Player Interview - Maus from AV.SMITE
Nathan recently sat down with Maus to have a chat about his thoughts on the Split 1 and the goals the SMITE team have set out ahead of Split 2.
Nathan: Hey Maus, thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak with you! Mind if we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself?
Maus: Yep! So my name is Lachlan James Caulfield. I am from Victoria, Australia and I play SMITE for the Avant Garde team where I am the captain and the mid laner. I also work full-time, umm and I try and play SMITE competitively on the side!
N: So you guys have just finished your first split for 2016, how do you feel that went?
M: Ahhh, honestly it was probably... it was pretty disappointing the way we finished the split. Leading into the split, we thought that as a team we’d placed ourselves in a really strong position to finish as highly as maybe third, or even make the LAN tournament. Unfortunately we um dropped a couple of games that we had some leads on and we just weren’t able to make, weren’t able to turn those early leads into wins. Also, umm, it being a short split things can go pretty badly pretty quickly so there wasn’t that chance to kind of recover. We started gaining momentum again towards the end of the split but it became pretty clear like we were in for a tough ask after our Dire Wolves, or well leading up to the Dire Wolves games we were going to have to beat Dire Wolves 2-0 and Tainted Minds 2-0 to make LAN.
N: Well, there’s always a chance to look forward and I know (we’ll touch base later on) but I know that your keeping mostly the same roster for next split, so that’s always a bonus.
M: Yeh it’ll be the same roster as of right now.
N: That’s right! On that note, how do you feel about the way you personally performed?
M: I thought, after PAX last year I was pretty disappointed personally in my performances and I think I’ve come along way since then and I think I’ve improved pretty, pretty drastically. I had some pretty poor games but I also think the level of my consistency has increased significantly. Like I think I’ve had one or two bad games, whereas last year I had a lot of bad games. I also carried the team in a fair few games as well which I’m pretty proud of aswell!
N: Going into split 2, what are your main goals and is there a particular team that you’d like to beat?
M: Main goals for next split are probably just, as a start, to get a better win-loss then what we had this split. I think if we are able to get a couple more wins under our belt…umm, we’ll hold a really good chance of making LAN next split. I think the main goal around teams we want to beat is to try and beat the teams that really kind of beat us significantly – those being Tainted Minds, Dire Wolves and Pandamonium. All three sets were 2-0, so umm, we’ve got to work out a way and set ourselves a goal of trying to breach that gap and make sure we get some wins against them next split because you don’t want any side to be beating you, let alone the same sides over and over again!
N: That’s right. I mean even if you were to take one game of those teams then that would definitely be an improvement and a positive.
M: Exactly. I think the most frustrating thing about this split was the fact that all those scrims don’t mean a whole lot. We were beating these teams on an even level and we just didn’t translate those games into our OPL games. So that’s really the major disappointment of this split.
N: Bit more of a personal question, do you enjoy holding the captaincy, and the responsibility that comes with it?
M: I think, from my local football team last year, I was also captain of that so I know roughly the leadership skills and everything that I need to apply here it’s just learning how to apply those. I think that the longer I am captain, the better I’m going to get at it. The thing about me is that I like talking to people face-to-face where I can get a gauge of what can work, how I can motivate them to, ummm, do what’s right for the team and everything. I think because you don’t meet these people until LAN situations and everything’s online – that’s a bit harder to achieve. So, I’m not 100% comfortable in the role, I do find it challenging but it’s a challenge I look forward too.
N: Beautiful! We touched on this a little bit before, but with you guys keeping the same roster over the splits, do you feel more confident going into the future and the games ahead?
M: Yep! I feel like the roster we have has the talent to compete with really any of the OCE teams, it’s just a matter of getting the practice in…
N: And getting the synergy?
M: Yeh, and getting the synergy. It comes down to team chemistry – that was kind of our problem and so we’ve identified that and hopefully we can work on some ways to figure that one out.
N: It’ll definitely come I reckon, this is definitely a positive and I can see you guys going further in the future and improving your play quite a lot.
M: I hope so as well!
N: Given that everyone starts somewhere, what tips would you give to a new player starting out, maybe with a focus on your lane, which is mid.
M: For players just literally picking up the game, I think arenas would be the best game-mode to play because you can just learn all the different characters in a less-serious environment, ummm, and you get to learn all the ins-and-outs of all the different characters and what they can do to you, what you can do to them and pretty much just how SMITE works in an easier format. In terms of the mid-lane, I think it’s pretty important to play one or two gods, get really comfortable on those two gods that are kind of in the meta – like I’d say Isis and Janus are two good ones to play early just to learn the role, like every game you play just keep grinding those two and just develop confidence on those two gods or any two gods that you like, that you’ve picked up and you like. That’s pretty important. Also warding, it’s a bit more past the beginner stage but, the sooner you learn to ward and ward properly, you’ll improve a couple of kills a game and you’ll be able to minimise your deaths – knowing where ganks are coming from. One it teaches you, ‘hang on, I’ve got to back-off, I’m going to die’, but it also teaches you, like movement patterns of other players as well.
N: And so on that, with the new patch that’s just come out (Patch 3.6) – what are your thoughts on that?
M: I think the new patch, I think it’s going to change the way the game is going to be played a little bit. You’ve got a couple of item changes that are really going to have an effect and you’ve got a couple of gods that got some really kind of powerful buffs. I feel like Scylla, although I’m not a huge fan of her, I think her buff to her damage on crush and on the buff of soulstone is going to make her a really tough ask to deal with. The problem with her has always been her early game and if you can afford to get away with soulstone, with the crush bonus, I feel like that’s really going to, really going to help you.
N: On that note, do you have any pre-match, or pre-series rituals?
M: I used to have, since PAX last year I used to have a coin that I’d play with before scrims and games, just to like, I dunno, ‘fiddle with’ but I lost the coin!
N: Ohhh no!
M: And that’s when we started going bad!
N: So do you have a new one!?
M: No I don’t have a new one! I’ve got to get a new one, because it was a special one. It just wasn’t a piece, I’d like bought it somewhere and thought this is a cool coin I’m going to flip around with it…so that was, that was my pre-game ritual before I played in the OPL qualifiers and in those days I think I played pretty well so I might have to get back onto that one!
N: We all might have to chip in to get you a new one or something.
Do you have a, well I’m sure you everyone does, but do you have a particular god that’s your favourite?
M: I think everyone in the community knows that I’m a big fan of Janus. I think that’s well-known knowledge that I absolutely love him. He’s easily my best god, but apart from that, I do like the whole concept of Agni, I think Agni is pretty good in any situation as well, so they’re probably my two favourites, but I do have a bit of a smokey and that’s my diamond Ymir, which is a support type of god. When I first started playing SMITE I just used to main Ymir in the duo-lane and that’s all I’d play.
N: Cool! On that note, do you have any gods that you kind of despise or would hate to play?
M: Far-out. Any Warrior is annoying to play against because they just come out of any solo lane and kill you but that’s just warriors in general, I don’t really despise any of them. However, a lot of people will know my despise of Loki. I hate Loki with a passion and I feel like it’s such a cheese, kind of nothing god that allows bad people to be pricks.
What else do we got? What really drives me insane? Oh. Kali. Kali drives me insane as well. The fact you can nearly kill this character and she can get a last hit on someone and revive to full health and just tear through the rest of your team. That’s pretty annoying.
N: That is not enjoyable whatsoever.
M: And probably, I think Isis as another midlaner can be pretty annoying in a casual format because he can, like the god just has way to much push power, and if, yeh, if you’re on a late game carry it’s kind of hard.
N: Well, I think I’ve got about one more question – do you feel like you can influence a game playing in the role of mid, like do you think that’s where, not most of the action is but, do you feel you can really turn a game from that position?
M: I think the way the meta is at the moment, it’s where the most action happens, but you’re not, you CAN be the player that changes the course of the game, but you’re normally looking for a jungler or support to make those you know, get the CC so you’re able to get some easy damage off on their carries and can really blow up a fight. I think if you really, the way the meta is at the moment I think whoever has the more fed midlaner normally wins. I think that puts me in a spot where I know I have to get ahead and I know I have to use that lead to make sure I can carry it through the rest of the game. I think any role can carry really, but the way the meta is right now it can come down to which midlaner is ahead. So, that can, a number of things can contribute to that. But I think, there were a few games this year where a couple of players changed the course of the game.
N: Awesome! Yeh, well thanks for that Maus. Thanks for the insight and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to seeing you play competitively again very shortly and good luck in the second split, hopefully that’s um, leading Avant Garde to victory.
M: Yeh, our relegations tournament is on the 23rd and 24th – so if you want to make a note of that, Cheers!