Welcome to Training With The Pros, a series where we talk to some of Australia's top professional gamers. We've now gone from StarCraft 2 to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 -- next up is Jesse "obez" Voegeler, who recently moved from Team Immunity's Call of Duty team to their Battlefield 3 team.
Team Immunity are no strangers to the professional gaming scene. They are one of the country's top multi-gaming eSports teams and have been dominating each of the categories they play in for years. Even those who don't follow eSports would have heard of them at some point, largely because they are very, very good at what they do.
They currently compete in Counter-Strike 1.6, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Counter-Strike Source, Team Fortress 2, FIFA 11, StarCraft 2 and Halo Reach. Today we chat with Jesse "obez" Voegeler, the former captain of Team Immunity's Call of Duty: Black Ops team, who has recently made the move over to their Battlefield 3 team.
Hey Jesse! can you introduce yourself to the Kotaku community?
My name is Jesse "obez" Voegeler and I currently work full-time doing marketing/graphic design. I started gaming from about the age of 12-13 and the first competitive game I started playing was Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. It was one of the first FPS games that I played and I enjoyed the community and gameplay. It was set in WW2 like most FPS games back then, which, to this day, I still enjoy the most. I have now only just moved from the Call of Duty competitive scene to Battlefield. What is it about Call of Duty and Battlefield that made you want to specialise in it, and at which point did you decide you wanted to play competitively?
I moved over from MOHAA when communities were losing interest, which was around the same time Call of Duty 2 was released. Keeping with the WW2 theme, I moved across (to COD 2) with ease and enjoyed the advanced gameplay and much bigger community. After taking the game fairly seriously, I decided competitive gaming was the path I wanted to take.
What does it take to become a professional COD player? How good would someone need to be to play for Team Immunity?
Team Immunity only plays at the most advanced level, which takes a lot of time and practice to reach. The best way to grow is to join a team at the lower level and start practicing as a team and learning new things. Always playing against teams that are better than you will help you improve, as well as watching demos or professional players compete at the top level. Joining Team Immunity would require dedication, practice and activity in order to remain at the top level. You would also need to be someone who is compatible with the other team mates.
Describe the amount of training you have to do on a regular basis.
Usually during online competitions or practicing for events we try to practice every weeknight for at least a few hours. Sunday night through to Thursday night is the usual "peak" time to practice from around 7:30-10pm -- obviously this varies with other commitments outside of gaming, but the team always works around its players.
What are some of the biggest rookie errors you see people make when they play COD?
Most rookie errors are due to the lower-level player’s attitude and thinking that they will become good overnight. Usually, instead of researching or trying to get better, they just expect to be able to play at the same pace/level as a professional player. The best way to improve is to practice over and over again, learn to be patience, learn the positions, calls and how to communicate with your team mates.
What tips would you have for an aspiring CoD pro-gamer? Don't give up. Play to have fun and make sure that you are interested/enjoying the game. You will only improve if you have a genuine interest. Dedicate as much time as you can to improving and watching recordings of professional players compete. This will give you the best insight into how to play the game, aim, where to expect your enemies and develop game smarts.
Can you show us your gaming set-up?
[UPDATED: A few readers have asked about obez's transition from CoD to Battlefield and his set-up, so obez has been kind enough to jump back in to answer those questions.]
On the transition...
The transition has definitely been a big change. We have been practicing a little bit in BC2 to just get a general feel for the similar gameplay that we will experience in BF3, as well as improve the chemistry between the players and trialers. Moving from a standard 5v5 game like CoD or CSS to 8v8, 10v10 or 12v12 is definitely a lot different. There is a lot more to think about like squads, reviving, vehicles and such. Obviously as a CoD player I do prefer an infantry role, but having to dodge vehicles and revive others is definitely harder than just shooting people. Also Call of Duty is played in Search and Destroy format which is a round by round game where a team must plant the bomb or kill their opposition, if you die then you must wait out the round to finish before you respawn. Battlefield is much different, with constant spawning on squads and a sort of “Domination” feel to it where you must cap and hold 3-4 flags in order to win. I definitely am enjoying the change so far and I feel the team is bonding perfectly as we wait for BF3 to come out!
On his set-up...
As for my setup, I use a BenQ XL2410T LED 120HZ gaming monitor. Obviously being sponsored has its perks, however the 120HZ monitor is actually unreal. Once you decide to use 120HZ during gaming, you will NEVER switch back. It is clear, bright and smooth which is definitely required when playing at a top level. The mouse is another important key to “fragging”, I use the Steelseries XAI and have so for about 1½ years now. I love the feel and precision and it is very comfortable when playing for long periods of time. It also has simple design, which has no flashy LEDS or anything to heat up your hand and the profile switching using the LCD on the bottom of the mouse is handy. Other gaming gear I have is the Steelseries Siberia V2 Headphones, QCK+ SK Gaming Edition Mousepad and Steelseries 7G Keyboard (not pictured).