We’re baaaack… Wildcard is officially back for the NPL Phase 3 and we’re excited to show you the deck we’ve stacked this time. As many of you know we had a rough go for Phase 2, one that sent us to Relegations and led us to totally rethink our roster. If you’ve been keeping up with the state of Wildcard you’d know that we were without a team for a bit while we considered our options which eventually led us to the decision of giving our NPLC spot to another team. This move gave us the opportunity to obtain a NPL slot in Phase 3, which was purchased from Simplicity.
We are excited to announce that we’re welcoming Adam “Adam” Didiano, Andrew “Pentalol” Franco, and Tom “Pistola” Banel to the Wildcard organization. We have also acquired Robert “Kickstart” Smith on loan from Ghost for the duration of phase 3. This was a move that gives us the best opportunity to make Worlds, while giving Kickstart the opportunity to play and showcase himself, and benefiting Ghost in the process. Kickstart will be returning to Ghost after Phase 3 unless a further agreement is made. We’re beyond pumped for this change and we expect good things from our new team. Wildcard has had a steady presence in the PUBG community since the start and we owed it to you, our fans and supporters, to find a way to keep making you feel that #stackthedeck pride!
We got to sit down with the new team and ask them a couple questions about their thoughts on Phase 3, joining Wildcard, and about their lives outside of PUBG. Check out the interview below.
First of all, welcome to Wildcard! And for Kickstart, welcome back. Are you as excited to work with us as we are to work with you?
Pistola : I am very excited to play under Wildcard, especially with this new roster. Every player is super talented and focused around making a better team. I know all of us will put in 110% effort and that I can count on these guys in and out of the game. Wildcard is a new step forward in my career.
Kickstart : I am definitely super excited to finally be playing since I’ve been sitting for the last two phases. This is my opportunity to prove myself and I am super happy its with Wildcard!
Adam : I'm truly ecstatic to be working with Wildcard and this great team. Wildcard has been involved in PUBG esports for as long as I can remember and I'm super grateful to carry on the torch.
Pentalol : Thank you! Working with these players alongside Wildcard sounds like an absolute pleasure, I'm excited to see what we can put together.
How have things been with Wildcard so far?
Pistola : I haven't had the pleasure to work very long with the people of Wildcard but as of right now all I can see is that they care very much about their players. They want to make the best team out of us and I am thankful for that.
Kickstart : It’s been very good so far. Everyone has been super involved in scrims and that’s mostly what you want in an org. Of course any org wants their team to get better and improve but an org that tries to help them get better is very important.
Adam : Things are great so far, the staff are very welcoming and supporting. This also helps motivate myself and the team when it comes to bettering ourselves.
Pentalol : Conversing with Ben over the past few weeks has given me a feel of management and transparency. He's been nothing but supportive for all of these players dancing around other tryouts knowing we'll succeed no matter where we go while assuring us we'd have a home here. Wildcard is certainly a family feel and I couldn't be more appreciative for that.
Let's get right into it. How long have you been playing PUBG for?
Adam : I've been playing PUBG for 2 and a half years now.
Pentalol : I've been playing PUBG since before its official release in early 2017. I grinded the beta with my friend when he gave me a key for it.
Pistola : I bought PUBG on march 23rd 2017 for me and my friend Patron and we both grinded our way to phase 3 NPL
Kickstart : I’ve been playing since may of 2017 I played in the very first PUBGonline which was pretty much the first online tournament and I’ve been a competitor since then.
What got you into PUBG?
Kickstart : I believe everyone was streaming it like Summit, Ninja- A lot of those big streamers at the time and it looked very fun. I had to give it a try and it turned out I was pretty good
Adam : My brother (Coach Didz) had mentioned the game to me and said I would be good at it, so I bought it and was hooked right away.
Pistola : I actually started playing PUBG to relax after long university hours (I had put a big break in video games to focus on studying). I wanted to play a game that I had never played and since I never played battle royal before this was an opportunity for me. When summer came and I finally had more time, I got hooked to the competitive aspect of the game.
Pentalol : From 2012 I was absolutely in love with the DayZ mod from Arma II. The survival aspect of games is what got me hooked to them. I had played a bit of H1Z1 and DayZ Standalone when it was released, then PUBG on its release.
What got you into the pro scene?
Pistola : In summer 2017 you had to prove yourself through the leaderboard grind. This is how, through the many ''try hard'' servers, I met most of the now pro players. I started playing for a team and never stopped since then.
Kickstart : I got on a team pretty quickly we played the first PUBGonline season. I then met 7teen from now Liquid and he happily invited me to his team. It pretty much went from there and we grinded leaderboards, stayed in the top 15, and played PUBGonline and it just took off from there.
Adam : I started grinding duo leaderboards with my friend Snowbird, and because we were top 10 we got asked to sub for Woolys team in PUBGonline. That's where my pro career started.
Pentalol : I was playing in the online IEM Oakland qualifier in 2017, after that was done Woo1y added me on steam. He basically said a ton of people thought I was cheating, and he wanted to see if I was legit so he asked me to play on a team with him for PUBGonline.
What's your biggest and/or most important short term goal in Esports at the moment? What about long term?
Adam : My main goal right now is to qualify for the PGC at the end of this year. My long term goal is to win a Global event, since I came so close a few months ago.
Pistola : The obvious short term goal in front of us right now is making Worlds. Getting first, second, or maybe third in NPL phase 3 would make us qualify for this tournament in Oakland. My long term goal follows this ''smaller'' one and it would be to prove myself at a Global event.
Pentalol : The biggest short term goal that I'm looking forward to is qualifying for PGC at the end of the year. My long term goal is to play internationally again at a global event.
Pistola : I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was.
Kicktart : To be the very best- If not some of the best players in the world. long term to be able to stay in esports for the rest of my life and happily support my life with esports
Have any of you played together before?
Adam : I played my very first LAN with Penta over a year ago at GLL Season 1 finals, other than that, no.
Pistola : I almost got to make a team with Kickstart, but I have never played any tournaments with any of these players. I played with some of them in scrims, though.
Pentalol : My very first international event was with Adam in Romania. I've scrimmed with Pistola before but haven't played with him or Kick in a true competitive setting.
Kickstart : No, this will be a very big step with all these guys but I've always highly respected them and I’m excited to work with them.
What are some top placements you’re really proud of?
Pentalol : Finishing first with Simplicity in the NPL Preseason.
Adam : Finishing 2nd at FACEIT Global Summit.
Kickstart : We placed 4th with the former Wildcard team but I don't really think back to that LAN nor am I super proud of it. I have won a lot of duo tournaments and online tourneys, though.
Pistola With the old eUnited roster (which was Vegas, Taylor and Gice) we got 7th in GLL Season 3 Finals in Sweden, very close in points to top 4. We also got some good 5th finishes in bunch of tournaments.
Any surprising or interesting accomplishments in the Esports community you can share?
Pistola : In NPL phase 2, I had the most grenades picked up in the phase.
Adam : I used to work for DotEsports as a social media manager.
Kickstart : Pretty much every pro PUBG player that was relevant at that time has played against ninja in scrims.
Adam : My longest PUBG kill ever was against Ninja, actually. (like 850m or something)
Pentalol : Last game of PUBGonline finals qualifying for WSOE and finishing in 4th by just a few points.
What are your thoughts on the competition for Phase 3?
Adam : After every phase the competition gets steeper so I think this phase will be more competitive than the last.
Kickstart : I believe After every phase the competition gets steeper so I think this phase will be more competitive than the last.
Pistola : There are definitely some very strong rosters that forms after each phase. Each phase should be more competitive than the last. My nemesis is obviously eUnited and I want to outperform them.
Pentalol : The competition for this phase will be interesting. 5 out of the 6 NPL teams that played in Relegations did not retain their NPL spots, bringing in 5 contender teams.
What teams are your biggest rivals?
Kickstart : My biggest rivals are probably Tempo and Ghost, obviously. I would like to see someone win other than Tempo.
Pentalol : Personally, I don't have any rivals in PUBG.
Adam : Lazarus.
Pistola : The obvious answer would be TempoStorm. They are by far the best team in NPL and getting a top 3 this season will require beating them often. Other than that, eUnited is a team that I wanna perform against because they are my past teammates. I still feel like I need to prove myself.
When you’re not playing PUBG what are you playing?
Kickstart : I usually find myself saying there is no good games anymore but maybe some League, CSGO, or Rainbow Six Siege.
Pentalol : When I'm not playing PUBG I'm usually on Rust or Counter Strike with friends outside of the scene.
Adam : Sometimes I like to unwind with League of Legends & Rocket League but I mostly play PUBG after hours.
Pistola : If I am not playing scrims I play public games in PUBG or training ground quite often. When I have time (never) I like to play ARPGs like Diablo and Path of Exile. I would love to play WoW Classic like everyone else but I won't play this phase; it would require too much time and we need to focus all of our time to the team.
How do you usually practice? Any strange methods you’re willing to divulge?
Kickstart : Not really any strange methods I just play a lot and have tons of experience.
Pentalol : I don't practice in any particular way. I try and not overdo it on the game outside of competitive so I don’t burn myself out if I'm being honest. I'd rather not constantly switch my mental state with the game from super serious to running and gunning. I did the same thing with Counter Strike in league play and still put up results, just how I operate.
Adam : I like to have a consistent warmup routine before games, and I focus on individual parts I want to improve when practicing. For example if I want to quick peek better I will work on that specifically.
Pistola : Other than scrimming with my team I try to practice individually in the morning by playing public games and training ground intermittently. Some people say you build bad habits while playing too much training ground but I disagree. You need to be aware of what you are practicing and apply it in public games (and scrims) afterward. I don't really have any strange methods of practicing but something that I do often is mess around the training ground to see how the game really functions (how do you drift efficiently, what's the best way of peaking, etc). Similar to min maxing if you are familiar with RPGs.
Here’s a question I’ll ask you again in the future to see how your opinions change. The four of you are on a sinking ship: Who takes control, who is the pessimist, who is the optimist, and who drowns?
Pistola : I take control and push everyone in the water. This way nobody gets offended on who is the pessimist and the optimist. Kick drowns cause why not.
Adam : I take control, penta is a pessimist, pistola is optimist, kick drowns cause why not.
Pentalol : Have you ever seen Jaws?
Kickstart : Adam takes control, penta is a pessimist, pistola is the optimist telling us to become vegan, and I drown cause everyone thinks I'll drown for some reason...
Pentalol : Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.
WC, What’s that mean?
Pentalol : You’ll see.
If you could say anything to your fans and followers that are following you over to Wildcard, what would you say?
Kickstart : I have a pretty close friend group and I don't think they would care who I was playing under, they would always support me and I thank you guys for that! (You know who you are...)
Pentalol : I'd tell my fans following me over from Wildcard thank you for the ongoing support and I hope to impress you all with the results we're looking to put forward!
Adam : These past two years have been a wild ride and it's amazing to see some of my loyal fans still supporting me to this day. Playing for Wildcard is a new chapter in my book, and I hope ya'll are ready!
Pistola : Thank you all for believing in me. Some of you have sent me really nice and positive messages over the course of my career and I am grateful for all of them. I would want to say that I'll stream more but that is always difficult for me (I practice better alone). Other than that, I have been grinding A LOT so you'll be able to see me on the big screen more often in NPL phase 3!
And to the new fans you’ll make with Wildcard?
Kickstart : I don’t think there will be a lot of new fans as I've been on wildcard before but happy to maybe reconnect with past friends for sure!
Pentalol : To the new fans we're going to be making with Wildcard we as a team I hope we can pick up the torch and continue to represent your favorite org through PUBG with great results.
Adam : Let's get some chicken boiii.
Pistola : Thanks for the support you will bring to the team, players, and management. We’re fueled by the support you give us and it wouldn't be possible without you guys. ALSO TWITCH.TV/PISTOLATIME AND PISTOLATIME ON YOUTUBE.
All in all Wildcard is stoked to have our new team and we’re beyond ready for them to show everyone what they’re made of. These guys have been hard at work preparing in the off season and we know it’s going to be an exciting and wild ride. Phase 3 is coming in hot and it starts back up on September 6th! You’ll be able to watch it all live at https://wildcard.gg/pubg/. Until then keep up with us for more updates and information by following us on Twitter @Wildcard_GG.