Shad talks about playing with Team Tickles in the ongoing Pinnacle Cup: Malta Vibes #4, the abolishment of DPC, and how it affects the tier two scene.
Indji "Shad" Lub is one of the aspiring carry players of Western Europe who has a strong presence in the concentrated region. The 23-year-old Dutch has played among notable tier 2 teams of WEU - namely Vikin.gg and Into The Breach. He last played for Luna Galaxy also formerly known as D2 Hustlers and is now with Team Tickles under ImmortalFaith's wings.
Shad is currently competing in the Pinnacle Cup: Malta Vibes #4 for a slice of a $50,000 prize pool as well as a premium week-long BootCamp package with a luxurious stay at a 5-star InterContinental hotel in Malta. Esports.gg sat down with Shad to ask about Team Tickles, his opinion on the abolishment of DPC, and his thoughts of the tier 2 scene going forward.
How Shad joined Team Tickles
Esports.gg: Hello Shad! I’m happy to sit down with you and talk about the rebirth of Team Tickles. How was this lineup formed from your perspective? How were you called to play for Team Tickles?
Shad: Our coach ImmortalFaith asked me and we are kind of on trial right now.
Esports.gg: You had an impressive performance with Luna Galaxy during the WEU TI12 Qualifier. What made you decide to depart Luna Galaxy and play for Team Tickles?
Shad: I guess I just really trust ImmortalFaith. And for me.. in the TI Qualifier, we got third place and in the end, we still lost, we didn't get anything. I felt like the team is just beaten and if I stay there I can't get much better anymore. So I want to try something else.
(Image via Nigma Galaxy)
I think we all respect ImmortalFaith a lot so we all kind of play under his idea and we think he's doing a good job.
Esports.gg: How would you describe the team’s chemistry right now? Who’s the one sort of leading the team?
Shad: I think there’s still a lot to be desired. Like we’re still making a lot of mistakes and stuff. But we’re all kind of friends, like there’s no bad blood or anything and we are all getting along, having fun.
I think BOOM and the pos 4, NARMAN, are the ones that never have played with each other before. They have less chemistry right now and may need more practice. Me and Adzantick have been playing together for a long time, I've played in the past with BOOM as well. From my perspective actually, I have good chemistry with everyone. The others might not feel all the same.
(Regarding leadership) it’s our coach actually who always takes the lead. In-game, the players are all equal. ImmortalFaith takes the lead with how much we are going to practice and all, because he’s the one who’s making the team.
In the early game it should be (Adzantick) and BOOM taking the lead, but we are still working on it right now. Later on, I should be the one taking leads. I think we all respect ImmortalFaith a lot so we all kind of play under his idea and we think he's doing a good job.
Esports.gg: Are there any teams or players that you or the team are particularly observing right now for inspiration and ideas? If so why is this specific team/player a standout?
Shad: We haven't as a team talk about it much. But for me, I like to watch Team Spirit right now. I think they are a very good team. Yatoro as a carry too of course.
No more DPC: "The higher end of Division II teams are probably going to be fine."
Esports.gg: The DPC is abolished for next year and we’ll see more third-party tournaments. The general consensus is that this could be bad for the tier-two scene. What do you think about the drastic format change by Valve?
Shad: I kind of like the (change) because I don't like the DPC system. It felt like seasons took too long and it was kind of boring, especially for Division II. Right now, I guess it rewards teams that can qualify to LANs more and it's probably going to be more tier two online tournaments as well. The higher end of the Division II teams are probably going to be fine but the lower end of the Division II teams might struggle now. But I think that’s okay. I dont have any problems with it, but I can see that people are frustrated about it.
There is also other aspects to it like the North American region DPC is just free money in Division I to be honest. The players are not good at all, it literally is just free money. Two good teams and the others just get free money.
I'm looking forward to (the new DPC system). I'm a bit more motivated than usual.
Esports.gg: Does this format change in any way discourage or encourage you and your peers more?
Shad: Personally it’s always something out of my control, like how Valve is going to do things. So no matter what happens I would still play. I’m always looking forward to the new system, something new is always more fun at the beginning at least, and then we can see how it goes. I'm looking forward to it. I'm a bit more motivated than usual.
Shad comments on the unique bootcamp reward for Pinnacle Cup champions
Esports.gg: Pinnacle Cup is one of the third-parties that is consistently making a platform for the tier 2 scene in WEU. It also has a unique prize of a week-long bootcamp in a luxurious hotel in Malta. What do you think about this kind of prize and are you looking forward to it?
Shad: I think it’s pretty cool, especially for teams that don’t have a stable org that would offer a bootcamp..it’s very nice for them. Personally, I’d say I wouldn’t care that much. Like I would take money over a vacation, but I can see teams being happy about winning this and feeling happy to go to bootcamp.