May 9th, 2017, 12:00 p.m. – It’s good to be the King. And the team Obey Alliance knows exactly how sweet it is after their dominant victory at the H1Z1: Fight for the Crown on the CW. 15 teams of 5 battled it out on stage to determine who was the best team. In a match filled with chaos, surprise attacks, and plenty of fights Obey Alliance proved cooler heads prevail. They played a meticulous, and strategic match that lead them to victory with all 5 team members alive at the end. Slickster Magazine had the opportunity to talk with Kevin “Kevie1” Bed, Miguel “Mig” Medina, and Grant “Grant” Labelle from the team.
What was the experience like doing the tournament?
Kevin – I’ve never been to any event for any game in general. This is my first event or convention. Going here I didn’t know what to expect, and they didn’t show us the stage or anything. Literally nothing. We showed up there that Sunday and saw it for the first time. It was mind blowing, a crazy set up with lights and cameras. It was a pretty long day, with a few practice games. But once the match actually came, we were really focused on the game. It fell into our hands almost.
Watching the replay, it showed you guys a little disorganized at the beginning, and like the underdogs. Did you guys feel that way?
Miguel – Not really, we’d been practicing for a months and been doing pretty good on [scrimmages]. We kinda knew what we were doing. We also didn’t have a lot of loot in the beginning so we were kind of scattered. In the show, our in game leader was saying “calm down, calm down” because we had no loot at that moment. Some of us wanted to loot and some of us wanted to stay. So we were kind of disorganized but we still did it.
What was your mentality going into the competition?
Kevin – We didn’t want to switch it up from how we practiced. You play how you practice, and we practiced pretty seriously. One of our main strats was to just be inside the gas circle. Our goal was to stay in the circle and fight our ground. That’s exactly what we did. We got lucky with a few circles on us and we held a lot of ground. Every other team was pretty much on the other half of the circle. We just held our ground and did our best.
Was there anything that you would change if you were to play again? Or did you play the perfect game?
Grant – We pretty much played the perfect game. There was definitely a disadvantage for us spawning in. We spawned in pinched between two teams. They spawned in to the north of us and to the east of us. So we knew we had to come in and get out quickly. [Pleasant Valley] is just a death zone. We were just gonna lose numbers, and the whole goal was winning five-up. When you have numbers you can pinch, you can wrap on people and you can do all that.
We just had to get out of [Pleasant Valley] and play on the outskirts. Get away from Cranberry (one of the locations in the game like Pleasant Valley). If there is a safe zone and Cranberry is in it, people will push out of it. Lots of teams will push out of it and around it. They’ll be watching people walk out of it too. We knew we just needed to be away from it.
With this win, what does this mean for yourselves and Obey Alliance?
Kevin – I look at this on a bigger scheme. This is a start for H1z1, we were a part of that. We’re all growing personally on Twitch and Twitter, but I still want more tournaments and bigger tournaments. I’m excited for that. I still want more to happen in the future. I think Obey is getting more sponsors because of how this was a big event. We’re just taking it all in and seeing what comes next.
Is there anything fans should be on the lookout for?
Miguel – There’s an online tournament.
Grant – Kevie, myself, and Shurima will be taking place in the Showdown event. It’s taking place May 25th on Twitch.
What do you believe is going to be a major hurdle for esports, H1Z1, and the team moving forward?
Grant – Daybreak needs to focus on fixing the little bugs. During the tournament I was using explosive arrows there at the very end and Adrain and JP left from LG, and I landed several shots close to them and none of them registered. So that basically just rendered my play that I had done ineffective. If they can just fix little things like that to really be able to progress it for H1Z1. Because if things are happening like that, what are you gonna do? It’s a basic utility that isn’t going to work right.
Miguel – Yeah you can’t have professional gaming and minor thing that don’t work. They’ve definitely hired a lot of people at Daybreak I know, they actually have a whole team dedicated to bug fixes right now. They’re definitely getting rolled out soon.
What do you guys hope happens next?
Kevin – I hope there’s more than just one off events. I hope there’s a league or something that keeps people playing. Because right now, we don’t have incentive to continue playing as a team. The next event is a solo event. And then we don’t know, there’s nothing announced. It’s just a dark hole right now. We need a league to come up for solos and fives, so that people keep playing and grinding towards something. Right now is just that dead zone. We don’t really have anything to play or compete with aside from solo leaderboards.
Do you feel like there is a stigma against esports?
Grant – Oh definitely my man. I was watching something on Twitter the other day. An older gentleman, he’s got his own talk show, I’m not sure. But all I do know is that somebody was fighting against him, and he said esports is not actually a thing. It’s just people, there’s no actual skill involved. Even if it’s just that, it was just this morning and you can see it. It’s in the media.
Miguel – I think a lot of parents don’t agree with it, when their kids are playing for multiple hours. This tournament really opened my parents eyes. They’ve always been supportive with streaming, but this tournament opened their eyes. Parents mostly, they don’t want their kids to be playing all the time.
Kevin – I’m pretty much in the same boat. My parents didn’t know a lot but they looked into it a lot. Once you go tell people they look it up on their own. My grandparents were like “what is this?” and they ended up looking it up for hours. Every single thing about it and understanding it now. But there definitely are the hard headed people who don’t agree with gaming at all. They just think “oh they’re just moving a controller, keys, or this or that.” And my response is ok, you try to do that.
Do you think that the way traditional media covers it is the right way? Or do you believe that the focus needs to be on the independent media members that are covering it? Or do you believe that major media trying to be the earlier adopter is better for the growth of esports?
Miguel – I feel like the people putting out the media should have a passion for it. I feel like a lot of media outlets filter a lot of stuff out. I think there should be multiple outlets for esports. Not just looking at it for profit.
Kevin – I think the most media we could get is the best. Anyone who covers it a bit is just helping get the word out.
Anything else for the people?
Kevin – I just want to thank Obey for the opportunity and making this all happen.
Grant – Me too, and to go back on the question about stigma. My parents didn’t believe this was a real thing until they saw me on television, so it was crazy.
Once again, we at Slickster Magazine want to thank and congratulate Obey Alliance for their big victory at Fight for the Crown. This is a talented group of young guys and you should definitely check them out when you get the chance. And remember: you will Obey.
You can check out the Obey Alliance website here for all things Obey.
Kevin’s Twitch channel is here.
Grant’s Twitch channel is here.
Miguel’s Twitch channel is here.