Chiefs were the surprise package of IEM Sydney. Picking up map wins against North and Renegades, as well as displaying some great potential against Astralis and OpTic, turned a lot of heads in the professional scene and put the Australian side on the international map.

I sat down with the team’s newest addition, pecks, at the event to discuss their experience in Sydney and team dynamic.

Ever since you joined, Chiefs have been consistently the best team in the region. What do you think you’ve brought to the team?

The main thing I bring to the team is firepower. tucks puts me in anchor spots where I usually solo sites, which allows the rotator to play somewhere else, and my job is to delay or get as many kills as I can. Other than that, I think the willingness to learn and get better is a feature that many top players in Australia lack.

In the lead up to IEM Sydney, you guys were playing with emagine in place of tucks in the minor qualifiers, getting to the grand final. Do you feel like this was detrimental to your campaign here?

Yes. To be honest, even though emagine played really well for us and top fragged like nearly every game, we were missing probably the most core member of this lineup being tucks, the in-game leader. We had very limited strats and Tyler, being the most mature and experienced member of our team, wasn’t able to lead us around.

We noticed aliStair was AWPing over tucks and having a lot of impact in finding opening kills in the Astralis game. Why was the swap made?

In scrims when Tyler was AWPing and calling, he found it hard to concentrate on both as it required a lot of concentration. He decided to hand it down the next person in line which was aliStair.

The clean 15-0 half on Train against Renegades has to be one of the highlights of the event. Did you guys have a read on how they were playing or was it more predicated on your own play?

Honestly, we came in with our own game. Knowing that Train was pretty much our strongest or second strongest map and that Renegades had a pretty fresh lineup coming into this tournament, we just played how we usually played and Renegades played straight into our hands. Other than that, we did watch one of their demos and we knew that their setups and strats on Train were pretty basic.

The other highlight that I’m sure put you guys on the map was the win against North. You went down 10-5 on CT Nuke. What do you think was the main factor that kept you guys in the game and ultimately win it?

Coming into the elimination game, we knew that this was our last opportunity to compete and show everyone that we’re still here and we can still do damage. I remember before the game, Tyler was like “this was going to happen, sooner or later; we would’ve had to play one of the big four teams in tournament and this is just our chance to show them what we can do”. I’m not sure about the others, but that gave me a lot of confidence and kept me going forward and forward. Even though we had a shocking CT half, we knew that we had strats that teams who haven’t studied how we played would struggle against. We used the same strat for over half of the T side and manipulated it to how North were playing and eventually we won off it.

Do you have any general take-aways from the matches against Astralis and OpTic that you weren’t able to come out on top in?

The games against Astralis and OpTic just made me aware of a gap between the top teams and the tier two teams. The top teams make very little mistakes and not very often which doesn’t allow teams to dismantle them, whereas the tier two teams would make little mistakes often which allow the better teams to take advantage.

How hard was it to prepare for these top teams in such an isolated region?

Coming into IEM Sydney, we had a two weeks prior to it where we spent most of our time studying mainly Astralis as they were the definition of a smart team who play with little to no mistakes. Other than that, it was pretty hard to find ‘decent’ scrims where teams would allow you to properly practice.

What’s next for you guys? Are there any plans for more international events?

I mean im pretty sure everyone’s keen to play anything that comes our way, that being if they allow Tyler to play.