Noiises speaks with esports.gg ahead of the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs in London.
Cameron "Noiises" Walker is one of the United Kingdom's most successful Apex Legends players. Competing in the game since 2019, he often flies under the radar in discussions about the game. Perhaps a big reason for this is that Noiises does not yet have a strong result at a LAN event on his CV.
Finishing 31st in Sweden, missing Raleigh due to COVID and then another 30th place in London don't do justice for the 23 year-olds abilities and success in game.
Now, once again in front of a home crowd, Noiises has a big chance to make his mark and prove he is one of the best IGLs in the world.
esports.gg spoke to Noiises ahead of the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs in London.
Why is Noiises so underrated?
Those who know Noiises often feel he is underrated. Both as an individual player and as an 'in game leader' (IGL). But, why has he flown under the radar so often in his career?
"[ImperialHal] did a watch party of when we were playing scrims the other day. He was spectating me in end game and the first thing he said as soon he switched on to my POV, was "is Noiises going to do more than 40 damage this fight". I was like what? Where's this rhetoric come from?
"Where does this come from that I don't do anything in in a lot of situations? I think it definitely stems from a few moments that I've had where I've fumbled the bag. I'm not a perfect player. I've made a lot of mistakes, but I'd say the the weird thing about that from me is I'd say in a lot of fights, I'll either do a lot or I'll do not much. I'd say that's a fair assessment of me to say I'm like, hit or miss player. I don't think I'm not doing damage in fights."
However, not everything that ImperialHal saw in Noiises was negative.
"In that same clip I was watching later on I did something and [Hal] was really impressed by it. It said a lot to me. He clearly has no idea who I am, or the way I play or the skills I have. He clearly has literally no idea. I was kind of surprised that he hit me with that disrespect, but I was happy to impress him of course."
"I think it's because my playstyle is not very sexy, for lack of a better word."
One thing that has been a constant of Noiises is his playstyle. A steady, reliable approach that often has meant rotating quickly and sitting in zone. This could be a big factor as to why he goes under appreciated by the community.
"I think I'm very underrated, I really don't know why. I think it's because my playstyle is not very sexy, for lack of a better word."
Steady, calm and logical are three of the core principles of Noiises game. While naturally attention gravitates to teams with big streamers or who drop a lot of kills. Teams like JLingz perform well, but without the same adulation as their counterparts.
"I don't like to do anything unless I'm sure. I definitely try and play this game in the most logical way I can and a lot of teams don't do that. A lot of teams play off ego or they play off confidence or they play off sort of just pure momentum. That's a huge thing in Apex. I don't normally do that. I normally play the game of logic and I try and assess things clearly. Another thing I would say that adds to me being underrated is whenever I do something good I never shout about it ever. I never, ever shout about it.
"If you're screaming that you're the best player in the world, people will believe you."
"I never post it on Twitter, probably to my detriment. I'll never say something like "ohh you got **** on" or, "Oh, I'm so good." I never do that. A lot of people have the opinion that I'm a lot worse than I am just because I communicate that if you ever watch me. I really think that's a huge thing. If you're screaming that you're the best player in the world, people will believe you. Whilst if you're screaming oh, I'm I'm stupid, I shouldn't done this, shouldn't have done that. It has a different effect."
Another factor, besides Noiises demeanour and lack of boasting, is that he is yet to perform at LAN. There are reasons for this, including the infamous COVID incident in Raleigh. But however you look at it, Noiises has yet to put a marker down on the global stage.
"I think if I was to perform at LAN, I think people would instantly be like, yeah, we we knew he could do it. He just hadn't done it. I don't think it's like people are like, think I can't do it. I think it's more that I just haven't had that moment to to sort of show everyone yet that I can."
Noiises acknowledges his bad luck with LAN events
With so many disappointments, it would be easy to doubt yourself and lose confidence. Noiises takes a different approach, understanding the circumstances that have surrounded him and his teams.
"I do think with the LANs, I'm really not that hard on myself. I think, with Sweden, I don't think that team was ever gonna work. In London, that team was on its head , and we had no POI's. Yes, these are excuses, but they are important excuses because they have a huge effect on how you play.
"With Raleigh, I was literally talking to Brynn about this yesterday. We were so confident going in. All of us really felt like we were playing well. I remember on the Wednesday, the media day, we did LAN scrims in the actual arena and we won like two games in a row. We were probably in the best form we've ever been in as a team and it got robbed from us. I know it had a huge effect on Brynn. It had a huge effect on him because he felt like he was robbed. I got robbed, obviously, and Jay got robbed."
Top seven the target for Noiises
Now, Noiises has another chance to prove himself in London. With two 30th places in a row, what is Noiises setting as a target for JLingz heading into this event?
"I actually answered this question the other day on on the stream and I've been thinking about it since I answered it. I said at the time top five. I'd be happy with top five, I think. I would probably be happy with like a top seven, to be honest, I've added two extra places in there just because all the context going in. The situation that it's a relatively new team, we've been experimenting a lot with with comps. We've been experimenting with drop spots, not to mention that this LAN I think will potentially be a more challenging competitive environment than previous LANs.
The current Apex meta is much more challenging
"I say that because the way the meta is now, it's extremely demanding on your individual ability. In other metas you can like kind of rely on your IGL to just get you points and I can still do that. But I do think in this meta you have to perform in fights more. So I'd say I'd say I want to get to finals. I believe we should be in finals, if and when we get to finals. I want us to be in at least top 7. I'm not going to lie Tom, I really, really see it like this. This team, each one of us, has the ability to win the tournament. We just have to make it happen."
Preparation has been going well for JLingz so far. They sit 7th in the scrim leaderboards, with 28 blocks played. This has included some contesting, including against Moist esports.
"I think within the team, the roles are working. Each player knows what their job is and. Each one of us. Hold each other accountable to do that job. So it makes learning from mistakes a lot easier. If everybody knows what they should be doing and everybody knows what each other should be doing as well."
Noiises acknowledges that secure drops is a big benefit at LAN
Securing drop spots has been key for Noiises, after the experience he had in London. He feels that not having set spots and flex dropping was a big factor behind their poor performance.
"We've been practicing a lot from Highpoint and Overlook. At Highpoint, we're uncontested. So, that's pretty much going to be ours. I very much doubt anyone will bother trying to contest for Highpoint because it's a little bit of a horrible contest. It's also not an amazing POI unless you're very well practiced with it."
"Overlook is a weird one because we we have just started getting contested by Moist there. Literally in the past scrim day, because they've now moved to NA. They're playing on low ping now, so they're sort of the biggest threat to our POI. But to be honest with you, I'm really not concerned about it. They're only in one set of our Group Stage matches. And if we both go through to the winners bracket, then we'll just fight them for Overlook. We've got a few ideas as how as to how we can do that. I feel confident going into that fight."
JLingz are prepared to fight for their POI's at LAN if needed
Noiises has changed his approach to contesting since London, and JLingz are prepared to fight and defend their POI's throughout the tournament.
"You can go through the Group Stage quite happily and not contest because if you're not in the same group as someone you can get away with it. But when it gets later on like Winners Bracket, you have to be ready for a contest. Even if you don't anticipate it coming, you have to be ready for it. So that's that's the plan. Whether we would flex drop or not... I've played 2 LANs now where I've taken that approach and I've tried to flex drop and it has not gone well for me. So I think for me, personally, it's not a viable option, or at least it's an absolute last resort."
"I will do what I can within the tournament to ensure we make it to finals"
Of course, as teams like Vexed have discovered, sometimes a contest is just not winnable. Noiises is clear that while he wants to defend his preferred drops, winning is his key target.
"Although having said that, there is definitely a point to be made that my goal here is to is to make finals and win it. So at some point I have to be acknowledge the fact that if the contest is not working or something's going drastically wrong. I'm not the type of player to just turn my brain off and just smash my head against the wall and keep fighting for it. I will do what I can within the tournament to ensure we make it to finals. However, my goal is to win the POI and to contest for it."
Coach coldjyn helping lighten the load on Noiises
Another difference in approach for Noiises this LAN is the support of Alex "coldjyn" Nicholls as a coach. Noiises has worked with a coach before, but this arrangement is very different. Formerly of Alliance, and then LANimals, coldjyn is among a wave of emerging analytical coaches in Apex helping teams innovate.
"Previous LANs when I was with IG (Invictus Gaming), we had Anna and she was like a coach/manager. She wasn't the same level of like analyst that Alex is in terms of knowledge in the game.
"The difference really between having a coach or not having a coach, it's mental load for me. Without a coach. I have a lot more weight on my shoulders. A lot more things to do. There is a lot more pressure on me. With a coach I have someone I can turn to. I have someone who can help me. Help me with the little things, who can help me with the big things, who can keep us in line.
"Unless your coach is actively making your team worse, it's a great thing to have. It spreads the load of the IGL. It can help us talk to each other better in a more constructive manner as well as just simple things like scheduling and making sure we understand that the game when it gets updated or making sure that we are prepping to learn the things we need to learn.You can do it all without a coach, it's just much harder."
Will a 'home crowd' increase pressure on JLingz?
Pressure is something that the JLingz roster might have to deal with. Including coach coldjyn, all four of the team are from the United Kingdom and will be therefore in front of a home crowd. Of course, this will not be the first time these players have experienced this atmosphere. All three of the ALGS LAN events this year are based in London. But, does a home crowd mean there is more pressure on British players?
"Good question. Honestly, no, not at all. At the LANs when I have my friends and family there, that's where like the pressure comes from in the sense I want to show them like what I'm about.
"It doesn't necessarily come from the fact that I'm in the UK. It does a little bit, but I'd say it's it's a bit more personal than patriotic. So I would say that having a full UK roster and going into LAN with that is is really cool in the sense of like it's nice to know that we all live close. We're all very similar in the sense that we're all just young, British boys. But I wouldn't say there's like a massive sense of, OK, it's in London. This is our home crowd probably partly because in general most Apex fans are Americans. So they don't even necessarily know about the British teams."
Noiises feels a close connection with British Apex fans
Noiises has built a close knit community over on his Twitch channel. This includes a lot of the British ALGS Challenger Circuit scene. Noiises feels like knowing the crowd also helps to reduce the pressure he feels.
"I noticed that at previous LAN all the all the people that came up to me were part of the British community and part of my streams or a part of my teammates streams. Or they were CC (Challenger Circuit) players or other pro players. I knew them, so it didn't feel so much like there was, let's say, a big fan base of British players. It felt like they were actually just like friends of mine. Whilst I would say the fans that were there, they were from America or they they were there cheering for other teams. It almost felt better because it was quite a a tight knit community. All the British people who were into Apex and like part of our communities are here. That was quite nice."
Noiises will take to the stage at the Copperbox Arena on July 13th as the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs commences.