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Interview with mTw Open 2v2 Tourney Winners Ciez and OMGPOP

March 9th, 2014 saw the very first ever mTw Open 2v2 Tournament, and thanks to the tremendous time, skill and effort put into making the event, the COH2 community were treated to a real thriller. The tournament brought about some great players and even greater gameplay.

What this tournament also did was bring forward a team who are arguably two of the best 2v2 Company of Heroes 2 players around: Ciez and OMGPOP, the winners of the first mTw Open 2v2 Tournament. Pheenyx caught up with Ciez and OMGPOP to ask the two a few questions on a variety of topics and issues.

?COH2.ORG: G'Day, guys. Thanks for coming along and taking the time to participate in an interview. Firstly, I congratulate you both on your win in the mTw 2v2 Tournament earlier this month.

! ThanksOMGPOP

! Thank you :)Ciez

?COH2.ORG: We'll just begin with a short background about yourself. How you found your way into the Company of Heroes Franchise and any other information you wish to share.

! I originally saw a 'gamereplays' COH Tournament Cast back in 2010. From there I started playing that game. When COH2 came out I pre-ordered the game to compete in betaOMGPOP

! From South Carolina in the US. Been playing Real Time Strategy since I can remember. I never really played vCOH (was into Age of Empires 3 at the time). I tried out COH2 during the free open beta and fell in love with it - been playing ever since with a few minor breaks.Ciez

?COH2.ORG: What was it that originally drew you to the Company of Heroes Franchise?

! I really liked how it focused on territory control instead of base building and tactical combat where cover, flanking and out-smarting your opponent actually matters. I found that sort of thing to be more engaging than the standard RTS where combat is extremely linear.Ciez

! I read a lot of World War II material over the years, so the game setting really appeals to me. The game is also full of action compared to traditional Real Time Strategy games, there's never a dull moment.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: So, how did you both originally meet and then begin playing games together?

! We randomly met in some 2v2 games a long time ago. I recognized POP from some beta games that were casted and added him to my friends list because I knew he was a good player. Someway or another I became one of his practice partners for Sunday Night Fights which is when we actually started getting to know each other.Ciez

! I started looking for partners when I got wind of the upcoming 2v2 tournaments. Ciez practiced with me for Sunday Night Fights, so I asked him to play.

?COH2.ORG: When you two first started playing together, did you experience any rough patches where your play styles didn't quite fit? Were their any adjustments that needed to be made?

! We have always been really successful on ladder, although we don't play it much. We had to make some adjustments in early scrims - mostly improving communication and actually nailing down a commander combination & strategy. That way we would be playing as a team and not just two 1v1s on a 2v2 map.Ciez

! We had a brainstorming session a few days before the tournament and built the foundation of our strategies for both factions. Most adjustments we have made since then only concerned with its execution.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: When considering the others' play-style and their tactics, what would you say are their strengths and weaknesses :)

! I think POP's aggression and micro are the strengths of his play. He tends to find and exploit every weakness opponents present to him. The only downside about playing with POP is that he isn't a fan of experimenting with new strategies.Ciez

! Ciez has solid execution and unlike me never lets what happens on the field delay his tech progression. I never watch my ally's side of the map so I don't know what his weaknesses are :POMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: Was their anything particular about each others play-style which you liked or felt really worked well within the team?

! I liked how solid of a 1v1 player POP is. Knowing that he is probably going to win his side of the map without my help lets me focus entirely on my side without having to worry if I needed to send a squad or two to help him out.Ciez

! I understand that Ciez has always wanted to do soviets T4/ KV8 / IS2 and so on, I'm glad he never goes rogue on me in tournaments.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: Together, what do you think is your strongest or most successful strategy on the battlefield?

! I think we can both agree that our German strategy tends to be extremely strong. We had a solid plan to secure our side of the map in the early game and knew that as long as we could survive until Elefant/Werfers/Howi, then we should be able to win any game.Ciez

?COH2.ORG: In game, do you use any specific sort of communication method or co-operation tools?

! We use mumble for voice chat and just try to keep each other informed of everything important going on - tech timings, mine placements, abnormal enemy units etc.Ciez

?COH2.ORG: So how long roughly had you been playing matches together before you entered the mTw 2v2 Tournament?

! We had played 1v1s throughout Sunday Night Fights but only played 2v2 seriously for about a week before the tournament. Enough time to get our ladder placement games and a few scrims in against other top 2v2 teamsCiez

!About one week. There aren't many strong teams to scrim against, we played raz & con for 3 games and did a few provisional games on ladder.OMGPOP

! Yeah, I think we actually did only scrim raz & conCiez

?COH2.ORG: So, going into the tournament, were you feeling confident or were you a little cautious of your opponents?

! We were mostly concerned about the Jesulin/Quentin matchup. We had a tough game one in the semi-finals versus them. However, the rest of the games were smooth sailing.OMGPOP

! Definitely worried about Jesulin/Quentin. We figured that if we could beat them in the semi-finals we'd have a good shot at winning the tournament.Ciez

?COH2.ORG: Why were you both worried about the Jesulin/Quentin games?

! They're both very good 1v1 players and their 2v2 play-style was mostly a mystery to us until the tournament replays started coming in.Ciez

! I was watching a few streams during downtime in day one of the tournament, and their team impressed me the most.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: Were there any times through the course of the tournament where you felt you were close to losing? If so, why was this?

! In our first game against Jesulin and Quentin they managed to get a tiger onto the field. Our Soviet strategy relied heavily on winning as quickly as possible. So we didn't have a great plan in store to deal with a tiger.Ciez

! Game One of the Semi-Finals. We had lost our first 3/4 T34s to a Tiger and Panzer IVs for little ground gained. The game was on a losing trajectory until we caught their PAK and PIVs off guard.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: Since your winning of the 2v2 mTw Tournament, it's been said that you two are among the best 2v2 players around. How do you feel about achieving this new title?

! It is definitely an honor to be considered that good :) although I guess it isn't surprising considering going through the tournament without dropping a game. As far as I can remember we didn't lose a single 2v2 game last patch once we started playing seriously as a team.Ciez

?COH2.ORG: Do you two plan on keeping or upholding this title, now that you've achieved it?

! Well we're currently playing in two more 2v2 tournaments together, so hopefully we can win those and maintain our "title".Ciez

! We are still in a couple of 2v2 tournaments at the moment, hopefully we can win those as well.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: You partially touched on it already, but what tournaments are you currently in and what events do you plan to enter in, as a team, for the future?

! I think it's ESL flex cup and RtN Invitational? I think the upcoming events may be back to 1v1.OMGPOP

! ESL is running a 2v2 Flex Cup right now that we're in and Clan RtN invited eight 2v2 teams to a small tournament. I don't think that there are any other 2v2 events currently, at least none that have been announced.Ciez

?COH2.ORG: Now, away from the tournament side of things. What are your opinions on the latest big patch (25/03/14). Any criticism or praises for Relic?

! The newest patch is definitely a step in the right direction for the game, although the balance could use some work. I really give props to Relic for giving us a hot-fix so quickly though.Ciez

! Between players of equal skill, I would call it a 8-2 match-up for Ostheer right nowOMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: So there is clearly still large imbalance in the game, you think? What would you alter if you had the opportunity to balance it yourself?

! Reduce LMG42 damage, or push back their timing even further. Reduce PGren armor from 1.2 to 1.0. Slightly increase conscript DPS at all ranges, especially 0-10 yards so that they'll convincingly beat Grens if they can get close. Let Soviet players start with AT grenades researched.

Other changes would include reducing Panther movement speed or health, giving the Werfer more scatter or longer firing time and making the German howitzer not fire 100% of the time. Oh and G43s, way too strong in all aspects. And Pios could use a very slight damage reduction on the move.Ciez

! Grenadiers are too powerful for their cost right now. Since German players will build grenadiers 90% of the time, their combat strength against Soviet line infantries of similar value needs to be relatively balanced.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: The COH Community has seen a large movement from predominantly 1v1 games to 2v2 games. How do you feel about this transition and do you believe it is a positive thing for the community or should more focus be back on the 1v1 gameplay?

! I think 1v1 will always be the primary form of competition in the Company of Heroes franchise but so far the 2v2 tournaments have been a lot of fun. I'd like to see more of both in the future. I also think that team oriented tournaments could help grow the competitive scene since it is easier to get into competitive 2v2 with a friend than having to go it alone, so to speak, in a 1v1.Ciez

! The meta-game for the two modes are completely different. In general, I feel more varieties are good. Players have more choices to play the game mode they like.OMGPOP

?COH2.ORG: Well, thank you both for your time and good luck with your future games and tournaments. It has been a pleasure talking with you both :)

! Thanks for the interview :)Ciez

! Likewise, it's been a pleasure.OMGPOP

And so, as this tournament draws to a close we reveal two new 2v2 Champions, Ciez and OMGPOP. How did you feel about the results of the tourney? What do you think of the champs' suggestions for balance changes? Feel free to put your own comments and opinions below, and keep an eye out for the upcoming Company of Heroes 2v2 tournaments and events.

COH2.ORG thanks once all the organizers and players who made the mTw 2v2 Tournament possible, and especially to Ciez and OMGPOP for being so positive and receptive during the course of the interviews.
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