Opinion PC

Southern Barbarians continue their spearhead against European opposition

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The Southern Barbarians continued their march to the summit of the ESL Battlefield Nations Challenge with another dominant display this past weekend against their second Group D opponents, Team Greece.

Following their comprehensive win against Team Portugal in their first match, the Southern Barbarians again exerted complete control over the Greeks to taking the match (over two maps) 1099 – 0. The match saw the first map, Golmud Railway, heading 567 - 0 to the Barbarians, while Rogue Transmission went 532 – 0 in favour of the team from the south.

With two wins in two, and only Italy remaining in the group phase, the Southern Barbarians look set to progress to the knockout phase of the competition. However, Italy and the South Africans share the top spot with 6 points each and a loss against Italy will likely leave the team in second spot.

The Southern Barbarians are aiming to reclaim their 2014 championship title, but standing in their way in the knockouts will be some other top place finishers who currently hold the top spot of their respective groups again, including Sweden, Germany, Russia and Finland.

We caught up with team spokesperson, Stephen Fowler de Witt, to find out more about the recent match against Greece.

Congratulations on another dominant performance by the team against Greece. Did you utilise a similar strategy against Greece that was used against Portugal?

Greece was a different match altogether, the match was played on two maps that are heavily dominated by vehicles. In Battlefield, there is a clear "food chain": Jet > Helicopter > Tanks > Infantry. If your jet manages to win all dogfights, he is then able to destroy the enemy attack helicopter as well. With the enemy attack helicopter gone, our helicopter is able to assist our tanks with the tank engagements, and this in turn allows our tanks to help our infantry players with their engagements. This circle continued on both maps, on all 4 rounds. I have to say our jet and helicopter combo made life a lot easier for us all.

Did you make any team changes for the match against Greece?

Yes, we brought in more of the engineer and armor players, and less of the infantry players. As explained before, the maps demanded the best engineers and armor players we have available.

What do you attribute your current win record to (considering the generally average track record for SA teams playing internationally)?

I will possibly get flack for saying this, but I believe our local standard in Battlefield specifically is higher than in most other countries. Bear in mind that we have been playing the conquest mode for many, many years competitively and that gives us an edge. But globally, South Africa does have one of the larger competitive Battlefield scenes. I might even go as far as to say, if you had to add our top 4 teams to ESL-one, they might have caused a few upsets too! This is my personal opinion and belief in our teams and players.

You do however have countries like Germany, Finland, Sweden and Russia who also love the conquest mode and have some of the best vehicle players in the world. Playing them will be a whole different ball game. Massive respect for those teams and players and I see those four nations as the top competitors at the moment. Also the teams we look forward to playing against the most.

Is the team getting much opportunity to practice before each match?

The team has had three friendly matches and practice sessions. With all the players in the team being in separate clans and already taking part in other tournaments such as Crucial Cup, and learning the new Squad obliteration mode, people do not really have the time to practice or play friendlies. So honestly we all plan that we have the evening free on Sundays, we log on nice and early, get on a server together, talk about what we want to do, and warm up playing on a pub together in our squads. Then 20mins before the game, we sort out the pushes and strats and start the match.

Italy is your last group game and it appears as if you will be guaranteed of progressing to the knockout stage. Which teams do you think will be your biggest challengers in the playoffs?

The Italy match is more important that you might realize. At the moment, we are drawn with Italy on points, so whoever wins between us and Italy this week, would place first in our group. Placing first in the group is very important, because we will then play who ever placed SECOND in one of the other groups. If we lose to Italy we will place second, and that will be a tough spot to sit in, because then we will face one of the top teams much earlier than expected.

Thanks again for your time. Is there anything you would like to add for the readers out there?

I would like to thank MWEB for sponsoring us with the server. I also want to ask everyone to tune into the streams and support the team. This is not only Battlefield, but this is a team from South Africa representing ALL OF US across all platforms, this is a team representing every single gamer in our country, doing their best to show the international scene that we are not as far behind as people like to believe, and that our local E-sports scene deserves to be noticed.

The 24 players that are representing the Southern Barbarians in the 2016 ESL Nations Challenge are:

APG-Jokerbb | PuLse-Mike22 | PuLSe-Grizzla | xTc-JordanL | APG-Mango | APG-DirtyPope | PuLse-Hackzor | xTc-Ghostfreak | APG-Whitchers | xTc-Couch | xTc-Chrono | PuLse-Bloodtronix | APG-Eddyz | xTc-Cruelz | xTc-Kierenblade | bvd-Scoper | Pew-KvTQuanTM | xTc-Lang-Slang | Euphoria | PuLse-HadoGenes | dM-Byohazard | APG-Renji | APG-Stats | Fearbb

The team faces Italy (this week most likely), with details of the date, time and stream to be confirmed. Meanwhile, you can catch the video-on-demand of the match against Greece here.

More about SA Gaming:

Southern Barbarians: Facebook
Zombie Dredd: Twitter / MWEB GameZone: Twitter | Facebook

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