In our previous article about URAL Steel 2011, we centered our attention on the American team Angels of Death and their experiences during the URAL Steel Championship in Moscow last year. Following up with where we left off, we had the good fortune of catching up with the team after they had won the 8/90 Division for the Qualifiers. In the interview below with MrCaruthers, the leader of Angels of Death clan, we find out more about the members and how they came about to forming the team.
How did your team gather? And who are its members? How long have you been playing WOT?
>> Angels of Death was first formed in 1999, by Liquid Smoke, and has been running continuously for over 11 years now. Our World of Tanks Division and Tier 8 Team, while having a much shorter history, has achieved a lot in a very short time. Officially a division in August 2010, Angels of Death WoT soon formed a highly competitive team to enter into the first U.S. Open Tournament, and then Battle League. Many of the members that played in the U.S. Open and Battle League make up our current Ural Steel team, and were originally chosen for not only their individual skill, but their team play, their ability to follow a detailed plan, their ability to communicate, and their garage make-up. Many of our members on the Team have played WoT since before the Summer of 2010, and we foresee a very long future with World of Tanks. The members of our Tier 8 team are as follows:
AltSeagullBBM, Atlatl, Bronco, Cedtheslayer, DocZoidberg, etac28, FatherTyme, Friction, Gristle6, Harshe, loganov, Macdandee, MERC26, MrCaruthers, navy714, NightShift, SilentTiger, stone19delta, War_2g, and Torv!
How long did it take for you and your teammates to feel free in battles, to become a single whole?
>> A good number of our members have been working together since the first U.S. Open tournament, so we have had some time to build up our chemistry, and team play. While we added several members to the Ural Steel Team, these members have fit in right from the beginning and we have only built onto what we have learned from our first tournament. So, to answer your question, I felt we were working as a "single whole" from the first day of practice. And after a week of daily practice, we were at such a good place that our members would barely have to say a word on Ventrilo to convey to each other what was unfolding on the battlefield.
How did the decision to participate in “Ural Steel” Championship come?
>> Angels of Death has participated in every tournament since the U.S. Open, and ever since, we decided we would be actively involved in every tournament from that point on.
What were the most popular vehicles used by the team members?
>> The most popular tank would have to be the T-32. We all really appreciate what this tank can do in the right hands, and I believe our members used them to our advantage. At one point our defensive unit, made up of two T-32's, successfully held off five IS-3's trying to break through onto our cap.
Were there any difficulties your team were facing during battles? Who were your most severe opponents?
>> Sure, we had our share of difficult moments in a few matches. I believe we drew two matches, during the tournament, so we certainly had our challenges at times. Without a doubt our most competitive opponent was ROTA. They really put us through the paces, and we have really come to respect them as one of the strongest teams on the NA server. Beyond that ROTA really impressed us with their sportsmanship, and we look forward to playing with them in the next tournament.
What do you think about the organization/requirements/rules of the Championship? Would you like to have changes anything?
>> Angels of Death thought the new win conditions were a fantastic change. Needing two wins out of five games really puts the onus on the teams to do something other than camp it out. While there were some very defensive teams that our Tier 8 team faced, we adjusted accordingly and had planned for teams with this mindset. Other than that, the automated system went off without a hitch, although we would still like there to be a GM in the matches to record and handle any questions that may arise.
What are your expectations from the Grand Finals in Moscow? How easy/difficult will it be to struggle with Russian and American players?
>> We are really looking forward to the Grand Finals in Moscow, and plan to come out on top. I continually tell our members that we need to remain confident in every match we play, and with this positive mindset only good things can happen. While I abhor arrogance, I believe that if you feel you might lose a match it will turn into a self-filling prophecy. With that said, I believe we are a match for any Russian or European team, and we should have some good matches in store for us. Win or lose, we will hold great respect for our opponents, and look forward to the chance to meet some of the best players in the game.
Do you have any unique tactics that are always helpful, or have you prepared something special for the Grand Finals?
>> Our main "tactic" is really the chemistry we have as a team, and our preparedness, that will hopefully set us apart from the other teams in Moscow. I rely on the strategies that our team has put forth and the countless hours of work pouring over a map, which we then apply to real world situations.
Would you like to wish anything to your partners /your EU-server supporters or rivals-to-be?
>> To redsky and Iron Wolves, we wish you much luck, and hope that you both advance to the top. Win or lose we will be partying together in Moscow, and we plan to have a great time! To our rivals, we have great respect for your accomplishments in World of Tanks, and we hope to have some great and memorable matches.
I would also like to take this time to thank our Tier 6 team for all their support and time they spent with us practicing every single night. Without your support we would not be where we are today. Also to our other WoT members, thank you for challenging us during practices, and again, without your support we would not be where we are today! Lastly, to our upper command of AOD, thank you for all the support you have given our team, without you we would not even have a division in World of Tanks. Thank you.