AIRinc is a Natural Selection clan that is bringing Singapore international recognition with their participation in AusNS.MT(W). They have a record of 5 wins 1 loss so far, and are currently in the final 4 of the tournament.
We caught up with the AIRinc AusNS.MT(W) team on IRC and asked them about their clan, how they started playing Natural Selection, their thoughts on playing in AusNS.MT(W) and overseas in general, as well as AIRinc’s future plans.
Let’s start with an introduction. Can you tell us about yourselves?
Fie: I’m See Song, aka AIRinc.Fie.
Zevaul: I’m Cheet Yong, aka AIRinc.Zevaul.
Petrox: I’m Cephas Cheng, aka AIRinc.Petrox.
Anragaz: I’m Hong Ming, aka AIRinc.Anragaz.
Shadow: I’m Lee Zhun Wen, aka AIRinc.Shadow.
hid3y: James Mok, aka AIRinc.hid3y.
Moronium: I’m Tian Wen, aka AIRinc.Moronium.
How long have you been playing Natural Selection?
Fie: Been quite some time, around two years.
Shadow: Three years for me.
Zevaul: Around three years, since the 1.03 days.
Anragaz: Three years, since the 1.04 days.
Petrox: Three years.
Moronium: One year.
How about as a competitive team?
Petrox: It’s only one and a half years for the competitive team.
How and why did you guys start playing NS?
Fie: Well I started from CS till I got bored of it and then I found NS.
Zevaul: It’s more of an alternative to CS. (Laughs)
hid3y: My classmate introduced me to NS.
Anragaz: It started as a rather unique experience to me cause I was attracted to the relatively new idea of an RTS incorporated with FPS elements in a game.
Fie: Well and NS is really better than CS!!
Petrox: It has a wider team base element than CS.
hid3y: CS is always the same thing, either you kill the entire team or plant the C4 or rescue hostages. In NS there’s more variety to winning.
Petrox: It has 2 different elements of having humans versus aliens, the two different races, in which there are different classes.
Moronium: Aliens and marines have a totally unique gameplay from each other. It’s cool.
So what you were looking for was something which required more strategy, more thought and more teamwork?
Petrox: Yeah, that’s about it.
Anragaz: Something that incorporates more of a thinking game rather than just reflex actions.
Zevaul: We preferred something that was not totally about the number of headshots you can do but rather had a more strategic element to it.
Anragaz: Yeah, it emphasizes much less on individual skills and more on the overal team effort. Each team must know what to do and not go for a fragfest.
AIRinc has been playing in an Australian tournament, AusNS.MT(W). How does participating in an overseas tournament benefit your team more than participating in the local scene?
Fie: It improves our own playing style and we learn a lot of stuff from them.
Zevaul: We get to learn the gameplay styles of foreign players.
Anragaz: It allows us to learn more about how other people from other countries feel about NS and also their tactics. We also gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of the game rather than just basic pub gameplay.
Petrox: It’s the only way to gain greater exposure and to prove that we can reach international standards.
What challenges do you face participating in an overseas tournament? How have you overcomed these challenges?
Petrox: We face pressure from the overseas community. We being new to them, we are so called invading their “space”. Also, the local community is looking up to us as the best representing the local community.
Anragaz: Encountering different gameplay styles from what we’re used to also means we have to think of ways to counter them.
Fie: Latency is an issue also.
Anragaz: The first few games we played we realized the latency was resulting in us not “rego-ing” or basically bullets not registering. It resulted in serious consideration on our part of finding alternatives. For example, we play at LAN shops or at people’s places with an ISP that is able to provide us better connectivity to Australia.
Zevaul: Unfortunately we couldn’t find a LAN shop that could accommodate us or even consider to have NS in their list of games to begin with. So *hint* *hint* LAN shop owners. =D
Despite all the difficulties, AIRinc has still been doing well. A 5 win 1 loss record is nothing to be ashamed about. How have you guys been training to achieve such sterling results?
Petrox: We’ve been playing pretty often, getting more scrims against Australian clans, be it “good” or “bad” clans to increase our scope and view of the different tactics that we may encounter. Also, we’ve been reviewing other teams’ performances.
Fie: For instance [T]error and Exi.
Anragaz: They are the top 2 clans in the NS CAL.
Well, AIRinc is already in the final four. How far do you think AIRinc will go for AusNS.MT(W)?
Anragaz: All the way preferably.
Zevaul: Of course we aim to move all the way. =D
Petrox: We never undercut our own skills.
Fie: We’ll do our best in our game with FeX tomorrow.
Any plans after AusNS.MT(W) then?
hid3y: Join CAL?
Zevaul: Yeah, we are considering joining CAL.
Petrox: Possible, yeah. But reality will kick in after the holidays.
Zevaul: The difference may also kill us. Like if the match is at 8pm Sunday in the US then it would be sometime on Monday morning for us.
Anragaz: Yeah, since all of us are still schooling at the moment, this could be a problem.
Zevaul: If we could get permits to skip school we would definitely join even if we have to play at unholy hours.
Anragaz: Moreover, we are still unsure of the lag issues that we might get there.
I’m glad to see that you have high expectations for yourselves. Good luck with tomorrow’s scrim with FeX!
Fie: Thank you.