For those of you that don’t know, Alliance of Valiant Arms (AVA) is a free-to-play shooter that’s been around for a few years. It’s currently in the midst of a little resurgence, given that you can now download it from Steam.
AVA is geared towards tournament-style play and if you happen to be a competitive AVA player, this past month has been hectic! National finals have just wound up and we are leading up to the world championship in Andong, South Korea this October.
In the U.S., Defkon, has won the right to wave America’s AVA banner at the big tournament. We talked to one member of Defkon to find out more about the team.
Here is our interview with the awesome Jeff “emongg” Anderson:
BS: Emongg, how long have you been with Defkon?
Emongg: I’ve been in Defkon off and on since July of 2010. Following the AVA 10k tournament, in which we won, I stopped playing and only recently returned for IESF (International e-Sports Federation tournament) following the dumb rules banning Canadians from being on the national team.
BS: What attracted you to AVA in general? Aside from tournament play, do you pub it?
Emongg: To be honest the only reason why I originally played AVA was because in 2009 they had announced a tournament for IESF for a free trip to Korea. I don’t really enjoy pubbing the game as the netcode and people with 300 pings really aggravate me. At the same time, because I want to keep on top of my game, I pub in order to keep my shot going. I will generally go into a Cold Case pub with Michael3D and die to a guy named Sgt. Slaughter and Ric Flair with 550 ping who duck in a corner and keep shooting at you and missing while you shoot at them and then somehow I die because his bullets registered 18 minutes later.
Emongg: The current roster for IESF is me (emongg), Michael3D, chilly, Skadoodle, Snowshovel. We have been playing together for little over a month now.
BS: I was online the other day and saw Snowshovel talking to some average AVA players…not only did they recognize him, they were positively gushing over him. Do you find the AVA community very supportive of the competitive scene?
Emongg: Snowshovel is an avid Youtuber, and because of this he has gained a lot of fame in the AVA community. I think his videos are more towards those average players who can improve and watch how a better player plays. Now when it comes to the AVA community it’s really off and on. The community itself is filled with a bunch of immature kids who constantly troll the forums and care more about their post count than anything. At the same time organizations like CGO, have supported the game competitively even though the community doesn’t embrace them. They have kept the community afloat when IESF isn’t around and if they continue to stay there will always be a competitive nature to the game.
BS: Does your team play set positions/classes…if so who does what?
Emongg – Rifle
Michael3D – Rifle/Pointman/Sick Scope
Snowshovel – Rifle/Scope
Skadoodle – Scope
Chilly – Rifle
BS: Most of the guns in AVA are free, but some have to be bought using real money (Gcoin tokens can be bought and then exchanged for better weapons). I know that you like the M4A1 Mk3, is it worth getting Gcoin guns in competition? What are the most popular guns for each class in competition…are the guns in AVA balanced?
Emongg: I honestly don’t think it’s worth getting Gcoin guns because when it comes to certain tournaments, like the CGO, the guns are generally banned. I think the best bet is to stick to guns like the M4, AK, Para, Frf2, TPG, Veresk, etc. If a person wants to pub the game more than anything, I don’t think there is a problem getting Gcoin guns, in fact have a blast with that. There’s nothing more fun than trolling people in a pub with a terrible gun.
BS: Right now, the number of AVA players is still quite low. What’s the competitive scene in AVA like…aside from Defkon. Is there anyone else that can compete with you guys?
Emongg: There are plenty of teams who can compete, the problem is a lot of them will either break up or constantly switch rosters. I don’t think the competitive scene will ever grow because the game has reached its absolute peak. That being said, the game will always have a competitive backing because the game is in fact free to play. Free to play games always have a consistent user base regardless of how bad the game is.
BS: Seems to me like ijji is committed to servicing the competitive community. The game seems perfectly suited for tournaments. In your opinion, how is AVA as a competitive game?
Emongg: In America the game will never thrive. It is filled with issues that until fixed will keep the game from any sort of consistent competitive tournaments, outside of CGO. The netcode doesn’t allow for the game to be good. Even as people have shown the company the issue with the netcode, they haven’t done anything to actually fix it. From what I have heard the netcode isn’t an issue in other versions of the game. For some reason the game constantly warps around corners, and actually just warps in the middle of nowhere. For that reason alone the game will never be a huge competitive game in America.
BS: True…online, the net-code really needs improvement…a lot of that could be solved by simply having more servers in countries where it is popular (Brasil comes to mind). What other improvements can be made to the game?
Emongg: The problem is even people with 30 ping have the warping issue so although you’ll see less issues when things like ping limiters come out, it won’t fix the actual issue with the warping. There is a way to constantly warp in AVA and a lot of people abuse it, stuff like that is really sad.
BS: You also were very familiar with the CoD competitive scene, how would you describe AVA’s competitive community? Is it fun to play?
Emongg: The competitive communities are very similar. Both communities are filled with people who would rather troll and argue with each other. It’s unfortunate that these are the way the communities are but that’s what happens when the average age of everyone is 11. A lot of the time it isn’t fun to play AVA because you constantly get kicked for “cheating” because you headshot two guys in a row, which to a lot of these players must never happen.
BS: You are off to Korea very soon, what’s the tournament over there all about? How do you think you will do?
Emongg: We leave on October 4th and I think end up in Korea on the 6th which mainly happens because of the time zone difference. The tournament is ie-sf.org which has been held the in 2009, 2010, and now 2011. This year AVA for the first time will be one of the main games there while before it was there just a promotional game. It’s going to be a great tournament, where there will be 8 AVA teams instead of 3, which will add for a lot of practice and fun. Also I’m not too sure how we will do, we have been practicing hard and the chemistry is there but when it comes to LAN tournaments it really comes down to how people can hold their nerves. Most of us have been in big tournaments so I’m not concerned with that, I just hope we can play amazing and win the whole thing.
BS: You were down at Quakecon for the Brink tourney just recently…were you playing with Rob “Hollywood” Fisher and Rob “rob-wiz” Kennedy in =l4s= down there? Quakecon 2011 Open LAN Championship winners right?
Emongg: Yes, I played with Rob-Wiz, Hollywood, TM, and Michael3D. We also did win the tournament which ended up being a pretty easy tournament for us. I had a lot of fun with those group of guys.
BS: OK…Hollywood tells me that the “Denny’s Strat” was the key to victory:
Jock Yitch: dennys strats? lmao
Emongg: The Denny’s strat is a strat we came up with about 3 hours prior to the finals in Brink. Hollywood had the map laid out on a piece of computer paper and we just decided to come up with this random strat we had never used before and it actually worked. We decided that we would all just be distractions and die on purpose so Rob-Wiz could plant the bomb bottom. In the end we planted the bomb just about as fast as you could and had an amazing time, was by far the most epic strat ever. During this epic strat sessions Michael3D was spooning milk out of his glass and dumping it on the table for absolutely no reason. Rob also got a nice picture of 2 lovely African American women, who wanted a picture taken.
Emongg: Game is dead.
BS: What will you be doing after the IESF tournament?
Emongg: More than likely some of us will be heading over to Battlefield 3 as it has a promising competitive future. At the same time who knows with games recently, since Call of Duty 4 every single game that has been promising has been absolutely terrible and died within a few months, if that.
BS: Do you have any tips for those wanting to try out AVA?
Emongg: My tips are very simple for AVA. Don’t rage, use guns like the M4 or PARA and don’t constantly jump from team to team. If you constantly join a new team every week it will get you nowhere as chemistry will be impossible to develop.
Also would like to give a shout out to Team Nexus Wars ; Rob-Wiz, Crzg, Michael3D, Skadoodle, Chilly, Sephy, and hell even myself.
Emongg will be sending us updates from Korea…so stay tuned. We wish him and his team great success. Haeng-un-eul bil-eoyo!