“I Expected us to 3-0” – An Interview With LA Guerrillas’ Silly

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“I Expected us to 3-0” – An Interview With LA Guerrillas’ Silly

We spoke to Silly ahead of the Guerrillas Home Series event.

Just before the start of Stage 2, ESTNN had the opportunity to speak with the Los Angeles Guerrillas, Justin “Silly” Fargo-Palmer. We discussed their roster, their SnD success and the Map Pool for this year. The full video interview can be found below.

The Guerrillas roster this year consists of yourself and Assault who both came from Minnesota Rokkr, Apathy from Seattle Surge and Vivid who was already here at LAG. What are your thoughts on the roster and how did it initially come about?

“I'm born and raised on the West Coast in the US. So I had my eye on the Guerrillas as soon as I knew we weren't going to be on the Rokkr. I thought Vivid was a great player, he's a great up and comer, definitely a player that could be molded into a serious superstar. And obviously, the history is there with Apathy. He was pretty much our best option in choosing a fourth and I like our team dynamic so far.”

Reflections on the past and present

Yourself, Assault and Apathy won the 2018 World Championships together. How does it feel to be teaming with two former teammates again?

“It feels great. A big thing for me is having players that work hard. Then you don't really have to worry about them not playing or not trying and things like that, which are things I've definitely dealt with the past couple of years on my 5v5 teams. Obviously, keeping four players on the same page is also a lot easier than keeping five players on the same page. So I'm just glad, you know, I've got some grown men on my team that want to work hard.”

Your World Championship win came in the last 4v4 COD, WW2. What are your thoughts on the return to 4v4 and how much does it differ to 5v5?

“4v4 and 5v5 are like night and day for me, I feel like every 5v5 game plays completely different. It's a lot less structured, it's a lot of just running and gunning and getting kills. Honestly, it feels like an entirely different game in 5v5. I'm glad it’s back to 4v4 for sure. It definitely fits my playstyle and my teammates' playstyles a lot more so, finally, it's back.”

Looking at LA's dominance

Your fundamentals have looked great this year. Is that due to the experience on this roster or have you all been grinding more than ever to improve this year?

“We definitely have grinded a lot. Adam [Assault] and I are definitely really big on playing fundamentally correct. We like to have a game plan of how we want to play every map. We have routines of how we want to play every situation. So obviously that comes with time. I think our fundamentals definitely showed in our SnD for sure, which, being a really weak game mode for us last year. I feel like if our SnD is good, the respawn will eventually come along. So we're right where we want to be.”

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You’re 3-0 on Raid SnD with yourself having the second-highest K/D on that map and mode at 1.82. Why is your Raid SnD so good?

“I've been playing Raid since Black Ops 2, so I've had a lot of time to practice on it. But really it's just a good map. I feel like if we have good maps, the game modes just play better. It kind of sucks to say that Raid is probably the best map in this game, considering its however many years old. But, that's pretty much what I’d put it down to, it’s just a good map that makes a lot of sense.”

Your 3-0 win over LA Thieves shocked a lot of fans. How did you execute such a dominant win over your local rivals?

“First things first, I think we had a pretty good map set going into that, if I had to pick out of those three maps for them to win, I would have said it was the game one. And once we won that game one, I was kind of expecting us to 3-0. I feel like they didn't do a ton of research on us beforehand. Maybe took us a little bit lightly and it definitely paid off when we were doing our vetoes.”

The SnD win came in a 5-2 comeback on Raid. What was going through your mind before, during and after the comeback?

“We honestly shouldn't have been 5-2 down in the first place. We had choked a few rounds ourselves beforehand, lost a couple of really, really tight rounds. So when it was 2-5 I was like, dude, this is Raid, we can adapt and we can come back on this map for sure. And then round by round, we started adapting. They ran the same strats a couple of times, so as soon as we saw presence on one site, we just rotated for it. And then we ended up clutching up on that 5-5 round on a 4v4 retake.”

You’ve played teams such as OpTic Chicago and Atlanta FaZe really close this year. Do you think with a few improvements you could be challenging for the top six?

“Absolutely, I actually already have us in top six in terms of how the teams are right now, obviously I'm a little biased, but yeah, we're definitely going to be on an upward trajectory all year. We're definitely not going to slow down. None of us are players that are going to slack off or not try to improve day by day. So, when you can look at a hardpoint, against FaZe or something and see five huge mistakes we made and we're losing by 30, 40 points, I think those are definitely things that can be touched up. If we can start closing out these respawns, I think we’re going to be a tough team to beat.

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Opinions on maps

You mentioned the maps earlier, would you like to see Express and Apocalypse introduced and do you like the thought of changing the map set during the season?

“I'm always open for new maps being added. I played Apocalypse yesterday for the first time against an actual team. The overhead looks pretty good on the map, but I feel like it doesn't play very fluidly. It reminds me of a World at War map with a lot of rocks everywhere and a lot of random buildings and stuff. Not a big fan of that. If we were to get Express added in, I think it’s good for Search, but not much else. I’d definitely be open to that, though.

What are your thoughts on the change to Crossroads P4?

Silly: “I think everybody had the same idea about Crossroads, why is this hill in the middle of the map, at the bottom of the cliff? We haven't lost it since we've been playing on the new patch. I feel like it actually might play a little bit better surprisingly, not that Crossroads is a great hardpoint map by any means. But I feel like the entire Crossroads map beforehand we used to worry about just holding those back spawns for the entire map. Now it makes it a little more fluid, you can rotate around and you can flip out and stuff and not have to worry about it too much. So actually kind of like it.”

Personal rivalries

Finally, who do you think are your biggest rivals this season?

“On a personal level, Rokkr are obviously going to be my rival. I'm going to do everything in my power to beat them every time I play them, just because I’m not on the team anymore. I love Rokkr, but, you know, I just got to take them out.

FaZe is an obvious clear rival, Alec [Arcitys], one of my old teammates, he's on that team and he's definitely had the upper hand on me the past couple of times. We haven't played Dallas yet either. They’re another one on my list who I really want to play. So looking forward to that.”

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Charlie Cater
Charlie "MiniTates" Cater has been an esports writer since May 2020, specialising in Call of Duty. He is also a University Student studying esports.