After Hours: An Interview with Wildcard Kickstart

On a typical Monday night, I sat in my chair at my computer desk googling tips and tricks with the Aquarail hena wild KSnKickstart wandered into my DM’s. We started talking, and the next thing you know its 3 a.m. We talked about Wildcard Gaming, esports, and pro tips on how I can improve my ADS on Miramar, not to mention the spicy memes. Join me as I transcribe the events that unfolded as my typical Monday night turned into an extraordinary one.

Who is Kickstart?

My name is Matt Smith; I am a 16 year old PUBG player from a city located on the western side of Kentucky. I have always been a fan of video games but my interest in esports started with the introduction of PUBG.

What is your ideal loadout?

In a perfect world I would have a fully decked M4. I have kinda given up on sniping as my role on the team is a rifleman. Usually i roll with an AK as my secondary in case a car drives by as 7.62 does more damage to vehicles.

How many hours in game do you have to date?


What role do you currently perform for your squad?

I am currently a fragger for Wildcard. I usually have the most kills if you want to say I’m the main fragger.

How has being such a young player affect your Esports career? 

The biggest issue at the moment is my ability to compete in all events. A lot of events have an age barrier of 18 to compete, but many are now lowering that requirement.

Although there are some tournaments that are 18 plus which is very frustrating and in my opinion needs to be changed.

At only age 16 how does one manage school, homework and pro gaming?

I am currently a junior in highschool but earlier this year I had some personal issues, so i decided to begin homeschooling which has lead to a lot of free time for my gaming career.

How do the parents feel about your choice to pursue an Esports career? 

My parents are fine with it, as long as I get my school work done then they don't see a problem with it. The way I look at it is that I am building my career and pursuing what I love to do.

Last question regarding your age, any tips for young players that want to follow in your footsteps? 

The biggest misconception with younger players is that of immaturity and a lack of skill. I guarantee I can outgun 98% of non professional players in PUBG whether they are 14 or 40. Don’t let your age hold you back. Let it be motivation for you to prove people wrong and to improve.

Favorite change or new feature with the launch on playerunknown's battlegrounds 1.0 ?

I have personally really enjoyed the buff to the m4, putting it back at the top of the 5.56 guns. That along with the increased server stability and framerate increase has allowed for a more consistent gameplay experience which really helps when it comes to competitive play. 

You’re currently on Wildcard Gaming, and are performing quite well across the various online leagues. In your opinion, what sets Wildcard apart from other squads? 

I think our playstyle is different from most teams. I can't go into much detail on our playstyle of course, but clearly its working and I think most teams know of the style and I think it's gonna become meta very soon as most teams are switching. 

Speaking of Wildcard gaming you now have joined forces with a former teammate from WhyTemptFatein Ashek. How exciting is it for you to once again play alongside him and does this bring back old synergy for the team? 

It's awesome being able to reconnect with him. Of course the synergy translates over and helps the team as a whole as well as our dynamic as a duo. If we were never on a team together I would not have had this opportunity to join wildcard so i’m very much happy to be back with him.

What are your thoughts on the competitive PUBG scene and its development thus far? 

I think the scene could use a lot of improvement, but recently i think it has gotten better. Almost all leagues have started implement prize pools. A big issue that is holding the scene back from being more competitive is bigger leagues inviting the “biggest orgs” and not the best / most consistent teams. In my opinion this needs to stop. 

I understand the reasoning for viewership but it hurts the competitive integrity of the scene and does not allow all of the best teams LAN opportunities just because they either don't have an org or are in a smaller org. I think invites should be completely on performance and consistency only.

Currently a hot topic for competitive PUBG, do you believe 16 squads are better than 20 with the current meta and why?

My experience with 16 teams is that it's more competitive. Of course there are a lot more places open in the map with less teams so it is slightly easier. It also helps with framerate and server performance. I think 16 teams is much better.

In your experience, is it hard to find action in miramar and how should competitive tournaments format games moving forward ?

In pub games action is hard to find unless you hot drop. But in competitive games i think Miramar has a different play style than Erangel and that is not a bad thing. It makes the best teams work harder and to be the best / most consistent team now you really have to know how to play both maps. 

The format now is mostly a split or one more Erangel than miramar which it seems to be working fine i think the split is good and really shows who the most consistent team is.

Last week you narrowly missed the cut for the upcoming PGL LAN,  coming in third place. How did you feel knowing you had beat so many well known squads that day but fell short by only 6 points? 

It was very defeating losing out on the opportunity to participate in what would have been my first LAN by a kill worth of points. But the only reason we missed out of that was because of multiple mistakes that we have to improve on that will help us in the long run to continue to place well in leagues and go to future LANs. 

As for the part of beating well known squads i think we are known and I wouldn't say this was the first time we have performed above other teams as we are very high placed on pretty much every league as of now. I think it was expected to perform how we did.

Who would you like to meet at a LAN and what would you tell them?

Of course i would like to meet Playerunkown and thank him for this opportunity and changing my life. Meeting all the players that i’ve known for the last couple of months would also be awesome and an amazing experience and then of course my team.


About the author: MustacheDave is a content creator for PUBG.Net and a caster for PUBGOnline. Check him out on Twitter.