With 16 of North America’s top Tanker teams squaring off for the right to represent the region and take on the elite European squads in the Rumble in the West Finals in Poland (October 25), S.I.M.P. team leader Marcus Gomez knew his team would have to be at the top of their game if they deserved a shot at that $50,000 WoT prize pool.
“We always expect to do well because we know that we’ve put the requisite time in and we trust in the work that we’ve done,” says Gomez. “Our strategy for Rumble in the West was simply to play smart and control the tempo.”
And that’s exactly what S.I.M.P. accomplished, as the powerhouse Gold team smashed their way through to the semifinals, taking down Fun-GaminG 2-1 in a tiebreaker to setup a showdown against The Cunninghams (Friday, September 26).
“Our last match (against Fun-GaminG) was actually fairly dramatic,” says Gomez. “We were near their base and they caught us by surprise with three tanks waiting at the corner in their base.
“The fight started and we killed one of their tanks and severely damaged three, but in the process they took out three of our tanks. It looked grim when we had two tanks versus their four, but Abrasive swooped in with his 50 100 to take out the three weak enemy tanks and we managed to win after that.”
On the opposite side of the semifinal bracket, it’s Burn All Empires taking on the only team from Latin America, Timed Out, a team that originally saw RITW as a way to prepare for WGLNA Season 5, but after upsetting some of the tournament’s top teams, they quickly realized they had a chance to make it to Poland.
“At first we saw it as a test,” says TO’s Matheus Campos, “but Gandorfo and I talked to the players and said that we would be able to make it to the finals, even if there were some great teams in the competition.”
As for Campos’ favorite RITW moment?
“Against Fun GaminG, I was driving the T1 Cunningham and I killed an AMX 13 90 on fire,” he says. “In a flurry of shots I killed the AMX 13 90 and reset two guys in cap.”
And it’s skills like that that help to make Timed Out a favorite amongst fans from around the world.
“We play in worse conditions than all teams in North America (high ping, packet loss, lower hardware and generic peripherals) and even managed to beat them,” says Campos. “We are the best team in Latin America today.”
But will that unabashed bravado be enough to make it to Poland?
Meanwhile, tournament favorite S.I.M.P. is already salivating at getting another shot at the top European teams in the finals.
“We’ve known since January that the European and Russian teams are better, but we’ve been working nonstop since then to change that,” says Gomez. “We believe our odds are good to make it to Poland, and we’d love another shot at the European teams to see how far we’ve progressed.”
For more on Rumble in the West, including appearances from all semifinal team captains, check out the World of Tanks eSports stream on Twitch, Thursday at 4pm PDT.