Call of Duty Championship ANZ Interview - Kyle ‘Vilesyder’ Colyer

Kyle ‘Vilesyder’ Colyer, of team Avant Garde, has been heavily involved in the ANZ Call of Duty competitive community since late MW2. Having had strong success throughout the multiple CoD titles Vileysder has competed in, Vilesyder’s team unfortunately fell one placing short of competing at the Call of Duty Championship in 2013.

We sat down with Vilesyder to gain some of his insight to his current squad, his goals for 2014 and his thoughts on the Call of Duty Championship.

Vilesyder! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions with us. Would you like to introduce yourself to those who don’t know you?

I am captain of Cruelty Incarnate, which is now Avant Garde. I've only ever been in one CoD team, and that is my own. I'm loyal, and very strongly believe in good sportsmanship. I try to be as respectful and as honourable as I can be. I'm studying a bachelor of Business & Commerce with a focus on marketing to hopefully bring my very sincere goal of eSports to public acceptance. I want my kids to be able to viably grow up playing and watching eSports rather than reality TV. Voted people's choice award, nicest team, though it won't look like it through the rest of the interview. I decided to be brutally honest, its more interesting that way. I played bass in a band, I dig death metal and am probably the most recognisable player in Australian CoD (Mostly due to stupid hair and ridiculous height). I also am dating ex Halo Avant Garde player Penance. You can find me at @AVANT_Vilesyder on twitter if you want to know more!

How long have you been playing Call of Duty and how did you first find out about the competitive side of CoD?

My first Call of Duty title was CoD 4. While I was well aware competitive gaming was actually a thing that existed (having played Far Cry, Gears of War and Halo semi competitively). I typically didn't compete until I felt that I had 'mastered' a game per say and the mountain of public match corpses started to get boringly high.

What makes Call of Duty your game of choice?

Fluidity of controls, pace, style of teamwork and realistically for our country, its consistent popularity.

If you had to guess (unless you know), how many Call of Duty tournaments have you competed in?

Unfortunately I don’t keep quite the most up to date of records like Naked does, though I’ve played in every major LAN since Black Ops 1 and probably 10x that in online competitions.

What has been the favourite moment of your Call of Duty competitive career?

Beating the tar out of the old fray team on mainstage, at the first ACL Black Ops 1 LAN. Back story for those who don't know: Before that Black Ops LAN we were complete nobodies in the community with very little competitive CoD experience, taking the MW2 CG open ladders very seriously as you do. We ended up matched up against the fray team (essentially the equivalent of Immunity now) and beat them. We went into the post-game lobby to say the usual good game and ask for any feedback as usual. For that, we received the abusing of a life time from their players. The final line we came away with was "You will never get anywhere, you will never achieve anything." When I say we beat the tar out of them, I'm talking scorched earth annihilation, beat them so hard that one of their players quit to never play again, their team broke up and tried to poach myself and Naked. If any of that old fray team reads this for by any chance, thanks for the best motivation of my life.

Lets talk about the Call of Duty Championship on a International scale. Qualifiers are being held all over the globe to secure 32 of world’s best teams to compete in Los Angeles for a massive $1,000,000 prize pool. How does the Call of Duty competitive community view this tournament?

Plain and simple, it's probably the single best thing Activision has done for the competitive community. Actually recognising how seriously the world takes their game and taking steps toward making it more competitively viable means a great deal to us, and it makes a lot of sponsors, every day players and general public realise how serious this thing is. The downside has been the effect of the 18+ rule. It's really taken a toll on a lot of teams’ already precarious stability and has definitely deprived a lot of very skilled young players from competing and also teaming with older knowledgeable players. Essentially a lot of that knowledge won't get passed down and I fear for long term stability.

What do you think of the musical chairs game going on currently with roster changes in the NA scene? It is justified for such a large tournament?

I'm probably the most qualified to answer this; I've had almost literally every Australian pro player through my team at some point or another. What I've noticed is most people have extremely poor skills in reasoning, emotional control and thinking long term (I'm not even using age as an excuse here either, I've met more mature 15 year olds that I would trust with my life than most 18+). Couple this with a hobby that hasn't paid well consistently in the past, a touch of real life, a new game every year and there's your reasoning for roster changes. People want to fight, people want to argue, people want to blame other people; they love the drama. It's easier and more entertaining than putting in a bit of extra effort and spending a couple of hours revitalising strategies. So to answer your question for the NA scene; yes its more than justified for the competition at hand to get things right. Was it smart or the "right" thing to do? I'll say yes for the case of Complexity, I totally understood that change and the other aspects of what a big roster change like that does to a team (and to the competition). For every other team? They all lost, and have a stupid amount of catch-up to reach coL.

Comparing the ANZ scene to the NA and European scene, how do you think our players and team stack up to theirs?

Like I mentioned in the previous question in regards to the quality and consistency of any financial gain, the Americans are way, waaaaaay further ahead of us. It gives them the opportunity to simply play more CoD than any other country. Not only this, but there is a far larger population to practice against, simply because their population is bigger than ours there is a larger amount of skilled players to play against. The ability to practice more and practice well against skilled players means everything. Our teams and players definitely have the skill, just a refined, full team has yet to be sent over. Having learned from the god of SND himself, GooseJuice, and playing against the old MindFreak roster, Americans are DISGUSTING AT SEARCH AND DESTROY, ITS PAINFUL TO WATCH. To put it into perspective, it'd be the equivalent of watching America play cricket.

The Call of Duty Championship Australia & New Zealand Online Qualifiers are held on February 1st and 2nd. Which teams do you think have the a strong chance of placing within the Top 3? Are you confident your team will be in that Top 3 and earn a early Qualifying spot to the ANZ Final?

I could honestly see the online comp going any which way between ourselves, Immunity and Trident. Single elimination and online will make an interesting difference. I'm far more interested and excited in the outcome of the LAN event that's on the 8th & 9th!

The last chance for Australia & New Zealand residents to qualify for the ANZ Final is the Live Event Qualifier held in Melbourne on February 8th - 9th. Are Avant Garde going to be competing at this Live Event?

I have not missed an ACL LAN since Black Ops 1, why would I miss this?

What teams do you think may miss out on Qualifying in the Online Qualifiers but secure their spots at the ANZ Live Event Qualifier?

Potentially us. Hopey's internet has just started dropping out when it feels like it and he’s in the process of changing ISPs now. Benno's internet is connected via a series of linked paperclips and the occasional wad of gum for structural integrity. Frankly, the online qualifiers scare me. Especially after seeing parts of the MLG Winter Invitational. I’m so thankful there is a LAN counterpart.

Heading into the Call of Duty Championship Qualifiers Avant Garde has made some lineup changes. Vamped left at the beginning of Ghosts and just recently Enigma was released for the Squad. Tell us about your replacement teammates and why they were chosen to join the squad?

I took the risk on another Halo player in Benno after our success with teaching Hopey the ways of CoD back in Black Ops 2. I filled in for the team (of halo players) he was originally playing for in Ghosts and got a very quick read of him by the way he and the team moved, rotated and communicated. I wasn't 100% on picking up Benno but Hopey helped sell him as a person and a player that was on my wavelength. Also, you don't ignore a player from the undisputed best Halo team in Australia when he tells you he has the passion to play and win again. The single thing that confirmed I'd made the right decision, was that I've never, NEVER had a player write me an essay on what they are bad at, what they understand and what they don't understand after the first night of scrimming together, EVER. Khooie was essentially all Hopey and Bennos doing. I'd honestly never regarded Khooie as a stand out player at all, even as a part of MindFreak/Trident with all his "Best AR/Best slayer" first and second people’s choice awards. I went away for a week or so and the boys were adamant that we needed an AR player; the day I got back we had a Khooie on our team. I could not have been more wrong about him. Khooie shoots like a robot and picking up another captain makes a world of difference communication wise; both in game and out.

How does your new squad mesh together? What does each player in the team bring to the table?

Well, Khooie may actually be a machine made of metal, gears and fire. Hopey is still as magical and ridiculous as ever and new recruit Halo legend Benno gets the last and most special mention; he feels like the competitive brother I never had, and he’s seriously helped to push us all as players to think and improve. The squad meshes tightly and improves with every scrim.

Moving onto Australia & New Zealand’s big event: the Call of Duty Championship ANZ Final. 8 teams will be invited to compete but only 2 teams will get the privilege to travel to LA and compete against the 30 other best teams from around the globe on a world stage. How confident is Avant Garde for this event? Which two teams do you foresee earning that trip to the Call of Duty Championship?

All of our big name competition has more Competitive CoD experience than myself, let alone Ghosts being Bennos first CoD game, Hopey barely a year old in CoD years and Khooie coming from PS3. That experience means a great deal. In saying that, I feel for the first time in a long while I'm surrounded by 3 very skilled players that are so hungry for the win, drool oozing into controllers is becoming a serious problem. I'm honestly not 100% sure on Immunity placing T2 but I have to say their name out of respect for their past. I'm eternally cautious of Kritikal’s team after CoD champs 2013. I think if Fergie can turn up at LAN, they're definitely in the running.

If your team qualified for the Call of Duty Championship and went overseas to compete in LA, what would be a placement you would be happy with? And are there any teams you’d love to play?

I want in on the double elimination bracket very, very badly. From there, we'll be shooting for nothing other than first place. I really want to get in a hype yelling match with Clayster, so Optic for one. I’d also really like a stab at getting under Aches skin, plus Complexity are the best in the world so I'd love to see how we match up to them.

What do you think of Activision and MLG’s partnership for the 2014 Call of Duty Championship? Incorporating the use of Gamebattles and MLG.tv for the platform of the tournament?

Monopolies scare me in general, though I feel like it was the best play to get the most attention to all the smaller communities. The MLG player definitely needs the tweaks I know are coming to make it comparable to twitch.tv, but other than that MLG are doing absolute wonders for competitive CoD. Sundance did a very honest and down to earth interview that I would suggest to anyone remotely interested in that vein of events/media/business about MLG and MLG.tv. I'm excited for what the future holds with them. I feel Activision/Infinity Ward could still be a little more transparent and MLG could probably prod them a little harder to get the updates and the features we need to truly make Call of Duty a fully competitive title, though hopefully that will come with time.

Short and sweet question time! Favourite Call of Duty of all time?

Modern Warfare 2.

Favourite Gun from any Call of Duty game?

Pre-patch Akimbo model 1887’s (I lost the prestige race to Vamped & Stiffler because of these).

Favourite Map from any Call of Duty game?

Favela for fun, Invasion for serious. Basically any stupid oddball map that not many people like (think Underground SND from MW3).

Favourite teammate of your career?

Vamped, hands down. Stuck with me since the start and had my back no matter what, incredible player; even better human being.

Most skilled teammate of your career?

Hopey is going to be very rustled but I'm going to go oldschool out of respect: Raw talent in terms of gunskill and in game destruction: Logics. All round in every conceivable way including being a cool human? Vamped.

Best series you’ve ever played in your competitive career?

Obviously the series vs fray in Black Ops 1. Runners up include any LAN match against the old MindFreak team (definitely the most intense 4s SND ever played), and Black Ops 1 pool play against the old Immunity squad. Finally, probably the worst I ever personally played yet one of the best series was our comeback against Myth.WF, it was in the loser bracket final in Black Ops 2 at ACL Brisbane, we came back from some stupid map deficit to beat them and play in the Grand Final.

Favourite Call of Duty player to watch?

Crimsex. He's just so entertaining.

Best Call of Duty player in ANZ that is not in your team?

Not Shocks. I don’t like to window shop. He still has the same problems I dropped him for in Black Ops 1. What if I said Eminence here? Seriously though, I'll give some much deserved love to Vrnzn, he's young but he has a pretty good head on his shoulders and the CoD skills to match. If he chooses to mature with age he'll be formidable.

Best Call of Duty player in the world?

Is there even a choice in the matter? It has to be Crimsix the robot….Though this Benno guy on my team could go places.

The amount of times your team has actually placed third?

Damo if you actually wrote these questions, I am going to pull out some really important looking cables and gnaw on them at the next ACL LAN. Serious answer: Far less than Evolution.

Nearly done now. Looking back at 2013: your team placed third at the Call of Duty Championship ANZ Final, one placement away from qualifying to go overseas to compete. How did yourself and your team feel after this event?

Like burning down a village somewhere, pillaging and plundering out all of our bloodlust; We were annoyed.

What did you think of the performance Immunity and Mindfreak put on when they went to the Call of Duty Championship in 2013? Despite not advancing from Pool Play, do you think they played well?

My 100% honest opinion was that was the best I have ever seen Buzzin play to this day and everyone else plainly and blatantly sucked. MindFreak put in about as much practice as a highschooler “practices” for an exam, and it showed. The fundamental skills to beat the NA and EU teams were there, but you can’t just show up on the day with the weight of AusCoD on your back like that. Yes I am still annoyed.

Thank you for answering all these questions Vilesyder! Any shoutouts you’d like to give?

Firstly and arguably most importantly to retiree Vamped, without him you wouldn’t be reading an interview from me today. Shoutout to my ex-teammate Metal for retiring the boardshorts and white socks for combat boots and a real rifle to serve our country. A very important one for GooseJuice for helping to craft me into the player and person I am today. Finally I have to shoutout to Wes our manager trying to do things a little differently in the eSports scene, bloke gets a lot of flak for the risks he takes and not enough credit when he pulls them off. To our awesome sponsors at Plantronics, Corsair, Eizo and Netgear. - Looking forward to showing you guys off over in the United States of America.

Hopefully you enjoyed the fourth Call of Duty Championship ANZ Interview instalment with Vilesyder. Stay tuned for more interviews with Call of Duty players and personalities from the Australia & New Zealand community!