Team Envy interview: The goal is definitely to make GLL Grand Slam

Photo courtesy of OGN Esports.
Photo courtesy of OGN Esports. /

Nick “Interrogate” Raposo and Patrick “PAT_KAPS” Kaplan of Team Envy sat down to answer some question about their victorious performance in NPL Royale.

Following their excellent play during the group stage and finals, a new NPL Royal champion was crowned. After a relatively turbulent year, Team Envy rose to the occasion claiming first place and $40,000. Possibly serving as the team’s first step towards reaching their goal, being a Top 5 team again.

Last weekend, all 32 teams from NPL and Contenders met for the Phase 2 tournament known as NPL Royale. I previewed this event with more detail in an article you can find here.

I had the chance to speak with Nick “Interrogate” Raposo and Patrick “PAT_KAPS” Kaplan of Team Envy, who offered some insight into their tournament victory.

App Trigger: Heading into NPL Royale, how does Team Envy prepare for this kind of tournament?

Nick “Interrogate” Raposo: So for the Royale, there’s definitely a bit more preparation to do because we aren’t super familiar with all the contender teams. So we have to do a bunch of research and see where everyone is dropping, see how teams around us are planning because it mixes things up. When you’re playing the regular season, all the teams are pretty standard.

And we have an idea of how everyone plays and how they rotate and all that. In Contenders, especially since I would say they’re, like, obviously a lower tier league, that they don’t have the exact same play style and strategies that the NPL teams have. So yeah, doing research is really important. And we definitely did our research beforehand.

AT: Game 2 was the best round for your team. Looking back, what made the team so effective this match?

Patrick “PAT_KAPS” Kaplan: Yeah, so we crossed the bridge pretty early. And we got into the North forest on Milly Island. And we’re able to just take a pretty good spread and control of that forest. And we were able to have good information on where teams were around us. And just hold our ground that whole time.

AT: From there, the team was four strong with solid positioning, how did the team see the end of that match play out?

PK: We were more focused on the teams to our northeast and our northwest, we figured that the military base teams wouldn’t be able to cross the gap. Because we heard Endemic and Rumblers fighting, so we made sure to find out where the Endemic player went, and then we knew YPG (YellowPike Gaming) was in the northeast forest. So we ended up just waiting for them. We picked them off a bunch and then “TGLTN” just made the end of the game really easy for us.

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  • AT: Heading into the final round, C9 was only leading by one point. How was the team feeling knowing that this match would determine the tournament winner?

    NR: Playing throughout the game, we were obviously keeping really good track of the kill feed because we were really close to C9 (Cloud9). And we knew that basically if C9 die, we pretty much win because the points were so close. So even one point or two points would put us ahead. So we were keeping track of the kill feed and getting our kills as well.

    And then we noticed C9 died. So right away, we were pretty sure we won because we didn’t really see them get too many kills. We were just super happy, like in the game as soon as we saw them all get wiped, we just all were cheering and getting excited because we figured we had one at that point.

    And then after that, we pretty much went on to just play pretty aggressive. Like we were just trying to pick up as many kills as we could and make it entertaining and you know, show off, I guess a little bit.

    AT: Was there a moment during Game 6 when you realized you had won the tournament?

    NR: Yeah. Midway through the game, we saw all the teams like Soniqs died; Ghost died; Cloud 9 died. So pretty much everyone around us was dead early. So we knew for sure we were going to win that tournament at a certain point. And yeah, we’re just enjoying it having fun and fragging out.

    AT: The tournament came down to the final match, and you were able to pull off the win. What are some positives can you take away from the NPL Royale and apply to the second half of Phase 2?

    NR: Well, we’ve been struggling a bit obviously in NPL to pull out the best placements. But recently we’ve been changing up a couple of things, and we feel like the Royal confirmed that we are going in the right direction in terms of strategy and playstyle. So I think we’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing recently because that’s what’s been working.

    And with all this confidence and momentum from the Royale, I think it’s definitely going to make it even easier to pull off these strategies and get the high placements we need.

    AT: With so many southern circles in NPL, have you considered returning to loot Military Base (Sosnovka Island)?

    PK: Well, since we loot that farm area, we have priority over the East bridge if the circle is to go to the base. But if the circle doesn’t go to the base, we don’t have to cross the bridge. That’s a really good part of the loot spot we took, so we don’t need the base. Also, the loot settings help a lot. We don’t need to have like a city to loot because the loot settings are so great.

    AT: This roster is still fairly new; how comfortable has the team gotten as a squad?

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  • PK: Yeah, there was a time where there was a lot of just ideas being thrown around and not really a sort of set leadership. Everyone wanted to have a say in what the team should do. But recently, we’ve started to fall into more of a good order where we’ll listen to like Moody [during] early game and stuff like that. As long as we’re on the same page, that’s the biggest thing for us. And we’re not trying to do two or three different things.

    AT: After finding your game in NPL Royale, where do you see your team at the end of Phase 2?

    PK: The goal is definitely to make it to GLL Grand Slam, and I think we all know that we can do it. And that’s what we’re going to do. I’m pretty sure, I think we also have a good chance of getting like even third, or second, or hopefully first.

    AT: The team didn’t have an ideal showing in London at the FaceIt Global Summit, how much would it mean to be invited to Stockholm for the GLL Grand Slam?

    NR: It would mean a lot because we want to prove something. We didn’t do very well at FaceIt, and we all know that we’re better than that. So, we are trying to push for that Top 5 this phase to get into the GLL Grand Slam. We want to prove that we can be at the top of these global events.

    AT: Does the team have a specific IGL (in-game leader)? Or is it more of play calling by committee?

    NR: We have multiple IGL’s. We’ve been trying to get on the same page with whose going to be calling at what time, and we’ve been figuring out certain people are better at calling certain things. We’re just learning the best way to IGL, but we have multiple right now.

    AT: And finally, currently living in California for NPL Phase 2; In-N-Out or Shake Shack?

    NR: Ooh, Shake Shack.
    PK: Yeah, Shake Shack.

    Team Envy is currently in 10th place, resting on the cusp of relegation. We’ll see if the success from NPL Royale can carry Team Envy down the stretch, as they hope to climb the leaderboard.

    NPL goes live every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM ET; tune in to see how Team Envy and the rest of the league does as Phase 2 winds down.

    This interview has been edited for conciseness and clarity.