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Stormless' Masterclass Series 1

For the past few years, Stormless has been one of the most prolific and recognizable casters of the Company of Heroes 2 community. He has produced hours upon hours of content, often with AE at his side, (or is Stormless at AE's side?) but Stormless' Masterclass series is something new altogether.

In each episode, he interviews a player while they both spectate a replay from that player's perspective. The questions are about the competitive situation of the match as well as their decisions, performance, and thoughts during the game. In Stormless' words, "the idea of [the Masterclass Series] is basically just to show players how they can play from certain situations and what the top players are doing and thinking."
Episode 1: Luvnest vs. Noggano
In this episode, Luvnest discusses playing from behind. As well as his decision to go with T1 but build conscripts over penals, his use of snipers, and he also answers Stormless' questions about his Guard Rifle build.

Here is Luvnest on his choice of conscripts over penals:

?Stormless:In a sense, what you're saying is that 'conscripts maybe have a disadvantage in Crossing in the Woods but you're still using them'. So what's your reason for using conscripts here at this point at this patch?

!Well, because, if you go the old build that I used during GCS it doesn't really work anymore. There are no homing satchels without the [PTRS] upgrade for penals so... plus I wanted to try it out. I used to do these kinds of builds in the past but, yeah, I just wanted to give it a try.Luvnest

Stormless also asked Luvnest about his love of snipers and why he chose to build one as his second unit:

?Stormless:The sniper is an early game investment that... as long as you keep it alive and you play you tend to just slowly eat away at your opponent's manpower. At some point it tips in your advantage and is working really well for you. Why the sniper first before the conscripts?

!Maybe just habit. Like I used to do this build. I have such a great time playing the sniper and even though you are in the disadvantage in the early game I'm okay with that. But it's just habit. Maybe it's because usually you don't really get to that point where you build a late game sniper as soviets because in the later stage of the game you can just build vehicles and use them kind of as a sniper like the T70. So the early game seems like the perfect spot for me with the sniper just because you can pick off these grens".Luvnest

Episode 2: HelpingHans vs. ikab
In this episode, Hans and Stormless discuss game 2 of Hans' very first GCS2 qualifier match against ikab. Hans talks about his OKW Special Operations Build.

Here, Hans talks about his opening build order as well as his choice to build a kübel:

?Stormless:What is this strategy as OKW? What are you aiming for and what's the kind of build that we're looking at?

!Well with OKW you want to go, well... people wonder if the kübelwagen is a necessary build in the OKW at the moment but depending on the situation, on this map I like to get the Kubelwagen out and capture the north hand side because it normally can capture the side in the north without being hindered as most higher-up players will try and focus south-side and slowly cap up there. So that means you can get a kübelwagen in the north to cap up. And then you probably want to go for maybe at least four Volksgrenadiers. I'd always recommend going for at least four Volks before teching. You want to get your second Volksgrenadier squad to go straight to the middle because your opponent possibly could be rushing that middle house and you want to be able to get into that house before your opponent does"HelpingHans

In this bit also about the early game, Hans discusses his choice to go for the flak half track, especially against Soviets:

!Most players as Soviets lately go straight for penals and going for the flak halftrack against penals is not a bad play at all because you know he hasn't got anything, you know, he cannot get an anti-tank gun out to counter it because a flak halftrack gets two-shotted by an antitank gun whereas the panzer II it takes threeHelpingHans

?Stormless:It makes sense. It makes sense. I guess maybe you don't think the threat of the PTRS upgrade is too hard?

!No. As soon as you manage to suppress that PTRS squad it becomes useless, really and as long as you got your sturmpioneers nearby you can repair any damage very quickly that the PTRS rifle does. And like I say, once that [PTRS squad] is suppressed it's not going to be doing too much damage; you can get your infantry up to clean it off and push it back and, you know, at the start of the game you're only going to be dealing with one PTRS rifle squad at most and if he goes for two he's in trouble because then he's not got much anti-infantry power/presence".HelpingHans

Episode 3: VonIvan vs. Karl
Stormless' third episode goes into great detail regarding VonIvan's OKW play. The two of them discuss the four-Volks build, why Kübels are not worth building, and, in general, what aspects of OKW that Von likes and how he'll use their unique unit abilities and commanders to secure himself victory.

?Stormless:You’re up against Carl who had been king for so long already. So [AE & I] were wondering “could Karl be beaten today” and you did in spectacular style. So we wanted to find out more about your OKW play, what you intend when you go into these games; what’s your ideal build, what your starting build’s like and kind of follow you through the game so let's’ get straight into it and let’s ask… so your starting build as OKW. Why no Kübel?

!Because I feel the, you know, you can use the Kübel to bleed USF, but it can’t scale like Volksgrenadiers can and it usually dies within five-ten minutes of the game. So if you have Volksgrenadiers those usually survive until the end of the game unless you decide to throw them for some reason. So that’s the biggest reason why I didn’t want to go Kübel on this map. [...] It can give you an advantage of faster capping during the game but I feel like I can do that almost as fast with Volksgrenadiers and like I said, they don’t die within ten minutes.VonIvan

Stormless and VonIvan have quite an enlightening discussion on VonIvan’s first use of munitions during the game: an aggressively placed mine.

?Stormless:We notice you’re laying a really early mine here which I don’t think is spotted because you have the range superiority there. So why, what’s with the mine positioning?

!Well the reason I had the mine there was just in case he was trying to flank around the side or if he was trying to push his riflemen on the right-hand flank and he decided “ope let me move to the left real quick ‘cause i need to support another squad”. Hopefully that would bleed his riflemen hittin’ the mine.VonIvan

?Stormless:Okay, so it’s like, almost like a trigger, then, so that you know when it’s going down.

!Yeah it's also a personal flare as well because then I’ll be alerted when a squad is moving that way.VonIvan

Where are They Now?
While some of these videos are from King of the Hill games, another competitive CoH2 tournament is ongoing: the qualifying tournaments for the Grand Championship Series 2 (GCS2). The live event itself is in September and all three of the players featured here — Luvnest, HelpingHans, and VonIvan — have participated in the qualification tournaments.

Luvnest is the current reigning champ and has managed to qualify by winning the third qualification tournament, Overlord. VonIvan has qualified for the live event by winning the fourth qualification tournament, Bagration.

For HelpingHans, his GCS2 performance has been rocky, finishing in the round of 16 in the first and third qualification tournaments and not participating in the second one. However, his meteoric rise to the finals in Bagration and Refero’s loss to Talisman for 3rd place allowed Hans to qualify for the live event based on points!
A Message from GBPirate
Personally, I am more than excited to meet these three people in September at the live event and I'm sure the CoH2 community is more than excited to see the great games that will come out of it. In the meantime, the Masterclass series will do a lot for those who still enjoy watching or playing competitive 1v1s in automatch

So far, these are the three episodes of Stormless' Masterclass series that have been published but more are on the way!

Be sure to subscribe to Stormless' YouTube channel to get updates when the next episode is live. You can find Stormless' YouTube channel here. To catch all of the GCS2 action, follow or subscribe to his Twitch Channel here.

For more info about GCS2 go on to the tournament's official website here.
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