Shoot To Kill rally in PCS1 Finals: Interview with coach, MachineGunner

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Speaking with Shoot To Kill’s MachineGunner about the victory in PCS1 Grand Finals.

The PCS1 Grand Finals came to a close over the weekend, providing fans with a nonstop weekend of PUBG Esports action. We spoke with Shoot To Kill’s Coach, MachineGunner, about their unbelievable comeback victory in the final match.

This past weekend, four competitive regions around the world wrapped up PUBG Esports’ first online regional tournament of the year, as part of the PUBG Continental Series. The PCS1 tournament featured the very best teams from each region and produced many memorable moments as teams competed for a $50,000 USD first-place grand prize.

In the North American Grand Finals, the heavily favored team heading into the event was Shoot To Kill, one of the region’s longest-standing and most accomplished rosters. It didn’t take long for STK to establish themselves amongst the sixteen-team lobby, as they quickly secured the lead and defended it for the majority of the tournament.

That was of course until the second to the final match, following a three-game win streak from Wildcard Gaming, unseating Shoot To Kill from atop the leaderboard, and placing them in second. The team now trailed the new leader, Wildcard Gaming, by twelve points heading into the final match. With $50,000 USD up for grabs, the team would need to overcome a twelve-point deficit within the final match of the tournament to recapture the first-place standing.

Off the jump of this final match, Shoot To Kill delivered one of the most exhilarating matches in PUBG Esports’ history before ultimately completing the comeback victory in a tiebreaker with Wildcard Gaming. Ties are broken by the total number of kills collected by each team.

Shoot To Kill may have arrived as favorites, but surprisingly managed to exceed expectations by enduring the most dominant stretch of games that we had seen throughout the tournament from Wildcard Gaming, which STK followed up with a brilliant final-match performance to close out the tournament on top. The first-place prize was awarded to a squad that was well-deserved and had just delivered one of the greatest matches in PUBG Esports’ history.

To better appreciate what this victory means for the team, and what exactly was going through their mind as they pulled it off, we asked the team’s coach, Owen “MachineGunner” Monahan, a handful of questions about the PCS1 Grand Finals.

App Trigger: Shoot To Kill have proven themselves as North America’s strongest squad, what’s it feel like to win a major regional tournament like PCS1?

MachineGunner: It feels great to win a major regional tournament like PCS 1. We have been working really hard by scrimmaging every day, reviewing VODs constantly, and putting in time on the training range along with Ranked Mode. We have been chasing a win for quite some time now and it’s amazing to see that the hard work we put in has paid off.

App Trigger: The team played great throughout the PCS1 Group Stage, what were you able to take away from those three weeks and carry over into the Grand Finals?

MachineGunner: We were able to take away a few things from the Group Stage that carried over into the Grand Finals. One is that we studied the tendencies of teams, which helped us in determining our actions in some of the recurring circles. Another is that we were able to gain the confidence that we could win by consistently placing, fragging out, and putting up a lot of average points per game.

App Trigger: What would you say was the most valuable lesson learned by the team during PCS1?

MachineGunner: The most valuable lesson learned would be to never give up on the game and never give up on each other. We had a lead for the majority of the event and lost it right at the end with Wildcard Gaming playing out of their minds. We came into the last game knowing we could still win, so we just formulated a gameplan and stuck to it – at no point did we believe we didn’t have a chance to win it all.

App Trigger: STK entered the final match trailing Wildcard Gaming by twelve points, what was the team’s mindset in hot dropping them at ‘School’? How did the team come to that decision, and how confident were you in executing it?

MachineGunner: The team’s mindset was confident coming into the hot drop on Wildcard at ‘School’. We knew that we were down twelve points and that we had to try to throw Wildcard off their game somehow. We knew that hot dropping would be the best way to accomplish that. Before the games started we quickly reviewed everywhere they dropped and knew if they didn’t fight us straight up at ‘School’ we could at least limit their vehicles and space and hopefully force them into some rough situations throughout the remainder of the game.

AT: Ultimately, the tournament came down to a tiebreaker decided by the total number of kills, with Luke “Luke12” Newey as the lone survivor rushing the wizard tower, what did the team know about your current placement? Can you elaborate on how the team learned that you had won the tournament?

MG: The team was fully aware of our current placement throughout the game. “PurdyKurdy”, our Captain and in-game leader, was counting points the entire game so we knew that we had to fight teams and push to get more points. When Luke [Luke12] was at the wizard tower and they had two knocks downstairs, “PurdyKurdy” made the call that if those two players bleed out we will win PCS1 in a tie based off of kill points.

AT: With the success Shoot To Kill found at PCS1, what do you believe the team needs to improve on, adjust, or study to return to the top of the leaderboard in the upcoming PCS2 Grand Finals?

MG: We need to improve on remaining consistent while also working to win more matches. Typically in North American events, we have the highest number of kills. A lot of the times its carried us to the top of the standings, but in the future, we want to get stronger at closing out games with our high-kill matches – rather than settling for high-kill Top 5’s.