Season 3 of Xbox Smite- The Future of Team Eager

Ninety-six. That was the number of teams that showed up to compete in the Smite Console League Qualifiers. A clash of teams with vast differences- the ones there to conduct business and the ones who have never competed on a professional level. The amateur teams checking in for the next six weeks will hope to gain recognition and be heard. Teams will sign up, check in, and play each week with the hopes that they’ll place high enough to receive points. The eight teams with the highest points  will go on to qualify for the Smite Console League. Out of the ninety-six teams who competed this last Sunday, it was a well-known team who was there to conduct business, their wins appeared to look easy amongst an immense collection of teams including previous professionals and aspiring players- the team to take first place was Eager.

No one can forget the strong showing Team Eager made in Season 2; they seemed to just get better with time. Placing first at the UMG Invitational and the MLG Pro League Championship upped their recognition and garnered widespread support from the community when the Smite World Championship arrived.  Eager who would go on to play the open bracket winners (EnVy) and place fourth, winning thousands of dollars. This wasn’t where Eager would stop though- roster changes were made, teammates discussed changing roles, and then Eager announced their full line up in Season 3 but this time it was clear they were not going to settle for anything less than first.

I sat down and talked with the captain and ADC for Eager (EGR), Tristin “AirCougar” Glunt about some of the roster changes and the overall outlook for Season 3.

“A lot of players and viewers consider your team one of the greatest (if not the best) teams going into Season 3. Why do you think that is?”

“From what I can only imagine, I would think that it’s because of our track record. Last year during the end of Season 2 we performed extremely well, winning 2 out of the 3 LANS that would lead up to the Smite World Championship. In addition to our strong showing and ability to win games regularly, we have picked up two SPL players from Season 2 of PC. These players will hopefully strengthen the team, after the first week of Qualifiers I think that they already have.”

“A lot of things happened in Season 2 that you may have tried to improve on- what do you think that you guys have done differently and what are you doing gameplay wise differently that sets you apart from other teams?”

“I think the biggest thing that we do differently than other teams is that we don’t get devastated after a loss. I won’t lie; one of my biggest flaws is getting absolutely frustrated and enraged in the middle of a match. This can be a big moral killer in a team setting and decrease morale. After the changes that we made, losing doesn’t seem to hurt as much. We picked up Unrelinquished (currently Delta Marine72) and I vividly remember losing in a game. I was exerting my frustrations and he calmly said to me, “Hey man, it’s okay. We’re all friends, even if we’re losing, we’re still having fun playing the game.” Although a small gesture, that moment will really stay with me. My teammates have really taught me how to roll with the punches. It helps to be surrounded by people who may be stern with you, but at the end of the day encourage, motivate, and ensure that your friendship will last even with the losses.”

“There’s a lot of controversy regarding the roster changes that you made in Season 2. Is there anything that you want people to know about the new player additions to the team and why you made those choices?”

“I know a lot of people may still have questions about why I made the decision of picking up the two new members, Myflin and Unrelinquished. In regards, I’ve known these two players for years and it will always be more fun winning and less injurious during a loss when you’re playing with close friends. I’ve obviously really enjoyed playing competitively but I’m more comfortable playing in a positive atmosphere with people who I trust. I feel as though our team synergy has been excellent and the motivation that we give each other to succeed is hard to come across on competitive gaming teams. On top of that, and as hard as it is to admit this, they’re just simply more competitively seasoned than Sam and Matt were. Although I enjoy having fun and creating friendships in the professional community, I am also here to win and have to do what’s necessary to obtain that.”

The positivity and grace that Team Eager exudes is a breath of fresh air in the competitive gaming scene where the drama, banter, and toxicity sometimes is inevitable. In one of the most pure, humble, and humorous interview responses I’ve ever received, I asked Derik “Dwurst” Wurst (the solo laner of EGR)

“You know a lot of people consider you one of the best solo laner’s on Xbox right now, I’m repeatedly told by other players that they fear facing you in that lane.  Why do you think that is? Is it because of your unlimited God pool or your ability to productively farm? What advice do you have for aspiring competitive players?”

“I went to Omega Bootcamp in mid 2015“, he responds, “I know it’s really boring advice and not what you want to hear but if you want to get better you need to practise constantly and educate yourself on how to play. Play Ranked as much as you can. Pray.”

The Roster

ADC- Aircougar

A prominent player in the community and one that many people love, Aircougar serves as the captain of Team Eager. His positive presence and confidence makes him easily likable and a rooted for contender going into Season 3. As the Team Eager captain, he must make vital callouts throughout the game while overlooking each player’s individual gameplay. Aircougar was originally a PC player, playing from August 2012 when the game was still in Beta until now on Xbox. Although the meta has shifted greatly, he has been able to adapt to current playing styles and excels as any ADC character. It is easy to see parallels in his gameplay to that of Zapman, fellow hunter and owner of Eager. Aircougar is adaptable, directive, assertive, thinks quickly, and almost always makes the rights calls- all of these things make him one of the best ADC’s in Season 3.  Although emotionally driven at times, he is more than adept when staying in touch with how his teammates are feeling. Whether it is gut instinct or experience- Aircougar is swift and successful in racking up kills, securing objectives, and successfully dominating his lane. With Jelly’s aggressive playing style in the duo lane, it offers the opportunity for Aircougar to watch the map with great intensity, always aware of where wards are needed or which objectives can be achieved. No one will be surprised to see Eager and Aircougar take first place at more tournaments this year, we even expect them to be at World’s.

Support-Jelly

At only fifteen years old some jokingly call Jelly a child prodigy, but he’s still returning to EGR this season with even more experience and talent than those who are years older than him. After playing jungle on PC for a year, Jelly adapted an aggressive style while playing support- often gravitating towards God’s such as Athena, Sobek, and Sylvanus. We watched in Season 2 as Jelly landed entire team ultimate’s, front lined for the team, and did everything in his capacity to set his teammates up for success and we can expect him to do this again in Season 3. Jelly and Aircougar have laned together for a year now, their understanding of when to initiate, defend, and farm seems telepathic. The synergy that they are able to harness is something that other teams work tirelessly to create. With a bright future and a lot of time to grow, the opportunities are limitless for Jelly. His undying love and commitment to Smite, in itself, is enough to set him apart from other competitors. We expect him to play an aggressive support, initiate team fights, pluck squishy from the back line, and set everyone up for the kills up for the kills that we love watching in the new season of Smite.

Mid- Unrelinquished (formerly known as Delta Marine72)

Unrelinquished was originally a solo laner on PC Smite, constantly winning lane and dominating other opponents. It was only recently that Unrelinquished switched to the mid role on Xbox. We can expect him to be one of the primary damage dealers on the team, if not the biggest source of damage to opponents. His ability to single out squishy characters and stay dominant in lane is undeniable. His playing style can be categorized by patience, tranquility, and inventiveness but can quickly switch to assertion, dominance, and aggression. Although he may play back and wait for his time to shine, when Unrelinquished decides to initiate, he is a deadly force. Although sometimes concentrated and quiet in nature, Unrelinquished is never shy in telling teammates when a call may not be the best, adding a vital voice to the team. When speaking with Aircougar it was clear that Unrelinquished is successful in motivating and lifting the spirits of his teammates. In a sense he is the rock of this team always making sure to up the morale of his teammates. With years of experience in playing with Air Cougar and Myflin, their synergy makes them a hard-hitting trio to deal with.

Solo-Dwurst

As a fellow Michigander and Smite player that’s been playing for years, Dwurst has garnered large amounts of experience on both PC and Xbox. Dwurst went undefeated in the very first Xbox Tournament on a team called Jumping is Useless as the ADC. Afterwards he made his move to a team called No Remorse still under the ADC role. It was most recently that Dwurst played on Juice for a short period of time, as the ADC, before another Smite player replaced him, Hotbow. Dwurst will be reprising his role as a solo laner for his second year on Team Eager. Changing roles from ADC to Solo lane gave him the edge that a competitive team needs, he understands the dynamics of map awareness, back lining, and initiating team fights. With his experience, willpower, and confidence- Dwurst is the type of player that will face a multitude of opponents in his lane in order to assist teammates and distract opponents from obtaining objectives such as the Gold Fury. One of the biggest team players, he always goes out of his way to make sure his team is happy. Even with his upbeat attitude and supportive demeanor, he never misses a beat when his opportunity comes to taunt opponents. This makes Dwurst a player that is incredible to watch during tournaments.

Jungle- Myflin (formerly known as Mytherea)

Myflin started playing games around the age of 7, on a Gameboy Color. As he grew, he picked up more games, eventually finding Smite. After practicing and improving his gameplay, Myflin entered the competitive Smite scene. A team called the Silver Snakes picked him up where he played Jungle on PC. After his involvement with the previous team, Myflin joined a team called Yomi for a Summer Challenger under the sponsorship of Team RivaL, this same team would go on to be picked up by eLevate and perform in the splits. Facing many hardships and an underperforming team during the Fall Split, team eLevate suffered a last place position and Myflin decided to broaden his horizon and leave the team. It is now that he finds his place on Team Eager, placing first in the Qualifiers this last week. With a team that he can truly grow under and will set him up for success, we expect to see Myflin dominate in his role. Playing a subdued jungle, Myflin prefers to farm and counter initiate rather than aggress other players. His experience with every Jungling God allows Myflin to pick any God that his teammates advocate or he feels will be best for their composition.