We recently interviewed RedPrince42. He has been a member of the Championship Series leagues since the beginning and he writes weekly updates on the Minor League. Here's what he had to say about the Minor League.
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RedPrince42: This season has been most fun of all.
We tried to use an elite team and it’s been good for the most part. We’re training people for things like clan wars. But we also made few mistakes here and there. But most of all our guys have been having fun. The first season was frustrating “all around” of course. But I’m really proud of my guys.
RedPrince42: I think each league has a different level of intensity and level of play. There were maybe 2 or 3 teams in the minors that I expected us to have a tough time against.
The major league, last season, was a jump up for us. Each tier up is a challenge.
I thought of this [difference in quality] when playing the team battle mode. We went 23-3 using new callers. I know that one of the open league teams is a break away clan from ours. They haven’t been doing that great. But if we end up in the open league we’ll compete.
RedPrince42: Coming in, from our team, I thought that we would finish at least 500 [50 percent winrate]. I thought maybe 7th or 8th. We lost a couple of matches that we should not have lost on open maps. [Those maps are] where we really end up getting in trouble.
Last season we wanted to begin experimenting with autoloaders. Our tank selection was somewhat limited during the 1st seasons. We had two 50-100s by the end of last season. This season is the 1st season we really had the opportunity to significantly run autoloaders. We’re still figuring it out. They’re key to winning the open maps. They have to be used well.
WGA: We’d like to know more about this season’s Minor League teams, based on their performance. Beginning with last season’s Major League teams that were relegated to the Minor League: Nomads, Killed In Action and Knights of the Red Table.
RedPrince42: We’ve run against [Nomads] every season now. I’m actually coming to think that we haven’t beaten them in any of the 3 seasons. Each time around we’ve fought them hard. I really do think that they have what it takes to be a contender in the minors.
If they hadn’t missed out on the first two matches, I think that they would still be a potential contender. Going into the season, in my projected preseason rankings, I had them ranked 5th. I think they have a couple of tough games coming up.
WGA: Their upcoming schedule to end the season:
RedPrince42: Yeah I think that Kings and Thrones are the only ones that would potentially throw them. They have been playing pretty well recently and have been pushing their way back up.
That’s really what’s ideal. It helps in all aspect of the game when teams [are managed] that way. I think they can make their way back up next season.
WGA: What about Killed In Action?
RedPrince42: When they were PL1AD & 10 SBP, they were mediocre. This season it’s almost all 10 SBP. They seem to have a tighter game. They’re still kind of green, they make mistakes. The system that I use for projected rankings does heavily rely on a variety of efficiency numbers. I use approximately four different numbers from different rating systems and my own personal knowledge of each team which increases every season. Strictly by the numbers, Killed In Action were the 4th best team entering the league this season. I didn’t have them as high this season because based on experience they weren’t very well coordinated. If they manage to improve that, they can do really well. They’re actually similar to us. They seem to struggle against the average teams that they should be beating. They can rise to the occasion and beat the best teams. But if you can’t beat the average teams you won’t get anywhere in this league. I predict them to finish 13, just under 500 [50 percent winrate]. I don’t expect them to be in the Majors next season. I think they need another season or two to get it together.
WGA: Several of the top teams are returning Minor League teams from last season. What of this group?
RedPrince42: Let me look at my notes and tell you what I thought of this group.
Ok.. so.. Golden grilles, Lincoln brigade, Absolute Dawn and Bomb Squad I had in my projected top 10 entering the season. Boss Gaming was just outside my top 10. And after doing some research today I now understand why.
After last night.. last night was a wild night. I had to revamp what I was looking at based on what I expect in the playoffs. Boss Gaming does terrific against average and lower end teams. They seem to have a problem when it comes on taking against the best. They have a 1-3-1 record against other teams [heading for] the playoffs. They’ve got a terrific record for the season. But they may have a hard time in the playoffs and may struggle in the Majors.
Based on speaking with their clan they may be taking on too much. BOSS has 75 to 80 members and they’re forming up teams from the clan for clan wars plus league battles. I don’t know if they’re doing skirmishes and blitzes but they may be spread thin.
RedPrince42: Bomb Squad is doing it for real. Bomb squad is winning. They work extremely well as a team. They’ve got really good callers. Several really good callers actually. And they’ve taken an active interest in learning from the best, from the WGLNA. I don’t think they’re a secret. They’ve talked about it, they’re still figuring out their tank selection and they believe in themselves. They believe they’re going to beat anybody.
I think that the only team that they might get a little hesitant fighting is Victorious Secret. Victorious Secret have proved themselves against all the others. They’ve beaten pretty much everybody else. They dropped a game to Malegebi. But they’ve beaten everybody else. I’ll tell ya, I think that Bomb Squad is gonna be fighting Victorious Secret for the playoff championship if Bomb Squad can beat Victorious Secret in round 27. If they can’t, they’re gonna end up being matched against Victorious Secret in the semis and I think Victorious Secret will take them out. It’s actually a very favorable playoff map schedule for Bomb Squad. I think Victorious Secret will take them on cliff because it’s a little more open than either Ensk or Himmelsdorf. But Bomb Squad uses city maps extremely well with extraordinary reaction time.
WGA: What of Absolute Dawn?
RedPrince42: Absolute Dawn did surprise me this season. I had them ranked 8th to start things off. I really don’t know what it is about them that made me think they weren’t going to compete. They’ve been getting surprising wins and gaining confidence. If they aren’t Bomb Squad now, they will be very soon.
The biggest win I think they had was against Malegebi. That was the biggest one. Then picking up the win against Boss Gaming was the next set of rounds. That convinced me more than anything else that Boss Gaming was struggling against the best. But it also told me that Absolute Dawn was here for the real thing. You can come off a win like that and a lot of teams will lose the very next match. These guys didn’t succumb to that.
WGA: Another championship series mainstay which we’ve seen in their 3rd season now, Lincoln Brigade. They seem to have it together now and look safely headed for the playoffs.
RedPrince42: I wouldn’t say they’re safe … But I think they’ll take the last playoff spot. Like Boss Gaming, they’ve struggled against the best teams but have also struggled against some of the mid-level teams. They made a great push to get into the playoff race. But it’s probably confidence issues where they.. and you can look at Bomb Squad and compare the two.. if you look at Bomb Squad, they lost a couple of games against teams that you never expected them to. But they came right back and won their subsequent rounds. Lincoln Brigade hasn’t had that same success. Each loss that was an upset seems to hit their confidence and made them question whether they’ll win the next big game.
My team has a tough schedule to finish up, including one game against Lincoln Brigade.
WGA: Kings & Thrones have the greatest disparity between where they finished last season to where they currently stand.
RedPrince42: How much has their team changed?
WGA: They’ve made only a single roster substitution.
RedPrince42: IIRC they’re from a bunch of different clans. I don’t know how much they’ve played together which is why I ask that question. I think they’ve spent a lot of time learning to play together at this level. Which means you’re going to lose some games that you should win based on your skills.
I think they’re definitely finding the right people. They will be a threat next season.
WGA: Let’s turn our attention to the returning Minor League teams that are ‘middle of the pack’ teams. These teams, incidentally, for the most part, stand near where they stood at the end of the last Minor League Season: Sharp Dressed Men, Kewl KV Krew, Golden Grilles, The Walking Dead, and Founding Fathers.
RedPrince42: Shard Dressed Men will stay here in the Minor League unless they start adjusting a little bit better. I think they tend to play a little bit rigidly and the top teams are always going to beat that.
You don’t want to become predictable in these matches. It doesn’t even matter if you’re changing up your plan. We faced them early in the season. Let’s say you always put two tanks on one side and two on the other. If you always set up the same [way], teams will figure out how to isolate a group and beat it. You have to show your opponent something different, particularly if you lose the first match. Or opponents will figure out your game plan and pick you apart.
The other aspect of playing rigidly, if you have a game plan and are trying to stick to it, your reaction time will be a lot slower. If it takes you so long to figure out your opponent and adjust so you’re reacting to it, that’s way too long.
Kewl KV Krew had a terrible start. They’ve definitely gotten it together since then. I really don’t know what they did to change it around. Their streak was one that snuck up on you. They’re 7-3 over the last ten games. I wonder if they actually heard some of the talk that they weren’t doing as well this season because they did well last season. They finally got it together. I know some of those matches were against the lesser teams of the league. But you have to start somewhere. Whether or not they can climb higher, if they hold onto the players they have now, I think they can. I think I heard that nearly the entire squad has changed.
WGA: Kewl KV Krew has only two different players since the beginning of last season.
RedPrince42: In that case they may be a streaky team. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t show against Victorious Secret. Maybe they had other commitments. It’s kind of frustrating to see things like that happen. Because it makes it more difficult to evaluate the teams they’re playing.
Golden Grilles in particular, I have a friend on that team and he calls them the goon squad. They could’ve been one of the top teams this season if they just showed up for every single match.
I actually know Tosh_0 who’s on that team. After every match I do an MVP of the match. And, actually, when we fought Golden Grilles, we gave Tosh_0 the MVP of that match. And he’s the only one who showed up for that one. It’s been an extremely tough time over there. I think EXPENDABLE leads it, doesn’t he?
Slim_Jim_Pickens I know before each match he works to get guys to show up. If they were to take it seriously, they would kick butt. I know they would. But they only show up when they want to. I would not be surprised if they disband after this season. I think getting to several of the players, I don’t think you can evaluate the two seasons, there’s no way to tell if a team has improved or not if they’re only showing up for half their games.
RedPrince42: The Walking Dead [1-9] I will say they’ve gotten a lot better over the seasons. Their record doesn’t show it.
RedPrince42: That’s actually a really good example of what we talked about earlier. Each league really raises the bar. They were champions? Yeah I had them ranked 10th on my preseason rankings coming in. And they’ve really been a sleeper I think. I’m trying to remember if I mentioned them earlier for making the playoffs. But there really hasn’t been a lot of talk about them. They’ve just consistently beat teams they should be defeating to climb the standings. They’re not going to make the playoffs. Or I’d be really surprised. They have a really tough schedule. While they can beat some, beating all of them will be really hard. Next season will probably be a different story. They’ll have a full minor league season under their belt. They’ll know they can compete. These guys are another one I’m not looking forward to facing [to close the season]. They’ll know they can compete at the top level. Like Bomb Squad last season, they’re inching into the playoff bracket, I think they’ll step it up next season and take it.
WGA: Last season’s promoted Open League teams are, for the most part, fighting to stave off relegation, with the exception of The Gentlemen and Sweet Retaliation. The remaining former Open League teams are Warriors of Honor, ( O_o ), Cartel, 13SOS Space Dragons, [COTAB] Comando tactico blindado, The Karmanians, Elite Death Squad, 4SAKN, We are 138, ENSEA:
RedPrince42: I’d say this is definite proof that competition moves up the leagues.
The ones that you mentioned that I thought would be higher: Sweet Retaliation and Cartel. Cartel have been proving themselves recently. They’re another that started off poorly. In their case they may have just had a tough schedule early on. The Karmanians are middle of the pack. Most of the open league teams I had fairly far down. Now I understand why people say this season’s Open League is stronger than the Open League last season… because… while I’m not willing to say that this season’s Open League is more challenging than the Minor league. But given who we’ve got here from the Open League last season, because while we’ve had a few surprises moving pretty high in the standings, most of them are at the lower end of the standings right now.
[COTAB] Comando Tactico Blindado has actually impressed me by going above and beyond what I’ve expected of them.
WGA: Do you expect any of these teams to maintain their position in the Minor League and avoid relegation?
RedPrince42: I think the vast majority of them, if they get relegated, will be back for the spring season. I really believe that this season, of the 3 seasons I’ve played, was the most balanced league where anybody can stick it out. If you look at the middle of the table over the last few weeks, it has been such a tight race for 12th through 22nd. That’s a lot of teams at the end of the season still battling. I think we had one team, Golden Grilles, move all the way up from 20th to 14th.
Golden Grilles moved up because they decided to show up last night. Yeah, and there’s still room for a lot of these teams to bounce back and forth. I think they’re all contenders.
I want to throw this out there. The teams that show up every week, ENSEA for example, impress me because they’re 0-23 but they have shown up every single match. And I think they were around since the 1st season as well.
WGA: Two of the strongest teams came from this season’s Open League Qualifiers.
RedPrince42: Hands down, Victorious Secret is the best team in the league. Anybody who’s been in skirmishes, who’s been in any of those type of events, challenges, is probably not surprised to see that. I don’t actually know if MaLeGeBi has [previous experience].
WGA: They’re a part of a known clan, [KING].
RedPrince42: Ok, so they got experience together. This is going to sound backwards that they’re almost as good as their record suggests. They… they have the confidence that they need to win almost all the time. If you look at them, they play a somewhat cautious game. They’re the only team with two draws and they’ve fought a lot of battles in the process. They’ve used the draws wisely. I don’t know how that’s going to play out at the major league level though.
WGA: Who do you predict to reach the Top 6 of the Minor League next season?
RedPrince42: Sweet retaliation for who’s going to make it in. I think NOMADS would pull it together to get there. Founding Fathers would continue improving. I think The Gentleman would be there as well. And two more teams? That’s a tough one.. You know what, Kings and Thrones, if they can get it together. That 6th spot, I’d go out on a limb and give it to this season’s open league champion.
I think most of the rest of the teams who may be contenders for it. If I had to choose one of them I’d probably pick the 13SOS Space Dragons. But most of the rest of these guys are in a holding pattern. I think several of the other teams will move up in the league but not to the majors.
RedPrince42: I think Victorious Secret will challenge to move onto WGLNA. I expect Bomb Squad and Malegebi to be close but just south of the cut of there. Absolute Dawn will be a middle of the pack [Major League] team. Assuming Lincoln Brigade gets the last slot, them and Boss Gaming will struggle but stay in the majors.
WGA: Who are the final two teams standing this season?
RedPrince42: This is conditional, if Bomb Squad wins their upcoming round against Victorious Secret, then it’ll be a rematch with them against Victorious Secret on Cliff for the final. If they do not win round 27, it’ll be Victorious Secret against MALEGEBI.
WGA: If you had to put money on a single winner?
RedPrince42: Victorious Secret, they excel at all map types. The other teams are good enough but still have room to improve.
WGA: Any closing remarks, regarding Knights of the Red Table and your clan KRT?
RedPrince42: We’ve been doing our work in the championship series. We’ve made it onto the clan wars map. If people get to know who I am, people get to know our clan [KRT]. It’s the basis of alliances: recognition. We’re here and we’re here to stay. We aren’t the big clans, but we hope to get there some day. And yesterday was our two year anniversary as a clan. We started as a pipe dream and now doing what we intended to do all along.