Interview with 2017 Guild Ball World Champion, Alex Botts
by midwestwargaming · Published · Updated
That first loss, in the mirror match to Shane Wattie, was kind of a disaster for me. I went in wanting to prove myself to be one of the best players in the world and I was instantly informed I wasn’t even the best Thresher! There are a lot of things I could blame my loss on in that match, but the main truth is that I went for an overly aggressive early game both against and with a captain who’s all about the early game, and it didn’t pay off. I was pretty disappointed in myself, but I had decided beforehand to play the whole LCQ regardless of what happened, and I knew there were enough slots to qualify for Nationals that I could still make it in if I won the rest of my games. So I did my best to rally mentally, and hoped I could get a rematch against Shane later in the weekend. (Sidenote: Tons of credit to Shane. He plays a very clean Thresher and our 1-1 record and his total dominance of the LCQ should indicate to anybody that he’s an excellent player).
So, my roster was only 8 models for Worlds–it had Fallow and Grange during LCQ and Nationals. I never really planned to play Grange since going into SteamCon I felt that Grange was incredibly weak while kicking off and thus he wasn’t worth the gamble compared to Thresher, who doesn’t terribly mind kicking or receiving. I brought those two last models into my list mostly because, if I went to 2 or more losses in the LCQ, I wanted to test out Grange for fun once I was no longer in the running to advance. Over the course of the weekend talking to other top players, I sort of came around to Grange being more playable while kicking than I gave him credit for, but I still hadn’t really practiced him at all. So when I made it to Worlds, the only tournament at SteamCon that was painting-required for all models regardless of newness, I took out Grange and Fallow both so I wouldn’t have to add them to my Saturday-night painting queue and to hopefully shock or surprise my opponents. It was a suggestion by a friend of mine, Kevin Stewart, and I have no idea if it had any impact, but at least I got a couple extra hours of sleep. Thresher only needs the 8 models I brought.
If you want to hear more thoughts on the game from Alex Botts check out his podcast, Strictly the Worst
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