SMITE – Interview with Team Rival’s Alec ‘fineokay’ Fonzo
Editor’s Note: We also have a SMITE raffle, found here!
One of the questions I asked in a recent raffle was “Who do you want me to reach out to for a SMITE interview?”, and the winner by a landslide was fineokay, Solo Laner for Team Rival. This is great for me, because as you all know, Team Rival is my favorite team, and the one I’m counting on to win at Smite Worlds this year. Since 2016, fineokay has been on several teams, from Salsa Squadron, Most Wanted, Astral Authority, Soar, SSG, Noble and more; but now he’s rolling with the Team Rival. Other than their defeat at the Mid-Season Invitational, they have been on top of the mountain, and while no one player can be credited for these victories, fineokay pulls his weight in the Solo Lane. He’s a force of nature, making incredible plays, and showing no fear in the face of adversity. It was a pleasure to talk to fineokay, and the timing was perfect, as the next Split is coming soon.
Ragachak: I feel like this is probably asked a lot, but I’m curious: why fineokay?
fineokay: I was introduced to Smite at a “LAN party” with some friends of mine and after taking a considerable amount of time to set everything up, we just wanted to get to playing. I used the first random thing that came to mind for my IGN thinking I’d be done with this free-to-play game quickly, but here we are!
Ragachak: With a new season, comes a new team! You moved from CLG to join Team Rival this year. Was the transition to working with these players/coaches a difficult one, or did you mesh just fine with them?
fineokay: It has been very easy to work with my new teammates and Rival has made it very easy for us to get along with our nice house and set up in Alpharetta. All our personalities are similar and we love to workout together which helps our bonds a lot in and out of game.
Ragachak: I don’t think it’s up for debate that you are easily one of the best, or perhaps bravest Solo Laners in Smite right now. What attracts you to the role?
fineokay: In most of those situations, all I am focusing on is how can I keep playing the scenario/fight/game the best I can and continue pushing the lead even further. It’s always about the next step. The only time I’ve lost focus from a big play was when I got the Achilles quadra kill because it was so early in the game and so random. But planned ;)
Ragachak: Most of the Solo Lane seems to be dominated by Warriors, but how do you feel about Guardian potential to be relevant in the position?
fineokay: Guardians will always be viable in solo because of their late-game potential since they are basically better than warriors in every way in that stage of the game. The problem always is what part of the game is the meta focused on. Right now it’s very early so most guardians have a rough time but can work.
Ragachak: Now personally, I’m a Guardian player, and I always feel like I’m doing something wrong trying to get into the mindset of a Warrior. I’ve always felt there’s a mindset/philosophy that goes with knowing the builds/matchups. What would you say your mindset is, going into a match as a Warrior in the Solo Lane?
fineokay: Matchups and experience are definitely important but I would say that the most vital part of playing warriors is being confident and asserting dominance when possible. This means auto trading in most scenarios because physical’s autos are much better than magical (guardians especially.) It also means using your early game strengths to proxy, force invades, and steal farm around the map. It’s all about confidence!
Ragachak: Do you have any advice for players trying to get better in Solo?
fineokay: A self-plug but helpful nonetheless, watch me! I have tons of Youtube gameplays and guides and stream consistently on Twitch. There are other solo streamers and YouTubers like Mast, Deathwalker, Soloortroll that I would recommend. Focused practice is always the best for in-game experience though, (mute your teammates, play some tunes, and focus on every play you make right after you make it: was that correct? What could I have done better? Did it go wrong/right because of a decision or a mechanical error?)
Ragachak: What would you say, on the topic of ranked/conquest play, are the most important things for players to know and do in Conquest to improve their gameplay?
fineokay: Playing multiple roles is always nice because A. you can’t always get your role and B. you’ll learn a lot playing your off-roles, even about your main.
Ragachak: So, I have to ask this one too: what would you say went wrong in the Mid-Season Invitational for you guys?
fineokay: It was a whole recipe for disaster. Having horrible off days, bad sleep schedules, not enough drive, playing a very good, experienced underdog. There is a phenomenon in chess where grandmasters are more likely to lose to novices because of their weird strategies and unpredictability. I’d say a similar thing happened here (not that Armada were novices, they aren’t individually, they simply didn’t scrim much.)
Ragachak: How confident are you feeling for the next phase of competitive play? Where do you see Rival going? Are there any teams you’re nervous about going against?
fineokay: This is the big one, fall split, worlds. Everyone is going to leave it all on the line and I’m confident our all-ins are greater than the other teams’. I am excited to play at my first worlds. I want to win so badly. I’m not nervous for any team but that doesn’t mean I’ll be taking anyone lightly.
Ragachak: Alright, last one! Favorite god right now, and your favorite underrated pocket-pick? Who is amazing that nobody is using?
fineokay: My favorite god is currently Horus but I also love Thor and Set. Go to underrated pick is Baron. That guy is still crazy good in the right situations.
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