Clan Spotlight: SIMP

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This week our Clan Spotlight will be on [SIMP], S.I.M.P. [SIMP] is a veteran tournament team, who just took second place at WGLNA in Las Vegas. Not to be satisfied with just tournaments, they took 1st place overall in the recent Clan Wars Campaign. Now they are on a mission to find as many good fights as they can across the Clan Wars map. Read their answers to our questions below to see if you can gain a little bit of insight on how to take your clan to the next level.

We interviewed these players to learn more about S.I.M.P.:

MacG1991 [SIMP] - I am the commander, I don't really do much. I just blame other people.
SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals [SIMP] - Field Commander and I get yelled at.
HerrDuck [SIMP] - I kinda just show up for tournaments every now and then and blame other people.
AdmiralDrake [SIMP] - I take the blame and drown.
Simpsonia [SIMP] - I have no role in the clan... I started off as DC, and didn't really do anything. Current mascot.

Please visit the extended interview thread to see more from this interview

How did your clan form?

HerrDuck - We got bored of the direction of our old clan decided to form our own three person clan in response to the tournament scene starting up. We slowly attracted people from our old clan and other clans based on our early tournament play and success.

MacG1991 - The thinking was that we would do well in these tournaments and then people would want to join our clan. It didn't end up being that easy. It was a lot slower than I expected but we've done the slow grind and now we are where we are at today.

HerrDuck - Just from an early days perspective, the slow build kind of hurt us in Clan Wars originally because we just didn't have the stacks to move and we didn't have enough people at time to fill up battles. But it helped in the long run because the people we have are really high quality. There is a lot of depth, it doesn't matter which 15 you get because they are all going to be a good 15.

Describe your clan's environment.

MacG1991 - I would say it is very relaxed in terms of overall clan environment because most of our stressing out, most of our effort, most of our ambition is pointed toward the tournament scene and so the majority of teams in our clan look to clan wars as a reprieve. It's an enjoyable experience and it is something we take serious but at the same time it's very relaxed in terms of Clan Wars and overall clan. We don't do daily practices or whatever. We just have a bunch of really good people who know what's going on with the maps and a bunch of really good players who smart enough to make the right decisions, and it just works.

SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals - It definitely helps and there is very little micromanaging.

What is the recruiting process like for SIMP?

HerrDuck - We have gone after personalities over efficiency and WN7 a lot of the times. It is about finding people who can fit in. The tournament scene is different from Clan Wars and it's different from pubbing. So originally at least it was about trying to find people that had a mentality that could operate in tournaments, which is a high pressure environment.

SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals - For the most part that's it. We look at numbers a little bit, I mean if someone has god awful numbers then we don't bother, we just say "hey it isn't going to work out" but most people we say hey hop on TeamSpeak and run with anybody just don't be shy. Everybody feels them out and it's more of a group decision than it is one person's. Within 5 games you get a pretty good grasp on somebody, you don't have to run much with them. You can tell this guy knows what he's doing and he's good enough to be in or needs more work. Anywhere from a couple days to a week it's pretty much figured out by then.

HerrDuck - Well some of it is... you can learn a lot from pubbing with somebody in a lot of ways. If they can read the map when they are pubbing and they know how to adapt to a situation, you have something you can work with. So it's trying to see if people have independent thought, the ability to plan out situations and react to incoming stimuli.
One other thing about recruiting, and this is for any player joining any clan, you have to be willing to learn and get better. A lot of people get obstinate with advice and suggestions, and you have to let that go and accept criticism, accept that you have ways that you can get better at the game.

AdmiralDrake - That's what separates a good player from a great player - someone who will listen to directions and tips, and actually wants to improve.

Simpsonia - I think that's what makes us so successful as far as attendance. Every night, even if we don't have Clan Wars, you're going to see at least 45-50 people on. If we have an active war going on, you'll see upwards of 70 people on.

How different is it to play on a stage at a major tournament versus at your own home?

Simpsonia - I remember E3 was a lot more stressful than being at home.

SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals - That was only because the club techno music.

MacG1991 - There is so much more on the line at a live event than at your home during prime time for Clan Wars. In tournaments, the guys you are fighting against really want to beat the snot out of you. In Clan Wars people want to beat you too but they haven't put nearly as much effort in beating you as tournament teams have.

HerrDuck - Especially with Clan Wars because it is just, oh uh we lost let's try it again tomorrow. Whereas in tournaments, when you are in front of an audience the pressure just stacks exponentially.

MacG1991 - And there is no tomorrow.

How do you determine your tank line ups and map choices for a tournament battle?

MacG1991 - That is all just preparation that you do beforehand. We figured out that in 7v7 you want something that is flexible and you just need to find the right combination of tanks to work with what you want to do. You can't do any set piece strats in tournaments like you can in Clan Wars. So you need to be a lot more flexible and ready to adjust and just bring the best tanks for that job. For maps, it's whatever you feel most comfortable with at the time.

SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals - I think the map makes more of a difference on what you bring for tanks than it does for the team you are facing.

AdmiralDrake - Unless you are trying to play the meta game.

HerrDuck - It is all auto-loaders anyway.

Simpsonia - Well not 69s after the next patch.

HerrDuck - Hello 1390s!

What skills carry over from tournaments to Clan Wars?

AdmiralDrake - Listening to directions is an important skill and also knowing what to do, like having initiative. For example, you don't need the battle caller to always tell you to go flank the enemy, sometime you can just see an opportunity and you should just take it. Maybe ask another tank to come with you and you can flank.

Simpsonia - Sharing a hit point pool. I mean that is one of the things top tournament teams do really well. It is not quite as necessary in clan wars but it is very useful and very needed sometimes.

SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals - That and focus fire. That is the other thing you see bad teams not doing at all.

What advice do you have for an individual player looking to get involved in Clan Wars?

SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals - I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I haven't been here since the start. I've been here for seven or eight months. I started in an Africa Clan, [RAGE], I think they are still around. I see them on landing zones every now and then. I got to the point where I realized as an individual player I wasn't getting any better because I was playing with people who weren't teaching me anything. So you move up the scale to the next clan. Soak up information from the other guys that are better players and then I kept moving up and up and now I'm here and I'm still learning stuff from platooning with people. It's a constant learning experience and if you are at the point where a lot of people just want to blame the other team, blame their team or other players, then that doesn't help you learn anything, you have to look at what you are doing wrong.

AdmiralDrake - I would first try to hone in my skills. Sure you can be a great team player but if don't have those basic skills down. No clan wants to get someone who doesn't have the skill set to play at a higher level. I would first try to watch some streams, those are always helpful. I wouldn't exactly go a watch tournament stream because that is a little different. It is not the same thing as pubbing.

HerrDuck - I think sometimes getting on to tank companies can give you an idea of what is going happen in Clan Wars. Where you have to bring the tank they want. You have to follow the strat they want. You have to execute and you can see if that is for you or not for you.

What do you think are the proper steps for a clan to take in order to get on the Clan Wars map?

MacG1991 - Diplo is really the last stage of your clan. First stage is getting those 15 guys on with tier Xs and then saying you know what guys? Win or lose, the objective here is to have fun. It is getting 15 guys who enjoy each other's company and once you have that core group you can go do whatever you want with it. As long they don't blow up at each other for failure. You are going to fail. You are going to fall flat on your face when you are starting off. That is going to happen but once you have those 15 who are willing to fail and come back the next day, you are solid.

What is the biggest mistake you see small clans making as they are trying to get on the map?

HerrDuck - I think one of the problems is people expanding too quickly. You see a lot of clans implode from personality conflicts and they just have a strange direction to them. I think us viewing clan wars a little differently has helped us weather some similar issues but not nearly as bad as I've seen other clans have in terms of drama.

What is the origin of the SIMP name?

HerrDuck - Simping is a thing that is done by Simpsonia where you are ready to take a shot, he pulls out in front of you, aims, takes a shot, and pulls back, and the enemy has aimed in so long that they now shoot you.

Simpsonia - When me, Mac, and Duck were platooning every single night, I would do that to them quite often, because I was still a noob at that point, and I still do that occasionally.

AdmiralDrake - What do you mean, occasionally?

Simpsonia - They decided to try to embarrass me by naming the clan after me, or rather the verb to do it. We have one for all of us. Mac-ing is killing a tank that was going to die by fire just so you could steal the kill.

HerrDuck - Drake-ing is diving into the water.

SeaOtterDefilerOfSeals - We don't have one for me yet.

To read the extended interview, please visit the Clan Spotlight: SIMP 9/2/13 forum thread. You can challenge [SIMP] this Wednesday at 3:00PM PDT in Absolute Tank Companies to win yourself some gold.

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