Interview with Shadowq, Support for Flash Point eSports
One of the most experienced players in all of SMITE, Shadowq has been around the SMITE competitive scene since the begining. Most well-known for his time on the original Team Dignitas roster, a team which would find second place at the SMITE Launch Tournament. He would later on move to a coaching position for Team SoloMid. His return back to playing in competitive would come when he joined his brother Macetodaface and his former teammate TheBest on Five Angry Men. The team would then come to be sponsored by Denial eSports.
In Season 3, Denial would have former Enemy players Vetium, Masked, and Saltmachine, now known as Benj1, join the ranks. Following Macetodaface's departure from the team, Denial would move their sub XenoTronics to the full time role of Middle. After a rocky Spring Split, Shadowq and the rest of his team would fall just short of finding a spot at Dreamhack. After a long break during summer, Denial would come back stronger than ever, with the addition of former SoaR Jungler, Homiefe, and Middle, Hurriwind. The new roster would find great success in the begining of the Fall Split and would finish the placement stage in 3rd seed. The team would go on to take second in Group D and earn a spot at Super Regionals where they look to secure a spot at the SMITE World Championship. Following group stages the team would be acquired by Flash Point eSports.
These things in mind, I decided to ask Shadowq about his team, his SMITE career, and his thoughts going into Super Regionals.
You’ve been playing SMITE since its beginning, Shadowq. What made you get into playing SMITE and from there what made you decide to try your hand at competitive play?
Shadowq: I started playing in the first place because I saw a stream of Smite on Twitch. I loved PvP, and I had played League of Legends, but I disliked the top-down camera view. Smites third-person perspective was a fresh take on the MOBA genre and it clicked with me right away.
Now that Group Stages are all wrapped up, how does it feel to have earned a spot at Super Regionals?
Shadowq: It’s awesome! It’s been awhile since I’ve been at the top and it’s great being back up here.
What teams do you think will be the biggest threat going into Super Regionals?
Shadowq: Eager is definitely our biggest threat, mostly because winning that single matchup would instantly qualify us for worlds.
With the new stages of the Fall Split of Season 3, like the LAN Group Stages and the Gauntlet, it is evident that Hi-Rez is making efforts to keep the competitive SMITE scene evolving. What would you like to see Hi-Rez add or change to help grow or evolve the competitive scene?
Shadowq: Hi-Rez is definitely doing a lot to facilitate the growth of eSports in Smite. The increase in games played per split, number of teams in the SPL, and more frequent LANs show Hi-Rez is doing a lot to give viewers every opportunity to be hyped up for big plays. However, I feel that Hi-Rez doesn’t really advertise their events optimally. Our very own team didn’t even know what day we were playing until a day or two before the event. There has always been a lack of information out there in that regard.
How do you feel about the balance of SMITE in its current state when compared to the prominent metas that SMITE has been through? Do you think that there are any Gods or Mechanics that are unhealthy for SMITE as a whole?
Shadowq: Competitive Smite is in a very healthy state right now. The amount of viable gods is higher than ever, and almost every pick has synergies and counters. There have been times where some gods just completely tower above the others, but that’s much less the case now.
There are plenty of unhealthy mechanics in the game that I strongly disagree with. For example, effects that give gods the ability to basic-attack without losing movement speed (Fatalis, Chronos 2, Erlang 1) are very lazily designed and feel awful to play against. I’ve seen time and time again casual players get chased down and hit by several autos in a row without realizing what’s happening to them. It’s extremely hard to play around at a casual level because the camera angle makes it hard for you to see what’s coming at you when facing away from your opponent. Almost every other skill is more telegraphed than basic-attacks, and there’s no indicator that the movement speed penalty has been taken away until it’s too late.
With such a notable SMITE career as yours I’m sure that you have had some very memorable moments, so what has been your favorite moment of your professional SMITE career?
Shadowq: My favorite moment was the Aphrodite jukes at the Launch Tournament. It was a really hype play and it’s the reason why I met my now-girlfriend.
Since you’ve been in the competitive scene for so long what have you done to try to keep yourself from burning out on SMITE? Does it get more difficult to enjoy the game with the more time you spend playing it?
Shadowq: Well, to stop getting burned out on Smite, I play less Smite, ha ha. I still play a bunch, and it’s useful to make sure your mechanics stay fresh, but it gets frustrating when you get players in gold or lower in literally every ranked game.
It is common knowledge that players tend to play worse when angry with their game. What are some methods you use to help keep yourself from getting frustrated when playing in a competitive environment?
Shadowq: It took a long time for me to learn this skill. Back when I was in my early years of high school, I played World of Warcraft arenas with my brother (Macetodaface) and some real life friends. When stuff went wrong, I would get really mad and started yelling at my own brother and friends and nothing would change. Making mistakes happens for everyone, including myself, but getting mad is a completely useless response. There’s no real tip to “learn this one neat trick in 5 easy steps”. It took time and self-reflection to learn that getting angry accomplishes nothing, so you just have to try to not get angry.
Are there any mechanics in SMITE that you feel are often over looked or undervalued by other players?
Shadowq: Not many people play around Diminishing Returns on CC, and people are really bad at optimally chaining CC in general.
What is the biggest mistake that you see lesser experienced Support player make? Are there any important things for newer players to know when attempting to learn more about the role of Support?
Shadowq: Newer supports generally don’t respect creep damage. You shouldn’t tank creeps when you don’t have to. New support players should always share waves. If all 3 waves die, and you weren’t getting gold and experience from any of them, you were probably doing something wrong.
Thank you for your time in this interview, Shadowq. Do you have any final thoughts or anything in particular that you would like to say?
Shadowq: Thanks for the interview and thank you to Gamdias, Sloth E-Sports and Bluvos!
I just want to thank Shadowq again for agreeing to join me for this interview. Shadowq and the rest of Flash Point eSports will be playing in the SMITE Super Regionals starting Wednesday the 16th through Sunday the 20th as they look to secure a spot at the SMITE World Championship. You can watch them play live on the official Hi-Rez Twitch stream. If you can to check out more about Shadowq, you can find him on Twitter at @ShadowqSmite and on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/shadowqwe. Finally, for more content like this, you can follow myself on Twitter at @FastchevySmite and be sure to follow @SanguineEsports for more information and news about everything Sanguine.