The introduction of the CoD World League has opened up a large opportunity for the many invited teams as well as the breadth of talent who still have the chance to prove themselves. The newly announced Chief line-up, previously known as Team Skyfire, were the first team in the world to secure their spot in the league for the ANZ region; causing a rather large upset defeating Mindfreak in a nail-biting 3-2 series during qualification.
The CoD World League is set to inject an astounding prize pool of $300,000 for the first two stages within the ANZ region, a sum which is ground-breaking for console eSports down under. Each of the teams will earn points and a portion of this prize pool during the season. Competing in the Pro league will inevitably provide a platform for representatives to compete at the 2016 Call of Duty World Championship next year.
We managed to catch up with Mitchell ‘Vqnishh’ Dame who shared his thoughts on the league and his aspirations on competing in the future of Call of Duty within Australia.
- Marzy: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us Vqnishh.
Vqnishh: Not a problem mate, happy to be here!
- Marzy: First and foremost, congratulations on being the first team in the world to qualify for the league. Did you expect such a formidable performance given the time you guys had to create your roster before the event?
Vqnishh: Going into the event we one hundred percent expected to qualify, we always had confidence in each other even against Mindfreak. Yes, we didn’t have as much prep as most of the other teams but our LAN experience and our drive to win greatly outweighed the others. We wanted to make a statement and prove ourselves to people who have spoken ill of us.
- Marzy: For those who are unaware, would you be able to give a brief background on how you came into the CoD competitive scene as well as the origins of your current line-up?
Vqnishh: I have been playing CoD since Call of Duty 4 came out back in 2007. My first competitive type thing that I played was competitive sniping back in Modern Warfare 2 but that was never very serious. I took up competitive 4v4 in Modern Warfare 3 as a hobby that always came second to school and rugby. However, I found that I had a major passion for eSports and decided that I wanted to pursue it further. As for the rest of my team, Jack took a very similar path to me as we started off in the same team in MW3. We strayed away from each other a few times over the course of numerous games but always seemed to end up back together and made an impact. Dean started off in competitive sniping as well and as the scene died out he decided to make the switch to 4v4’s in CoD Ghosts. He took the scene by surprise as people don’t usually take too kindly to unknown players coming out of nowhere and winning comps in their first few weeks of playing. He did exactly that, winning some alongside myself and Jack as our super sub in TRIDENT. Lastly, Hopey has played both Halo and CoD at a professional level. He started out back in Halo 3 I believe and attended many events around the country and even getting a few top 3 placements under his belt. He made the switch to CoD in Modern Warfare 3 and picked it up like he had been playing it for years. Jake made his first big break at the start of Black Ops 2 with AVANT.
- Marzy: Now that you’ve qualified, are you doing anything different in terms of your practice regime to prepare you for the stage ahead?
Vqnishh: The practice regime has been a bit irregular this week as Jack has been on holiday and everyone else has been taking a little break. Starting Monday the schedule will be back to normal with us practicing 5-6 days of the week. The break has been nice but the team is very eager to get back into it.
- Marzy: The Challenge Division is also around the corner. Do you think any dark horses could arise who aren’t currently participating in the Pro Division?
Vqnishh: I definitely think that there are a few players that missed out on the league who were very deserving to make it. To name a few; Kritikal, Bundo, Hoju and Renzy are all very good experienced players that have attended previous CoD champs events before. Be on the lookout for them.
- Marzy: With the integration of the world league for the first time in Black Ops 3, how do you think it will affect the future growth of AusCoD within the coming years?
Vqnishh: The world league is certainly a massive turning point in the Call of Duty franchise. In previous years CoD has been a massive trend over in the US and somewhat in Europe. In Australia and New Zealand we’ve had little exposure and little opportunity to make something out of it. The CWL has given players across Oceania the chance to make some serious money and potentially a career out of playing professional Call of Duty which is huge news and such a nice thing to see come into fruition.
- Marzy: Now that you’re on-board with the Chiefs, what are your aspirations for you and your team for next year?
Vqnishh: The boys are extremely happy to be on board with the Chiefs for the foreseeable future. They have always been a highly respected organisation across CSGO and LoL and we are so thankful to have been given the opportunity to become the first console team playing under the Chiefs banner. We have only been with Chiefs officially for 2 days or so but I already feel at home and so does the rest of the squad. The best way to describe it is that is feels like we’re one big family. We are aspiring to be the next dominant team in the region just as Mindfreak have been for so many years. We’re aiming to achieve the highest placing by an Australian team at CoD champs later on in the year.
- Marzy: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Do you have any final mentions/shoutouts you’d like to give?
Vqnishh: Anytime mate it was a pleasure. I would like to give a shoutout to our sponsors Nvidia and Logitech G and look forward to working with them. A shout out to my team and last but not least a shout out to the brotha’s, they know who they are. Cheers for taking the time to sit down and have a chat with me mate, looking forward to the future!
We wish the boys the best of luck for a busy 2016!
Be sure to keep up to date with us as well as the CoD division on Twitter @ChiefsESC!
You can follow Marzy on Twitter at @OfficialMarzy.