Project Player interview #9 Lord Enz



Hello Friends and welcome back to OU player of the week er- I mean player interviews! Interviewing influential players and users to get some insight in how it is from the top of leaderboards. This week, WCOP star-

Lord Enz

Lord_Enz


Favorite pokemon: :Tornadus-Therian: Tornadus-T
Most used pokemon :Toxapex: Toxapex
Best known for: Nearly Flawless WCOP run, OST finals​

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Hi Lord Enz, how are you doing?

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I'm fine how about you?

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im doing great thanks:) How has this post/ almost out of pandemic life been treating you?

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A lot better than during the time of the pandemic, though it still didn't have that big of a difference for me, as I was mainly busy studying for university to be honest. But in the near future I will be able to enjoy it to the fullest I think.

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Oh yeah I had a similar experience of doing Uni during the height of the pandemic and it was pretty painful personally, but its nice to hear things are starting to return more and more normal there
But would you like to introduce yourself a little more?

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Of course with pleasure. My name in real life is Lorenz, I am 20 years old and come from the eastern part of Germany. I started playing Pokemon Showdown in 2016 and before that I only played Wifi. I'm actually a pretty new face here on Smogon and therefore haven't had many years of success. Apart from my performance in WCOP, I guess I became more known by making it to the finals of the Official Smogon Tournament this year as someone nobody really knew before

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Yeah I know we will get into more of the tour part in a second but it really is quite an accomplishment, and something that many talented players have tried for years to do
But firstly, as it ended like an hour ago? Did you end up qualifying for OLT cycle 4?

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the Cycle ended recently and I managed to qualify for it. I only had time to qualify in the fourth and last cycle, before that I had to take my exams, but I tried with all my might in the fourth cycle and luckily I succeeded

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Yeah laddering for olt can be such a beast, did you go in with any strats? or just simply- ladder as much as I can

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Laddering for OLT can be really really frustrating for sure . I have to be honest, I didn't think I would put myself under that kind of strain. Regarding the strategy, I can say that there were two main phases for me. In the beginning, my plan was to load very early, very high, so that I could be sure to qualify as early as possible. However, in the middle of the week the games went really bad. I remember loading for a full 6 hours straight on Wednesday and only going up in about 150 points. I was very frustrated and resolved to change my plan. From then on, I loaded quite few games per day, but played them with one hundred percent attention, so I climbed slowly and persistently. And at the weekend before Cycle End I got up early in the morning because there were few people active who I feared would snipe me. So I finally made it to 2076 points on Sunday morning, which was enough to qualify. So to answer the question concretely: I personally approached laddering in the higher Elo range with a lot of planning and careful loading

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its nice to hear how someone who actually qualified did it because a lot of the cycle 1 and 2 qualifiers this year made it seems very easy
But obviously you had a very productive year, I know you talked previously about your OST final appearance but how was the experience as a whole?

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It is difficult to put into words. It was just completely crazy. I mean, I didn't sign up for OST thinking that I was definitely going to compete for the title. I saw it at the beginning much more as an opportunity to finally get into the DLC2 meta, which I actually hadn't done at all before OST. And at some point it started to feel like there were fewer and fewer people left and the games themselves got more and more intense and then i reached quarters, semis and finals and from round to round i got more invested in the run . It was really an insane time that I will never forget. I look back on the time of this run with a smile on my face

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As you should! Many people including myself, have tried to make a run for the same title, and getting to the finals while just trying to get more into the current meta is absolutely bonkers
If im not mistaken, that almost went immediately into WCOP, did you feel that OST influenced you at all?

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Definitely and not only that. I think OST has influenced me a lot more than WCOP, and actually influenced me a lot more than any other time I've had since I started playing this game
I mean it was one of my first big tournament experiences ever

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Yeah of course, but especially because they are both very long and can be draining to play that much, do you think that OST burnt you out at all for WCOP?

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Not for WCOP, but what probably most people on Smogon didn't catch is that I didn't win a single tournament game in the two months after OST. I definitely went kind of 0-6 or something in different tours during April and May 2021, on the one hand definitely because I was burned out from OST, on the other hand because I was also struggling a lot with losing in the finals. It was a difficult period for me and it took me a long time to come to terms with it.These are the main reasons why I went into WCOP with very little self-confidence, which probably seems ironic to the viewer on Smogon, since you would assume that as an OST finalist you can go into your WCOP games with a lot of self-confidence

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Yeah that is very surprising given your great record for WCOP, but also understandable, getting to finals is no easy chore and to lose, even to an amazing player like Empo, can be really tough
You definitely had a great bounce-back though,, at the end of WCOP you had a record of like 6-1? or something insane like that, how did your experience with that compare to OST?

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Well, WCOP is a team tournament, which of course has some differences to an individual tournament like OST. I think both tournament experiences had their advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it's nice not to be on your own, but to have a team around you that supports you and trusts you. On the other hand, it also has the disadvantage that you are exposed to a greater responsibility in a team tournament. To explain what I mean: If you want to bring a team in an individual tournament like OST, which you like and feel good with, but which others would be very skeptical about and you lose, then in the end you only have to be angry for yourself, but you have no responsibility to deliver. In a team tournament, on the other hand, a loss by you is a loss for the team, and if you then bring a team that your teammates have expressed doubts about, then I at least would feel double or triple the guilt if I lose than if I simply get defeated in a Bo3 Series in an individual tournament.

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Yeah Ive always felt like team tours are much more intimidating just due to that face; if you lose it affects more than you, it affects like 10 other peoples chances.

How was it compared to last year? the whole team experience, did people get a long much better or worse?

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I think that this year we were honestly much more mature as a team for the competition. Last year was a first step in the direction of a new generation of German players and above all a brave step, as we also had very little Smogon experience overall in 2020. In the end, however, I think we failed due to a lack of experience in tournament games and the accompanying slight naivety. This year some of the players who were successful last year came back with more experience.Apart from me, where I was able to gain experience at a high level through the OST Run, I also have to mention Felix (gefahrlicherrandom), who took part in both possible team tournaments with SPL and Snake and was not only convincing through his playing ability, but was also able to gain important experience, so that we were able to start with more experience overall and at the same time with many new faces and in my opinion were able to form a much more dangerous team.

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Although I HAD to vote for US South, i was very impressed with the quality that Team Germany has been bringing consistently
Speaking of past years, your performance from this year to last shows incredible improvement, what do you attribute that to?

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Ladder, ladder, nothing but ladder. I've been a laddergrinder ever since I had the ambition to get good at this game. However, I was very unhappy with my performance last year. While I think some things ended up looking more unfortunate than they ultimately were, overall I don't think I was a good player back then and WCOP was a huge loss for me in 2020. I was very frustrated and angry about that and out of that anger developed an incredibly intense will to convince others of my abilities. So I started to ladder. These sessiond were sessions of the highest intensity. I calculated after the OST run that from the beginning of the run in early January to the end in March, I played a little over 2300 games on the ladder. That's just for OST, not including the grind after WCOP 2020

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Thats crazy hahahah so many people say the ladder is garbage so it interesting to hear your thoughts. Do you have any favorite teams you could share with us?

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:melmetal: :weavile: :Landorus-Therian: :zapdos-galar: :Toxapex: :garchomp: (Click Here)
This is a team I built for the OLT playoffs. Zapdos-Galar is a mon I've been thinking about for a while, for the simple reason that it's kind of the only mon that can take advantage of the exceedingly high usage rate of Landorus in the current OU. The principle is pretty simple: you have a mon on your team that Landorus should have a pretty safe entry on (in this case, that's Garchomp, which also hardly has good ways to break a Landorus), then when you're in with that mon you pull a Double Switch on the upcoming Landorus and your opponent is in a bad spot, unless of course he has something like Kanto Zapdos on his team, but that's not very common to be honest. The intimidate gives you +1 Attack on Zapdos and then if you read correctly you get a kill. The rest of the team is basically a solid balance . If I really get into the matchup against an opposing Kanto Zapdos, I have Toxic on Melmetal as a Lure on the one hand and a more defensively invested Garchomp, which should have a good entry on it. Toxic Spikes on Pex is mainly for opposing HO builds and especially weather teams like this typical Volcanion Barraskewda Rain, which has a lot of trouble with Toxic Spikes laid. Otherwise SD Weavile for a little more speed and to have an additional Win Con and of course with the move Triple Axel (please don't play Icicle Crash). I think this is a pretty solid team overall, which I still think is usable, even though it was created at a time when Hail wasn't often used as a playstyle, so it has trouble holding up against Hail because you have to try to get Arctozolt under control with Lando and Melmetal.

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Beautiful:) I think that covers it! Thank you so much for talking to me today it was very enjoyable! As my last question Ill ask you; what advice do you have for new players looking to start a successful tour “career” (for lack of a better word)

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I would basically say that just constant contact with the game itself is necessary. This can happen, as it did for me, through intensive laddering, but also something like watching replays of great Smogon players, reading the Smogon Forum threads or anything in that way establishes a lively contact with the game. I also think it's very important to reflect on the reasons for a defeat. The game offers a lot of frivolous excuses to settle for after a loss due to the implemented random chances and factors such as matchup. I think it's necessary to look for the mistakes in defeat first and foremost in oneself. Obviously, you also lose games only by hax or matchup and you actually did everything necessary on your part, then there is nothing wrong with categorizing these games as such. However, I think that too many players are very quick to point to hax or matchup after defeats, even though there were a lot of things they could have done better. Approaching this game with the right mentality is, in my opinion, the biggest factor of success on Smogon

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Thats really good advice! I remember reading an interview Bloo did that has a similar philosophy and I really think is some of the best advice for new people
Any shoutouts you would like to give?

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Definitely shoutouts to my friend and trailblazer Wings of Night better known as Zuchtrest. He was the first player to impress me with his way of playing this game and motivated me to get better at it. Also to ABR, as I have constantly watched his games in major tournaments over the years and have great admiration for his accomplishments and for his way of playing this game. And of course the biggest shoutouts go to all my close German friends who contributed to these achievements, such as Xray,Dragon Claw, GefahrlicherRandom, Max and Max, Serpi and everyone from our close German Discord Jerk, I don't need to shout out everyone there, they will know they are meant. Also Shoutouts to my closest companion Helping Hans, you are the standout in my time spent with this game, you have expanded my view of this game a thousand times in the past and still do today, hopefully a soldier will get to his destination someday


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Thanks so much to Lord Enz for a great interview, as per usual drop any extra questions down below and make sure to check out the upcoming interviews!​
 
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You say you played intense laddering sessions, playing a lot of games. What’s your approach to those laddering sessions? Do you just spam games or take time to review them or such things?

congrats on becoming such an important figure in the Tournament scene in sich a short time.
 
  1. Most memorable game you've played yet? What made it that way?
  2. Do you enjoy listening to music? If so, what kind?
  3. Do you play any games other than mons?
Very interesting interview, and I hope to see more of your games in the future!
 
Welches Team hat gegen uns im Finale verloren nachdem wir nächstes Jahr die Weltmeisterschaft gewonnen haben?
Preferably Northeast or South, Germany still has a score to settle with both :)
Welche Trophy würdest du am liebsten gewinnen?
OLT for sure. It is the greatest achievement for a Ladder Hero to sit on that throne.
Talon oder Glurak?
Just because Advancedship kills me otherwise I have to say Talon here, but you know best that I also associate a lot with Glurak.

Nie wieder kyurem oder nie wieder clef corvi pex?
Not an easy question, because it works best together. Currently, I could rather imagine never to bring Kyurem again.

How many games of AMQ do you think you've played over the last year? What is your opinion on "Is it Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?" (and is it actually wrong to do it)
certainly not as much as you think, since my tryharding in amq consists of downloading all the shit onto an mp3 player to learn other lists lol. Danmachi really is not a good anime but unfortunately I know for sure that I will watch the fourth season anyway. I don't know if it's wrong because this damn anime doesn't know how to answer this question itself.....I guess you can find the answer in the Bible or the Koran.

How based is the Cockery?
Based af, so based that there should be a Cockery Meetup sometime, i would be down for it! (you guys are a nice community, im happy to be a little part of it)

You say you played intense laddering sessions, playing a lot of games. What’s your approach to those laddering sessions? Do you just spam games or take time to review them or such things?
First of all, thanks for your congratulations!
That's honestly a pretty good and interesting question. So first of all, I want to make it clear that I'm generally more likely to "click" on the ladder than in tour games. If you tried to approach ladder games exactly the same way, you wouldn't last long, because setbacks, for example, would drag you down a lot more. On the other hand, you can't take ladder games too lightly, because if your intention is to improve as a player on the ladder or to become more confident with a team, then something has to stick and you can't just carelessly click any aggressive moves without any sense or reason. So, to answer the question in a way that makes sense, you have to both spam games and think about plays, matchups etc, but I tend to think that thinking about these games helps you a little more with improving your skills. Basically, laddergrinding is a process of constant repetition that locks certain sequences into your brain. This can also be done just by clicking, but then it takes longer, according to my impression.

Do you like samurott and the fact it 6-0s teams
Is that a fact? O.o
 
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Most memorable game you've played yet? What made it that way?
Probably the round of 16 in OST against Watashi G1(https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-545027). I think that overall, together with the game against Dflo in WCOP 2021, was my best performance. I had to play with a Bulky Offense quite poorly set up against fat Setup Mons, against a completely insane team of Watashi with 4 Pressure Mons, any one of which could sweep me if I gave them even one turn more than i should. I misread once in this game when I knocked on a Zapdos with Weavile. That being said, I really think almost every turn has been accurate by me and maxed out the odds for me to somehow prevent his mons from getting enough turns. Also quite funny to see how in the middle of the game I really save every single Thunderbolt PP from Koko and every single Sludge bomb PP from Slowking to avoid getting completely stalled out. And at the end it's still super close and I just manage to kill the Suicune with Band Weavile.

Do you enjoy listening to music? If so, what kind?
I listen to a lot of music yes, even while playing tournament games on smogon. In terms of genres it would probably be easier to ask what I don't listen to honestly lol, I'm not the biggest jazz fan but other than that I really can develop a musical fascination for almost anything. My playlist contains everything from german hardcore underground rap to highly pitched anime soundtracks, pop, rock, American Hip-Hop, electro music, etc.

Do you play any games other than mons?
I actually have a great fascination for chess and have learned to play it quite well by now. I also often play Fifa, as I am very interested in soccer overall. Apart from that, though, I play pretty non-competitive games, mostly open-world role-play games like Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, Assassins Creed etc.

Very interesting interview, and I hope to see more of your games in the future!
Thanks man, it makes me glad to hear that!

how do you deal with the tilt and frustration that can come from laddering?
Huh???? Which tilt? Laddering only is fun!
Jokes aside, of course I understand what you mean. This is essentially what I mean when I say that the path to getting better solely through laddering is not for everyone. You also have to be somewhat made to be a ladder hero, as a high willingness to grind is the absolute basic requirement. Personally, I am simply not a very emotional person, my emotional investment in the games on the ladder is zero. I am on the ladder kinda like a robot, which goes emotionless from one task to the next and someone who feels both in a victory, as well as in a defeat almost nothing, cant be tilted. This is not the case for all ladder heroes, but I think all ladder heroes are connected in that they can hardly or not at all be tilted in the long run. Apart from that, to give some tips and not just philosophize, it can help to ignore opponents and spectators, because provocations from the opponent and his goons often bring great tilt potential, then best activate the button for Ionext and just try to take the games seriously enough that you learn something from it, but not so seriously that a defeat really hurts you that much.
 
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Can I have broken team for laddering? Everyone is bullying me since I dropped from 1900 to 1700 pls halp
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/kings-rock-suspect-test-preparation-peak-1721-30-0.3688600/
Well i can recommend the teams of this guy, he seems to be a genius :)

phantom or vandal?
Phantom to spray through the smoke, Vandal for short bursts of tap fire. Personally I think the Phantom is better


Top 5: animes, anime characters, and openings/endings.
Top 5 Anime:
1.Monster
2. Ghost in the Shell
3. Hajime no Ippo
4. Samurai Champloo
5. Rainbow

Top 5 Anime Characters:
1. Johan Liebert
2. Kazuya Miyuki
3. Kakuzu (Naruto Shippuden)
4. Jin (Samurai Champloo)
5. Wolfgang Grimmer

Top 5 Openings:

1. Vinland Saga Op1
2. My Hero Academia S3 Op1
3. Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Op1
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
5. Tower of God

Top 5 Endings:

1. Monster Ed 1
2. Samurai Champloo
3. Bleach Ed 1
4. Jujutsu Kaisen Ed 1
5. Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex (Lithium Flower, idk which of both it is)
 
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What's your favorite "unmon" to use? And we all know how wild the ladder can get, what's the craziest / most interesting tech you've seen while grinding to the top?
 
What's your favorite "unmon" to use? And we all know how wild the ladder can get, what's the craziest / most interesting tech you've seen while grinding to the top?
Once i saw a Regiliki set, that only had Thunder Cage as an attack and the set was like Protect/Sub/Spin/Thunder Cage and it was combined with Tspikes and did nothing more, than stalling the T Spikes Damage with tecting and subbing, that shit was crazy.

Favourite moments from the meetup?
Watching German Trash TV with Zuchtrest and tackling Xray in the football games. Also when the drunk Xray and I brought Zuchtrest to the train stop at 6 o'clock in the morning was really crazy experience.

How many others did you troll 2 years ago into believing you were Zucht
Well i guess everyone on that strange Server Leru invited me to back then, but i guess most of the people there didnt give a fuck at all about it lmao


Favourite sm playstyles you laddered with
Well the starting point of my whole ladder experience was the time with these AV Mag, Tapu Lele, Mega Mawile Teams, these were like super braindead bulky offenses with a lot of potential for predictions. Especially that Mawile with 4 different attacks will have a place in my heart forever, you have 4 different moves and in theory you hit every mon of the opponents team very hard, you just have to read the right play, thats what i learned these times i guess. But I think the most fun time was when Freestylerking, also a German legend, came back briefly and built SM teams and then laddered with them, I also played some of them in the call on the ladder and I actually laughed myself to pieces, because Freestylerking is just the funniest guy ever. (Please come back)
 
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What is one player that you look up to in the tournament scene today?
I have always been looking up to ABR scince i started to improve in this game he's one of the absolute few players on Smogon whose games I really watch on a regular basis. He dominated that scene, in a really impressive way, there's something breathtakingly confident in his whole style of playing that never fails to impress me. I think his achievements speak for themselves, I think everything has been said about a Smogon Tour title defense, an OST win and his Overall Team Tour Record.
 

blce

can you see me?
Top 5 Anime:
1.Monster

Top 5 Anime Characters:
1. Johan Liebert

Top 5 Endings:
1. Monster Ed 1
100%GXE you're gonna like this
great top 5s!

i'm a little late here, hi there fellow monster enjoyer and congrats on all your tournament success!

1. what's your fave arc and/or moment from monster?
2. what inspired you to start playing seriously/taking a greater interest in improving?
3. if you don't mind sharing, what's the best/favourite team you've built and why?

always a joy and inspiration to watch your gameplay and teambulding brother, keep it up! :heart:

we could lose it all, but we'll go down fighting~
 
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1. what's your fave arc and/or moment from monster?
Episode 49 for sure never seen such a dark theme in any other anime, this episode was a masterpiece. But regardless of that, the anime actually kept me captivated through all the episodes and I've never seen anything on a similar level again.

2. what inspired you to start playing seriously/taking a greater interest in improving?
The trigger was the OLT run of Zuchtrest 2018, it inspired me a lot that at that time an absolute german random could win such a big tournament for himself. That was the time when I wanted to get better myself, to maybe create something similar at some point. It's essentially the idea that even as someone who is completely unknown and doesn't participate in the community, you can still get to a superior level of playing quality simply through an incredible will to grind. That's very inspiring for me.

3. if you don't mind sharing, what's the best/favourite team you've built and why?
Unfortunately, I can't share the team as a friend of mine built it and it's not meant to be shared with the general public, but it's definitely the Kyurem/Gastrodon stall I loaded OLT with this year. This team is really a masterpiece.

always a joy and inspiration to watch your gameplay and teambulding brother, keep it up! :heart:
Thanks man it makes me very glad to hear!
 

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