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URAL Steel: Interview with -=Aces=- (NA)

ACES-Battle Group

1. General information about team players: how long they’ve been playing WoT competitively, what they played before, how a team got together, how they train, etc.

-=Aces=- is considered a small clan by NA standards.  We’re comprised of 43 members with about 24 highly active players.  We prefer a small tight-knit group over a large clan roster composed of members unfamiliar to one another.  -=Aces=-  have competed in multiple tournaments including Skirmishes, Season I Classic, International WCG and the Ural Steel competition.   

Generally, most of our members have been involved with WOT since closed/open beta.  Many of our players have been involved in other online games prior to WOT.  All of us enjoy the MMOG (massive multi-player online gaming) environment versus playing against a limited intelligence AI environment.

2. Favourite vehicles

ParrotOne - VK4502A, Panther II, Jagdpanther II, T20

Tanktified – Scouts in general

J9Star - Su-26, Batchat155, T-1 Cunningham

3. Team statistics: team achievements - tournament wins, titles, awards etc.

Several of the Ural Steel team were also members of the team that placed in the top 8 of the Classic Season I on the North American Server. 

4. How a team evaluates the qualifying rounds in its region: what you can say about your opponents, list the most exciting matches and interesting battle moments, rate and describe your performance in the qualifiers

The competition in the Ural Steel event was highly competitive with many fine teams that we respect.  We are honored to have made the final four on the NA server and will do our best to represent the NA in Moscow.

J9star:  The qualifying rounds were full of surprises. Each team’s path to the top 4 was full of difficult battles. Our most exciting match was Himmelsdorf where the opposing team kept us on our toes by trying a modified cap rush.  Our performance in the qualifiers was pretty good.

ParrotOne:  - Our second match was arguably against one of the best teams in this tournament – FORGE.  They have tons of clan war experience and are good.  So, any mistake by either team was quickly capitalized upon. Game play was therefore cautious, especially after their cap rush failed in the first round. Ultimately an error by their team allowed us to surround and kill them on 'tank alley' in Himmelsdorf, netting us the win.  We treated team with caution because too much was at stake.  We are proud that we only lost one round during the entire qualifier.

5. What a team thinks about its competitors from its region and from other regions - whether they follow competitors’ games, aware of their progress, etc.

In general it is safe to say that we have not followed competitors on other servers.  We do however follow many NA server clans and regard them as friendly rivalries.  WAR and -G- are both long time rivals from previous tournaments and tank companies. We know a lot of the players from both clans and hold them in high regard. Both clans, along with many others, are routine contenders for first place.  Having the opportunity to compete directly against them with a place in the final four is a proud achievement for us.

6. How a team prepares for the finals

Preparation for any tournament is the key to victory... Yet, as gamers, we must realize that real life comes first. Within those parameters we spend our time brainstorming strategies, utilize skirmishes and take advantage of videos of other tournaments for preparation. 

7. What they think about Ural Steel as the tournament 

-=Aces=- are proud to be a participant in our first International tournament.  The competition to get here was tough. The battles will only get tougher and we’ll use them to measure ourselves on the international scale.

8. Expectations for the final

At this point any team could potentially beat any other team.  The selection of maps will play a large variable.  Artillery oriented maps are open for upsets.  Each team earned their way into the competition in Moscow and should be apprehensive about the other teams they fight.  Only two wins are needed to move on which sets the stage for upsets to happen.  You throw the variable of artillery in there and anything can happen!  Should our clan,  -=Aces=- , not be the last team standing we will be rooting to see a USA team on top.