Interview with Sour Patch Kids team leader, 23 yr old Alex “RN!” Shkundrich, hailing from Chicago. Alex has been playing in ESEA since season 4 and has finally made Invite with his team of new faces and potential. With nearly six years playing source four of them in competitive play.
Check his profile http://play.esea.net/users/245053.
Blight Blackfoger: Thank you for doing this Interview. First off tell me about you, what makes RN tick. Are you the joker? or the hero gotham city deserves?
SPK rn!: I try to be the hero. Comradery is my #1 thing, my goal even above reaching invite is to one day have the same 5 return the next season.
blight blackfoger: It’s a hard task to reach
SPK rn!: yea, but I would love to do it so fingers crossed!
blight blackfoger: Tell me about your roster.
SPK rn!: Well first off, we just picked up Talc.
blight blackfoger: I know john aka lazerjesus, didn’t know he was invite level now, guess I am out of it.
SPK rn!: John is a blast to play with, he knows he has a capable shot, but he is man enough to admit faults and has really amplified his teamwork and survivability.
blight blackfoger: I don’t think he’s ever created drama in a team compared to others in invite.
SPK rn!: We had a little drama in IM, a lot of people don’t realize laser has been spk since our open team but he was on a laptop first season then me and him bumped heads in IM he took a break came back for main and now its that lifelong team bondage… err I am bonding everyday LOL.
blight blackfoger: How do you think your team will do with this being your first time in invite.
SPK rn!: Our goal is just like everyone elses, make LAN and do our best all I ask of our guys is do our best and just see if it all falls into place
blight blackfoger: Realistically how do you think it will go?
SPK rn!: Being realistic doesn’t win you anything that is already settling to lose if I say realistically I see us going ~6-10.
blight blackfoger: What teams do you see having an issue against online?
SPK rn!: Dynamic, Fully Torqued, Zomblerz will be the ones pushing us at full throttle, however all the teams are good.
blight blackfoger: How often does your team practice?
SPK rn!: Our practice for playoffs was 4 days a week, 3 hours at a time and then a dry run/recap day on sunday/matchday, but we plan to amplify our schedule a ton especially because we have to get talc in our system asap and prepare for the road ahead.
blight blackfoger: You plan on attending any LANS in the future? ETS, OG, europe?
SPK rn!: ETS and OG would have been nice this year but it wasn’t in our budget a lot of us didn’t hear about either until it was too late so our focus is ESEA LAN first. Perhaps MWL 14 in the fall for 3 of us, me talc and laser are in the tri state it’s not a major LAN but a team bonding event none the less.
blight blackfoger: Are you guys looking for sponsors or have you already found someone?
SPK rn!: We definitely want sponsors, talking to a couple nothing set in stone quite yet
blight blackfoger: What can an organization expect from you, if they sponsor your team aka showcase why you should be picked up.
SPK rn!: Our team is held as a group of good guys who love playing games together and we pride ourselves in the fact that even when we are heated and nit picking rounds we never let it break out into rage quits or anyone leaving practice early or leaving the team in fact stability and professionalism is key in my eyes and an example most people at this level fail to understand or set for the rest of the lower tiers.
blight blackfoger: Where do you see CSS going?
SPK rn!: there are two roads for css when GO is released there will be either a major swing
blight blackfoger: one to compton one to atlantic city?
SPK rn!: LOL no no there will be a major swing to that game regardless but just like 1.6 the die hards will have esea and possibly cevo left to compete in if GO is not to there. Our team has talked if GO is above average we will switch we want to be where the name brands want to be thats the future no matter what the game mechanics are MLG has interest in GO and awaiting its release so its a waiting game at this moment.
blight blackfoger: Is there anyone you look up to as a CSS player?
SPK rn!: at least 1 maybe 2 competitive seasons left in CSS when i first started in cal o
blight blackfoger: god I loved CAL.
SPK rn!: with my PUB CLAN lol I would watch that dirtysecret clip everyday or movie rather every day before practice to hype me up so I would say off of skill alone him but attitude wise juan or even moe moe is classed a rager and all that but deep down he seems like a genuine person who is passionate.
blight blackfoger: What do you think of the trolling, attitude and unprofessionalism in this community?
SPK rn!: oh man…. I have no where to begin even after our invite berth these “elite” teams act very shady when it comes to scrimming so far nci, zomblerz, and dynamic have been very polite and open to scrimming us but im not gonna name the ones who come up with excuses just for us to leave their server only to accept what they deem a more worthy opponent. We accept main teams mostly and teams we know will challenge us further.
blight blackfoger: So have you just been recently scrimming more frequently vs invite teams?
SPK rn!: Hell even if we are desperate we will just join a random one if possible it would be nice i do like how alot of them agree to multiple map scrims like bo3’s so its refreshing and engaging but lately its been reforms of good players and mid to top main teams and by lately i mean today and last night haha.
blight blackfoger: Would you say playing at the higher caliber now it’s pushing your team in a greater direction?
SPK rn!: I sure hope so I am more motivated than ever and i feel like some of us have a lot to prove everyone is on the laser bandwagon which is fine because he is an amazing fragger and teammate but there are other gems on this team that got us to where we are and now with Talc in the line up i feel we have the right tools to progress even higher for our sake i hope i am right
blight blackfoger: Would you say if someone was thrusted into playing in the invite community it would force them into being a better player a hell of alot quicker, meaning teams should be a lot less uptight and egotistical with whom they play with or against?
SPK rn!: well as far as picking up a player i can understand how teams could want xp if you are middle tier team looking for that push unless the player demonstrates monster teamwork and a good shot its hard to want to just pick up a guy with only open proof some teams have done it but i don’t think they around now, i know zam left us in IM to play with jcp but other then that not alot of OPEN - invite moves happen and i believe its because of that exact reason but that doesn’t mean teams in main and even the other divisions are not capable of putting up a fight
blight blackfoger: but I find it even more rare for people to even get into invite from main..
SPK rn!: individually yes its just hard and maybe if everyone was more respecting to one another and this idea of if they are not on my team they blow didn’t always exist
blight blackfoger: respecting is very rare, I have been getting our teams more into the habit of saying GL HF and GG
SPK rn!: yea I say ns or compliment a play but apparently if they are “better” then us that isnt a big deal if i think they had a great play that round really frustrating.
blight blackfoger: What is the one aspect do you think your team needs to improve on.
SPKrn!: frag chasing, and consistent flow of good comms we comm a lot but sometimes the specifications are intermittent, once we get those kinks out we will be a solid team for anyone to play I honestly believe it but those are the hardest kind of kinks to iron out gonna need some elbow grease and some extra starch lol
blight blackfoger: Who do you hate/disrespect in the community. Who do you want to start a beef with.
SPK rn!: well to be honest… NO ONE haha
blight blackfoger: hehehe sure
SPK rn!: I may find peoples attitudes annoying or very disrespecting and that bothers me but I don’t let it effect me to the point where I hate them me and shahzam went at throats the season before I picked him up and now I consider him a reliable buddy on the internet if people don’t get along with me its really on them I don’t have time to worry enough to hate others
blight blackfoger: Ok personal questions fav food?
SPK rn!: chinese food combo fried rice and sweet and sour pork the bomb
blight blackfoger: Do you want to make gaming a career or a hobby?
SPK rn!: I mean if the future of GO puts gaming on the map and progress this game i love to compete in to a level where i can live comfortably off of i could see it as a viable option.
blight blackfoger: Are willing to try other games and be top tier at them?
SPK rn!: as most ESEAers would know i am also obsessed with rapping and making music so that is my other dream as well i considered it but im not in high school anymore I just dont have the time.
blight blackfoger: fav movie?
SPK rn!: damn currently I would say i really enjoyed man this question is tough I watch sooooo many movies I would have to say safe house I really like denzel movies training day is up there huge fan of semi pro I know not his best but great quotable one liners for later I liked both sherlocks a lot the way he broke down fights before they happened was intense also downy is the man any comic movie even if it sucks I prolly liked it that first hulk and punisher warzone really blew though lol and catwomen with halle berry was a waste of time. well other then them tits I guess
blight blackfoger: If you had a chance to pick up one person from any other invite team who would it be You have two picks.
SPK rn!: oh man, moe but like moE the one who loved this game the CGS moe.
blight blackfoger: who else
SPK rn!: In the current game as it stands Steel his prep game is nuts and efficient he is a great in game leader his attitude towards others is another thing but solely based off what i want in game juan would have been dope to play with a shame he is retired just wish i was into competing when the game first was released i started as a sourcer.
blight blackfoger: any other CGS players? I would go dominator
SPK rn!: wayyyy after cal was around if had a caller yeah I don’t think you have noticed but i like those leader based players cause i have yet to have a strong caller on our team we kinda do a full 5 calling system which we are getting rid of this season
blight blackfoger: fav tv shows?
SPK rn!: Walking dead dexter true blood spartacus psych
blight blackfoger: I love psych
rn!: its hilarious scrubs just to name a few OH archer can’t forget my boy and game of thrones
blight blackfoger: Do you see gaming becoming mainstream?
rn!: yes, it will take a while
blight blackfoger: How do you like ESEA PUGS? do you feel its a good stepping stones for new players?
SPK rn!: the way it is now? no maybe if you’re brand new
blight blackfoger: what can be done to change it?
SPK rn!: I think they need to have skill ranges like a matching system if you have a certain rws and you hit the pug button it sends you in a server with other VERY close rws’s
blight blackfoger: What do you think is the “besT” Map?
SPK rn!: it forces bad players to play better best map at the moment I am actually feeling tuscan or ferno it changes
blight blackfoger: worst map is?
SPK rn!: d2 a classic but everyone under the son plays it differently and the noobs shine on that thing
blight blackfoger: I personally like russka contra ferno tuscan that’s it. that order, no one likes russka though >_<
SPK rn!: beat 3dmax and dynamic on russka was intense and not easy but i would say those maps are unique and fun!
blight blackfoger: what do you think is the best for a team mix up wise all riflers? one defensive one picking awp? I know on nuke germans play only rifles.
SPK rn!: germans are nuts haha at least 1 awp depending on the map i like 2 I hate the 3 awp on any side but strats last season were not in my control offense 4 rifles are usually my jam piece
blight blackfoger: imagine 4 awpers
rn!: unless its train or a d2 or something that needs 2 awps possibly
rn!: i believe venom ran that occasionally and won with it LOL whatever clever this game is so old now you never know
blight blackfoger: now what sort of strats do you guys do, such as fully torqued they do pop flash and rush in. other teams work off picks etc.
SPK rn!: currently we are picking but once we settle into our new strats and setups we will mix it all up I love being unpredictable and sometimes that calls for being a “noob” and deadzone rushing deagles on a eco the deag is strong with our team
blight blackfoger: lol the force is strong with our deags
SPK rn!: yea that’s what I was going for.
blight blackfoger: who is the fragger and who is the clutcher on your team?
SPK rn!: fragger and clutcher go to laser atm jyro had so many nutty clutches last season during the reg season but laser came big in playoffs but at the moment laser was shining bright last season no doubt
blight blackfoger: what adjective would you say the community would say about your team
SPK rn!: entertaining I hope!
blight blackfoger: any last comments you like to say
SPK rn!: shouts out to all the teams/players who support our move to invite and make sure to check out our matches in esea and to take a look at www.shykidsmusic.com
blight blackfoger: thank you for taking the time out
SPK rn!: no problem L’s Up!