He's the captain of Australia's undefeated and undisputed Call of Duty: Black Ops competitive gaming team. Today, we speak to Taylor "Mauseum" Mills, who leads Archaic's highest ranked Search And Destroy team.
Archaic E-Sports are one of Australia's leading e-sports teams. Sponsored by MSi, they have teams competing in Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, StarCraft II, and Quake Live. Their Call of Duty teams are some of the best in the country, with the team led by Taylor "Mauseum" Mills being the undefeated champions in Australia. So who is Mauseum and how did he come to lead the country's best Search and Destroy team?
Hey Mauseum! Can you introduce yourself to the Kotaku community? My name is Taylor Mills, more commonly known on Xbox as ‘Mauseum’, and I'm the captain of the current No# 1 Search and Destroy team in Australia, Archaic, who are proudly sponsored by MSi and Soundblaster Australia.
The first game I ever played was on the SEGA console and it was called Road Rage. If i remember correctly, it was basically a racing game on motor-bikes where you were able to knock the other people off their bikes with clubs and chains.
Outside of gaming I am heavily involved in sport, playing Aussie Rules football during the winter and athletics during the summer. I am working part-time at a sport centre and finishing my last year of university. The rest of my time is divided between my girlfriend and recreation.
What was it about CoD that drew you in? I originally played PC games: Counter-Strike Source and 1.6 with a few school mates and always compared the games with my brother, Trent. Eventually I ended up playing a bit of CoD 4 on his Xbox and it led to me playing less of the PC and continuing to play more CoD 4 on the Xbox. When did you know you wanted to play competitively and what drove you to want to do so? The reason I got into competitive gaming was due to another player, by the name of xxJAxx Master, who recruited myself, my brother (Jiri/Welschy) and our friend Rossco, where we formed a team called The UNIT. This team remained all the way up until we were picked up by the Archaic organisation. There were a few roster changes along the way of course, just like any team.
Being a part of Archaic and being supported by MSi and Soundblaster Australia creates a professional environment for the team. MSi puts in massive effort to make sure we have secured accommodation and flights to all tournaments and they recently supported us all the way to the XP event in LA. After being picked up originally, I enjoyed the competitive aspect of the game and enjoyed the challenge of playing against players well above those who you would play against in public games. Striving to achieve higher and higher on the Cybergamer ladders was what really drove me and made me continue to practice and try new play styles to advance.
What kind of skills are required to play at such a high level? The skill level required becomes quite high at the tip of competitive CoD. Things like aiming, map knowledge, prediction of your opponent, and teamwork orientated skills such as communication and team chemistry are very important aspects to achieving success on all Australian ladders.
There is a great diversity between the Australian community and some players take things more seriously than others in regards to specific game types. Practicing in your own time to keep your shot clean and your reaction time crisp are the kind of skills necessary to be at the peak of competitive CoD.
Can you describe your training regime? How often/for how long do you train? Do you have a routine? I don't have a specific training regime personally, other than playing an hour or so before a match to practice the necessities for the upcoming game. My team attempts to scrim (play practice matches) around four to five times a week for a couple of hours, depending on the availability players. We aim to get as much practice as possible with the restrictions that we have time wise.
What are some of the rookie errors you see people make when they play CoD? A lot of teams make the mistake of playing individually rather than as a team. Players will push solo, without any kind of cover from a team mate. Another problem individuals have is not being able to remain calm during match situations. Often players will become angry at their team or another player, which can dramatically affect their game play for the worse. This in turn generally stops them from communicating with their team mates and can cause havoc for the remaining rounds or maps left in the match.
What tips do you have for people who want to get to your level? Keep practicing, try and promote yourself on competitive websites such as cybergamer.com.au by playing in PUGs or filling in for scrims, anything where you can demonstrate your skill to others. Go on to some high reputed players theatres and watch some of their game play for things that you can learn or help your game in anyway.