Tread Lightly: Player Spotlight Noble Friction
Trireme: In past seasons you were a member of Fulcrum Gaming/Fnatic, which was a dominant force in the early seasons. What was your role on that team?
Friction: My official role was the primary caller and strategist for the team. I came up with the majority of the strategies and did the majority of the calling with assistance from David (Nagatron) or Soviet.
Trireme: What made Fulcrum/Fnatic so successful?
Friction: The majority of it was the amount of work we put in. We were always trying to be the best that we could- not always concerned with being number one, but always wanting to be the best we could. We had a pretty tough practice schedule and were always focused on trying to be one step ahead.
Trireme: What did you love and hate about the old 7/42 format? What do you think of the new 7/68 format?
Friction: 7/42 had a lot of obvious problems. The T1 tanks were one of the things I hated- I thought they were pointless and was happy to see them removed. And I absolutely despised the fact that there was no attack/defense. 7/68 solves a lot of the old problems with stagnation, lack of action, confusion about tier 1s. The double caps forcing you to control more of the map make for much more dynamic gameplay.
Trireme: What did you do during your time away from WGLNA?
Friction: When I wasn’t on a team I was focused on graduating from college and then my job. Now I’ve been busy earning certifications for work, and I figure while I do that I’ll come back to the League and see if I can be more successful than I was in the past.
Trireme: How much did you keep up the the World of Tanks scene while you were away?
Friction: Season 5 I didn’t watch anything- I was completely burned out from tanks and didn’t want to have anything to do with it. There was still a sour taste from the way Fnatic ended. Then with Season 6 I started paying more attention again- not all the games, but definitely the finals.
Trireme: What brought you back into competition?
Friction: The big thing that brought me back was a few big teams approaching me about a coaching role. The more I talked to them about it the more I realized a coaching role would not be as useful as getting back into it and getting my hands dirty. I decided to start calling again and try my luck.
Trireme: So how did you end up on Noble?
Friction: I was interested in being on Noble because some former teammates on the team- Militant and Dodoma. I also knew Jerm from before, and there was no one on the team I really despised, so it seemed like a pretty good fit. I’ve also been told that the reason I was brought onto the team was to reign in Dodo!
Trireme: Two members of team Noble are former Fulcrum/Fnatic players- does that make it easier to work together?
Friction: Militant is a good guy, and it helps to have someone I know is solid and know what I can expect from him. As I’ve integrated onto the team I’ve found there are a number of very solid players- some even better than players on my former team. So I’m looking forward to see what everyone can do once everyone is meshed well and playing to the best of their ability.
Trireme: How did the trip to WCA in China help introduce you to team Noble?
Friction: The whole trip to China was a good team-building experience. I got to meet everyone in person, I got to creep on Impact a little to keep him in line, and I seemed to get along with everyone else pretty well. The only players I have not met in person now are Akula and Xsoldier. As for WCA itself, the trip was awful, so the fact that the team was such a group of good guys really helped.
Trireme: What makes for effective battle calling?
Friction: Effective battle callers need direction- you need to make sure that the players understand what you are trying to say. Decisiveness is very important, and clarity. Being clear and knowing what you want out of your team is the most important. Once you make your calls then you have to accept the outcome, try not to point fingers, and keep working to be the best you can.
Trireme: What are your ambitions for Noble?
Friction: I would definitely like us to win this season. I think we have a strong chance to win in Las Vegas. As far as Grand Finals are concerned, I would love to be in the finals match and push it as far as we can. I’m not going to kid myself and think we can just walk in and win everything, but I would definitely like to be on the finals stage.
Trireme: Does listening to former Fnatic captain David Williams casting matches bring you tears of joy or tears of sorrow?
Friction: David “Nagatron” is a good analyst, and the things he knows he really knows. When he breaks things down he’s good at presenting it so people can understand where he is coming from. I don’t know what the audience in general thinks of him, but I think he’s a really good analyst.