WGLAPAC Profile: Team Efficiency

If you would have asked most fans of the Wargaming Gold League to name a top team in APAC, most would know of El Gaming and their kinetic style of play. The team that had been undefeated over the past two seasons in their home region. But that streak came to an end this season at the hands of Team Efficiency not just once, but twice. A team that finished 2nd and locked in a place for the WGLAPAC Championship this weekend. Many fans might not have heard of TE before but, if you are a WGL fan, now is the time to learn more about this rising side who could have a major impact on this weekend’s event.

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  • What year was your team founded? What was it that brought you all together? More importantly what has kept your core group together as Team Efficiency?

The team was founded back in 2012. There is only one original member left from the founding team and the remaining players have come in at various stages,

As with any team in a competitive environment, there are a lot of ups and downs, frustrations and highlights but through it all we’ve developed a strong comradery and mutual respect to get us through the thick and thin.

  • What do you see as your best moment as a team in the last few seasons?

The obvious Highlight for this season would be directly qualifying into this season’s Regional final with a good chance of getting through to the Grand finals in Moscow.

Also, previous season’s qualifier win against CT in overtime to make it through to the Regional finals was great moment for the team.

  • How much of a boost or validation was it when you defeated EL Gaming? Was the second win over them even more meaningful?

Beating EL Gaming was a massive validation for the team considering they had been undefeated for the past 2 seasons. To then back it up the following weekend in a game which should not even have gone to tiebreaker really proved to us that we can beat anyone in the APAC region.

  • The audience for the WGL seems to be opening up and more fans seem to be watching different regions as well as their own. What would be the way you would describe Team Efficiency to a fan who is new to you and has never seen you play?

To describe our team is kind of hard. You never know which TE will show up.

Play style wise is very fast and aggressive; we don’t like to be on the back foot in games and prefer to dictate the tempo. And even though we win a lot more then we lose you are almost guaranteed to see us throw rounds like no other team. This may or not be because of Beer.

  • Any message you would like to give to your fans?

Not much to say except for thank you very for your support in twitch chat.

It’s always awesome to back and re-watch our vods and see all the cheering alongside the “NotLikeThis” emotes. Hopefully we can do you all proud at the Regional finals and take you guys with us all the way to Moscow.

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  • Lastly, if you had to pick one song that would capture the idea of who Team Efficiency are as a team, what would it be?

As much as I keep kicking the guys from TS Chicken Attack Song Voyage keeps getting played in our TS and as some of the audience will remember was even heard during our final game off the seasons during one off the listen ins.

Team Efficiency have made a massive statement in APAC this season just by proving that EL Gaming are mortal and can be beaten. Yet if they can make it past a tough Caren Tigers in the Semi-final match they have an opportunity not just to face and defeat EL Gaming again, but to walk away WGLAPAC Champions and top seed from the region at the Grand Finals in Moscow.

Be sure to follow Team Efficiency at twitter @Team_Efficiency and tune in to wgl.gg/watch , on April 8-9 from 14:00 GMT+8 for the WGLAPAC Finals from EcoARK, Taipei for all the action!

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WGLNA Legends of the Past: A Profile of David “Nagatron” Williams of Fulcrum/Fnatic

(This article starts a series that will run over the next few weeks. Its goal is to look back at the teams and personalities that have made for some of the greatest and most intriguing moments in the history of the WGLNA.)

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The WGLNA Season 2 finals are now less than five days away and as the four best teams in the NA prep for that event. Today we look back at the rich history of the league. In the beginning of the eSports era of World of Tanks, one team stood out for being dominant. A team named Fulcrum.  Two-time, back to back, WGLNA champions, Fulcrum was the team that everyone wanted to beat but often, failed to do so. Later on, they picked up a sponsor and changed their name to Fnatic.  Though the name changed the character of the team had not.

At the helm, as Captain of Fulcrum (Fnatic), was David “Nagatron” Williams. The same man now known to many newer WGLNA fans as part of the casting duo from a few seasons ago who stood alongside Christian Toma. http://TheDailyBounce.net was lucky enough to sit down and talk with him a bit about the beginnings of the WGLNA, Fulcrums members, their place in the early days, and any legacy he felt they might have left.

  • How did the core group of Fulcrum come together? Who were the foundation of Fulcrum?

Fulcrum was essentially created by merging Friction and I’s tournament teams. Sov13t, Relics and I joined officially with Friction, Hugo and Zero when they came to Forge from NDP after long conversations, over a period of a few months, when Friction and I worked together daily in clan wars. Friction and I were two of the most successful Clan Wars leaders for quite a while so we basically made a deal that as soon as the Absolute Power tournament concluded we’d merge and try to make a super team.

I also consider JackQueRudo and AntonioHandsome core members of my tournament team but they weren’t able to start for a few reasons. Antonio was in Spain and we weren’t sure if that would be a problem while Jackie was doing a backpacking trip around Europe. Both very likely would’ve been starters had things gone differently.

  • In the early days of WoT esports, even pre WGLNA, what were the challenges you and Fulcrum faced? What were the challenges those early rules presented?

We started off losing pretty bitterly in the Ural Steel Regional tournament. We came close to winning it several times, but the clock kept getting in our way and then one bad turn of events in RNG pretty much closed it out. This actually cemented us a team and made us try even harder for the upcoming WCG tournament. We wouldn’t have made those mistakes a month later.

  • Success for Fulcrum came early. Was there any specific strategy, or tactics you went back to when the challenges came? What made Fulcrum the dominant force of their time?

Before Season 1 there was a Major League that took the place of what was supposed to be the first season of WGLNA. During that we definitely specialized in excellence in small team tactics while focusing our larger strategy around our strengths in scouting and artillery play. Wargaming ended up making huge changes that ruined this entire approach, but during the year up to that we were a serious force to be reckoned with. I felt we could’ve had great success on the international stage at this point. After that we were pretty much just trying to retool our team to fit the current meta, but we were never as solid as we were at that point.

  • Every great team has a key rival. Who were the antagonist for Fulcrum? How intense was the competition between you and them?

We mostly were concerned with international teams. We always wanted to go toe to toe with Na Vi and perform at a high level. Locally there were a few teams that we felt were developing well and could take our place at the top. SIMP was obviously the team we had the biggest rivalry with locally, but we actually felt Hammer Time and Cunningham’s were better at different points throughout. We always overthought and underperformed in our matches against SIMP and I think the other two suffered that as well, but to SIMP’s credit they were resilient and obviously skilled enough to create that effect. It’s hard to really explain our relationship and perspective of SIMP since it started long before WGLNA began and would take a while to detail accurately.

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  • Was there any one team mate who was the glue for the team, other than yourself? The one who could bring folks a laugh, a focus, a kick in the pants when needed?

A lot of people on the team had parts to play here. Hugo, Zero, Relics and AntonioHandsome all were people who could bring a laugh and keep things light and fun. Friction and Sov13t were guys who would push people to play better and work to build systems to help that happen. During Season 4 JackQueRudo really stepped up to try to get everyone to work harder. I did a little of everything, but for the most part I played the diplomat, tried to foster respect, necessary chain of command/responsibility and manage the general morale of the team. I feel I began to fail in this role between Season 2 and Season 3 after WCG.

  • Even with all the changes that have occurred since you last played, do you believe that Fulcrum would still be formable in today’s WGLNA?

If we’re talking about magically moving the same spirit and motivation from the early Fulcrum days to now, then I’d say absolutely. If we’re talking about firing it back up, discovering what baggage still exists, knocking off the rust and trying to get our head back in the game then I have no idea. So much of competition is mental that it’s hard to predict until you get practicing and see how people behave.

  • This is a team that stands the test of time based on its championships alone. What do you think or do you think Fulcrum has left a legacy?

I’m not really sure. I obviously have a different perspective on how we performed so I can’t really speak for the community at large. We threw a lot of games and that’s what I remember the most.

The legacy we wanted to leave was to be the NA team that performed well internationally, the team that lead the way to play hard, play fast and take reasonable risks. I frequently argued with league members that if we’re camping we’re doing this for nothing. Nobody wants to watch that and if nobody is watching then the league can’t grow. Format changes to the league (Assault/Defense instead of Standard mode) have since helped address some of this problem, but this was a very large topic for several seasons that caused a lot of tension between teams.

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  • Are there any words you wanted to share for your fans or words of wisdom for the current teams?

I’d want to thank all our fans for sticking with us through the ups and downs. I recently got to meet one of our earliest fans GhiaJoe at PAX South and that was a really cool experience. It’s an honor to have people you’ve never met so compelled to cheer you on.

For current teams, all I can say is that respect is what matters the most. Being a team is like any other relationship. It takes real work to keep those dynamics healthy, but without them you are guaranteed to fail when the pressure is on.

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Fulcrum is a team that will be remembered as the most dominant early era team around. It was not until they were pressed hard in the Season 3 finals by Hammer Time and others as well as suffering defeat to SIMP in the final match did they begin to look mortal. Let’s just say that if WGLNA ever did a Hall of Fame, Nagatron and Fulcrum would be on the first ballet. They were The Team that got the ball rolling. These days you can follow David Williams on Twitter at @NagatronTV.

The only team that has a chance of achieving a back to back title win is Elevate this Saturday, April 8th, 2017, on http://live.wgleague.net/  . Will Comps, Wallhacks, Jerm, Oxmathus, and company secure the same success and gain the glory that once was in the domain of Fulcrum alone? Can history be matched or will the unpredictable nature of the WGLNA strike again? Be sure to tune in to find out

WGLNA Season 2 Match Night – Play Offs!

Four Teams fight for a trip to the WGLNA Finals!

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Coming into this season Déjà Vu looked to a be a team with loads of potential and to be an early favorite for Season 2. They doubled downed on this claim when on match day 4 they blasted eClipse to win 5 – 1. Since then they have been sponsored by Dare Rising and ended the season in 3rd place. The squad itself is a solid mix with last season’s MVP, MyLittlePutin, as the standout ably supported by Aggressor, BurdenFungus, Mactep Putin and the rest of the side. A victory tonight would see them play eClipse in the first round of the WGLNA but first they had to find a way past o7.

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Way back on the first night of this season o7 defeated Dare 5 -4 in an exciting contest. This would be the precursor to a strong showing in the 1st round robin. Since then o7 has lost an ace player in Ledif when he left to join eClipse. Yet o7 did not simply fold up, as some expected. They are known as a tough, resilient team. They added veteran player and ArcLit, and were able to push eClipse on the last match day of the season. o7 were the definitive underdog going into this showdown with Dare Rising, but historically o7 had proven they could score of upsets.

Dare Rising Vs o7

In World of Tanks, doing damage is king. It is key to winning the game and though simple,  one of the bedrock foundations of the game. But you cannot deliver that damage if you cannot spot the enemy. Fosta in an Udes found a spot just off the 1 Cap on Steppes that was as good as any invisibility ring o7  cloaking device. He could provide spots on Dare while his foes had no idea where he was. His spots led to his team cutting DR to pieces and taking a 1 – 0 lead for o7. That lead would double as o7 dispatched Dare to seize a 2 – 0 lead.

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Match 3 would open on mines and o7 would surprise with a Maus push to seize the hill. Dare had not been idle setting up their defense. When Makos and Andepans attempted to rush north past the lighthouse island they were lit and deleted in a matter of seconds. Though there were still 3 Maus to be dealt with this moment was likely the beginning of the end as Dare would pick up their first win and make the score 1 -2.

The next battle on mines was a nail biter as Dare took a tank lead early. But as the 2-min warning sounded, o7 had 4 tanks left to dares 6. In the end, it was DR taking this close match to tie things up 2 – 2.

Murovanka was next up and while the odds favor the defender on this map, teams have continually worked on new strats to try find a way win on the attack. Dare Rising have helped with that research as they pushed 3 hvys onto cap while the rest of the team engaged in the middle of the map holding up o7 and keeping them at bay long enough to make the score 3 – 2 in favor of Dare. Continue reading

WGLNA Team Profile: Elevate

The Apex Predator of North America sits down to talk with us.

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Apex, then Elevate, came into the season as the favorites after winning Season 1 WGLNA finals back in October of 2016. The concerns heard were about whether the new additions to the team would gel quickly and if they could fill the shoes of the departing players. The answer was a record of 70 match wins with just 12 losses. Undefeated with a win rate of 85%. Recently we were fortunate enough to sit down with some queries and questions with Elevates Captain, Comps.

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  • The Team has a rich past that has included more than a few names. Cunningham’s, Noble, Apex and now Elevate. What has kept the core team together and going after all these seasons?

Comps: What has kept this team together is the drive to win. There has been continuous improvement since the very first season. We have now reached a point where the only thing left to do is go to the grand finals and finally put on a good showing from NA. Chasing that opportunity is the glue that has kept the team going.

  • After winning last season’s final your team had some personnel leave the team, retirement, and the such. Yet the response was to pick up Oxmathus, Wallhacks, and GodEmperorBrett, and later Vetro, some of the best players in the league. Were there any challenges in integrating them into the team? (Play style, culture, pace, positions, etc.)

Comps: The integration of Ox and Brett was very straight forward as they were directly replacing players with similar roles. The biggest challenge early on was having Wally call. In previous seasons under Jerm’s calling we were a more passive/reactive team. With Wally calling we became a more proactive and aggressive team. This was a difficult transition early on but the guys have since adopted the system and it has been working quite well. Continue reading

WGLNA Match Day 17 – Recap and Review

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Apex had stood alone from start to this very last match. Though change had happened recently, the addition of Vetro from eClipse, nothing more was expected as they prepped for their last encounter vs Dare Rising. Yet Comps and Co had a major surprise in store as it was announced they had accepted sponsorship from Elevate, a noted and respected E-Sports organization. Even with this exciting moment most expected little to no change in WGLNA’s most dominant team performance tonight.

dareaviDare Rising came into this match night both hungry and with the clear knowledge that a victory over Elevate would guarantee second place. The race for this position and the bye it gives straight into the finals has been tight this entire second round robin but it was now Dare’s for the taking.  The challenge lay in being the first team to take down undefeated Elevate.

Dare Rising vs Elevate

The first match of the evening would be on Prokhorovka and while each team has been playing around with the new 17.1 update meta has encouraged, Elevate may have found an interesting take. Wallhacks took the T95 and was the lead tank in a massive push down the 1 / 2 line. With its 20Kph speed it led Vetro in his IS4 providing both bait and heavy armor. In a flurry of shots Elevate would eliminate Derjil and his S-Tank early leading to victory and a 1 – 0 lead for Elevate.

Elevate quickly took the 2nd match and the first Mines contest to race to a commanding 3 – 0 lead. Yet Dare would shock many as they did what has been, up to this point, impossible. Defeat Elevate on Mines. Elevate attempted a T95 two-line cap but were stymied. Dare Rising would be the first and only team to gain victory this regular season over WGLNA’s top team on Mines to make the score 1 -3. Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: WGLNA League Leading Apex now Elevate.

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As of 3pm PST on Thursday March 3, 2017 it was announced last seasons champion and nigh unstoppable this season is now sponsored by Elevate.  It has been almost 2 years since the well known e-sports team had a sponsored a WGLNA side. Yet it left questions as to why they had chosen to come back to World of Tanks and WGLNA. TheDailyBounce.net was fortunate to grab an exclusive with Elevates brand manager, ElevateParse.



What drew Elevate back into the WGLNA and specifically to Apex?

Elevate – Regarding Elevate’s return to WGLNA, I would say that we’ve quietly been watching the scene since we last played in 2015.  At the end of that season, which didn’t end as we had hoped; we were concerned with the impact of some WGLNA format changes to the final and dealing with some internal staffing problems, the combination of which ultimately led to us concluding that we’d take a step back from the scene and see how things developed.

Luckily the competitive environment benefits from developer support unlike most we’ve seen elsewhere. The scene seems even more vibrant and as competitive as ever, so when we started seeing hype for the season picking up, we decided to put our feelers back out again.

Ultimately, Apex was the first team we approached, and honestly, why wouldn’t you start by talking to the undefeated #1 team in the league? We were thrilled to see that Apex was full of highly professional players, who had their own corporate structuring and were taking their role as professional players seriously. It made it really easy to talk with them and figure out how we could work out a sponsorship. We talked to sponsors of our company like Razer, and when we saw they were thrilled to see us getting back in the scene, we knew we had made the right decision.

What vision does Elevate see for Apex, now Elevate?

Elevate – I’m not going to lie. We have big expectations of this team. They do nothing but impress us at every corner of what they do. I’ve never seen such an impressively talented team in WGLNA, and I’ve been watching it for a LOOOOOONG time. I would love to see Apex finish strong and win the North American region, and go even further to stun both European and CIS regions. I honestly could see this team winning it all, which would be a first for North American teams. It is exciting enough to be a part of a team that is exceeding all expectations and turning heads at the international level.

Not to look past the regional finals, but a high placing in the Grand Finals the goal?

Elevate – Let me be clear, we understand the variability of LAN environments, probably more than most teams. Call of Duty sets you up for a lot of changes between online and live events, and we’ve been doing that for years now.

Given how great the team looks and how seriously they take their training and scrimmaging, I would not be surprised to see them placing very well at the Global Grand Finals, provided they qualify. I think there are great things on the horizon for this team.

The ambition of what was formally Apex has found a new home and sponsor that shares that same desire of success. Combined with a desire to take WGLNA to the next level in the upcoming Grand Finals this partnership can only help both and bring yet more exposure to the League.

WGLNA Match Day 16 – Recap and Review

The race for the all-important 2nd place bye heats up!

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This season of the WGLNA has been a tale of Apex and then the rest of the league. To those new to the WGLNA, Apex is a team that draws its roots back from the Cunninghams, through Team Noble. But during that time, they have changed continually. Always looking for the right mix of talent and chemistry. This season they recruited over half the players from the 2nd place side of eClipse. Going into tonight Apex has won 60 games and lost 11 out of 12 total matches to stand undefeated.  They have 1st place and with that the bye that will take them directly into the finals.

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Facing them tonight is a team bringing back and old and respected name in the WGLNA. Top Tier may have been in hiatus but Captain Rude_Awakening felt confident enough about this team to bring it back. So far, they have rewarded him as they are on a 4-match winning streak and holding their own in a hotly contested race for 2nd place. That would give them the other bye which will take a team past the playoffs and directly into the finals. Would they be up for the challenge or will they be yet another bump in the road for this seasons dominant Apex predator?

Apex vs Top Tier

Even before the match kicked off the Apex looked to have an early advantage in the pick of Ghost Town.  They hold a win rate of over 80% for this map, leading the league and on this night, it would be no different. What would be different, as of last week’s, 17.1 update, is what some are calling “The Maus Meta.” In these first to matches, the German heavy tank would be represented 9 times. To say they made up the majority of HP on the battlefield would be an understatement. Apex would prove the more adept in integrating these monster sized vehicles as they took an early 2 -0 lead.

Top Tier would not get any breathing room as the next map would be Himmelsdorf, where Apex holds a season long undefeated record. That record would hold as Apex would bring a line up in match 3 of 2 T95’s to aid in their victory. Match 4 would see an epic Maus brawl that had Apex taking the win and a 4 – 0 and match point lead.

Match 5 would be attack on Murovanka for Apex and because or in spite of brining 3 Maus they would cap out to take the match and the series 5 – 0. Again, Apex dominates and demonstrates why they won the league last year and look to finish this season undefeated. Top Tier on the other hand now left there hope to others as a win by Dare would knock any chance of 2nd or even 3rd place out of their grasp.

Match 2

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Our second match of the night was a pivotal duel for that vaunted 2nd place position. 3rd place Dare Rising would leapfrog into that slot with a 3-point win. Dare came out hard in the first-round robin, including an impressive 5 -1 victory over last season’s runner up eClipse. Since then, though, Dare has had an up and down time. A victory tonight would lock them into 3rd place and likely playoff match vs 07, who have the 6th and last playoff spot.

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Aquatic M60s dreams of 2nd place lay in victory and in the hands of other teams dropping their last matches. While they had won this matchup in the first-round robin of the season this matchup looked to stand on a razors edge on who would triumph with both teams needing the win. Aquatic has had a solid season so far and are often overlooked over either Top Tier or Dare rising. Tonight, provides the opportunity to demonstrate just how good they are against a quality side.

Dare Rising vs Aquatic M60s

M60s would come out strong in the first match on mines taking a cap victory and an early 1 -0 lead. Yet on the defense they were not able to stand against Dare Risings 1 / 2-line push which evened the score at 1 all.

Yet Aquatic came right back on the first match of Murovanka. They would get the ace, not lose a single tank, to again pull ahead 2 -1.  But again, Dare would come right back and with some precise shooting by last season’s MVP, MyLittlePutin, would get the time out victory to even it back up at 2 -2.

M60s would again responded on the first battle of Prokhorovka to, once more, take a lead. Dare would also respond in the 2nd match to bring things even at 3 wins a side. And in a nod to the new Maus Meta, we had seen them on every map and battle so far in this series and had an influence.

The break in this back and forth affair would come in match 7 on Ghost Town as Dare Rising managed to cap out despite some clever sniping by M60s Morphic in his Udes 03 seemingly half a map away. That win, containing a total of 9 Maus and 1 Type 5 heavy, would put Dare on match point going into Match 8. This map was a bit lighter as only 8 Maus and a Type 5 heavy graced the battlefield. Yet after thousands of points of HP were lost it came down to a 1 vs 1 dual. It was Feelmypotato in his Maus vs Dare’s MyLittlePutin in a Bat Chat T. After a very tortoise, of in this case, Maus, and the Hare moment it was MyLittlePutin getting the kill, the match, and the series win, 5 – 3, for Dare Rising.

An exciting end and victory for Dare has them leap into 2nd and securing at the very least 3rd place on the season. They still have a chance at 2nd place if they can find their way to victory vs the juggernaut known as Apex. Even if they do lose, they still have a chance if eClipse loses to o7.

Aquatic M60’s made this match a fairly close run thing as they now must prepare for both Valence, their last match and the upcoming Semi-finals next Thursday the 9th. They will be facing either eClipse or Dare Rising depending on the coming results in the next few match days.

Be sure to join in all the excitement of the last few match days. Tune in at 5:30 pm PST at http://live.wgleague.net/ .