Training With The Pros: Aaron Damiani

Battlefield 3 is coming soon, and when the game arrives the competitive scene will be ready for it. One pro-gamer who will be leading a Battlefield 3 team into the e-sports arena is Aaron "1MMort4L" Damiani, the current captain of the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 team at Team eXile5.

As well as being the captain of the Battlefield division, Damiani is also manager of Team eXile5, who are one of the big players in the Australian e-sports scene. So who is Aaron Damiani and how did rise to be the captain of one of Australia's leading Battlefield teams?

Hey Aaron! Can you introduce yourself to the Kotaku community? My name is Aaron Damiani, aka 1MMort4L, and I am the Captain of the Team eXile5 Battlefield division. I currently manage a family construction company, full-time on construction sites in Perth five to six days a week. Beyond gaming, I have competed in numerous sports at the top state and national level, from Mixed Martial Arts, Power Lifting, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to name a few. I am currently injured, and have taken time away from physical sports, and am focussing more on E sports to tie me over.

I started playing video games on my Dad's Commodore 64, and one of the best games I ever played was Boulder Dash. In my teenage years, I played a lot of console games, on Nintendo 64 and similar, with my favourite titles at one time or another being Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat 2, and Mario Kart 64.

After that was the eventual progression to PC games, where I have fond memories of spending hours on games like Wolfenstein, Duke Nukem and Doom. From here, I started playing Battlefield 1942 and DC. My love for the Battlefield franchise was born! The vehicle warfare, and vast maps with the potential for strategic play... I was hooked! I became a hardened Chopper pilot in DC, and with the release of Battlefield 2, I focused my entire game play around operating helicopters, and was renowned as being one of the top pilots in Australia, eventually racking up close to 1000 hours, in the chopper alone!

When did you start playing BFBC2 competitively and what drew you to the game? I begun playing Battlefield: bad Company 2 competitively upon the release of the beta in January 2010. Team eXile5 and I have competed in virtually every Australian and New Zealand BC2 comp since then. My love for the Battlefield franchise led me to playing BC2.

What kind of skills do you consider crucial to playing BFBC2 at such a high level? Team work is the number one factor for any Battlefield game, followed by player awareness. These two attributes are what makes for successful Battlefield teams.

What's your training regime? Depending on what competitions are coming up, or what specific areas of the team need to be worked on, the training regime varies from five nights a week, and four hours a night, to just one or two practice scrims per week. If I could offer a training tip, it would be to keep training as productively as possible and to make the most of what you are learning and working on.

What are some of the rookie errors you often see people make? One of the most common mistakes I see rookies make is focusing too much on an enemy they have injure, and being hell bent on getting the kill, even if it sacrifices the objective at hand.

Do you have any general tips for people who want to play at your level? Playing e-sports at the highest level is very similar to physical sports, and success comes down to how much you put in. Practice makes you better, and fitting into the appropriate team environment is a necessary step. Start off in a team with players above your level, and feeding off anything you can from the more experienced players will be a major step in your progression as a player.

Can you show us your gaming set-up?

I would like to take a moment to thank our sponsors. Huge shoutout, and a big thank you to our fantastic partners: Western Digital, CM Storm, Iinet, and CoolerMaster for backing us, and for the continued support and motivation you guys give our teams!


    what no video?

    I'm liking the vintage desk in the setup. Also, I'm assuming he would switch to the stick when he gets into a chopper? Makes sense if he's dedicating a lot of time to getting good at that part of the game.

      joysticks are the only way to fly, even the el cheapo ones with the twist rudder function makes a world of difference

      he uses the extreme-3d stick same as i use xD its awesome i fly bombers in WW2 online, i've seen people do amazing things with them, so much better than a keyboard

    When ever I've come up against a member of Exile5 team, I always think they are cheating (I know they aren't), they change weapons quicker then what I or my computer allows, I'm normally dead before I see them change to a side arm or whatever weapon or even fire a single bullet.

    Over the years that I've witnessed, BF2 and up. I've come to the conclusion that if you see them on a public server...get off or move to another public server as they take the fun out of playing on a public server. All of the fun

      They are professional gamers for a reason.

    What a big gun.

    Man, Boulder Dash was my first very best game. Now I play it on Android device.

    Huge gun!

    Barry, simply put you can't play, go take tissue and go cry.

    Aaron Gun Damiani :), Over the years since commander keen/leisure suite barry oO on b drive I can assure that the ladz make it most fun whilst playing within the team.

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