikey, Sorin, and DUDE, which is the same team we are taking to California. After the tournament, we sat down and thought about what we want to do with the team because even though we didn’t win, we had a good feeling for the team. So we thought about making it a real team. That’s really when Team Olive was formed, kind of like the European side of Chimera plus Nikey and fuzzy at the time. And well Team Olive it’s a name that I came up with. I’m really good at names basically…
(Team laughs at him)
Sendou (while laughing): Okay listen, I may not be the best player, but c'mon I come up with the best names in the scene. Chimera was all me, BYE was me, and Team Olive as well.
Nikey: He’s just becoming more and more memey with the names.
DUDE: Yeah, I would like to add that Team Olive has a meaning. I’m not gonna tell you, but it’s a pretty sick meaning.
Sendou: Yeah it’s a pretty sick meaning, I’m just next level there. Then, I asked everyone if they like olives and nobody hated olives so that’s how we ended up with Team Olive. I think it’s good, it’s not too serious. Most of the team names don’t really fit this game in my opinion, like if your team name is like “Annihilation” or “Murder”...
Sendou: What I’m serious c’mon like…
Nikey: Yeah it’s a game about colorful squids…
Sendou: Yeah and then every team is like “Massacre”, I don’t know man, I think Team Olive is better than, well you know whatever.
WALKY: Call them out, call them out if you want, go ahead!
Sendou: Well it’s most of the teams so how can I call them out! Like look historically, Deadbeat...I don’t even know what it means but there’s dead in it. Then Extermination, you aren’t exterminating anything in this game c’mon. That’s two examples, then you have like Sorrow, I don’t know the history but you definitely see these dark and scary names in this colorful game. So we decided to do something different with Olive and I’m pretty happy with it.
WALKY: You guys did mention that this wasn’t the first time you guys met each other in person by playing at a LAN, so how do you think playing in the ESL tournament back in Splatoon 1 is going to help you going into G5?
Sorin: Well it’s going to be faster for the introductions.
Sendou: For me, they didn’t even know what I looked like then.
Sorin: Yeah Sendou’s face was a big secret.
Sendou: Big face reveal in Paris, now it’s no longer a secret. Back then maybe these guys couldn’t focus thinking about my face all weekend. Now they have had some time to adjust.
Nikey: I got the first sneak peak at the airport.
Sendou: Seriously though, it helps that we have that LAN experience. Of course it was for a different game, but it still counts and we will take that with us into G5.
Nikey: I remember us in the hotel room planning how we were going to play the maps.
DUDE: We are probably going to do the same again, I’m going to have to go to [their room] and be like I got this sheet and paper let’s go.
WALKY: Focusing more on G5, who is the team you guys fear most going into G5?
Sorin: Well, STDx.
DUDE: I don’t fear them though.
Sorin: Well that’s the the team you fear the most DUDE.
DUDE: Alright, personally for me it’s not a thing where I fear teams. I know they are good players of course, but I’ll never fear them because we play against players just like them all the time.
Sorin: True, but I think WALKY meant who are the biggest opponents for us, right?
WALKY: Interpret it any way you want, this is already a good conversation to me
DUDE: I know they are going to be our strongest competition because they won the last big LAN and the tournaments they do join in the western scene, they have won or gotten really good placements as well. When I think about it, we only really played against them that one time. That was a completely different meta and we don’t really know how we match up with them now, that’s going to be a really interesting thing as we haven’t even scrimmed with them either because they only scrim Japanese teams at the time.
Sendou: I have a different answer. I was reading your interviews and I got to say I fear Komodo the most. They say they only practice LAN mode, they have tremendous LAN experience and I don’t know what specific LAN specific strats they are going to pull out. So I’m a little afraid that if we meet them in bracket, I don’t really know the team and if they have some crazy LAN only strats coming out then I don’t know. I’m a little afraid of the unknown so I fear Komodo the most for G5.
WALKY: Alright, so a little bit of a different question. Is there team you feel most confident against, maybe from prior sets or something?
Sendou: I’m going to be honest here, we don’t really have much experience because most of the teams are American teams and with time zones and typically when we look for scrims we tend to play European players and the same goes to solo queue. Of course we know most of the teams, but it’s so hard to say what team we are so confident against as we don’t have experience so we don’t know about our skill differences and the unknown factor of playing on LAN. I don’t think we are going to go into any set overconfident and just try our best in every set because it may not end well for us.
DUDE: We never go into matches super cocky. We never go into sets thinking we are going to destroy people. Maybe we have said the word before, but not in the mindset of where we are gonna do silly things and it’s just gonna work because we know that we are better. We go in knowing they are competitive players and that they know things that may catch us off guard, we just have to counter that. We never sell anyone short, we always give it all.
Sendou: That’s like one thing that I find very disrespectful. When you’re in groups and you see an opponent you don’t know and you think you are going to beat them anyway, then don’t take them seriously. I always give it my best because there are those situations where you run into a team you don’t know and they are pretty damn good. Then, if you lose the first game, it can just snowball from there.
Nikey: I try to have the same amount of confidence for each match. It’s good to have some confidence, but not too much of course. Gonna try and keep that sweet spot amount.
WALKY: Yeah I know Nikey is always looking for that sweet spot in everything, like his gear.
Nikey (laughing): Yeah, that’s a pretty common word for me. Gotta have that optimization.
WALKY: One more question on other teams, is there a team you think will surprise everyone at the event? Maybe get a huge upset or something like that.
Sorin: I think we can look out for a team that comes from NA, a team called Legacy. We haven’t seen them recently a lot, but we heard they have been practicing a lot and they are four players that are used to playing with each other. You don’t see that a lot. Players who are used to playing with each other a lot online playing at these LANs.
Sendou: Personally for me, well I’m going to look at the name because it’s a pickup. 2dos and His Children…
DUDE: Oh but Bran’s not going anymore, they are just at 3.
Sendou: Oh yeah? Well still it’s a good team and the real reasoning is that I’ve seen 2dos play ZAP since Splatoon 1 and well now that’s the strongest weapon in the game.
Nikey: Well there is that nerf that’s coming for that like two days before I don’t know if it’s going to do anything but…
WALKY: Nikey I’m going to kill you already answering the next question.
Nikey: Oh my bad, well forget I said anything.
Sendou: Well it’s just Nikey from Splatoon 1 always predicting those shots, now he’s predicting the questions.
Sorin: There is also Deep blues going right?
Rest of team: Yeah
DUDE: I’d say my choice would be Eclipse is probably going to surprise people. I know that with The One some people may be somewhat disrespectful to him as a player, but personally I feel that he is the star player on the majority of teams he has been on. I’ve watched some of his videos and he gets some of his callouts out snap snap snap just going. He is really good at communication and things like that. Then, I see some of the other players and I’m like this could be a pretty decent team. So I’d say Eclipse is the one to look for.
WALKY: So now for my next question Nikey, I know you guys love playing and seeking out meta weapons, with a balance patch so close to G5, how concerned are you that these changes will affect your performance?
Nikey: Actually, I don’t think the patch is going to have a massive impact on the meta. I think it’s going to be mostly the same weapons that will be good. ZAP maybe won’t be like “God tier” but its still gonna be pretty good”.
Sorin: Yeah definitely still gonna use the ZAP. We are still gonna use pretty much the same weapons as before even if it changes some very small things in games.
Sendou: It’s like Nikey said, we don’t really see it being too much. Just going to go in and see then change if needed, but it’s the same for everybody.
Nikey: It is buffing some of the weaker weapons yeah, but it doesn’t seem like enough to make them good.
DUDE: I’m not really concerned about the Forge. Like all it did was nerf bubbles when small so when they are medium or large it’s the same thing.
WALKY: This question is specifically for DUDE. You have pretty much attended every major North American LAN despite living in the United Kingdom. How different will this one be for you knowing that you finally have your full team with you?
DUDE: I’m definitely going to be more confident. Considering I’ve been going into these with pickups, there has always been that back feeling of “yeah I’m going to give it my all, but maybe we aren’t going to do as well” because I haven’t really been practicing with this team. Even though I did place well with my pickups, there was that feeling that things could go wrong because I’m not used to this team. With my actual team I know what they are wanting to do or achieve in a game. We all have that state of mind. Basically, we can take what we have been doing online and bring that into a LAN environment, which is just that much more consistent. I feel like we can just get away with a lot because some of the reaction time of our players are “godlike” and with LAN you will kill somebody if you are the first one to get shots on them. Online trades are a thing. On LAN, the better players usually come on top.
WALKY: What are you guys trying to prove at G5/what will winning G5 do for you?
Sendou: Going back to what we said in one of the first questions, STDx, we never really got to play them much so not many chances to prove ourselves against them. As you know, they don’t really play western tournaments so it’s hard to play an actual set against them where you could prove that maybe the power levels aren’t as you think. So if we take this tournament it’s a strong testament to our actual power levels between the two teams.
DUDE: As a competitive player you want to go to a tournament to prove you’re the best. Going off what Sendou said, looking at the power levels is going to be an interesting thing. For me, looking at STDx at Squidstorm against SKR and they almost lost. I was just there like “huh”, because everyone was hyping them up over how strong they were. And don’t get me wrong I know they are, but they don’t really play western teams so they might match up different with us versus Japanese players. The two of us are most likely going to meet in grand finals in my opinion, so that is going to be an interesting match.
Sendou: And since it’s a LAN I feel there is more at stake because that’s where you don’t have any latency and the whole situation is different with the live audience. Generally I think winning a LAN tournament means more than winning an online one so that’s why we put in the extra effort for a tournament like this. So we get that end result that we are expecting.
WALKY: Finally, why will Team Olive win G5?
Sendou: I think it’s simple really, I think we have the most experience, consistently entering tournaments with really high placements. I think that’s something people might sleep on us with. Okay it’s not like we win every tournament, well that’s how tournaments work. If you enter a lot of them then you can lose. The only way you can ensure not losing is you don’t enter tournaments and of course this is a very valid strat that some teams use for a ranking. For us we don’t win all tournaments, but we consistently place high and it’s not a coincidence. It’s because we practice a lot individually and together. For this tournament specifically we practiced all the modes, we aren’t one of those teams that only practice the modes they like, we practice what’s going to be played in tournament. Our preference for modes doesn’t affect how we practice them. I think those will be our biggest factors.
DUDE: Yeah, I actually really agree with that. When you look back through the origins of Splatoon 2 you have a bunch of teams, but the ones that were getting 1st, 2nd 3rd aren’t there anymore. Like at first you had Rising Moon and they had their place, but we were still there. Then, it moved on to Extermination and then Kraken Paradise, but the thing that is that we were always still there with them achieving a 1st or 2nd or a 3rd. These other teams aren’t really up there as they were before, but we still are because we practice so much. We put so much effort in and that’s why we are gonna win.
WALKY: Alright guys, anything else you would like to say before we conclude it?
Sendou: Yes. I would just like to thank everyone that supported our team, in Twitch chat and so on sending us positive messages. But also, those who helped fund our trip to G5. You are definitely making these things possible so a huge thanks to all our supporters and fans. I think I can say that for everyone on Team Olive.
Sorin: Yeah we would like to thank them a lot.
DUDE: Yep, to the Olive Squad!
Nikey: My thanks to them also.
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