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Rocketeers - How to master 1v1 games explained by FairyPeak

How to master 1v1 games explained by FairyPeak

March 5, 2018 - 19:44
Rocketeers / Training /

Victor “Fairy Peak!” Locquet has been one of the biggest pros on the scene since the start of Rocket League eSports. Coming into the spotlight as one of the top 2s players alongside his friend and former teammate Courant “Kaydop” Alexandre, Fairy Peak has continued to dominate the ranked leaderboards and major tournament scene since mid-2016.

Fairy Peak has several wins in weekly tournaments by organizers like Nexus, Gfinity, and Mock-It, and a few high-placing finishes in majors like the RLCS (like his 2nd place finish against Northern Gaming in Season 3), proving his ability to compete with the world’s best. However, even with the lack of tournaments and majors revolving around the 1s scene, Fairy Peak remains one of the most dominant players in the world when it comes to a 1v1 match.

Team Vitality Rocket League esports

Fairy Peak (right) with his team mates from Renault Sport Team Vitality

Coming off of his recent 2nd place finish in the Twelve Titans II tournament, Fairy Peak now sits at rank 1 on the 1v1 leaderboard and Rocketeers.gg jumped at the opportunity to pick his brains about his success in 1s. Here is what he had to share:

Congratulations on signing with Vitality! I’m sure you’re excited. Seeing as you are constantly in the Top 20 and currently even rank 1 in Ranked Solo Duel, how often are you playing 1s to stay at the top of your game?

Hey thanks! Of course I’m excited! It’s the first organization I watched in my childhood when I was playing Call of Duty. I saw these CoD pro players like “Gotaga” who were playing under Vitality and I was a bit jealous. Now I’m in the same organization as them so it’s a really big pleasure! Honestly, I don’t play 1s that often, but when I do I try hard at the start of the season to take the 1st spot and then I just wait for someone to pass me. Then I play and take the 1st spot back.

How do you practice for 1s? Do you practice often?

I don’t really practice 1s. Sometimes strong 1s players ask me to scrimmage and we play a couple of games, probably around 6 or 7, and then I’m out for 3 to 4 days. I also used to play a lot of 1s with alpha54 and itachi [two highly ranked 1s players] in private matches which is quite interesting! They use their own strategies and not the basic ones of just dribbling and flicking the ball so it helped me to get used to every playstyle possible. But I think I play between 15 and 30 games of 1s per week overall.

“I really just play with my instincts”

How do you manage your offense and defense in 1v1? How would you describe your style?

When I play 1s I really just play with my instincts. I don’t think I can describe my playstyle, sometimes I’m passive, sometimes aggressive – ultimately it depends a lot on my opponent. I just try to make as few mistakes as possible. I have played every type of playstyle, so I know what counters each playstyle best. In series I just try to adjust in the first game, and that’s generally why I lose the 1st game most of the time.

When attacking, I try to be unreadable and random so the defender never knows what to expect. That works great against more aggressive players, but much of it comes from instincts/play time. In defense it’s the same, sometimes I tackle early and sometimes I wait. Generally, I just try to stay as close as possible (shadowing) to my opponent so it’s harder for them to know when I will tackle – I think that’s the best way to defend.

You have made some massive comebacks in various show matches. How do you keep a strong mindset to turn a game around? How do you avoid getting “tilted”?

In 1s there’s a lot of possibility to score between kickoffs and general play. Kickoff goals are the fastest but if you play intelligently you can score at any occasion. So even if I’m down five goals with two minutes left, I can take the momentum back and hopefully make the comeback. Theoretically anyone can score every three seconds with strong kickoffs and positive mentality – so why not try to do my best? It’s better than waiting for the next round. I try to remember when I play a stronger player that if he beats me it’s because he played better than me, even if I played bad. Maybe it wasn’t my day and I know that I can beat him, so the next match against him I’ll take my revenge.

“Theoretically anyone can score every three seconds”

How do you use aerials in your 1s game? Would you consider a strong aerial-game worthwhile for up-and-coming 1s players?

I rarely aerial in 1s, but when I do I try to turn quick and fast launch to a ball to catch the opponent. When I see that an opponent is also going for an aerial, I focus on recovering fast to create opportunities for free goals, something that could easily happen to you if you miss your own aerials. Aerials aren’t that important in 1s, but if you’re fast it is definitely an A+.

You are incredibly strong at 50/50s, averaging a 73% win-rate in the Twelve Titans II tournament. What is your secret? What advice would you give to rookie players to get better at 50/50s?

It’s hard to explain, but I gave a bit of my strategy above (turning the Batmobile 90° and flicking in the direction of the ball) which works almost every time if you get good at it. The biggest thing I focus on is to play the 50/50 in a way that even if I lose, the opponent will never have a good opportunity to score after. I don’t play a 50/50 to win it; just to control it. Maybe that’s why I win most of the time? To get better at 50/50s, just play it smart: play into the 50/50s that you know you can win, and avoid the ones that you know will lose to avoid being in a really bad position.

“Master one skill, move on to another”

Many players focus on flicks, dribbles, 50/50s, or other mechanics to succeed in 1s, yet you seem to be strong in all of them. What skill would you say is best to practice for 1s?

The only way to be the best is to be strong in every category – master one skill, move on to another and master it. You can’t be good in 1s if you’re only good at flicking or dribbling. If you do the same thing every time, a good defender will concede a goal or two, then will save everything. Dribbling isn’t that important if you can powershot the ball every time. Kaydop is a great example of this, as he doesn’t need strong dribbling skills. The two skills I would recommend mastering first are shooting and 50/50s.

You consistently switch between the Batmobile and Octane in 1s. What are the advantages you see to either Battle-Car? What about disadvantages?

I get this question all the time! The point is that these cars are the best in the game for me. I’m a player that gets bored of something quite fast, so when I’m bored of Batmobile I switch to Octane and the same goes for when I play Octane. The Octane is smaller but higher, so it’s great for dribbling, you have more control with the car, you can use more space, and the flicks are perfect if you work a bit on them. A lot of people say that 50/50s are better with it but I really don’t agree.

What I do most of the time for the Batmobile is just turning 90° and flicking in the direction of the ball – which works almost every time if you do it well enough. Octane is a well-balanced car that doesn’t really have disadvantages. For Batmobile, everything is more powerful than Octane in my opinion (shots, kickoffs, flicks, clear, etc.). But it comes at the cost of being harder to execute. The front of the car is quite small so you have to shoot/clear with a lot of accuracy if you want the ball to travel with any speed. I would say that Batmobile is better, however harder to master than Octane.

Tips: I’m pretty sure that a lot of people want to play Batmobile but get discouraged after playing bad with it early on. Just continue to play it if you want to be strong with it. I agree that it’s difficult at the start, but when you master it it’s just a pleasure to play.

“Batmobile is better, but harder to master”

What players would you say you fear the most in 1s? How do you enter games against players that you know generally can beat you?

I don’t really fear anyone in 1s as I try to be confident as much as I can. Two players I can think of that are difficult to play are Scrub Killa and alpha54. Whenever I play 1s, I just try to focus on my game and not worry about who I am playing. I don’t care if my opponents beat me 10,000 times – I am ultimately confident in my skill and I know that if I play smart I can beat anybody on the scene.

What are the main mistakes you see players make? How can they address them to get better?

There are 3 main mistakes players make:

1. Boost over Ball – If your opponent is a good shooter and you leave them alone with the ball as you get boost, you will just concede a goal. With 2 pads (roughly 25 boost) you can do anything in the game other than air dribbles, so don’t always concede to get a big boost!

2. Shooting without recovery – Maybe your shot was great, but if it is saved without you recovering you have just conceded a goal. That’s the thing I hate to see players do and I see it a lot in people with big flicks. Recovery is important if you don’t want to concede stupid goals. There’s no harm in taking a weak shot that is saved, but recovering and continuing to control possession is what is key. It doesn’t matter if you score at 3:35 or 3:20.

3. Kickoffs – It isn’t much of a mistake, but a lot of people neglect kickoffs and don’t train them. They are incredibly useful and bad kickoffs can make you tilted and lose more games than you should.

Thanks for the interview! Is there anything you would want the Rocketeers.gg community to know?

If you are good at recovering and have a brain, anyone can be great at 1s. I hope it helped you at least a bit, as that would make me happy. The biggest thing is to not forget to have fun and I wish you the best!

Interesting facts about Fairy Peak!

Travis Greene considers himself a Rocket League pro after winning two weekly tournaments in his two and a half years of playing Rocket League, although his friends and colleagues say otherwise. Still holding onto his Season 3 Grand Champion title, Travis takes to analyzing and writing about the top players and organizations in the scene rather than grinding for another coveted title.

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