MaTaFe and Vexed ready to prove a point in London cover image

MaTaFe and Vexed ready to prove a point in London

MaTaFe and Vexed are in London with a point to prove following a poor 31st place in the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs.

Matej "Matafe" Fekonja is arriving in London with a point to prove. Only ten months ago, he was considering retirement from ALGS. His whole career he has had to battle and make sacrifices to compete. Various LAN events have been missed.

Now, along with his two teammates Tyler Wood, and Andre "Unlucky" Turk, he is in London for his second LAN event ready to prove his critics wrong.

MaTaFe bringing new mindset to ALGS LAN

For MaTaFe, who is unable to ever compete from his home country of Slovenia due to it not being an 'ALGS eligible' country, the opportunity to play on LAN means everything.

"It means a lot to be here and have this opportunity. Especially as I qualified for many LANs that I couldn't attend, I think 3 or 4. Last time was our first LAN for all three of us. So we made a lot of mistakes. There is a lot of things that work online but don't offline. I'd like to learn from them. This is going to be the first time that we actually played [on LAN] instead of just seeing how how it plays out."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

Vexed were incredibly disappointing at the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs. Despite finishing in 3rd in the prior EMEA ALGS Pro League they crashed out in 31st. MaTaFe admits this was because they had the wrong game plan.

"Going into the first LAN, we approached it with the mindset of we're one of the best fighting teams, so we can just fight. We learned that, even if we think teams are worse, they perform at a higher level than online teams in Europe. Which means you have to take way more things into consideration and not just run around and fight. But this LAN the method swapped a little bit, so with UAV scans we can still play edge, but with way more information. Now, we can play edge with information."

Vexed won't be contesting TSM this weekend

Vexed began their LAN preparation with a controversial contest against TSM. TSM are the defending LAN champions, and have already qualified for the ALGS Championship. Vexed eventually pulled away from the contest, and will not be landing with TSM during this event.

"The main reason we stopped contesting is because, we kind of lost faith in our ability to perform under stress. I think we are capable of beating them. But the fact that they're already qualified for ALGS Champs and we are not, we have way more on the line and we were making some silly mistakes online already. So we felt like when this goes to LAN these mistakes would just get worse. We didn't have enough time to fix them. So, we will definitely be back for the next events. But, for this one, we need to qualify for Champs."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

MaTaFe responds to personal criticism

A big criticism of MaTaFe as an individual player is that he does not put out enough damage in fights. There are jokes about him being a better 'Knockdown Shield' for his teammates than a player. MaTaFe was defiant when asked to respond to that common criticism.

"I feel like this Knockdown Shield meme and other memes came mostly from lesser IGLs or players and viewer base which don't understand the game to its fullest. None of the better teams mostly make these jokes because they understand how the game works, and they understand that there are certain roles within the team. Not everyone is supposed to be a fragger. That's why if you see a triple controller team, for example, they usually don't do well. Not everyone is supposed to frag that. In fact, it's very important to keep space, to have someone anchoring your position while the others are looking for kills, etc."

Can MaTaFe silence his critics? (Photo EA/Joe Brady)
Can MaTaFe silence his critics? (Photo EA/Joe Brady)

Tyler says that Vexed are the perfect team

One thing that Vexed do not lack is firepower. Tyler and Unlucky finished tied in third for the most kills in the EMEA Pro League with 84 each. That is an average of 2 kills per game each, across an entire season.

According to Tyler, MaTaFe is the perfect fit for him and Unlucky. A tried and tested IGL who can enable them to frag out and post impressive numbers.

"MaTaFe is smart. He's always had plans when we've gone into fights. I felt that that was exactly what me and Unlucky were lacking when we previously played together. We lacked an IGL and and MaTaFe is the perfect fit for like me and Unlucky."

Before linking up with MaTaFe, Tyler was often bouncing around between teams. However, this roster is now by far his longest time with a team.

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

"We just have the perfect team, good IGL, myself, fragger. Andre, fragger. We play our roles well. So we're one of the better teams in the region and and that's why we've been so dominant as a team."

Tyler, who is from the UK, feels like Vexed have something to prove given their poor Split 1 Playoff performance.

"Yeah, 100%. Coming from Split One, I was kill leader in the region and then come to LAN And [our performance] wasn't what we expected or anyone expected. We just fumbled. But this time. Hopefully we can perform and get back to being on top."

Unlucky says playing with MaTaFe is special

Split One Playoffs was Unlucky's first ever LAN event. Just 18 years of age, the Austrian is by far the least experienced of the Vexed roster. He says that the experience of MaTaFe is really crucial in game.

"For me, [Playing with MataFe] is special because MaTaFe is actually my first real IGL. Before that I played with Naghz and Dolphin, but we lacked also an IGL. So I was always looking for somebody who has a lot of experience so I can learn from it. MaTaFe is the best example. I like Tyler said like me and him were looking for an IGL and he was the best choice."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

Unlucky is hoping to build from his first LAN experience, and bring a higher level of performance to the global stage this time around.

"I had like some individual problems last time that I had to figure out, and I have learned from it. I've tried to figure those out in the past weeks of Pro League and I worked on it. it feels like this time I'm way more prepared than last time. I feel more confident."

Ranked system has hindered preparation

However, Unlucky admits that preparation has been impacted by the current ranked system. This has been a common complaint among players.

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

"Yeah, for me personally I a good really good rank system. Or, at least the game needs to be really good, because if I don't play the game a lot, I'm getting worse mechanics. Basically, I feel like because I'm not playing a game a lot anymore. So for me ranked needs to be really good so I can grind the game at least 8 hours a day. If I can't do that, then I think I personally can't be on my top level."

Like Tyler and MaTaFe, Unlucky feels like he has something to prove.

"Yeah, 100%. I feel like I can be one of the best controllers in the world. I just have to make my own confidence rise up and then I can be one of the best."

MaTaFe and Vexed Gaming will begin their ALGS Split 2 Playoff campaign tomorrow, July 13th.

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