In this installment of the Interview Series we talk to [SK] Effect head of the Player Unknowns Battlegrounds Squad
o Tell us about yourself! How old are you? Where are you from? How did you get started with gaming, and what brought you towards PUBG?
Hello! My name is Kevin "EffeCt" Laird. I am a 30 year old father of 3 boys, and currently live in South Carolina. I got my real start in gaming around 1999 with StarCraft, and when Halo 2 came out discovered I had a more natural talent at FPS games. I've had a want for a new type of game, with freedom to make more choices based on preference. PUBG gave me an opportunity to grow into a more complete FPS gamer, and has made me into a top tier shot caller. The way my heart races every game when I get into a firefight keeps me hooked.
o I understand you played Rainbow Six Siege competitively. How was your time with that game? Tell us about some of your accomplishments.
I was never a pro R6S player but in the 3 short months I played it, I reached gold rank with around a 3.5 K/D. I was a semi-pro in Halo 2 and Halo 3, having top 10 finishes in several 2v2 and 4v4 seasons on Gamebattles. I have reached top 250 in PUBG duos but know I can easily break top 100 with enough hours this season.
o Did you find the transition from Rainbow Six Siege to PUBG particularly difficult or did your skills transfer over naturally?
The transition between R6S and PUBG was difficult, mainly because when PUBG first came out it was a 3rd person only game. Being an FPS player and as R6S was first person (and much much better optimized), I had to grind a lot of games to feel comfortable with the changeover.
o The game has exploded over the last couple months; over the last 24 hours, Steam has reported a 2 million player peak. What do you think has contributed to the success of the game?
PUBG has been so successful because of Twitch, consistent patches, and a development team that cares about the direction of the game. New weapons, maps, vehicles, skins, etc... are a nice way to keep that community interest intact. I think PUBG is the most realistic battle royal game out, and it shows in the amount of people playing.
o What is your initial strategy at the beginning of a match? Do you have a particular area on the map that you favor?
My favorite strategy is to jump to a known vehicle spawn area and take a vehicle to a medium-large city that would have been impossible to reach by parachute. Ideally, I got to Military Base, Pochinki, or West Georgopol. I don't mind an early fight, but I feel like my team has a better chance of getting into the top final 10 if we have more time to loot and prepare. Early fights are very distracting and if your teammates get downed or killed, you're either alone or a much smaller band for the remainder of the game.
o Do you have any tips for beginners who are picking up PUBG for the first time?
-Grind a lot of hours and get to know the map. Geography/topography are insanely important to be familiar with, as you will be able to know where you can drive without flipping your vehicle on a random bump (happened to me a lot).
-LAND IN HOT ZONES!!! A LOT!!! You have to fight a lot to get used to all of the weapons and their recoil. More importantly in some ways, you need to become more comfortable with your breathing and nerves. This game is extremely high stress and pressure, but the more you put yourself in intense situations, the more calm you will become. A racing heart is not conducive to steady mouse aim.
-DON'T CAMP if you want to get better. You will never improve or have a good shot at winning a game if you sit in a house, terrified, for the entire game. Get out there and pick up some frags.
o What is your favourite thing about being a part of SK Gaming?
My favorite thing about SK is how close and nice everyone on the team is. It is a very positive atmosphere and feels like a family. I really enjoy the dedication shown by my teammates in every game they play.
o What can we expect from you and [SK]’s PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds team?
The SK PUBG team will be working hard to get some wins in online tournaments. In the future, if we are good enough and show enough results, we could potentially pick up a sponsorship of some kind that would lead to offline events and invitationals. I believe we have it in us to do it.
o Do you have shout outs?
Shout out to my kids and my beautiful wife. Shout out to everyone in this team for being so welcoming. And last but never least, shout out to 619 for being such a great leader. I'm so happy to be here.