Gods of Boom has always been a mobile FPS with a significant focus on esports. With so many changes coming to the game lately, one of the most substantial being specializations, you're probably wondering what effect it will have on the competitive mode. Luckily, we have the real Gods of Boom legends, with whom to ask all the essential questions. They were at the forefront of the competitive Gods of Boom scene since Season 1, and can shed some light on how new features may impact their tactics during the upcoming tournaments.
By the way, if you're looking to compete on a professional level, you can read the relevant list of tournament rules and regulations here.
Today we're talking to:
Bl4ZE from the team Legionnaire, the MVP of Pro Series Europe.
Gentricks from Elevate, champion of Pro Series Texas, Pro Series Brazil, Gods of Boom Cologne, and the Season 2 Finals, the MVP of Pro Series Texas and Pro Series Brazil.
Ph0rmat, Gods of Boom Tournament caster and analyst, streamer and organizer of esports tournaments.
S_T_A_S_O_N from EDGE Infinity, streamer and organizer of esports tournaments, Pro Series Texas contender.
Optimus from Eanix, the first and so far the only player, who managed to achieve Unstoppable in the Gods of Boom esports tournaments.
What do you think about specializations? What were your first thoughts when you saw the new feature?
Bl4ZE: I think this feature is nice because now you can change the team's gameplay according to the opposing team. Adjusting and getting out of your comfort zone takes time, but I like this new concept.
Ph0rmat: Specializations are a unique feature of the game; it's the next step for the mobile competitive scene and Gods of Boom. From the start, I thought that this is an interesting way to introduce specific roles to the game, whether it's AR-heavy or sniper-heavy. However, it still needs weapon statistics testing.
S_T_A_S_O_N: When specializations were added to the game, I was glad because I like the new gameplay and new settings, and there were no fundamental changes in Gods of Boom for a very long time. Now players can choose gear that will suit their skills and their favorite playstyle better.
Optimus: I think it changed the game in a lot of ways. It gave more opportunities to the player, and those who were weaker in the past can now play better as the game became more balanced. At first, I was surprised. I was excited to see how it fits in, and it seemed fresh at first, but I was expecting it to come in slowly, not in one stroke.
Before specs, every esports player had a specific role on the battlefield with hard-set weapons and equipment. Now, we have loadouts you can switch between right in the game. What opportunities do you think this opens? How will the overall competitive meta change? Do teams need to become more flexible and adapt to a different playstyle?
Bl4ZE: Yes. Before I used to rush only, but now I can show how good I am with the sniper rifle and surprise the enemy team on each respawn. Obviously, the team has to adapt to this new change, but now we have more opportunities and chances to surprise opponents.
Gentricks: Being able to switch roles in the game can help to adapt to the enemies’ playstyle if the current tactic isn’t working. The meta will change depending on what specialization is more well-rounded, which means that teams have to be flexible in their roles. You can’t play like you used to anymore. The roles in my team haven’t changed much, but with a new player on the team, we need more time to practice to figure it all out.
Ph0rmat: I believe, with the new specializations, Gods of Boom restricts players even more. The match-ups now are more strategic regarding the maps you pick and ban, as well as the weapons you chose. The AR has been known to thrive in the competitive scene, and restricting the primary weapons down to two means the teams have to be more in sync with the roles they need to execute and objectives they need to complete. You will see more substitute players and new team members.
S_T_A_S_O_N: The team play became even more critical in esports mode because the success depends on which loadouts your teammates play with. The ability to change loadouts during the match forces you to adapt to the situation on the battlefield, while your choices determine the outcome of the match. Now there is more flexibility in choosing loadouts, but also more responsibility.
Optimus: I think players must play smarter now. You can use any weapon in different ways, and it can be both good and bad, depending on what situation your team is in, what map you’re playing on, or whether you know how to use the loadout right. We might see good teams lose to non-competitive teams, but it depends on their level of training. The game has changed a lot, and the teams have to learn how to be flexible and how to choose the right specialization. The teams have to adapt to the game, but I think we’ll see the same teams coming to the top in the end.
Have you revised your roles in light of the changes? Will this season's meta differ from last season's meta for your team?
Bl4ZE: We don’t have any specific roles. We are free to use all the weapons we’re good with, which is a good thing because it makes the game more exciting and also gives more opportunities to shine.
Ph0rmat: Meta-changes will have to occur as there were changes to DMG outputs on guns. Our team is still working out the perks and how they affect the way TTK (time-to-kill) works with some of them.
S_T_A_S_O_N: We haven’t set the roles yet, but there is an approximate understanding of how the old ones will change. The gameplay and positioning on the map will change, and the stack of guns will expand.
Optimus: You must know how to use the weapons to be on top. The players who are not as good with sniper rifles must learn how to use sniper rifles because today we have four types of sniper rifles, whereas before we only had one. Meta in my team did not change; everyone will practice with different weapons.
Let's make some predictions. Which spec do you think will be used the most in tournaments? Will players have different specs in different loadout slots, or will they prefer to focus on a single specialization and make various loadouts of it?
Bl4ZE: Sniper specialization is going to be the famous one. Sure, those who trust their skill level will try different specializations at every point of the game. I'm excited to watch how KM, XLNC, Thanos, Ariel, the most unpredictable players in GOB, use them. Also, I think some guys like Nok1a will focus on a single specialization.
Gentricks: I think the Sniper and Assault will be the most used, and I'm sure most will have at the very least, two main loadouts followed by two "just in case" loadouts.
Ph0rmat: Sniper/Shotgun spec will be the most used. There are many options you get from sniper rifles: Scout lets you close the distance, Icebreaker gives you visibility options, and so on. However, with the new AR's like Wasp and Survivor, these overpowered close range guns can work their way in the sniper/AR class easily.
S_T_A_S_O_N: Most likely, the most used specialization will be Recon, the so-called rusher-sniper. Still, I think the loadouts will be used to the max for different situations on the field. Like when you need to repulse the pushing enemy and support the team with Sniper spec from the second row. Also, I think the same specializations with different loadouts will often be used.
Perks play a significant role in defining gameplay style. What are the most critical perks in each spec, in your opinion? Which perks do you prefer: simple ones like a straight boost to Perfect Aim shots, or the quirkier ones that deal with specific conditions like elemental damage or the use of consumables? Why so?
Gentricks: So far, the ones that give you a boost for Perfect Aim or eliminations, even extra damage, are the best in my opinion. You can use them throughout the game compared to consumables, which you can run out of.
Ph0rmat: Straight boost perks will be critical in the game. The perks which promote consumable usage have to be strategically used for a "perfect" play to unfold. If you have one rocket launcher in your lifespan that will give a 5% boost for 5 secs, it would not be as beneficial as a knife elimination giving 5% shield back, or a speed boost to reposition.
S_T_A_S_O_N: I can't name the specific perks since we haven't tested them at their maximum levels yet. But I can say for sure that when putting together a loadout, passive perks must be in balance with perks that depend on the situation, whether it is low health or increased damage to armor after elimination. A perfectly tuned loadout is when there is balance. However, passive perks are working continually, and other perks should enhance the effect, so you have to leave a place for them too.
Optimus: I haven't tested them in-depth yet. I think the perks that increase damage are better than those that increase speed or health, but again it depends on the situation and the map.
In the videos our players send us, we often see that it's unclear as to when's the best time to switch between specs. Sometimes, a quick glance at the game doesn't give you all the info you need to make the right choice. Any tips on that? What's the secondary loadout of your main spec, and how do you know it's time to switch to that secondary loadout?
Bl4ZE: I remember how in the Season 2 Finals, we had one sniper, and RedX had four. They played defensive gameplay, so if we had the specializations then, we'd have had more options to change our gameplay accordingly. As for the specific loadouts, I'm going to use "Sniper (Scout) + Shotgun" as my first loadout, "Sniper (Barracuda) + AR" as my second, and "Shotgun + AR" as my third, to have more options in the game. I adapt my specialization after watching enemy teams for at least a minute.
Gentricks: Switching roles and making the right choice comes with time and practice. It depends on the map and how well you are doing for your team with that loadout. If you're doing good, keep going. But if you need to change something to help the team, then try changing it. You have to do what's best for the team to win.
Ph0rmat: More often than not, tips and strategies have to be set before the match even starts. You have to go into a match with a plan to execute. If that plan doesn't work, you have to have a backup plan. The scoring system hasn't changed, so it's crucial to identify your plan, and at what point to change it. It could be as simple as marking a particular point marker on a map. For example, the first 250 points on a hardpoint would be different than in a "capture" match. My current loadouts are "Porcupine + Daryl's Crossbow", and "Icebreaker + Bastion".
S_T_A_S_O_N: I think the players will know which loadout is best to use only from experience. I chose it beforehand, having in mind the full potential of the specialization. And during the game, I adapt to the situation. I evaluate how the fight goes and either choose Assault and help the team on the front line, or choose Recon with a good sniper rifle and cover my team from the back. Or I can pick a quick sniper rifle and help teammates on the midline.
Optimus: It depends on the map. On the Control Points map, I'd prefer to use Recon. After I catch a point, I can change to Sniper and then protect the point remotely. Or I can start with Sniper and then not let the opposing team take the point. If your team loses a point, you can try to do more damage with Sniper. My main charge is Sniper, for Control Points I switch to Recon to be faster with Scout and be stronger up close with a shotgun. If I see that my team is not good at short ranges, I will switch to Sniper to do more damage to the opponent's team. To know when is the right time to switch, you need to look at what your team needs at that particular moment.
That’s it for the very interesting insights from some of our strongest contestants, we hope you found it useful. If you have any other questions for these awesome guys, be sure to let us know in the comments under the post on Facebook linked to this article, we'll gladly ask them for you.