AT Gaming - the undefeated winners of Group B - are a Dutch team which you probably know more about than you first realize upon hearing their name. They have a deep and well rounded roster - though a lot of their games have been closer than you might expect. Nonetheless they remained undefeated and will receive a BYE in the RO16 of the playoffs, putting them only 3 series away from being the SC2ITL Season One Champions - it’s a tough road ahead of them though.
The reason AT Gaming always manage to come through is due to the strength and reliability of their ace player, uThermal. uThermal has gradually been making more and more of a name for himself over the past year, making it into the WCS Challenger league at the end of 2013 but unfortunately falling out just recently in a 1-3 loss against Snute in the first season of 2014. He is one of the best Dutch players and will most likely be making a big splash in the Dutch Starcraft League this year. If AT Gaming are going to make it far in the playoffs they will need uThermal to continue being the reliable and strong ace player he has been up to this point.
But of course no team is going to have made it this far - or much further - relying solely on their ace. AT Gaming has a great backbone of players, the majority of which currently reside in the Grandmaster League. Those who are not GM have been recently or are holding the top position in their Master League divisions. This is what makes AT Gaming such a scary team - when you have a variety of high level players of all races it gives so much flexibility in this all-kill format that you become hard to stop. One might even consider it cheating, when your ace player is a Terran, as here in EU there are no real Terrans to practice with.
To really figure out what it is that brought AT Gaming this far we asked their manager, Dennis ‘enoxzr’ Lemmers, a few questions about their experiences in the league and some of their players.
Wardi : Hey, thanks for your time and congratulations again on making it into the playoffs. AT Gaming are undefeated in Group B - did you expect to perform so well when you first saw the group? Did you think at the start that you would secure your playoff position so easily in this group?
Dennis : Looking at the group in week one the only real threat we saw was KnightS* Gaming, a team we know from our local scene. I think we would be quite ashamed of ourselves if we would not have made in into the playoffs in this group, despite this being our first team league.
Wardi : Finishing first and second in the group has a big difference, by getting a BYE in the RO16 if you come first. You secured the first place position in the group after you took a crucial 4-3 victory over ReG-Gaming in Week 9. How valuable is it for you to come first in the group and was there much pressure going into the game vs ReG Gaming?
Dennis : Honestly we were not busy at all with the how important the game versus ReG was. To be the best you have to win them all and it was with that mentality which we started versus ReG.
Wardi : uThermal is obviously the ace of your team and we have seen him bring AT Gaming 4-3 victories numerous times in the league - but who else has been crucial to your success in this league and what is something we should know about them?
Dennis : Looking at individual performances, Bouli had an all-kill versus TSV and Giant had a 3 game streak versus Second Wind. Next to that all of our players had their fair share of games so they contributed equally to the team's performance in my eyes. Fun thing to know would be that our squad is relatively young. TGS, Kierowca and Elazer are only 15 years old. The oldest of the squad are Sihoe (22) and Giant (21), the rest of the player are around 18 years old.
Wardi : Are there any teams you would like to meet in the playoffs, or avoid?
Dennis : I'd prefer to not meet mYinsanity earlier than the semi-finals, since I reckon the are the strongest team in the league. For the reset no real preferences.
Wardi : What would you say your goal is for the playoffs?
Dennis : Play good matches and give our opponents a hard time beating us. Anything below the top 4 I would consider to be disappointing.
Wardi : How has your experience of the league been and do you think there should be more emphasis on team leagues in the SC2 scene?
Dennis : League has been great so far, only a bit hectic getting your matches arranged.
Wardi : Thanks for your time, please feel free to mention any sponsors or shoutouts!
Dennis : Yes thank you for interviewing me as a manager, since I believe it can provide a whole different perspective than only interviewing the players. Shout out to the boys who are playing every week and a massive shout out to our partners who make it possible for us to make a name for ourselves in events and tournaments: CM Storm, Kingston HyperX, SPAM Energy Drink, EIZO and Orcbite!
Again thanks to Dennis for answering the questions and allowing us to learn a little more about AT Gaming as a team and to see the confidence with which they have had throughout the league and move into the playoffs with. I’m excited to see how far AT Gaming can make it - they have the roster to go all the way, but so do many teams which have made it this far.
AT Gaming - Group B - Position : 1st - Wins : 13 - Losses : 0 - Map Wins : 52 - Map Losses : 21 - All-kills : 3