eSports preview

ARGYLE eSports manager Ben Taylor has indicated that he is ringing the changes ahead of Monday night’s Virtual Pro Gaming League One South clash against Intique eSports.

The Greens, just weeks into their existence, have lost their opening four league fixtures this season, all by a solitary goal, and Taylor feels that a personnel change, as well as a tactical one, will help kickstart their campaign.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get it going,” Taylor said of his side’s narrow double-header defeats to Lisburn Town and Bestou WS on Thursday night. “We were possibly a bit naïve, in hindsight, and tonight we’re setting up with slightly different tactics and a few changes to the selection.”

Having taken over as manager of Argyle eSports on the eve of the new season, Taylor has always believed that the opening few weeks of the campaign could be tricky, as he continued to learn more about his squad, and sign new players via trials.

His project took another step forward on the weekend, when open trials and training sessions led to unearthing a few new signings, as well as a new formation.

Taylor said: “Over the weekend we were back at it in terms of training and, we had quite a few trialists. We have signed three or four since we last played.”

“During these sessions, we tried two different formations, two teams, and assessed the systems. We decided that the second formation was a better fit for the players, and we will see how that goes tonight.”

With regular football on hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak, the launch of Argyle’s new eSports team has come at an opportune time. On average, nearly 6,000 people have tuned into live streams of the Greens’ competitive matches on Facebook and Twitch.

Taylor has been blown away by early support for his newly launched team, and has even received messages of support from the Pilgrims’ Chairman and majority shareholder, Simon Hallett.

“I got an email off Simon [Hallett] last week saying that he was pleased with what we were doing, and that he was watching our games,” said Taylor. “He said that he hoped we could get a big following for the club.”

“Having experienced other eSports teams, I feel that the club is doing it the way it should be done. The involvement is fantastic, social media, the club’s media team, the chairman. It’s heart-warming to know we’ve been accepted into the club - and we just want to do everyone proud.”

“It’s nice to see that people within the club are backing us as well, I think that Ryan Lowe retweeted one of our tweets last week, so it’s a really nice feeling.”

On Monday night, Argyle take on Intique eSports, looking for that elusive win to provide a foundation for their season.

“Intique are above us at the moment, but we’ve looked at their results, and they haven’t played any stand-out teams at this level, so we feel we can be competitive. One or two wins and it’s a different story, and the position looks a lot healthier.”

“If we can get a win tonight, it will give us a bit of confidence going into tomorrow night, where we have two games – one in the league, and one in the cup.”

Argyle eSports kick-off against Intique eSports at 9pm. You can watch the games live on our Facebook or Twitch channels.