Hot on the trail of their North American success, Witness Gaming has recently acquired FAINT’s European roster. Witness Gaming’s first steps on a new continent will thus be made by a team with a lot of high-level experience, who managed to retain the majority of their players from their last incursions into Premiership. With Copenhagen Games 2022 on the horizon as well as well as a strong desire to be crowned champions after their latest attempt ended with them in second place in a Grand Final that went to 4 maps (and one Golden Cap), Witness Gaming are looking like one of the heavy-hitters of Season 40.
Hugo and Opti will be continuing their tenure as the Soldiers of Witness Gaming, with Hugo on Pocket and Opti on Roamer, as per usual. Having played together since the inception of FAINT in Season 37, they possess superb coordination, especially noticeable during their elaborate sac-waves. Hugo has kept busy, mercing for Ora Elektro during last season’s Grand Final and had a strong performance on Roamer there, while Opti has spent their hiatus outside the public eye, perhaps thinking of cryptic names for future fragvideos.
YeeHaw and mak are also staying on their usual roles of Flank Scout and Demoman respectively. The two of them have a fair amount of shared history, having both reached the top level thanks to a successful Division 1 campaign during Season 31 with The Theorists, and being able to convert that into a more-than-theoretically impressive 5th place finish during Season 32 and at Copenhagen Games 2019 (both now also featuring Opti). While mak spent Season 39 terrorizing Division 1 players with Club Esteban and getting a bronze medal for their trouble, YeeHaw opted to join Ora Elektro and helped them reach second place, grabbing the “Flank Scout of the Season” award on the way.
We've called on team leader mak to give their testimony
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : What is the collective mindset like in the team, both regarding this season and the longer term ?
Long term, the team is built to go to CPHG22 (though with a different Scout in place of toemas). It's a shame it won't be him or Voxi obviously, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. i67 (i69?) wouldn't be too far away after that, so I could see some form of wG roster attending that too.
As for S40, it's definitely a new experience for everyone but toemas to be considered as the front-runner but I don't think that will change anything for anyone - there's no point in letting it get to your head or being weighed down by the expectation that random people have set.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : How did you establish first contact with Witness ? and what do you gain from this sponsorship ?
Hugo wanted to reach out to Witness cause of how apparent it is from the outside how much effort he puts into running his operation. Go check out our dope fragvid and, more importantly, the wG NA LAN fundraiser and you'll see it for yourself. As for what we gain besides what I mentioned, getting a little bit of help to get to LAN eases the burden for us as a team quite a bit. Once we've got a confirmed 6 for LAN (after this season, basically) expect a fundraiser from us, too.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : Any shoutouts you'd like to do ?
Shoutouts to Witness, obviously. Would also like to shoutout Teo (the Swedish guy) and teo (the team). Also follow me on Twitch @ https://www.twitch.tv/mak_tf lololol
Two new recruits will also join Witness Gaming this season : mulaa on Medic and toemas on Pocket Scout. After a successful Season 39 with 4Toast, winning both the title and a “Roamer of the Season” award, toemas will be returning to the class that they made their entry into Premiership with. A regular of French mixes, mulaa was able to make the transition from French to English convincingly, winning Prem with nerdRage during Season 36 (alongside YeeHaw). They are not a complete newcomer to the team, having already featured in the Dreamhack Community Clash 2021.
Witness, owner of Gaming, also accepted to answer our interrogation
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : You've been a common sight in RGL invite for a decent bit of time now, were you always planning on going intercontinental or did you seize a limited-time opportunity ?
Witness Gaming has been a name/brand in RGL Invite for a while! I wouldn’t say I’ve been really active in branching out of NA, but Hugo had approached me on Twitter about how the now former FAINT was looking for a new name, how he really liked how we took an approach to promote talent on Twitter, putting out content and some of the perks that came with officially wearing the wG tags. After talking with Hugo and mak, looking over their previous experiences, and agreeing to some terms we decided to partner together and go into Season 40 ready to post up some fantastic results.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : If the wG NA roster and the wG EU roster were both tied to train tracks and you could only save one, what would you do ?
If I could save both groups and leave mak, that’d be my most optimal line! If not, I think the NA wG roster gets saved only because of my hard solid NA bias.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : Any shout-outs you'd like to do ?
I’d just like to give a few shout-outs to the EU wG roster for being a good group of people and being generous enough to give me the opportunity to help out, XBS for being SUPER clutch with a LOT of the graphic and video work you see on our Twitter. Jay, ether, exile, and a lot of the guys in the Black Swan mumble who I haven’t been able to spend a ton of time with recently, but they really played a huge part in getting me interested, motivated, and confident enough to get to this point in my community projects.
Here to be a lot more than bystanders, Witness Gaming is :
- Pocket Scout: toemas
- Flank Scout: YeeHaw
- Roamer: Opti
- Pocket: Hugo
- Demoman: mak
- Medic: mulaa