Interview With Dig SMITE Player Ataraxia - Getting Ready For Season 6
Sun 10th Mar 2019 - 9:19pm
With the start of Season 6 on the horizon, I spoke with Nathaniel "Ataraxia" Mark about how he and the rest of the team are preparing. He and Hurriwind seem to be fitting in with the other three well and it sounds like Dignitas SMITE is on its way to a successful season. With the quality of teams and players at an all-time high this year, it will be great to see how this new roster comes together and how Ataraxia and Trixtank try and dominate their duo-lane opponents.
Last time we spoke, you had mentioned that you couldn’t wait to live under the same roof with the rest of the team. Have you guys moved to Atlanta yet?
Ataraxia: No, we still are doing the visa process, but it’s coming along pretty quickly. We reckon we’ll be moving pretty soon I’d say. Just need to get those interviews in and we’ll be good to go.
Is there anything you're particularly excited about living with everyone?
Ataraxia: I think the lifestyle is what I’m excited about the most. I reckon more so than other teams as a six we’re going to get along really well. So, I think the SMITE side of it is going to go really well. Living with them and going out will almost be like being back at Uni. I’m quite excited for it and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
How has preseason been going for the team so far? Do you feel that you and Hurriwind are already situated with the other three?
Ataraxia: It’s been really good. Hurri has been playing on NA ping and we’ve been scrimming on EU, so he’s been getting lag issues which limits what he can play, which has been challenging but he’s dealt with it really, really well. But situating with the other three, for me personally, has been absolutely amazing. When you play ADC or a Mage, the way teamfights go is usually dictated by how good your frontline is. This is the first team that I’ve actually joined instead of making and having these three as an established frontline has made it so easy for me. I don’t think ADC has been so easy for me since the Titan days, because on Obey we’ve always had issues with frontliners leaving.
We had Harry in S3 who left as things started going. We replaced him with ManiaKK and we got EmilZy on the team and that was really good, and then ManiaKK left and we had to replace him. And then EmilZy left, so we never had a concrete frontline that really learned to synergize with each other. Joining a team with this two year established synergy and just being able to fit in there and play the carry role has been so easy, I can’t stress enough. Anyone could do it, it’s amazing.
With SPL starting in under a month now, what would you say are the main things that you and the rest of the team are focusing on perfecting before the season starts?
Ataraxia: The most important thing for us to work on at the moment is finding out our playstyle because obviously they’ve replaced their ADC and Mid with me and Hurri and finding out how our picks and how we like to play dictates our pick and ban, and it’s quite different from what they were used to. Right now we’re just trying to figure out what kind of playstyle and which kind of characters work best together to achieve to achieve the best for this team. It’s all about trial and error to see what works.
What excites you the most about this coming season of SMITE?
Ataraxia: The competition is what I’m excited for. I think this is the least amount of teams that SMITE’s had in SPL and the quality of players on all of them is as high as ever. So, I think this will be the season they’ve eliminated the bottom tier teams because usually in in NA and EU SPL there’s been one or two teams historically at the bottom that struggle to get games and I think with everything being at LAN and everyone being at team houses, that won’t happen this year. I think it’s going to be teams taking games off teams and then losing to another team that beat another team and hopefully you won’t be able to predict who’s going to win. It’s going to be really cool - really difficult and a huge challenge and that’s what I’m most excited for.
How have you liked Biggy so far as a coach?
Ataraxia: Biggy’s been awesome. He has a different approach to it than what I’ve had in the past. He’s more “hands off” I’d say. He trusts the players know what they’re doing and he tries to mediate things instead. He’s had quite a bit of a challenge though because he’s still in Australia and he’s got a terrible timezone and has to wake up at god knows what hour and also has sucky internet, so he can’t really even watch the scrims. He’s definitely had to struggle with that and I think he’s the most excited to move out of all of us. Despite that, he’s made me and Hurri feel very welcome. He’s had a huge impact so far and he’s definitely helped with the synergy and the meshing between all of us. 10/10 job so far.
How do you feel about the current state of the meta? Are you happy with the current state of Hunters in general?
Ataraxia: I think the meta is fantastic. The game is really balanced right now and the meta is great. I think Hunters aren’t that great at the moment, though. I think the balance between Hunters and Mages isn’t where it should be. I think Mages have taken the forefront on everything right now. I think the power balance needs to change and we’re headed in that direction which will be good. Right now, I think Mages are a little bit too strong and Hunters are a little bit too weak.
Which gods do you think will be the usual insta-bans this coming season?
Ataraxia: I don’t think so, actually. I think things will change quite a lot because the big ones like Freya have just had a rework so we’ll see how that pans out. I won’t give away any trade secrets about what we’ll specifically be banning or what we’re afraid of, but I think the usual suspects are probably going to fade out, especially with the new characters coming. A few of them in particular are looking pretty dangerous.
Within the last couple months, King Arthur, Merlin, and Jormungandr have been released. How do you feel that they fit in with the meta?
Ataraxia: I think King Arthur will be a staple character. I don’t know if he’ll be too strong or if he’ll perma-banned, but I think the balance team is definitely pushing Warriors back to the forefront and they’ll keep buffing the until they get there and Arthur seems like he’s definitely ready to frag. I think he’ll be a staple. Merlin and Jorm are another question. I feel like people have very different opinions on Merlin. At the end of the day, he’s a Mage with a jump/slight blink, so he’s safer than most and could probably be pretty good.
Jorm – we’ve never seen a character like him before. I think a lot of that will come down to how his immunities and knockups go. Right now, he can’t be knocked up, but if he does get hit by one, he takes increased damage and gets slowed. I’m not really sure – he’s really big and he’s easy to hit. He might be damned by that, but on the same front he has a crazy clear from level one and could fit a few different roles.
It’s well known that you and PrettyPriMe are close and this will be the first time you’ll be on different teams. How hard was it to part ways and what’s your relationship like with him now?
Ataraxia: It wasn’t fun to part ways, but there wasn’t really much of a choice with it. We still keep in touch and he sends me adorable pictures of his baby. I speak to his girlfriend once in a while too, so we’re all keeping in touch and play Apex and stuff together. I still talk about SMITE with him and I do miss him. We still talk about picks even though we’re on different teams and it’s nice to keep in touch. It’s definitely weird not being on the same team.
In our last interview, you mentioned that Trixtank was one of the only two people you’d lane with (the other being EmilZy), because you thought you guys would click instantly. How has it been so far in practice/scrims? Was it what you thought it would be/hoped it would be?
Ataraxia: Yeah, it’s been exactly what I thought it would be. We’ve had a lot of success so far. Even when we don’t, we both can say exactly what went wrong. We’re on the same page – no duo lane is perfect and will lose at some point. When we do lose, we know how to fix it immediately and we can move on. It’s really good and productive and the more we play together, the better it will be. I think we’ll be the strongest duo lane this year. We have a lot of potential.
As a final, easy question. Will we see a World Championship for Dignitas this year?
Ataraxia: Well, the obvious answer (laughs). We’re a team full of cursed players with a lot of 2nd place finishes, so we’ll see. I think on paper we’ve got it down. We’ve all been cursed.
Thank you again for taking the time to answer some questions! Is there anyone that you would like to give a shoutout to?
Ataraxia: Last time I did the PrettyPriMe shoutout, so I’ll say thanks to all the people who support players. Not just in SMITE. The only reason I get to do this job is for all the people who tune in and watch it, so thank you very much for that.
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