Turning the COGs with E6 Burger
For those who may not know, Kristopher “Burger” Burger is the coach of the Enigma6, Gears of War team. Burger has been around esports since 2007 when he attended MLG Meadowlands 07. Halo 2, Rainbow Six Vegas and Gears of War were featured at this event. “The event completely amazed me the second I entered the venue," Burger said. "There was no such feeling being with thousands of people that have the same passion as you. I was hooked from that moment on.”
From playing Gears of War at a friend's house, Burger has found himself coaching his very own team. Now, however, Gears of War 4 is on its way, so I asked him how he and team were feeling about the new game. “We are looking forward to Gears 4 and the Pro Circuit more than anyone," Burger said. "These guys pour their heart and soul in the competition and have been working tirelessly to improve daily.”
Burger and the squad have taken every opportunity to get hands-on with the new game thanks to The Coalition (more on them in a later article) as well as at the PAX Escalation reveal. Burger said that all his players have had an opportunity to game test the brand new game mode and that they are “Truly ecstatic.”
I was really interested in getting to know how coaches work in Gears of War, since many other esports titles have, or have had, them exist to some extent. For example, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive coach could be in charge of calling the strategies mid-round, while a Halo coach might be there to keep track of power weapon spawns etc.
“I've been coaching Gears since 2008,” Burger said, “Since then, I have been on a handful of top teams across the titles. My approach to it as an active coach (in-game) is to time weapons, count power weapon shots and essentially act as someone to remind them when to capitalize, when they have advantages and when to be passive or aggressive.”
Burger also told me he watches as much footage as he can, both of the teams he is playing against and his own team, to find all weaknesses he can exploit and all the holes he can plug in his own team. On top of that, he does a bunch of behind the scenes work too.
This brought me naturally to one of my main questions: hype. Every game has gone through the stage where players would shout and scream at each other. Splyce's CS:GO team did it at the MLG Columbus qualifier, Call of Duty players pre-Black Ops II did the same and the Halo scene as well. But, I was not sure if it actually did anything if everyone was doing it; why would you be affected and surely it would tire you out?
“(Hype) is something that is engrained into the Gears of War scene," Burger said. "You'll almost always see a team get loud after each victory. This is something that isn't very popular in the esports world, but after each match, everyone shakes hands and hugs it out. We are all a family at the end of the day and share a passion for Gears.”
The last question is all about the future of Gears esports. Since the start back in 2007, it has been a roller coaster ride of mishaps, lack of coverage and sometimes the games themselves were not up to scratch. But, it seems like all that is about to change, and Burger is more confident now about the scene.
“I think Jack Felling and her team at The Coalition are making serious strides to make this as successful as possible," Burger said. "This is only the start of something big. Gears is here to stay, for many more years!”
That brings my interview with E6 Burger to a close. This man has helped me get to grips with the Gears esports scene and has been a huge help. It was an awesome opportunity get a chance to pick his brain, so thank you very much.
The next edition of Turning the COGs will be with the newly acquired OpTic Gaming’s coach, OpTic Ashes, so make sure you are around this weekend for that awesome article.
Are you looking forward to Gears of War 4 as much as the E6 guys? Let me know in the comments below and make sure you give E6 Burger a follow on Twitter, @E6Burger. For all your Gears of War updates and interviews, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.