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  Gamer  2006-03-15  
I followed up on the interview with Valla by hunting down everyone's favourite former Slacker, Mr Gamer...
1. Hi Gamer! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I’ll start with the usual. What’s your name, where do you live, what do you do besides play QW?
I am Timo Leppänen, I live in Tampere Finland. Currently I am a university student. My hobbies besides QW include sports such as volleyball and going to the gym. I also play some online poker.
2. Most people will know you as the teamplay powerhouse from the Slackers championship era, so please fill in the blanks in our memories – what else have you done in your QW career?
I started to play QW in 1998 or so with a modem connection. After a period of playing FFA games only i joined a Finnish clan called EFM. We were quite bad and most of us had a modem connection at that time. After a while EFM died and I got an ISDN connection and started looking for a new clan.
At that time I still had a bad computer that could only give about 30fps but luckily a player called master took me in his clan KOFF. I can't really remember who were in KOFF at that time but we had good players such as Scenic, roscoe and zygot(eh). In late 2000 I finally got a good computer and an ADSL connection so I could play as much as I wanted without thinking about phone bills. Scenic, roscoe and eh were also playing a lot and we quickly got quite good. We reached the smackdown 2 playoffs but lost against ToT in the first playoff round. I think we had a reasonable chance to beat them but it just wasn't our day. Then I had to join the army and after that KOFF felt quite dead and I joined Slackers.
3. I’ve often seen you in 1on1 tournaments, and of course you and Goljat had a great partnership in 2on2 competitions. Which is your favourite game mode in QW?
I like all of the game modes but my favourite has always been 4on4. To me 4on4 has always been what QW is all about. When I started playing there were mostly 4on4 tournaments and almost no online duel tourneys before the first duelmania.
QW duels can be a little too defensive especially on TB3 so i don't like to play them so much. In my opinion aerowalk is the only really good 1on1 map in QW at the moment. I don't like the fact that you can control DM4 and DM6 by just camping one spot with lg. You can do that on aerowalk to a certain degree also but it is much harder. Dm2 is very nice for fun duels but in tournaments it is just CS.
I find 2on2 more fun than 1on1 and its a shame there are no more competitions for it at the moment. Playing the 2on2 competition at qhlan against all the best players was great fun.
4. What are your main strengths and weaknesses as a QW player? What maps do you consider to be your strongest?
I think my greatest strength is the ability to play a smart and defensive game without taking too many risks. I think my aim is on par with the best players also. My best map in 4on4 is DM3, I have always liked that map more than the others.
In 2on2 games i have always been good on dm2 because of my corner camping skills. My best duel maps have always been aerowalk and DM6.
My biggest weakness is that I can't play an aggressive +forward game as well as I would like to.
5. Which players were the main influences for you when you were developing as a player?
I remember watching lots of Z, Zetor and Flaming Fist demos from Villains 1 and 2. I guess I learned how QW should be played from those demos. I was really impressed by the way Cable, Pietro, ParadokS and all the Zetor players played the game.
6. It’s impossible to interview you without talking about your remarkable time with Slackers. How did that tenure begin? Did SR approach you?
Yes, I had played some good 2on2 games with Goljat now and then and I enjoyed playing those so it felt good to join SR. At that time KOFF's activity wasn't the highest possible and I felt that in SR the other players would be as active as me. Most of the good Finnish clans had already asked me to join them but I thought SR was my #1 choice and when Goljat asked me to join it wasn't hard to say yes. Scenic got very angry because I didn't say anything and I had the ]SR[ tag next day on IRC :), I think it took like 3 years for him to stop calling me a traitor. Some of the other Finnish players also gave me critique because I had made the “wrong” decision.
7. What was the best Slackers team that you played with? Was it the almost unbeatable combination of yourself, Goljat, ParadokS and Hib?
Yes definitely that team.
8. What made Slackers such a good team?
I think that in the beginning we were a good combination of players with different styles. Para was the aggressive one, I was defensive and Xalibur/Goljat were something in the middle.
The addition of Hib made us play even better. I think he was our best player. Some time after Hib joined we started to play with a style where we would swap positions more often and move around the map more. It worked fine thanks to our good mm2 and smart players.
9. You were always seen as the quiet man in Slackers. Was it difficult to keep a cool head when you were always in the middle of controversies? What is it like to be in a clan with such characters like Goljat and ParadokS?
Well sometimes it was funny with all the ping whine and such. I never really understood why people hated Para/Goljat so much, I just tried to stay out of the flame wars.
Para and Goljat have the right attitude to make a winning team: they always tell you if you make mistakes and usually knew what went wrong when we lost. Sometimes there was lots of blaming and whining after we a match but that is just what you get when everyone wants to win. I started to think that Goljat has a bind that says “idiot para” in mm2 :)
10. What made you decide to leave Slackers after all that success to rejoin your comrades in KOFF?
Playing had become all winning and no fun so I decided to play with old friends in KOFF. Another reason was that we were somewhat inactive in NQR6. We were all surprised to win it, luckily Lege Artis had not practiced much either.
11. Do you agree that you leaving to reform KOFF was a major factor in the decline of Slackers as a major power in QW 4on4?
Hib also stopped playing at that time so I guess the fact that we both quit was the reason Slackers did not do so well.
12. When KOFF first reformed for NQR7, you took a beat of a beating and looked some way from being a top clan. Since that first season, you really got in shape and before you all went off to play Quake4 KOFF was considered by most to be a top 6 clan. What were the major factors in turning KOFF from also-rans into title contenders?
We had one bad player and that is all it takes to get owned by the top clans. After the first season jukka joined us and we were instantly much better. When we started to practice with our new team we got better and better all the time and started to win some rounds against the top clans.
After that the university's connection started to lag all the time and since we had 3 players with the laggy connection we could not practice properly. We reached semi-finals in NQR8(?). I think it was a satisfying result considering our lag problems.
13. What makes the current KOFF team so solid? What roles do you and your team mates adopt in games? Do you use voice communication?
We have 3 players who have played together for a long time and everyone in our team understands how 4on4 works. We also discuss tactics and try new things when we feel that we are losing too much. Also all of our 4 players are very skilled, I think that especially eh is a very underrated player. Jukka is the only one who lacks some experience but I guess he has the potential to become better. The DM4 god PKK joined us lately but we haven't really practised enough with him yet. I think he needs some time to learn our ways.
We all play all positions when needed but we try to move to our best positions if we get map control. It is easy after a long time of playing together.
We started using voice communication on our short visit to Quake 4 because there were no team messages or locs on the maps. When we came back to QW after a 10 month break it was natural to continue using MM3.
I think that in the beginning it just confused us and we did not use our team messages as well as we did before. Now when we have had some time to practise with voice, our team play is already better than before. You still need very good MM2 with MM3 to be successful because voice has lag, it is much faster to read than to listen, and four people can't talk at the same time.
14. You’ve just lost a narrow game vs Slackers in NQR, but most still think you have a good chance of reaching the last 4, or maybe even the final. How do you think you will do and who will be the toughest team to face?
I think we will reach the play offs unless we play bad against SD2. Because we will probably place second in our group we will have to face the winner of another group, so our chance of reaching the last 4 depends on the opponent. I think we will have at least a 50/50 chance to win against teams other than Fragomatic. fOm with murdoc senior is the toughest team to beat. After fOm the best teams are Lege Artis and Slackers. We haven't practised at all against Firing Squad so I can't tell how good they are at the moment. I hope tVS will get back to their old shape, they could go far with Goljat who joined them from Hehe Holkeri Hävisitkö Voittos :).
15. Is it strange to see Slackers playing again and being almost completely unrecognisable from the team that you played in? Do you think you might ever return to them?
Well Slackers has played with strange teams all the time after Hib and I left. They have not had the chance to practice themselves back to the top with the same team.
I think this kurwa SR has the potential to become the best once again. For example murdoc improved from a top div2 player to a “div0” player when KOFF was on a break.
It is unlikely that i will be joining them any time soon, I am enjoying playing in KOFF. Our players aren't overly serious but we all want to improve as much as possible.
16. Who is the best player you have ever played with in 4on4?
Hard to say because everyone has a different style. If I have to name one I say Hib because he doesn't have any weaknesses in his game.
17. Who has been the toughest opponent – clan and player – you have ever faced up against in 4on4?
The toughest clan is of course Slackers' arch-rival Lege Artis. I guess I have to say that Riker is the most annoying player to play against. I think he spawns with 120 health.
18. What has been your greatest achievement in QW?
Winning Smackdown 5 with Slackers.
19. If you were captain of the Finland 4on4 team, which 3 players – past or present - would you choose to play with you?
Hib, Goljat and Fifi.
20. Do you have any tips for upcoming 4on4 players?
Watch how the good players play and think why they do what they do. Also make good team messages and use them a lot.
21. I see that KOFF have signed up for EQL3. What do you think of the current 4on4 tournaments?
EQL is like the old NQR and NQR9 is a little like Smackdown but it has less matches. I think there are just enough games at the moment and the NQR crew made the right decision to change from their old league format.
22. What do you think of the current community? Do you enjoy reading interviews, listening to commentaries and getting involved in drama?
Yes, the community is just so much better than the one in quake 4. I really enjoyed reading the Valla interview and commentary is always nice to hear. I hope there will be lots of drama now that SR is back on track. Too bad cage quit.
23. Are you a TB3-stalwart or would you like to see more maps introduced into the map pool? If so, which maps?
The other tournament could be TB3 only and the other could have a 5 map pool. I voted for TB3 for EQL3 because CMT4 is a horrible shaft only map. If I could choose, the other 2 maps would be CMT3 and Grim. Maybe CMT5b instead of CMT3 but no-one would take me seriously if I suggested that.
24. Finally, what made you choose the handle ‘Gamer’?
I don't know.. I just picked one and never changed it. I don't like my nick that much but at least its not “Terminator”, “ShadowNinja” or “Insane” (<3 Karol).
Mursu - 2006-03-15 04:41:39
nice :)
mirpi - 2006-03-15 04:48:02
hehhe <chosen> terminator aka eql admin will ban u!!
blaps - 2006-03-15 04:49:39
another nice intervjue, thx gaz & gamer!
murdoc - 2006-03-15 04:50:00
haha, nice one again ;) keep them coming!
Anza - 2006-03-15 04:58:29
En kestä timon menestymistä
mushi - 2006-03-15 06:08:37
nice read!
Åke Vader - 2006-03-15 06:09:22
I really like these interviews, the questions are good and the answers aren't just one sentence and the interviewed players seems like nice lads too. :)

Keep up the very good work!
pg - 2006-03-15 08:30:02
nice interview, <3 from north america
ui - 2006-03-15 11:56:20
Great read. Keem them coming!
almeida - 2006-03-15 14:55:02
as we say in sweden spännis
cpe - 2006-03-16 06:31:44
"..I think he spawns with 120 health..." - owned :)
Tjall - 2006-03-16 09:29:19
Moi Gamcio, oot paras!
- 2006-03-16 11:22:14
"In my opinion aerowalk is the only really good 1on1 map in QW at the moment."
Iron - 2006-03-16 11:22:28
"In my opinion aerowalk is the only really good 1on1 map in QW at the moment."
mutilator - 2006-03-16 12:21:10
nice intervjuvs! More of this please.
Hagge - 2006-03-16 14:13:27
traitor gamer B<
Hagge - 2006-03-16 14:13:42
still waiting for gaz to interview me :(
gaz - 2006-03-16 15:11:26
Hagge :EEEE

Next interviewee is Mutilator, but I will make a list of people to do :)
razor - 2006-03-16 16:56:12
interview some newcomers to the scene as well, they have interesting things to say also mostly :)
ia - 2006-03-16 19:30:07
-insane- - 2006-03-17 03:50:18
murdoc - 2006-03-17 08:22:29
hetman - 2006-03-22 02:30:51
Another great interview! Many thanks and wish you best! :)
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