Free Fire Pro League is a one of its kind tournament that aims to refresh the competitive scene by giving opportunities to younger teams to compete with the older, experienced ones. In this tournament, Team Elite also showed us a “one of its kind’ performance by dominating the lobby on a whole new level. They had a lead of more than a hundred points, which is absurd. We spoke to them about the secret behind this performance, to uncover how they are able to do it.
Q. First of all, congratulations on the impressive performance. What is the secret behind this domination?
Iconic: Thank you so much. We are glad we could impress you and all our fans. Our secret actually is just simple maths. We planned to achieve an average of 100 points every day. This is a general principle that we have been trying to follow for the last few months. It started with the FFIC 2021 Spring, where we were able to get 70-80 points every day on average. We started to touch the 90-95 point mark during the Tri-Series, and now we have peaked at the 100 point mark during the Pro League. We will try to keep this consistency up and keep fragging.
Q. In that case, what is the secret behind this consistency?
Pahadi: It’s just a lot of homework and grinding. We have been playing against the same top-tier teams for the last 6-7 months. We basically know about each other’s playstyles. The drop spots haven’t changed, their rotation paths remain the same. We know that our opponents like TSM-FTX will go from Mars Electric to Factory. Galaxy Racer will try to take the northern slopes. Team S8UL will try to spread out and camp on the South-Western slopes of Peak. 4Unknown don’t come near us at the start of the game but they will try to stick to the edges for later. You see, we already know quite a lot about our opponents. And it’s not like these guys change their strategies quite often. So we know how to stop them and how to play against them. It really would be a shame for us if we were not able to dominate even after knowing everything about our opponents.
Q. Since all the teams know each other’s playstyles, how do you not get countered?
Killer: At this point, the teams do tend to avoid early game battles against each other. They all start to move only when the circle forces them to. So you see, none of the teams are actively looking to counter each other, everyone just focuses on themselves. Contrary to popular belief, there are no grudges here. Nobody has the mental bandwidth to hold a grudge or go out of their way to harm someone else’s match at the cost of their own. Everyone just plays according to the circle and tries to get inside the play zone. So no, we don’t exactly get countered. Every top team just focuses on reaching the circle, instead of focusing on countering someone particularly.
Q. So if every team is focusing on just reaching the circle, what’s your formula to get into it? If you are trapped in a situation where you and four other teams are all trapped in the zone, and all of you are trying to race inside, what’s your game plan?
Jonty: Well that is a difficult situation. If all of us are zone-screwed, we will try to look for an escape route. We will look for a way to get away from the crowd, even if it means that we need to go for a longer rotation. Sometimes we might even go outside the blue zone, tank a little bit of zone damage, and then rotate to the zone if it means that we get to keep our players alive. All of this is possible in the first two circles, maybe even the third one, if the rotation isn’t too lengthy and we have enough meds with us. But rotating outside the zone is not possible in the fourth and fifth zones. In that case, we just decide to fight. Sometimes, we do realize that we fall into situations that there is no getting out of. When that happens, we just try to kill as many players as possible to collect points, instead of trying to save ourselves or go for the booyah.
Q. That seems like a lot of improvisation. Do you always improvise or do you go into the game with a certain amount of planning?
Rdp: Not really, sadly. We do need to improvise a lot, depending on the circle and circumstances. We do have some aspects of our plan laid out on a blueprint. For example, our drop locations. We have certain paths that we use to rotate, depending on the circles. Since all of us have been playing together for almost a year now, every member of our team knows the rotation paths by heart. So there are these routes that we use in certain set-piece situations when the circle is predictable to some extent. In other situations where it isn’t predictable, that’s when we use our experience and intuition to come up with a solution on the fly.
Q. Still, other than just drop locations and rotations, there must be some game plan that you rely on, right?
Iconic: Yes, we do have a general rule of thumb. On the first day of the tournament, we try to play for booyahs as much as possible. We are a very momentum-dependent team. If we have a good start to the day, we will be able to perform really well all throughout. If we do not have a good first game, then it kinda ruins the mood and it becomes a bit difficult to get back into the right mindset after all of that. So yes, that’s why we try to focus on winning the booyahs in the early phases of the tournament and secure the placement points. Once we are comfortable with the number of points that we have secured, then we start to go for frags in the later stages of the tournament. That’s our only plan so far for long-term tournaments. Once we do have a comfortable buffer though, that’s when you will see why we call ourselves Elite.
Q. Yes, your team is a force to be reckoned with in long tournaments. You have proven that several times over. Unfortunately, on the day of the finals, or in any single-day tournament, you tend to lose that edge. How do you plan to deal with that?
Pahadi: Ah yes, the curse. We are aware of that. Several casters have praised us quite a lot for our performances during the league stages, but when asked for predictions, nobody chooses us because apparently, they believed that we are cursed to perform well only in the league, and not during the finals. We are hoping to break that curse this time.
Several fans call us the “people’s champion”, some call us the ‘kings without a crown”. Many people make memes about this thing. All of this is fine. We tend to take it positively. We are glad that the people have faith in us. No matter what they say about us, as long as they are talking about us, it proves that we are on their minds. This time we sent a loud and clear message to our opponents about our capabilities. Hopefully, we will break the curse this time and win the title.
Q. Which teams caused problems for you during the tournament?
Killer: There is no particular team as such. 4Unknown, TSM-FTX, and Galaxy Racers created some problems for us during the League Stage because they played really well.
Q. How did Galaxy Racer create problems for you? They are barely in the top 10, they didn’t seem very intimidating statistically.
Jonty: Vasiyo is a genius. There was this one day, I believe it was either Day 5 or 6 when Galaxy Racers performed really well, and they were fighting and killing us very often on that day. They put together 70-something points that day, and we were not able to fulfill our quota of 100 points per day because of them.
Q. Are you expecting the same teams to create similar problems for you during the finals?
Rdp: 4Unknown and TSM-FTX. These two teams are strong and I think fighting them will be challenging in the finals.
During the finals, I think Team Chaos is a more dangerous team. They tend to hide their strategies and perform very differently in Finals as compared to the League Stage. It’s almost like they only put in 60% effort and then crank it up to 100% during the finals.
Q. Are you guys also be changing your strategies?
Iconic: A little bit. Our drop locations and overall strategies will mostly be the same. We will just have a different plan of dealing with the mid-game and late-game scenarios. You can say they will differ around 20-30%. I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t reveal all my plans before the finals.
We are excited to see what these guys have planned for the FFPL 2021 Summer Finals. We are sure that they will be a very exciting team to watch. Catch Team Elite in action on 18th July 2021, at 6 PM IST, on our Free Fire Esports India YouTube channel.