Training With The Pros: obez

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).


Comments

    Could've asked him some questions about Battlefield and not just COD.

      That would be the Battlefield that isn't out yet?

        I guess a question talking about how he's going to transition would be interesting at least - maybe training in BC2 and how they go about working with squad roles and the like. But that will ultimately change again with BF3 so maybe they aren't thinking strategies too hard.

        Hey Tracey, I know it may be a tad late to ask for a little additional question to ask these guys, but I'd love to know more about their set ups. What they use and why they prefer it over others. Always interesting to hear opinions about their kit.

          replied to your questions :P see below

        "I have now only just moved from the Call of Duty competitive scene to Battlefield."

    Hey Tom,

    To further add to your comments, 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!

    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).

    I hope this helps with your questions and can be added to the article if you guys want :)

      Cheers obez, I'll slot that into the article.

      Ah, awesome - cheers for the reply obez! Obviously it looks like you guys are expanding your team for the larger team sizes in BF. Are you expecting the competitive scene to just stay at 12v12 as a max? I'd personally love to see a 32v32 competitive tournament but know realistically it'd never happen.

        At the moment we are mostly practicing 8v8 since this is what the competitive scene has favoured in the past. However we have experimented with 12v12 to see how it goes, and I think most were surprised that it actually was quite fun. To be honest, I think the competitive scene will only ever go to 12v12 max, could you imagine trying to get 32 people online to practice often? Would be a nightmare :P haha, not to mention the TS/Mumble channel, there would be so many different conversations going on at once.

          Breaking the full 32 person team into smaller, more manageable squads (4 x 8s) that work together, practice and operate as a sub-team is a good way of fielding a larger, organised overall team. It worked for the gaming group I was in with BF1942, and TBH, I would find large scale battles to be a better indicator of just how well organised each team is - Lots more logistical decisions to be made, more strategies, etc, as opposed to which team can shoot the other guys faster...

          As for mumble/ts channels, once you have an effective command structure in place with separate channels and cross channel comms with squad leaders, it becomes a bit more manageable :)

    It's kind of sad that when I clicked this article, I automatically made an association of 'CoD' and 'Battlefield' with 'console'.

    Good read, and I liked the point about having to have a genuine interest in order become proficient at it - pretty much applies to everything.

      congrats on your success lad.

      Glad to see you joined the BF3 crew too! :)

    should interview Josh "DeathDog" Edwards from iM (Counter-Strike: Source)

      deathdoG no longer plays CS:S competitively, he, much like obez has made the move to another game and is now one of the players in the Immunity BF3 team.

    98g mouse? *shudder* I can't use anything that light, makes me feel like I'm using a flimsy childs toy. Even my Rat 7 feels a little too light with all the weights on it.

      Haha, yes mouse choice definitely varies heaps between people. I guess you are comfortable with what you are used too though :) I have used light mice all through my gaming history, so I think changing could be catastrophic :P

        I used a Logitech MX518 for years (which I think is about 106 grams) until I upgraded to a G9 and then onto the Rat7 never looking back now. Just looking for heavy weights instead lol. Wanna go from the additional 35g to 50g.

        By the by, do you mainly use the Razer for gaming or the SS 7G?

          Usually I use all Steelseries gear, the 7G is awesome to type on and is pretty comfortable with the palm rest. The razer is just in the photo as I am currently using the SS at work to show a few other people who might be thinking of getting one :P

    very interesting read - I've never heard of team immunity before so this is all new to me! I actually just found them on facebook and very surprised at how big they are! Will be now keeping a close eye on gaming in Australia.

    I've got a question:

    How 'transferrable' are you skills?

    Can you move into a different venue, different atmosphere, noises, distractions, with different monitor and hardware etc. without a change in skills / performance?

      Personally I have played at many LAN events so I am fairly experienced with not playing on my own setup (something that may not be much of a problem in Battlefield considering the LAN scene is very small). Usually most LAN events will allow a decent amount of setup time, so you can adjust to the new settings before playing an actual match. Everyone brings their own mouse, mousepad, headset + keyboard to LAN events and usually players will bring a config or remember their sensitivity settings so that it is close to identical. Most LANs will give you decent FPS (such as 250 in CoD4) which is crucial to performance, however most LANs will only have 60HZ monitors which kinda sucks these days. Unfortunately 120HZ monitors are too expensive for Netcafes and such to invest in them just yet.

      To summarise, most people don't play as well on LAN as they do online. However for the more experienced players, they will always PREFER LAN as it is an even playing ground and the skill gap definitely shows with the added pressure of live spectators, high noise levels and friendly banter between teams :)

    and for those who are interested. I released a new CoD4 Fragmovie yesterday - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfKMjUs7YS4

    It just highlights some of the frags taken from my recent few months of playing. It is also the farewell to the CoD community as my previous 2 minimovies have been pretty good hits.

    Good read Jesse/Tracey don't forget to link your car voting here :)

    The BenQ monitor is terrible, and anyone looking at getting a 120Hz monitor should either wait for decent 120Hz IPS panels, or go the Alienware route.

    Wish you'd asked him why iM were ordinary at BO yet continue to succeed in CoD4, how do these games differ besides CoD4's promod.

    Either way, looking forward to BF3, hopefully it leans more towards BF2 and plays nothing like BC2

      Each to their own I guess, I still stand by my statement which was basically once you go 120HZ you will never go back. So it is definitely a great upgrade choice whether you pick BenQ or any other brand.

      Interesting remark about BO. Immunity won the only LAN event which was GESC (Gigabyte E-sports Championships) which won us $2500 so I wouldn't say we were ordinary?

      Obviously Black Ops died because there was no modtools or "Promod" fast enough and the game was very clunky and just not polished as good as CoD4. This is why the majority of the CoD community have stuck with CoD4 still and there will continue to be competitions just because the community supports it so well. Promod definitely makes the game different, allows more restrictions, ready up mode and cleans up the maps to optimise the game for the best performance, which are all required for a good competitive game (At least in the CoD series).

        While I agree 120Hz is great and going back to 60Hz is a hindrance, I just don't see the point until they start making them in IPS panels. I've used both the BenQ and the Alienware 120Hz and while both were good I'll still be sticking with a 27" until some newer 120Hz panels come out.

        RE: GESC, I remember following this event up until the point where the event organisers finally caved to pressure and host an online qualifier, but wasn't the event missing a few of the other top-tier teams?

        What was your opinion on DICE's announcement about not supporting mod tools for BF3 (at least for launch). Do you feel having mod tools is only essential only for the Call of Duty franchise, or is this lack of mod tools for BF3 going to be an issue for the competitive BF3 scene?

          RE: GESC, there was some minor problems with one of the top teams from CoD4 wanting an online qualifier along with a few others teams, however when the online qualifier was offered they never ended up playing anyways. So they all just decided to create conflict for no reason other than to just whinge. The grand final was between us and Exile5 which would be the undisputed 2 top teams at the time in Black Ops as a few of the other teams had left and gone back to CoD4. Exile5 put a lot of effort into Black Ops when it was released and they would have been one of the last teams to leave the game when it was looking down..

          As for BF3 + Modtools, I know its required in the newer CoDs because there is always bugs, glitches and no support for competition. The BF series however is a different story from what I gather, as the game will not need to be modified at all to support competitive play. Gun restrictions, map size changing etc should all be included with the games release. However only time will tell :)

            I look forward to watching some Gamestah coverage of BF3 then. All the best and thanks for answering a few questions

      My god, why would anyone purchase an Alienware product over the Benq. And if they did they should be put down.

      Good work Informedgamer, or should i say clueless idiot.

    Hey Obez, I wondered if you could answer the question "What are some of the biggest rookie errors you see people make when they play COD?" a bit more specifically. I mean rather than "practice" some actual gameplay hints? You know, what perks, what kit, any level hints etc! Personally, I find that there's a massive lack of teamwork in CoD, and if you're working as a team you're just more likely to get all 3 of you killed by a pray and spray, rather than just one of you.
    Thanks!

    Hey Gav,
    Unfortunately there is no perks, kits or level hints to provide. All CoD competitive play is played under whats called "Promod". This actually disables all perks, restricts weapons, fixes damages, removes cook nades and limits flashes/smokes. The biggest rookie errors are still lack of practice, or big egos. Players peaking when they shouldn't and thinking they won't die, transfer them to paintball or something that actually hurts and they will change their ways :P

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