Hi there Community,
I wanted to take some time to explain to the community as to what has been happening in the background for Epex as what I do for them, as well as my reasons to why I am resigning as their Coach and Manager.
Ever since joining Epex, I’ve known that I would have my work cut out for me, not just to improve Epex to the top team in Evolve but also to improve the image of Epex and their PR. Whilst I knew this was going to be a challenge, I wanted to take it on and try my hardest to succeed at this. My first challenge as a coach was to push Epex White to the standard they should have been at, which led to a couple of roster changes. Epex White had always been seen as the ‘second’ Epex team, rather than a sister team. With the addition of a great Support, Bugzy, Epex White’s hunter team became a lot stronger, as it allowed OneTrickPony on Medic to really shine. Epex White we’re most certainly heading in the correct direction and was happy with their improvements. My next focus was to work on the public image of Epex. Having spoke to a couple of people in the scene, including Black_Aegis who has seen first hand how harsh the hate towards Epex had been, I decided that writing an open letter was the best way to address the problems Epex we’re facing. Whilst this decision was questionable and very heated in the community, I still believe this was the best course of action to take. The response from the community was very mixed, with a lot of negative responses from some viewers, but quite positive responses from players in the scene. If it weren’t for the responses of some people in the scene helping me stick with it, I probably would have left right then and there. With some people telling me I was ‘Scum’ and ‘Shouldn’t be part of the scene’, as well as some threats on Steam and someone forcing an IP ban on my Twitch account, I almost didn’t want to continue any more. However, in the next week or so, I began to see a change in the public opinion on Epex, and things began to look like they were turning around.
It was at this point that Epex began to approach the awaited Monthly Finals. I want to make everything from my point of view as clear as possible here, so that all the events from my perspective are visible. Coming into the finals, the Hunter team were looking stronger than ever. However, as a coach was very worried about GirthZilla and his performance. The meta had shifted very sharply in the hunters favour, and GirthZilla had been having a hard time adjusting to the meta of doming stage 2 and neither me or the Hunter team really knew how to deal with.
Timeline of Events:
An hour before the Tournament -
Arguments in Epex TeamSpeak over how to deal with the Stage 2 Evolve meta. Heated argument between WarDoom and Nightmare over what perk would help to handle the meta. WarDoom suggested Movement Speed or Traversal Cooldown, whereas Nightmare was very set on Damage Resistance.
Tournament begins. Epex Black v Wolves eSports -
At the start of this series, chat was opened up and Epex Black offered a neutral host through Black_Aegis due to Wolves being based in Europe. The first game went through with Epex Blacks Hunter team winning out. The second game began between GirthZilla against Wolves Hunter side, and issues began to arise. After having made an agreement between both teams to neutral host, GirthZilla approached the Hunter team, through Steam chat, without any contact made to either me, or any of Epex Black, offering Wolves host rights. This put GirthZilla at a distinct disadvantage with a Griffin being picked as well, as during the game it was quite visible how slow the reactions were against the harpoons. The rest of the series went through fine however, with Epex Black winning the rest of the games. WarDoom is very outspoken in Team Speak about how GirthZilla should not have offered host rights and went behind the teams back.
Series between SALGE and Epex -
Series goes off with practically no issues. GirthZilla holds off on ending a game where a hunter had DC’d. Loses out the game, however series ends out 3-1.
Finals against Ninja Penguins -
First Hunter game goes off pretty dominated for the Epex Hunter team. GirthZilla plays out his first game and wins if I’m not mistaken. Game 3 begins with Aurora_Symphony and Epex Black’s hunter side and the issues begin to start. WarDoom on Abe is caught by a Vortex early on in the game on Refuelling Tower, which seemed to cause his computer to crash. This led to AI Abe taking over and running in the opposite direction and losing a Stage 2 dome. Nightmare switched over to Trapper with the hot-swap option in order to get the dome, however does not switch back during the team fight. Kraken very easily makes use of this and easily takes down AI Hank twice. The game ends out and Aurora_Symphony offers a rematch. We take the offer and were very grateful for it. However, during this time, GirthZilla had played and lost his second game. He had actually given neutral host over to a player on the East Coast to make latency less of an issue for the Hunter team. However, he felt that with the Sunny Torvald that was picked up, which weren’t in the previously hosted series, that neutral host severely impacted his performance against the NjP composition. Due to this, GirthZilla denied neutral host in his 3rd game, as in his rights of the rules. Whilst trying to ensure that WarDoom’s setup is fine and won’t crash again, this all went on. However, we were then informed that the rematch offer was withdrawn, as NjP denied it after the neutral host was denied. Looking back at this, I actually believe that if the neutral host was given and the game was rematched, the series would not have hit a tie-breaker, as the hunter team would have taken that game with their usual composition.
NjP v Epex Black Tie-breaker -
The map-pick is decided to be Fusion Plant. Epex Black have the choice of Side/Ban. This is the part where my role becomes very important. Or at least, should have become important. I know from previous knowledge that Aurora_Symphony’s map is Fusion Plant. And I do mean, HIS Map. I also knew that Aurora_Symphony get on tilt quite easily, and suffers a lot under pressure. On top of this, I knew that NjP had taken games against GirthZilla on Fusion Plant before against both his Goliath and Kraken. At this point in the Team Speak, I was trying to work out exactly what to do, as the clear decision might have been to pick side and allow Aurora_Symphony to play Monster. Had we picked ban, it was quite likely that NjP would have picked their Hunter team, and it had been proved previously that their composition was not bannable. However, I began to lose complete transparency on what was going on in the team, as Nightmare took GirthZilla to a separate channel and locking me out of the conversation. He rejoined the chat after, and the decision seemed made that the Side was to be picked and we would force Aurora to play. The tie-breaker was a loss.
The Aftermath -
The game ended out, and the series was a loss. The Team Speak was seemingly abandoned. In the Epex group chats on our phones, GirthZilla was moved from Epex Black and switched out for Shenanigans, and put into the Epex White group. The reason given a bit later for this was that Epex White’s atmosphere would benefit GirthZilla a lot more, as Black works in a very critical atmosphere. As well as this, Shenanigans had mentioned an interest in playing for Black. However, the general feeling of this move was very different, as the players felt it was GirthZilla being demoted or kicked due to performance. Whilst it is true he had made decisions that the team disagreed with, moving him like this was a big mistake. GirthZilla shortly announced he was leaving on the forums. OneTrickPony in Epex White announced she was leaving also. Adrenicide is officially on a Competitive ‘Break’.
By the time GirthZilla had left Epex, I had already decided to leave Epex. The big reason behind this is due to the reality that I am not really the Manager for Epex. I help coach and give advice, mainly for Epex White, and make suggestions, but have no power over the teams in reality due to Nightmare. Nightmare staying in the position of owner for the teams meant that any decision I wanted to make for the teams in reality could not be anything he disagreed with, as he owns the teams. This creates a huge issue in power control in the team, as the ‘Manager’ for the team cannot actually control the teams as Nightmare could effectively just go over my head.
Whilst I have enjoyed my time with Epex, the ups and downs of being with the team. However, I am resigning from Epex as their coach and manager. I will be taking a break from the scene as an active member, however am happy to announce that I will be involved as a caster for the new Gentleman’s League, and hope that I will be able to coach a team in the future.