G2 Esports is back with the second season of Making the Squad, this time following seven Teamfight Tactics players from all over the world. The contestants are competing in different challenges to become an official content creator for G2 Esports along with a $10,000 prize. Yesterday, Daily Esports published its interview with host Ovilee May about the competition.
Daily Esports also had the opportunity to talk to the contestants and ask them about their history with Teamfight Tactics and their experiences in Making the Squad 2. Let’s see what they had to say.
Daily Esports: Everyone in Making the Squad 2 has been playing League of Legends for years. What got you into Teamfight Tactics? What is it about the game that draws you in?
Tani Vargek: I love strategy and thinking games, and of course, I love League of Legends. TFT is a mix of both so I instantly fell in love with it. The second thing I love about it is that you are playing by yourself and not with a team, so, in the end, it’s all up to you.
Tasha Romero: I have been playing League of Legends on and off since season 3. I started playing TFT a month after its release. What I really enjoyed about the game is how much you have to adapt and change to the game since it is always being updated. I also like that it is more strategy-based versus mechanical.
Josh Lawrence: I’ve been playing competitive card games since I was young. Games such as Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, poker, Hearthstone, Dragon Ball Super. Teamfight Tactics has a lot of similarities to drafting in these games, which drew me in instantly.
Katie Willard: I only started playing League of Legends during the Worlds 2019 promotions after I started TFT. The strategy involved in Teamfight Tactics appeals to me as a long-time card game player — plus, you don’t have to buy decks! My favorite part of playing Magic: The Gathering was drafting, and TFT is one huge draft pool. I love that it forces you to adapt at every turn and how you need to manipulate your strategy to get an optimal plan. No two games are the same, so it makes it exciting to challenge myself to improve my competitive nature.
Justan Germano: Teamfight Tactics brings not only longtime League veterans together but also newcomers. With that being said, you don’t need to have years of experience to enjoy what TFT has to offer, and it brings a fresh twist to League characters we know and love in a more relaxed environment. TFT is a way to unwind but still be competitive.
Jacques Hauger: It’s quite interesting because most of the contestants aren’t into playing LoL that much or didn’t play League at all before TFT. For my part, I was always a very passionate League player, and I also enjoyed playing Dota Auto Chess for a bit. So it was kind of obvious that I really liked TFT. Unfortunately, I lost track of the meta quickly and had not enough time/motivation to relearn the game every single patch, so in total, I played way less TFT than the other contestants.
Andrea Valdez: A friend of mine told me to try the new auto chess mode game from Riot Games. At first, I was very disappointed because I thought it was a bit boring because you could not control the champions, but then I got the hang of it and started ranking and actually got good at it. My friend was very good and always beat me, so I got competitive, started to learn all the comps and how the game worked, and managed to get to Grandmaster. What I like most about the game is the thinking process and the ability to manage to finish a creative comp.
We’ve seen a TFT match, curling, magic acts, and more during Making the Squad 2. What was the hardest Making the Squad 2 challenge you’ve had to overcome so far?
Vargek: I would say all challenges were hard in their own way, but for me, I think it was the magic show. I haven’t performed in front of a crowd before, and I had a little stage fright. Overcoming that was definitely difficult for me, but in the end, I was happy with my performance and how everything turned out.
Romero: I think the hardest challenge for me was the magic trick. I didn’t have a lot of time to actually practice the trick. My trick was a little bit easier than others to master, but the difficult part was finding a way to perform it so it was still entertaining. With little time I had to creatively think about how to perform my trick in a way that could still captivate the audience.
Lawrence: The hardest MTS2 challenge for me was definitely the sixth one. The extreme physical exertion is something I have trouble with as I’m very prone to passing out. Fortunately, this did not happen, but it definitely pushed me to my limit.
Willard: The curling was definitely the hardest challenge for me. I do some cardio, but no strength training, and I feel my performance on that challenge really showed it. The other constants were much more athletic than me, so it inspired me to work out more!
The truly most difficult challenge was overcoming myself. It was a shock to be eliminated first, so I had two choices: I could mope around or use my remaining time to make the best of this opportunity. I reassessed myself and got feedback on what I should improve on from the judges to apply myself with. Even though I wasn’t on the show, the amazing G2 social media team allowed me to learn and work with them for a few days. I didn’t “win” the competition, but I ended up winning priceless learning experiences and friends.
Germano: All of the challenges had their way of creating a huge sense of urgency and pressure to perform not only for the task of the day but to continue to be yourself and be entertaining. I would say the biggest challenge was the magic show. We had no clue what trick we were going to perform previously, only had an hour to learn, and had to perform our tricks in front of a live audience. It wasn’t nerve-racking until we found out that it was going to be the first elimination challenge in MTS2. The possibility of being sent home upped the pressure tenfold and everyone was on the edge!
Hauger: The hardest challenge for me personally was the cosplay challenge because I was that kind of guy who really enjoyed seeing other people do cosplay, but I would never ever do one myself. So I really had to get out of my comfort zone, which is a very important experience.
Valdez: The hardest match by far was probably the Woodland Druids arena and obstacle course. This is due to the fact that I sprained my ankle, making it hard to run in the forest. Also, the final challenge was hard as well because I could not express myself as I would like to in my native language.
What type of training did you do to get ready for Making the Squad 2?
Vargek: I didn’t do much other than play TFT and practice because we didn’t know what the challenges were going to be, so we couldn’t really prepare for it.
Romero: I honestly did not have much training prior to MTS2. I honestly don’t think I would have known what to train for especially since all the challenges were random and we had no idea what to expect. I spent a lot of time prior playing TFT to understand the newest set as well as refreshing my knowledge on G2’s organization.
Lawrence: In terms of training, I can’t say I did much aside from play TFT. I had no idea what to expect from the show, and they weren’t budging when I asked about the challenges. I adapt quite well, so I figured whatever we have to do, I’ll just be myself.
Willard: After being selected, most of the “training” I was able to do was schoolwork to prepare for missing a week of classes! I’m a full-time student and thankfully my professors were very accommodating, but everything happened so quickly that I wasn’t able to do a lot. I connected with the other contestants on social media and studied up on TFT, though.
Germano: I approached training for MTS2 with a few things in mind. We had no clue what to expect, so I continued to learn and grow as a TFT player. I kept up to date on all the G2 memes because you never know when you need a banger meme. I also was hoping that physical challenges would be a big part of MTS2, so with my background of being an athlete that would be a breeze.
Hauger: Honestly, I did not prepare at all.
Valdez: I honestly practiced a little of TFT thinking that most of the challenges would be TFT-related, but that was not the case. None were related to the actual game — only the trivia questions. What I also did, which was a bit useful, was to watch all of last year’s episodes, but I was really impressed with the whole new crazy challenges they made us do.
At the beginning of Making the Squad 2 each participant picked a class and origin. What drew you to those choices?
Vargek: I picked Assassin-Electric because I think it’s really strong and underrated at the moment. I can also personally identify with Assassins. I’m not the loudest or the cockiest person in the world; I prefer to let my actions do the talking rather than just talking big about myself. Humble in victory, gracious in defeat.
Romero: Originally, my first choice was to pick Electric because it’s my favorite comp to run in-game. However, another contestant picked electric before me. I went with the next best comp that I knew, which was Light. As for the secondary, I thought about what comp would synergize well with Light, so I picked Summoner.
Lawrence: Woodland Druid is an extremely strong early-game comp that I had been seeing a lot of success with. That’s what led me to choose it. It’s easy to overthink these things, but I just chose the first thing I thought of.
Willard: I chose Glacial simply because my favorite comp is Poison Glacial. In the beginning, we didn’t know if the origin and class would help or hurt us– so I played it safe by not picking Poison. I didn’t want to get poisoned by the competition, after all! Jokes aside, I also thought that Mystic may be more helpful due to the in-game effect of increased magic resistance. Who would have thought it was actually a buff in the magic challenge?!
Germano: I chose Desert as my origin because it was really cold in Berlin and there was the possibility of it helping in a challenge due to the warm nature of the origin. As for my class, I chose Berserker as it suits my play style and personality to a T.
Hauger: I chose Inferno Blademaster and didn’t even think about that very much. I just picked what seemed cool to me, and maybe Inferno would come in handy because it was pretty cold in Berlin.
Valdez: I honestly picked Ocean Mage because I thought they would make us use the cards in the TFT game for some reason, and that is one of the strongest comps of the game. I had no idea of the challenges so I could not have known the usefulness of the cards, but I also thought they could make us interpret our cards physically and that is why I thought those cards could come in handy.
What’s the most memorable event from the trip that didn’t make it into the show?
Vargek: I think the episodes don’t show exactly how close we all got, and how much we helped each other during the whole competition. We all got along and had the same ambitions and interests, so it was hard when someone was eliminated and had to leave. We all just wanted to hang out more and stay together as much as possible.
Romero: One of the most memorable events would just be the overall exploration of Berlin. We had some free time to navigate the city, and we found ourselves getting lost a few times but we still had fun. Overall, I just enjoyed all the time I got to spend with the other contestants and how close we all became. We have become a family essentially.
Lawrence: Hanging out with the other contestants during the off days was super fun. Everyone in the house and from G2/production was so friendly, and letting loose and partying with them was a blast. Work hard, play hard, right? Of course meeting Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez Santiago was also a huge highlight for me; he’s such a unique character and his outlook on life is inspiring.
Willard: The off-camera bonding time was the most memorable experience for me. The contestants and I had a number of very meta conversations about how scarily well we all got along despite being so different from each other. Whether it was late-night conversations about the direction of someone’s life, being tourists around Berlin, or the emotional downtime right after an elimination — all of it was precious to me. We still keep in touch daily with our group chat and plan to have reunions, co-streams, and make other content together. Being able to work with people like Carlos, Karina, Ovilee, and the G2 socials team who I’ve followed for years made a dream of mine into reality.
Germano: The most memorable part of being on MTS2 was not only when we were on camera but also off-camera. I had a plan to be ruthless but everyone became friends super quickly despite the competitive nature of the show, and that threw us all off guard because we never expected that to happen to that capacity. We just jelled effortlessly — you can’t make this stuff up! We will be friends for life!
Hauger: The most memorable events were probably the days off. Because we all grew together as a team and became friends really quick, we always had a ton of fun hanging out with each other.
Valdez: The most memorable event was probably going out with all the crew to explore Berlin on our own. We got to know the city and bond really close. We got lost and had a lot of fun dancing and trying out the amazing Burgermeisters. Definitely an experience that I will never forget.
There you have it! Seven awesome contestants all competing to become the newest G2 Esports member. Make sure to follow G2 Esports to see who takes home the prize in Making the Squad 2 and follow Daily Esports for all your esports news!