May 6, 2009
The competitive UT3 scene is spiraling down in terms of popularity and player commitment; a Heimlich-like revival is hopeful. Despite the scene currently, the prime of UT3 housed most of the UT greats from the past, with some quake stars mixed in, all who competed in a series of sponsored tournaments early in the games life. Gaspar 'hypno' Machado emerged from the UT2k4 scene and decided to take it upon himself to dominate the latest UT release. He has competed and won nearly every significant UT3 tournament to date. One impressive 1st place finish, for example, was from play.com's UT3 1v1 - a $30,000 purse. Quite impressive for a player who has remained humble and smooth throughout the competitive UT environment. 'hypno' has established himself as one of the most respected UT3 players throughout the PC community and is arguably - and convincingly - the best UT3 player in the world. FnA formed a brief interview to find out how the best player in UT perceives the UT3 scene, what advice he can give new players looking to get better, and a unique outlook of his opinion of UT3 on console. He was kind enough to take the time and answer:
1. So for the console community out there that may not know who you are, can you please summarize who you are and your significance to the UT scene?
Hello there, my name is Gaspar Machado, Im 21 years old, I live in Portugal, quite near to its capital, Lisbon, and Im currently finishing university in a course called Communication and Multimedia. Ive been playing for some years already, I started with the young age of 12 years old playing Unreal 1, and played all Unreal Series games since then. Competition wise Ive been playing since early 2004 days, I won WCG2004 Portuguese Qualifier and I went to San Francisco to play in the grand finals, since then Ive been invited to some online competitions, also LAN events like the WCG2005 Europe in Hannover, ESWC2005 in Paris and ESL MLUII Finals in Cologne. When I switched to UT3 the game just suited me much more and I had much more motivation to train, fortunately I won the play.com 30,000$ 1v1 tournament in London and one week after, i33 series in Newbury, I also won some online tournaments like the Eurocup UT3 1v1 or FGLeague and some other smaller LAN events in Portugal.
2. What are your thoughts on the latest UT game, UT3? Are there any changes you would make?
I really like UT3's game play, in my opinion it is the best UT game game play ever created, the problem was that the game was released in beta state, without crucial features like a decent demo playback, a good GUI and some other stuff that definitely should have come out of the box. Nowadays the game is quite decent, the majority of the bugs are now fixed, but we still don't have such a basic thing as UTV, without UTV coverage is very hard, without coverage there isn't interest, without interest the community gets smaller and smaller, its like a snowball really. UT3 needs support from Epic, a lot of it, sure they released the titan pack and so on, but there isn't a basic feature like weapon throw binding yet? I cant understand it really. I love all Unreal Series, and I like UT3 a lot, that's why its very frustrating to see a game with such potential and great game play not having the attention it deserves, because of small things that could be easily fixed.
3. Do you find this new version as competitive as the previous UT titles? [Follow up: Do you expect this to improve?]
UT3 was very competitive in the beginning, a lot of players were playing it and some coming back, we even saw the comeback of gitz and lauke in that play.com tournament and even some quakers signing up too, but as month have passed the lack of tournaments made the community smaller and less competitive, at the moment there isn't really a pro-environment anymore, I play the game because I like it and I have fun with it, even tho its a shame because I love competition and miss it a lot as well. That's why I was expecting some kind of launch tournament with the titan pack + patch, that would have boosted the competitive community a lot, like iD does it with QuakeCon for example, UT needs that kind of events and motivation to be alive.
4. Are there any tournaments you are currently competing in or looking forward to that the console community can follow?
Theres a ESL Open Cup in this spring that looks quite promising, some good players already signed up even tho its just a fun cup, there's no money involved, it might boost ut community. Im also playing the clanbase 2v2 opencup and Im having a lot of fun with it because I really haven't played much TDM in UT3 even tho I came from a UT2K4 TDM background (which I loved, much more than 1v1 actually).
5. With competitive spirit in mind [or a tournament coming up], who do you find the hardest player to compete against?
As I said before most of the players stopped playing, the likes of GoHLinK, kiLLu, ecko, etc etc are currently inactive, meanwhile some new players appeared, like kRoNiC that recently won latest online cb tournaments, so to be honest, at the moment kRoNiC is the most prepared player and might be the hardest as well. Still, in past UT3 days, kiLLu was definitely the most hard player for me to play against, his defensive style and predictions skills, were just really effective against me ^^
6. The three most competitive 1v1 UT3 maps on console are, DM-Deck, DM-Shangri La, and DM-Sentinal - DM-Penetrated is making a good run on the PS3 which allows user created content. How does the map pool differ in competitive PC play?
In pc the map pool is DM-Deck-FPS(improved version of deck, much less fps killer), dm-sentinel, dm-penetrated, dm-gritt and dm-subterrane, lately there have been 2 additions that have been played in last cb cups, which are dm-acquisition and dm-bonescraper, for me they are good maps, even tho I think the map pool is a bit too big at the moment.
7. A large majority of console players are out of touch with real competitive duel that PC players have been involved with for years. What advice can you give new players eager to learn UT and get better?
I think its the same for the PC players, I really didn't know there was a highskill in console gaming (for UT3), that's why I found your videos quite interesting . Well to get better I think you should play a lot of people, normally if you want to improve you need to play better people than you, get bashed a bit, practice maps that you don't know and don't be a stubborn to only play dm-deck or whatever your favorite map is just to enlarge your e-penis . Practice your worst weapons, think a bit how the game works and try to improve your errors, watching demos or watch some other players and notice their errors aswell. Rest is practice and experience =)
8. Have you ever tried playing UT with a controller? [Follow up: Would you ever try?]
I tried once I guess, well I just cant play with it, I'm a total noob But I think with some practice (A LOT) I would actually get some average level, lol.
9. What are some disadvantages you may find to hinder your level of play if you were to play UT on a controller?
Well loads really, Im so used to the keyboard and mouse, it sucks because even slower games like CoD4 I truly suck at it. Thing is I knew for a long time there was a pro scene in Halo for example, so if that was possible I just think its a matter of getting used to it, practice and some xp again
10. Were you aware the popular and fairly well-known player, 'boots', made a brief transition to console for a few months and played with our team, FnA?
Na, didn't know that, even tho I talked with boots sometimes about UT3, it sucked though because we couldn't play each other because of ping issues.
11. Do you think the future has a place for PC and console player collaboration?
That would rock I guess, Ive been hearing about cross-platform since Dreamcast UT version days, and it really never happened, I hope in the future if some UT4 or so comes up, the cross platform will be available, so I can play you for example.. oh but then again we would have ping issues eheh
12. Would you be interested in representing our team FnA on PC? (I HAD to ask =] )
I'm currently playing for k1ck and I really cant ehe, even though thanks for the offer
FnA: Thank you so much for you time, hypno! All of us here at FnA have nothing but respect for you, the competitive PC scene and what everyone continues to do in support of this great franchise. We wish you the best of luck in anything you try!
hypno: Thanks for the great interview and goodluck to you and your gaming team.
hypno vs GoHLinK i33 Finals - Penetrated
hypno vs GoHLinK i33 Finals - Deck