The self-proclaimed p1mp talks about his time in legendary teams like All*, p1mps and QPO. He explains his style of TDM, whether or not he regrets not going more hardcore in dueling and even breaks down his strategies on how to play some of the best Quake 3 TDM maps.
What did he think of Blue and LakermaN? Why did he leave p1mps for QPO? How does czm compare to him in TDM? How did p1mps come to crush ic in four straight maps in a EuroCup final? The answers to all of these questions and many more can be found below.
Becoming an All-star
What was your path into competitive Quake?
So yeah I was playing vanilla Quake back in the com-port LAN deathmatch days. Got older, started playing QuakeWorld with like 50 fps and viewsize 30 on a p100 =D Then I played some Q2 CTF on same setup, viewsize 30, and theeeen I got a celeron 400 the year Quake 3 Beta was released so I was basically playing since the start and just got better and better. Then I entered the national championships and showed my colours and met the guys from All* [All-Stars] so yeah since then a little luck and the right place in the right time got me sponsorship and went on to tournaments and boom whaddya know, you're a progamer.
Wasn't there an anecdote of you going down to a LAN cafe and hassling the All* players to play with you?
Haha, hassled? lol :> No, they liked what they saw and they asked me to join All*, which was like a dream come true at that point I guess. Like recognition for all your hard work, and they were all great guys and I'm really grateful for it! THANK YOU TOMME! And Niclas ofc! Ramirez and DEElay :D
All* was essentially a team of duelers who got together and played TDM also. Was there much dueling within the team itself? What are your thoughts on legends like Blue, LakermaN and DOOMer as players and people?
Yeah of course we practiced against each other on LAN. All of them were awesome. Like LakermaN is still someone I look up to (FUCK YOU YOU POKER MILLIONAIRE!!! ;))
DOOMer is always consistent with his solid play, just a real solid player great for the team. Also he was like the "dad", he's really funny and great, tomi kärnä. He's a real calm and nice guy, but he goes crazy when he listens to hard metal :D
Blue, yeah didn't play him that much. I just remember playing him a little bit when we were in Dallas. He's a cool guy like he likes to sleep and just chillax :D Very talented.
How developed was your own dueling game at the time? How much were you learning from the others versus proving yourself against them?
Of course I was learning a lot. I was playing a lot so I could win, like develop myself to the point where I could beat them. I remember always playing close with LakermaN on T4. We would always decide by 1 or 2 frags but he would rape me at q3dm13 and t2 and dm6. So I had talent and like battle skills but no real talent for strategy and timing, which fit perfect with the role I have in TDM. I really wouldn't be able to do so good without a great team and yeah it's not just one player it's all players co-operating.
The first moment you made a splash internationally was Babbages CPL in December of 2000 where you managed to beat some big names (czm, Makaveli) but also placed outside of the top 8. How was that first international experience and the tournament itself?
I lost to ZeRo4 on ztn, it was 2-1 and ended in sudden death. Mind you ztn wasn't really my map and it was Bo1 in those days. Then I lost to fatality on t2, I was up by 7-2 then somehow I lost it. I blame his skill, jetlag and that it was so late in the night ;)
I also was in my first "stripper" session at the age of 16, getting ridden by two hot women. Not bad for a first tournament, I think somebody upstairs likes me... :D
Your victory over czm was pretty memorable since he had been tipped as a favourite for the event and was being billed as an American Quake prodigy. What do you remember of your win over him on tourney4?
It was really funny. Like we had been discussing on IRC before who was the better at T4 and so we made sort of a bet: If we would ever meet in a tournament we would pick t4 and decide it there. So Babbages comes, we've got a game, I pick t4. He looks at me and says "Hmm, let me think. Ok, like this, let's roll the dice and if I don't like it we'll play T4". I'm like "Ok". He takes maybe 10 minutes, come backs and says "Ok T4". I'm like "YESSSSSSS", bursting out of joy. Because if he had picked dm6 I would've lost for sure.
So we play t4 and that's the game where I did the plasma jump from the middle YA to the RA which was fancy shmansy at the time. Before that I was playing makaveli I think and I beat him too and that demo is the ONLY demo that's mysteriously lost in the babbages demo archives. So yeah if you have it please contact me on irc!
At the same tournament czm beat your team-mate Aim in a classic t4 match where he hit consecutive rails to win in sudden death.
He played Aim after he played me I believe. Like after he lost to me he was broken, I could see it. So I gave him some of my thoughts and some tips (don't really remember what exactly) and then he beat aim and fatality, no problem, even though Aim managed to play a really good game.
For WCG 2001 you won the Swedish qualifier and since the top 3 went you faced your team-mate Aim in what appeared to be a friendly final match but one which had you looking in good form. Some picked you as one of the favourites for the event but in Korea you had to settle for 5th-6th after losing to Russian Kik and France's SaintGermain. What did you think of that event?
That was no friendly game. Um yeah kik I remember that dm6. Tight russian dm6, like controlling RL. Really not used to the style, so yeah I lost that one harshly. Then I played St_Germain right... that was a bit bloody, he came out on top on ztn and played a good game. Not unlcky or anything just didn't win that one.
But I had a lot of great groupstage games like against the Canadian player Radic [Ni3] and then I played PELE and python. All good games but yeah that game against radic I did a huge comeback on dm6, like rojcketjumping all over the place, and yeah PELE was a great win. So yeah I wasn't that consistent on the other maps, basically I was an all t4/t2 player and could play a bit of ztn.
How do you weigh up your talent in duel? Do you feel like you could have been one of the top players if you'd gotten into duel more hardcore? Do you have any regrets that you didn't when you look back now or think of where you might have gotten?
I just had to do more duel and study the duel more, that was it, but I liked TDM too much to 'care'. Yeah sure I guess I'd like to know what could've happened but nah I'm alright with this outcome as well :D I did some other things instead ;D
You won the gold medal in the 2v2 at that WCG playing along with Fazz.
Me and fazz always play good together, like good dynamic in the team and understanding each other without communicating. So yeah it was awesome :D
What is your take on Fazz as a player? His 4th at ESWC 2003 aside he's never consistently been one of the elite duelers but has always seemed to be a more semi-active player who is dangerous for the occasional upset.
fazz has got a lot of talent. He also posseses the 'glow'. So yeah maybe he could've pracced more but that's always the case, he has a chance to beat anybody on a good day IMHO but still yeah he could've developed more, but an awesome player mad props (we love you kirby!)
Gathering the p1mps and moving to the Quad People's Organization
[To prevent confusion it's best to explain here that proZaC played TDM for p1mps during the first part of EuroCup V and then left to join QPO, with whom he won Lan Arena 7 in July of 2002, but then briefly teamed up with p1mps again to play out the LAN finals of EuroCup V. Afterwards he returned to QPO.]
p1mps was something of an all-star roster being as it was comprised of:
yourself - Famous as the star of the last edition of All-Stars.
panicore - Had won CPL London with iCE cLIMBERS.
Xorgal - Had won Eurocup I with AM and been a member of clan9.
tech - Later played with QPO and EYE.
fox - Went on to great success with iCE cLIMBERS.
What's your version of exactly how that team was put together? There were comments made in an interview with fox many years ago where he said you masterminded the whole thing and hand-picked the team by holding secret tryouts, played under fake names, amongst a number of top players and deciding who was in or out. How did you manage to find a player like fox for example? Now we may think of him as a TDM legend but at that time he had only had a good internet connection for a couple of months and was only 18.
Yeah that's sort of right. Well thing is I had quit All* (for reasons I don't care talking about ;)). And then like a couple of months later I met the NiP Counter-Strike players at Remedy LAN. We became good friends and had a really good dynamic. Their manager asked me if I wanted to join and be the creator of the Q3 section, to which I said yes. I started as a duel player with the intention of creating an unbeatable team to become NiP Q3.
To match their success in CS they wanted an equally strong clan for Q3 so I set out to make it, I had an idea of who should be in it. I had played fox at THAT Remedy lan and actually beaten him in the finals, but really good games as I remember. Then I held 'tryouts' and decided on the players but then NiP game over'd our 'deal', we had nothing on paper. Don't remember exacly what happened but I think there was just general 'disbanding' going on.
Then I said well I did all the work, might as well create a clan. So we chose the name p1mps, which was supposed to be temporary until we get a sponsor. Which we did: esports, a Swedish company who wanted a clan. They gave us a contract, we read it and it was not insane but they wanted us to do a lot of work for their homepage and stuff, so we weren't too happy about that. That's when we terminated everything we had to do with them by the help of some dude... um scorpion I think his name was. Turned out to be a manager, so he said he could sponsor us and that's when we made 'sca' but he was a little bit... on the weird side.
To make a long story short sca game over'd too, the promises they gave were not held etc etc. So I think at that point we were p1mps again, then we joined QPO and wham bam thank you mam, end of story :D
Why and how did the move to QPO actually come about? Their team had managed a solid 3rd in EuroCup IV and I believe some of them played from the 9 cafe which you were familiar with.
They contacted us while we were in p1mps, me and t3ch, and we met up and talked and played and there was good chemistry and so it was easier for me and tech cause we live closer to Stockholm and fazz and fox wer so far away. So we decided to join QPO and actually disbanded the p1mps so maybe that was a bit harsh and 'disloyal'but it was the next step, at least for me.
We were really serious, playing A LOT and discussing tactics, having meetings and we played in a lan everyday, so it was a great time of my life. One which I miss a little bit and cherish a lot. Seka, Hjalmarzka, boy_scout, senti, t3ch they're all awesome guys :D
seka seems like a person with a sense of humour that would suit your personality.
Haha he has a very dark sense of humour but yeah seka is awesome.
Your first major event with the team came shortly after joining as you went to Lan Arena 7 and took the title. The big match was of course yourselves in the finals against the pre-fox iCE cLIMBERS, who had Belth at the time, in what turned out to be a full five map war. What stands out from that event?
Oh yeah it was awesome. We were on FIRE the first day of tournament, raping eveyrthing and everybody. Like we beat ic pretty easily on day 1 and then day 2 the finals we were a different team, maybe we grew too confident.
I remember we were down by 0-2 in maps, which means we HAVE to win 3 in a row and ic actually were beating us pretty badly the first two. Then I remember it being OSPdm5 and 'Big Pimpin' by Jay-Z was on the speakers, I remember thinking to myself "It's ok guys we got this bitch". And boom, 3 maps later, we win. A W E S O M E! :D
In your brief reuniting with p1mps to play out the EuroCup V LAN finals you guys smashed iCE cLIMBERS utterly by a map score of 4:0 in the Bo7 format in the final. Had p1mps practiced at all being as you and tech were in QPO at the time? How were you able to dominate one of the best teams by such an excessive margin?
Not really, we played a little bit but not really as hardcore as we prepared with QPO. But yeah we had pretty good tactics since we had played in QPO which we used a little bit in p1mps. So p1mps 2.0 perhaps. We even played with nutcase who was like a weak link in p1mps and we still managed to play awesome. So, yeah I don't know.
p1mps Q Point O
;) something like that
In hindsight the p1mps roster was very impressive but how does it rank amongst the best TDM sides you've played with? Was QPO a better overall TDM team for example? Ignoring the success you had in QPO was there ever any wonder or regret over what could have been with p1mps?
Very hard to say. Well yeah there was, I remember being a little bit regretful because you feel like a traitor. But two great teams and there would be some awesome games if those two lineups collided, but you know we can't go around and have TWO proZaCs now can we ;) and t3chs of course.
QPO finished 3rd at QLAN in July of 2003, 10 months after the Lan Arena 7 win.
Yeah, we had stopped playing for like half a year before that, maybe longer, and then ic took over the TDM scene with fox in it.
In December of that year you finished runnersups to iCE cLIMBERS in EuroCup VIII. How do you describe that whole time period when your team was no longer on top and ic took over the reigns?
Well yeah we stopped playing entirely, they got fox and just started dominating. We thought that we'd make one last shot so we got together, nowhere near as seriously as LA7, but we weren't really good enough to beat ic, though there was a possiblity. Don't remember the scores now though but I felt that they were better at that time.
A lot of the focus in ic from fans was on toxic thanks to his aim and now some may think of fox as a duel player. You played with and against him so what can you say about fox as a TDM player?
Well they had a good dynamic, like fox can be the sneaky camper style player and toxic can be the rambo rampage go crazy guy. But I mean fox could also be crazy FFA style if he wanted to, but you know... he's fox, he's always gonna play solid no matter what :) He is truly a great player and I respect his skill and as a friend.
The proZaC style of TDM
From an observers point of view you seemed to play a berzerker kind of style, particularly with the shotgun, trying to kill and attack nonstop. Not unlike the style Americans used to describe as "cess" and which ic made famous on a map like q3dm6. How did you see yourself as a TDM player? What were your strengths and how work them into a team?
Hmm... I mean it's different on each map and on each situation. But as long as we don't feel 'threatened' I will push non stop and do as much damage as I can so that the opponent can't recover, while some team-mates hold the positions and some other team-mate pushed in some other location. It really depends, but I think that I was a very flexible player that could adjust to any situation. I could walk around in 'enemy' territory with 20 hp and SG and survive and take their 'stuff'. But I could also be sneaky around corners and play tight.
I also have some favourite spots where I'm sort of an expert at 'attacking' so I would say to the guys "I'm going to do THIS" and we'd just figure out a way so that it would benefit everybody. Well... sort of I guess :d
Including the OSP and CPM maps Quake 3 had a nice pool of TDM maps which were played throughout your career: q3dm6, q3dm7, q3dm14, cpm4, ospdm5 and ospdm6. Being as that kind of TDM era looks to be over as things stand right now with QuakeLive please pick out three maps from that pool and provide some insight into proZaC's take on strategy for how to win on them and how a top level team might approach them.
Wow, that's like asking a magician to reveal his tricks.
ospdm5 - is simple, You centralize at rail and try to get it. Rush you can give away a few frags, it's ok as long as you can feel that you can get it. If you CAN'T get it, i.e. The enemy is too powerful, try not to give away any frags and just centralize RA/LG. Then have 1-2 guys camping RA, one guy pushing weak YA and another guy expanding at LG/low/mega.
When you have Rail you have one in the #1 position which we call it and another in #2. #2 is near the window and #1 is far away, closer to quad. seka used to be in #1 railing anybody who'd jump the pads, he had like 80% sometimes. hjalmar used to be low at SG when we had control. bojjen or t3ch used to stand in #2 or I did that, but I liked to expand at weak YA and do small attacks to low, LG and RA stopping them from quad etc.
Then there are a lot of set situation tactics, like HOW you attack rail when you got RA, HOW to attack the quad. We had maybe 4-5 setups for each like "b2 split" or bouncing into quad 4 people in a row or some other split attacks. And we would time it and attack at the same time, like it would be really coordinated.
q3dm7 - Go RA, rush it if necessary. Get RL or YA if you feel that the opponent is too strong. REALLY camp RL and MH, it's IMPORTANT NOT TO DIE! Go 2 by 2 try to get quad and clear RA if you can. You can lock down all of dm7 like: 2 guys RA, 1 guy MH and one guy at RL. If you can have those positions the opponent only gets like dungeon maybe YA and plasma. We had some ways of what to do when we had full lock but that was always hard to get.
q3dm14 - In control we had 'positive' and 'negative' tactics, where positive is where we are in control and negative when we don't have it. So everybody KNOWS what to do, where to stand and which position to cover. So when we say "negative" everybody knows where to go and it's crucial to switch FAST before the enemy gets chance to discover what you're doing.
So negative was 2 at quad and 2 at lower RL, switching so that the guys on quad/LG had rail, and then maybe push the rail or just hold RL/quad until quad. Then take it and try to get RA. At RA you have 1 SG, 2 in RA one standing above red armor and one standing ON the damn RL. It's REALLY important to have one there for the spawns. Then one guy at rail.
So the guys with armor stand at SG first and then rail then they push or just stay. The SG guy if he has rail sometimes he could push the LG and lock it which would be aaawesome. I sometimes had that role and liked it very much, especially when you got rail and your team-mate denied it to the other team. So yeah that's about it.
Ask most Quake 3 aficionados who the best TDM player of all time is and as well as yourself someone else sure to be mentioned is the American czm. Sadly you two never went head-to-head in TDM in your primes. How aware of his game were you? Did you study his style at all? Arguments have gone back and forth over whether his clan Kapitol team could have hung with the elite European teams in the post-2000 era so do you think they could have?
Wow, yeah of course I think they would have a chance. czm was and still is an awesome player, I respect him very much. But I would say that he _might_ be better than me ;)
I didn't really watch his style so much, just watched a few games, but I remember being really impressed with what I saw and thinking like "yeah this guys is definitely up to par". But it's of course hard to say.
A side attraction in your career was the Moscow mix team you placed 2nd with at QHLAN2 of Cooller, Mikes, Jibo and yourself. What was that experience like?
Haha that was so random. They needed a 4th player and asked me, I sort of said yes. But man, playing with Russians man... sure they are good but nobody was listening, just playing their own game. I tried to coordinate the team but I screamed so much I lost my voice. So I just gave up and said "fuck it, if these guys wanna play like this, then fine I'm just gonna shut up and play by myself as well".
Imaginary scenario: aliens come to Earth and they tell you the fate of the planet and human civilization rests in your hands. You have to play them in a TDM series but you get to pick the three players on your team and the maps to be played. If you lose they'll deathstar the planet. What are your selections and why?
czm - because he's crafty.
fox - because he's fox.
fourth guy - toxic, fazz, hjalmarzka or seka. Any of those 4 would do =p But yeah maybe toxic, probably toxic, because he's awesome? =p
Maps - ospdm5, q3dm7 and q3dm14 :D because I like them. q3dm6 and cpm4 is ok too but...
From the position you find yourself in right now what does the future hold for proZaC the gamer? Where would you like it to go?
Well I'm trying to get sponsors to QuakeCon, been watching demos, playing duels and really liking it. I feel like I've taken my duel game further but still a lot of places to improve but it's just so much fun so I don't know. A dream would be to win Quakecon, A DREAM ;) somehow, someway.
I'm practicing movement by playing q3 defrag :D So thank you #defrag on quakenet for the help! There's so many aspects of movement I didn't know so I'm still learning, like speed jumping the blue strafepads I can barely make it ;)
Um shoutout to PURRI for being awesome and glowing, I love him. ZeroQL - vote for his movie on esr: FOX THE LAST ICE CLIMBER. Mad props to Drake from Holland and his son and future progamer Justin. Thank you SteelSeries for supplying my mouse and mousepad. Keep the good love coming and hang loose! Catch you on the flipside. And of course "fans" and my old team-mates.
(Photographs copyright of cyberfight, dailyrush.dk, ESL, planetquake.de, Clanbase and GotFrag)
@Thooorin on twitter.
2001-2002 Pro-cybernews (Editor-in-Chief)
2002-2003 Gamers.nu (Lead Editor)
2004-2005 ESportsEA (Editor-in-Chief, Consultant)
2006-2008 ESportsEA (Editor, Community feature host)
2008 TAO-CS volume 1 (Co-author)
2008 TAO-fRoD (Co-author)
2008-2009 WinOut.net (Editor-in-Chief, Consultant)
2009-2012 SK Gaming (Editor-in-Chief)
2012-2013 Team Acer (Editor-in-Chief)
2013-2014 OnGamers (Senior eSports Content Creator)
Pro bono publico:
2001-2002 XSReality (Site administrator)
2003-2004 Team3D (Editor-in-Chief, Consultant)
2012-2013 fragbite (Blogger)
2013-XXXX [POD]Cast (Co-host)
2005 Down with the s1ckn3ss
2009 fRoD Quick and nasty (part 1)
Events attended for coverage purposes:
2001 CPL London (Pro-cybernews)
2001 WCG Qualifier (Pro-cybernews)
2002 CPL Summer (Gamers.nu)
2002 WCG Qualifier (Gamers.nu)
2002 CPL Oslo (Gamers.nu)
2002 CPL Winter (Gamers.nu)
2003 CPL Cannes (Gamers.nu)
2003 Clikarena (Gamers.nu)
2004 CPL Winter (ESportsEA)
2009 WEM (SK Gaming)
2010 IEM IV European Championship (SK Gaming)
2010 IEM IV World Championship (SK Gaming)
2010 Arbalet Best of Four (SK Gaming)
2010 Arbalet Cup Europe (SK Gaming)
2010 e-Stars Seoul (SK Gaming)
2010 WCG (SK Gaming)
2010 WEM (SK Gaming)
2011 IEM V European Championship (SK Gaming)
2011 Assembly Winter (SK Gaming)
2011 IEM V World Championship (SK Gaming)
2011 Copenhagen Games (SK Gaming)
2011 Dreamhack Summer (SK Gaming)
2011 SK vs. FX showmatch (SK Gaming)
2011 e-Stars Seoul (SK Gaming)
2011 ESWC (SK Gaming)
2012 IEM VI Kiev (SK Gaming)
2012 IEM VI World Championship (SK Gaming)
2012 WCS Europe (Team Acer)
2012 Dreamhack Open Valencia (Team Acer)
2012 Dreamhack Winter (Team Acer)
2012 IPL5 (Team Acer)
2012 HomeStory Cup VI (Team Acer)
2013 IEM VII World Championship (Team Acer)
2013 MLG Winter Championship (Team Acer)
2013 LCS Europe Spring Week 10 (Team Acer)
2013 WCS EU S1 Ro16 (Team Acer)
2013 LCS Europe Summer Week 9 (Team Acer)
2013 WCS EU S2 final / LCS Europe Summer playoffs (Team Acer)
2013 Riot S3 World Championship (Team Acer)
2013 Battle of the Atlantic (OnGamers)
2013 Battle of the Atlantic (OnGamers)
2014 LCS Europe Spring Week 5 (OnGamers)
2010 IEM IV European Championship (ESL-TV)
2010 IEM IV Asian Finals (ESL-TV)
2010 IEM IV World Championship (ESL-TV)
2010 IEM V Shanghai (ESL-TV)
2011 ESEA-invite S8 (WinOut)
2011 GameGune (WinOut)
2011 SEC (WinOut)
2013 Dreamhack SteelSeries CS:GO Championship (DH-TV)
2014 Dreamhack Steelseries CS:GO Invitational (DH-TV)
2014 Dreamhack Summer (DH-TV)
2014 Gfinity G3
2014 Dreamhack Stockholm CS:GO Invitational (DH-TV)
Pro bono publico:
2010 ESWC (lvl^)
2010 Arbalet Cup Dallas (lvl^)
2010 GameGune (lvl^)
2010 fnatic PLAY (lvl^)
2010 WCG Nordic (SK Gaming)
2011 Dreamhack Winter BEAT IT (whisenhunt)
2011 EPS Winter (whisenhunt/ESL-TV)
2011 WCG (whisenhunt)
2011 IEM VI Kiev EU qualifier (SK Gaming)
2013 FACEIT Sunday Cup April 28th (FACEIT)
2013 Prague Challenge (District)
2013 FACEIT Sunday Cup September 8th (FACEIT)
2013 FACEIT Monday Cup September 9th (FACEIT)
2014 ESEA Invite S15 LAN finals (NiPTV)
* Winner of the Heaven Media 'E-sports Journalist of the year' awards for 2012 and 2013.
Fatal1ty talks to MrE
Chronicles of czm 6/6: TDM legends
Chronicles of czm 5/6: TDM and cK
Chronicles of czm 4/6: Cooller rivalry
Chronicles of czm 3/6: Quakecon 2004
THE NEW JERSEY