Tucks on IEM Sydney: Interview with Chiefs Esports Captain
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We had the chance to catch up with Tucks ahead of this weekend’s IEM Sydney.

Tyler “Tucks” Reilly is the Captain of the Chiefs Esports Club (Chiefs). He and his team have made it through to the group stages for IEM Sydney. In their third time of competing at IEM Sydney, we caught up with Tucks to find out everything we could about this weekend’s IEM Sydney CS:GO action.

The Chiefs have competed at IEM Sydney three years in a row now. After winning the IEM Sydney Derby, they’ve earned their place once again this year. Tucks is excited to play again and believes he and the team are in a much better position than they have been the previous two years:

We [are] a better team, far better. We’re so much more confident, we have better players, we’ve been preparing really well, everything about our team this year is just a lot better… We’re playing every day, 8-9 hours a day, pretty much full time. We’re practicing more, individually, as a team, and doing lots of mental preparation… The biggest thing for us is the past couple of years we haven’t been full time — now we are. We’re putting in a lot of hours, we are smarter players now in general, and we’ve all grown and learned a lot.

Playing against the internationals

The Chiefs will be playing against some of the biggest and best CS:GO talent in the world. Tucks and the team are pumped to go up against the big guns. They are most excited to play against those that will challenge them as well:

I was really excited to play FaZe Clan, but now they have to play two of their subs, so I’m not really excited to play them anymore. But then there’s Liquid — we’re really excited to play against them.

We asked Tucks what he thinks their biggest challenge, or toughest opponents, will be. He said it’ll be all the big teams like Liquid and FaZe Clan. In their particular group however, Tucks thinks they’ll have the toughest game against NRG. Time will tell if they can defeat these and get through to the final stages.

Goals to achieve

As this is the Chiefs’ third time at IEM, Tucks and the team are really gunning for the quarter finals this time around. When we asked Tucks what place they’d be happy with, he responded very bluntly:

I’ll only be happy if we make the quarter finals! Ultimately our [goal] is to make the playoffs. We want to play on the stage in front of our home crowd, and it’s something I’ve been working towards for the last three years.

We asked how happy he would be if the team got to the playoffs. Tucks of course said he’d “be so happy!”

Home crowds and winners

The Chiefs aren’t the only Aussies competing at IEM Sydney. There are the Renegades and Grayhound as well. They are both Aussie crowd favorites. Tucks isn’t really fazed by this though. He says both teams have been working really hard and deserve to be there. The crowds respond really well to Aussie teams, and Tucks believes if they make the finals, then they’ll have the crowd to back them too. We know we’ll be cheering from the crowds if the Chiefs get to the final stages!

Many teams have performed valiantly in the past at IEM Sydney, and we think the Chiefs will do well this year. We asked Tucks who he thinks will win this year’s IEM (aside from the Chiefs of course!):

I would love Renegades to win. They’ve been playing really good CS:GO and I think they have a really good chance, and they are very capable. [However] it’ll probably be Liquid — they’ve been really strong for the past year and a bit, or FaZe.

Esports in Australia and IEM Sydney

Tucks believes esports in Australia has “blown up. We still have a long way to go, but everything is just so much bigger.” We’re sure IEM Sydney is another great step along the Australian esports journey. Who knows? Maybe Australia will be in a position one day to have an event as big as IEM Sydney with all Aussie orgs! We wish Tucks and the team all the best for this weekend.

If you’re in Sydney for the weekend, grab a ticket to watch Tucks, and plenty more CS:GO teams. Lots of tech will be on display to check out; plus, there’s the Overwatch Contenders Australia to watch as well. Although, Tucks says he “hates Overwatch! It’s the worst game in the world.” Well, if you don’t share his sentiments, then you’ll be excited to watch some top Overwatch competition at IEM Sydney.

If you can’t get to Sydney for the event, watch all the action live on Twitch. Tune into us and we’ll keep you updated with interviews from IEM Sydney.

Michelle is a Content Producer in the realms of innovation and technology. Known as the “Hackathon Queen” 👑 you'll often find her on stage MC’ing or speaking on a range of topics from artificial intelligence, to business, community engagement, the future of work, and esports. With a background in both science and arts, Michelle writes extensively on a range of topics including innovation, startups, corporate culture, esports, business development, and more. She has a passion for gaming and combines this with her experience in a range of industries. Michelle brings a unique insight into esports innovation and draws many parallels between the physical world of sport, and the digital world of esports.