Interview with MindFreak’s ‘Fighta’ on breaking out of the CWL Atlanta Open Brackets
In the week leading up to the CWL Atlanta, there wasn’t much talk about the local APAC teams attending the 2nd major LAN for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. However while many organisations were eagerly waiting for the local CWL Sydney LANs, MindFreak – one of the top Call of Duty teams in Australia was already boot camping in the states in preparation for Atlanta.
While two other Australian teams attended, MindFreak was the only team to make it out of the open brackets into the pools placing 17th which was an impressive performance from a local team. Recently, I caught up with Lincoln ‘Fighta’ Ferguson to discuss their performance as well as what happened at the LAN.
What drove the team to fly over to the states to compete in CWL Atlanta despite not having an entry into pool play?
Well due to the recent roster changes (Denz leaving us) which pretty much left us out to dry in the pro points race. He joined the team (Tainted Minds) which was winning a lot of online matches and already ahead on pro points, leaving us to find a fourth player. Once we’ve found a fourth, we saw a great opportunity to travel to CWL Atlanta due to no university commitments at this time and a great way to catch up in pro points.
MindFreak surprised everyone about their CWL Atlanta attendance. What was the reason behind the secrecy?
Due to the pro point race being so crucial for a spot at the World Finals, we thought it would be best to keep it a secret from everyone to ensure we could gather as much pro points as possible in relative to the other competing Australian teams.
I’ve heard the open brackets have been gruelling. Can you guys go into more detail on what happened?
To be honest, the best-of-three format brings heaps of pressure. You go down in one map you’re instantly one step from being knocked out. Not only that, the open bracket teams aren’t to be taken lightly, some people don’t understand how much potential some of those teams have, as you could see Tainted Minds and Chiefs eSports not making it out of the open brackets.
“The best-of-three format brings heaps of pressure. You go down in one map you’re instantly one step from being knocked out.”
You guys were the only team from our region to make it into pool play. How did you guys manage to get out of the opens?
Well our team is known for being the best in the region for a long time and our LAN performances backs that, so that definitely plays a huge factor. Our team has always been a better LAN team than online due to internet of my teammates. We also can manage the pressure and rise to the occasion better than other players on the LAN stage.
Despite not reaching the finals, you guys finished in the top 17th which was impressive from our region. What did you guys learn from MLG Atlanta?
Learning to adapt to the NA playstyle, we were very consistent on some maps, however lack in performance on other maps. From attending, we can focus on learning and improving so we can do better for the next event.
What’s next for the MindFreak CoD squad?
CWL Sydney, which we are looking to take 1st place and crush some of our rivals.
The next big event for Call of Duty APAC is the upcoming CWL Sydney which is on next week. With two teams from Asia coming down: UnVeiL NoVa and RamPaGe Gaming – there will be intense competition for our teams like MindFreak for a share of the $30,000 AUD Prize Pool and 10,000 worth of pro points for the first placed team.
For more information on CWL Sydney Open 1 – hosted by ESL Australia, check out the link here. Photos provided by MindFreak/Astro Gaming