Turning the COGs with RyanFoolz
Last time around in this series, I got a chance to talk Nick “Ashes” Ridgeway, the Coach of OpTic Gaming. To see that interview, click here. Now it is time to meet one of OpTic’s major rivals, Ryan “RyanFoolz” Summers. The rivalry between OpTic and Team EnVyUs is carried across every game they play against each other in and Gears of War is no different.
But back to the interview. The history of OpTic and EnVy is important, but so is the history of a person. Because of this, I asked RyanFoolz about how he got introduced to esports and Gears of War itself. “I was first introduced to esports back in 2007 watching GoW1 and Halo." For those who may not remember the glory days, check out this video of some classic Halo 2.
“I initially got into Gears of War itself when a buddy of mine invited me over to play at his house and just crushed me over and over,” RyanFoolz said. “I had to buy the game after that. It wasn't like any game I had ever played before and I was instantly hooked.”
So from the past, we come to the future, that being Gears of War 4. I asked RyanFoolz how he and the team were feeling about the new game, and what preparation he had put in for it. “Our team is incredibly excited for GoW4. We can't wait to get our hands on the new game and absolutely grind it out.”
RyanFoolz also touches on the new game mode, saying he and the team are “incredibly excited for a new game mode." RyanFoolz says that the new mode will "help separate the teams at the top level much better than Execution currently does.” This seemed like a huge problem for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. Execution was repetitive in nature and did not allow much room for creative strategizing, meaning the lines between good and great were often blurred.
When it comes to actual preparations, RyanFoolz say he can not do much to truly prepare for escalation just yet. He tells me that all he can do is get his team, along with their newest member, in the right mindset for the new title.
Once again, it comes round to the question of what does RyanFoolz actually do as a coach and once again, I am totally blown away. RyanFoolz says, “my role covers quite a bit of things right now. Since Gears isn't quite big enough to have a staff of analysts/coaches/managers on each team, all of that pretty much falls on me.”
Here is a list of what RyanFoolz said he does for the team:
- Sits in scrims and comms to try and emulate a LAN environment
- Records past performances between a number of opponents
- Tracks statistics from their competitors against OTHER teams
RyanFoolz says “I find that it's important to get a 360-degree view of what teams do on certain maps against certain strats, certain matchups, and in certain situations.”
Not only does he handle the coaching responsibilities, “I also act as the Manager for our team" RyanFoolz stated. "That involves any vendor relations/interactions, any communication that is needed with EnVyUs, and handling any logistical needs for my team.”
This seems like a bunch of work that could be spread out across numerous people, however, RyanFoolz does it all. He also discusssed why he does not want his players involved with that kind of stuff. “It has always been my goal to ensure that my players' ONLY job are to play the game and compete at the highest level possible.”
This is the third interview I have done and it is quite clear that Gears of War coaches are overworked. Infrastructure needs to be put in place before hard working individuals burn themselves out, but I will revisit that topic in a later article.
Moving on with the interview to a question that is still rather important to me: how does hype change the way a match is played? “Our game is certainly more "hyped" because it's round based and you have time to trash talk between every round (and our community is certainly more rowdy than most).”
In many other games, such as Call of Duty, Halo and even Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, hype certainly exists but in more controlled quantities. This could be the upgrades done to the scene, like sound proof booths, noise cancelling headphones and the fouls that could cost the team rounds, maps and even series.
RyanFoolz said, “I wouldn't say it's necessarily an "important" factor, but I think that it can help keep your team's spirits high and that can play into things like momentum."
When asked about the future of Gears esports, RyanFoolz had this to say: “I'm incredibly excited for the future of Gears esports! We've come a long way as a community and seen many ups and downs. As someone who has been attending events at our highest of highs and lowest of lows, it feels absolutely amazing to know that we have such a bright future ahead. This community deserves it. Big thanks to The Coalition and Jack Felling for making that possible for us.”
This brings us to a close to this edition of Turning the COGs with. I want to give a huge thanks to RyanFoolz for giving me the chance to learn a little about his life.
Next up for Turning the COGs with will be Jack Felling and a couple members of her team! After hearing all the amazing work she had done for this community, I would be stupid not get her opinions on some topics before the game launches.
So are you excited for an interview with Jack? Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me at @GAMURS_tnm. To keep up to date with the latest Gears of War news and future editions for Turning the COGS with, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.