Interview: Toumaii on winning Curse Trials, GAMBINO's recent success, TPP vs. FPP, and more

Consistency is key for GAMBINO, who recently took the crown in the Curse Trials December Squads event and are currently considered one of the strongest teams in North America. We spoke with GAMBINO in-game leader Toumaii on shot calling for the team and hitting their latest stride.

Let’s start with your recent victory at Curse Trials. Heading into the tournament, how did you feel about your group? What was your preparation like?

We had just made roster changes and picked up Ashek over l2p_lush. Normally there would have been an adjustment period for the team but we had been playing with Ashek for a long time already, probably longer than lush, so there was no downtime. We did our normal strategywhich is our fishing pier/Primorsk strat and we were not contested on the entire southwest coast for all 5 games.

Did the 2x AR’s have a noticeable effect on the games? Do you prefer the 1.5x setting that is used in most events?

You could certainly tell the ARs were 2x. As a team we probably had over 1,000 5.56 every game. I personally do not care or have a preference between 1.5x and 2x but i do think everyone being equally geared/full on ammo is good for competitive play.

Once you made it into the finals, what team did you look at as your biggest threat?

As always the biggest threat is looting/finding somewhere safe to loot. After game 1 when wewere uncontested we pretty much knew no one was going to come for the rest of the games so that made us feel pretty confident.

You started out strong and played consistently throughout the entire event, as has been the case for your team lately. What do you think has contributed most to your success?

Our biggest contribution to our success has been everyone on the team being on the same page. There is no indecisiveness or wasted time deciding what to do. We play as a unit and rotate quick and efficiently on circle pops. 

1 shot caller and listening to that shot caller in the moment regardless of if you think of a different play is really the key to this game. Timing and having all four of your players on the same page at all times. Rotate with four alive keeping four alive to the final circles gives you the biggest edge as a lot of time people lose people early etc.

We strive on trying to keep all four players alive and dying while having a fighting chance.

Notably, your team has been quite good at rotating, to the point of twitch chat making jokes about map hacking etc. What goes into your decision making?

For about 2-3 months our loot spot has always been Primorsk/southwest coast. We have come up with designated rotations depending on the circles. After tons of hours of VOD review etcit's pretty easy to tell what areas are safe to rotate through.

For instance, if it's a Yasnaya/Stalber circle i.e. the furthest possible from us - we will loot untilthe first blue starts pushing. Then we would drive in with blue on the southeast side of the first ircle as that would be the most clear because people are done looting there and most teams have already rotated or are rotating to a position. 

Normally we will then sit on edge of first circle and wait for the second to show and take something off center in the second circle and play the rest of the rotations from there. One thing onErangel I try to make certain is that we are in a position where our vehicles are safe(can’t have tires popped) and we can make an easy rotation if the next circle is not on us.

Is there a team wide process for shot calling in game, or is there a dedicated voice?

Normally I am the designated shot caller. We all put our input and minds into creating strategies and how we could have done things differently after the game but during the match it is usually me making the play calls.

With the recent addition of Ashek to the team, do you feel you are stronger than ever? Is this just the beginning for GAMBINO?

Yes I do feel that we are very strong with the addition of Ashek. We needed someone who wasa friend and got along with everyone on the team. It has boosted our team chemistry much more than before.

How do you feel about your individual performance? You often come up as a playmakerfor the team and are generally regarded as the star player on the squad. Is that a role you fell into naturally? How do you see yourself in the team?

I always feel as if I can do better. Any time I die regardless of the situation I am always mad atmyself and think "I shouldn't have died there." 

There is no one star player in my opinion. We all frag out and have high kills. Yes I had the most on our team for multiple events but I wouldn’t say that I was the star player because withoutmy team I would just be one person. Shooting people has always been easy though.

TPP vs. FPP. I have to ask. What do you prefer, and do you believe a standard needs to be enforced to regulate international competition? Would you make the switch to TPP?

FPP I think is the competitive game mode for sure, but if the scene/sponsors switch then so do we am I right?

Heading into 2018, what do you want to see most from competitive PUBG and what areyou looking forward to the most?

Bigger tournaments, more money, more sponsors. I am most looking forward to to seeing how it grows and what it turns into.

Why the name GAMBINO? Where did that originate?

Old CS 1.5/1.6 clan name. We are close like a mafia family, it was different and stood out as something easy for people to remember.