This Sunday marks the EGL Battle of Europe between the four teams who qualified in the online tournament for the Grand Finals. Today we spoke to the representative’s Reaction from Epsilon, Ramirez from Vibe, Panic from dzs and Riotz from TCM for their take on the upcoming battle.

How did you prepare for the HCS this year and what do you feel is your teams biggest strength?

Reaction – Since the announcement of HCS Battle of Europe our team has practiced in many ways. Playing in team scrims, competing in the Gfinity online cups and recently attending and winning the FCO Paris event. If I had to chose our biggest strength in our team it would be the mixture of play styles we have and the variety that each individual has to offer.‏

Ramirez – As a current four we’re quite under practiced and haven’t put too much time into the game, but we’ve mainly prepared by getting on as a team and making sure we play the best team available when we get on. My teams biggest strength is our team ethic, we all know our importance on the team and what we’ve got to do in-game, there’s a nice balance to it all.

Panic – We’ve tried to play a lot against the best teams in the EU and improve as we had to change our line-up one day before the last qualifier. Our biggest strength should be the will to victory, if we are focused we have a good team shot‏.

Riotz – Our preparation came from playing as much as we could together online, from 2v2 cups to 4v4 cups. We try to play as much as possible to keep on form whether it’s with or against each other. Our biggest strength would be having a very talented and individually strong squad that’s not afraid to get loud.

How did you find the online tournament in the lead up to the Grand Finals and what are your thoughts on qualifying this year?

Reaction – For our team we knew we had to qualify in the first round for the event. We wanted the first seed badly and with all the teams competing we had to prove ourselves. I think this a great year to be involved with Halo and a huge chance for any European team to compete against the top American teams.

Ramirez – H2A’s a lot nicer game online than previous titles so it wasn’t actually that bad of a process to get the best teams in attendance. We’re happy we qualified for sure but I’m more happy I qualified with this lineup, we manage to get the best out of each others game play and work to compliment each other.

Panic – I found the online tournament was a good chance for everyone to show their skills. Qualifying for London and especially for the winner of the tournament next week there is the chance to show the pros in the US that there are some good players in the EU. My team and I will try to make the best out of it. As we are from Germany it is a good thing to compete in an event against the others.

Riotz – Online is online but the tournament was done well and fairly enjoyable. We expected nothing less than to qualify, it’s all about pushing forward to bigger things for us as a team and this is the first step.

Who would you consider your biggest competition out of the other three teams at the EGL Battle Of Europe?

Reaction – I think both Vibe and TCM will be equally as hard to beat in their own right. I can see dzs struggling but who knows what they could bring on the day!

Ramirez – TCM, they’ve practiced well and I think it’ll come together for them a lot more on the day than it will for Epsilon or dzs. Saying that this is literally a one day 10K event, no time for recovery or anything- just whoever turns up and wants it the most.

Panic – I think Epsilon will make it, their teamwork is great. Having four players with good individual skills‏, Reaction and Buk have the experience to lead their team through the tournament‏.

Riotz – It’s a toss up between Vibe and Epsilon for sure. Vibe simply because they have a much better and more affective play style, plus they won’t tend to under perform as much as Epsilon might. As always it’s just gonna come down to who doesn’t choke and who plays well on the day.

The Tournament Bracket

How confident are you that you will qualify for the HCS Season Finals?

Reaction – I think we have a great chance, we have been performing the best out of the teams leading up to this event and hopefully we can maintain this good form on the day. Every single player on our team would be gutted with anything less than 1st. It really is an all or nothing event for every player competing.

Ramirez – We’ve got a good level of confidence in our ability, we’re all really aware of what we need to do to play our game and we just gotta make sure that happens.

Panic – We are attending as fresh team and we will give our best to win and qualify!‏ During the online qualifying phase we had to replace our captain (dzs Speed) with Blizz due to passport issues and it’s Kimbo’s first time playing in a competitive team or at an event. So we are confident but realistic.

Riotz – Very confident, we know we are the best we just need to perform on the day.‏

If you do qualify for the HCS Season Finals in the USA what position would your team be aiming for and how do you think you’re going to achieve that?

Reaction – Right now we aren’t even thinking about that. All of our efforts are focused on the EU qualifier. Myself and Buk20 have already proved ourselves in the states and I’m sure we could match up to the competition again. With £10,000 on the line you have to be focused.

Ramirez – A placement that would bring Europe any credibility in terms of where we actually come into play in the world of top tier Halo. If we get a good run going after beating a team to slot into the 8-team bracket, we could definitely break into the top half of teams.

Panic – First things first, we have to focus on the tournament on Sunday, so I can’t really tell what the aims for the USA would be. I think any team who qualifies will be able to place top 4 in the USA and I hope that an EU Team can show the pros that there are some good European players.

Riotz – We’re always gunning for first no matter what, we will just have to bring our A game.‏

Lastly, what is the message your team wants to send to those watching and participating this Sunday?

Reaction – Just that their is hope for the community going forward. The scene has a lot of opportunities to become much larger and hopefully lots of players and fans will want to be involved with that.‏

Ramirez – Vibe’s just buzzin’ to get an opportunity like this, we won’t take it for granted and I’m sure this event will deliver for spectators. For competitors- just that we’re coming for 1st and only 1st.

Panic – To those who watch: enjoy the matches and keep following competitive halo EU, and to those who participate: may the best win and qualify!

Riotz – Good luck and make sure anyone who supports us follows us on our twitters and keep up the #TCMpire

So there we have a mixture of opinions from the guys but an overall resonance of excitement and determination. Do you have any predictions for who will win? What do you think about their answers? Let us know in the comments below and get involved!

Twitters of the teams and all individual players can be found here, give them a follow to show your support and stay updated on their progress. A big thank you to everyone for taking part in the interview and being so polite! Best of luck to all of them fighting for a place in the HCS Season Finals in March at PAX East in Boston, USA.

For more information on the EGL Battle of Europe visit the EGL website.

Who will win the EGL HCS Battle Of Europe 2015?