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Player of the Month October 2011: ExCaL^

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# 1MrX Dec 3 2011, 10:38 AM
Good day Generals! As many of you know ExCaL^, a Zero Hour Legend, came back for some Clanwars fun in October and took Player of the Month honors for his efforts. GameReplays own methuselah recently got a chance to chat with ExCaL^. Enjoy!


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ExCaL^ in action!


GameReplays: Congratulations on winning the Zero Hour Player of the Month Award for October! Let's get the obvious out of the way first and then move on to the good stuff. Name, age, and location please or as much as you are comfortable sharing with us?

ExCaL^: Many thanks – always nice to win an award. For those that didn't know: Ben Taylor, 23, England!

GameReplays: What is going on in your life these days? Anything you'd like to share…….

ExCaL^: Dancing!! My partner and I aim to become first class competitors, performers, teachers and exponents of ballroom dancing. My life these days involves everything to reach this goal – training 6 days a week, technical practice, lessons with different dance experts and former champions, numerous competitions and of course performing shows and teaching dancing too! We are ranked 1st in United Kingdom and the aim now is to crack the top 10 in the world (last major Grand Slam we were 11th).

GameReplays: Tell us about your dancing if you will. Your website describes it as "sport dancing" what does that mean exactly and how long have you been doing it?

ExCaL^: Well, following on a bit from the previous question, sport dancing is essentially competitive dancing. Many countries now have a "Dancing with the Stars!" and this has of course has helped the image of dancing in two ways:

1. Proving it can be cool for younger people to do it.


2. Showing guys that it is a cool thing to do (who wouldn't want to be in close contact with beautiful women in dresses?).

Ballroom dancing has developed much more from the old days when it was a more social activity. Now it is very athletic, very fast and very competitive. You would probably be surprised by the amount of people my age that are involved with it. I have been doing it since I was 8.

GameReplays: Tell us about Stefanie, how did the two of you meet and how long have you been dancing together?

ExCaL^: Miss Denmark! Stefanie and I met through dancing and are a couple ON and OFF the floor if you get my meaning! We have a combined dance experience of something like 30 years but have only danced together for just over 3. We had different partners as we were developing our dancing before we met each other.

GameReplays: It's great to have you back Commanding & Conquering have you been playing anything else of late? Anything you are really looking forward to playing?

ExCaL^: It is nice to be back after quite a big break and see that many are still here. Other than the odd PS3 game my only other interest would be FIFA each year – FIFA 12 is fun! No other RTS has come close to C&C for me so until there is a Generals2 (which recently it looks like there could be??? Keep me updated on that one) I am not interested and too busy anyway!

GameReplays: How was it coming back after what I believe has been a pretty good lay off for you? How difficult has it been to beat the rust off of your game?

ExCaL^: Always fun as I enjoy the game very much and fun to see that many still play. It is still ongoing to beat off the rust (although I am not too worried) and it is difficult, but I guess it is like with anything….if you don't maintain something it will slack. It is the same with dancing – a few days off training and we feel awful.

GameReplays: When was the last time you played this much Zero Hour? How would you assess the Clanwars competition now versus the last time you had any significant playing time?

ExCaL^: I guess the last time I played was when I won the 2010 World Series when it was obviously quite active as this was quite a big competition. It is difficult to assess with such a lay-off, however, it is clear the addition of random balance has meant counter-strats and "lame" strats can be performed to win games. For me this is the main difference.

GameReplays: Your win percentage versus the other top players was probably not what you are accustomed to although it was still something most of us can only dream of. Was that an adjustment for you or did you anticipate that based on the inactivity?

ExCaL^: The combination of getting accustomed to the random balance and my own inactivity – these two factors have affected my form so it is only realistic that win percentage will drop versus players that have been more active.

GameReplays: You have a regular observer of your games, a delboy I believe, can you tell us who that is and why they watch so many of your games?

ExCaL^: DelBoy essentially logs on from my home pc and, as many know, it is my father. When I am in Denmark I will take my laptop so we can both be online at the same time. I chat to him through the game's communicator about what I have been up to during the day and he watches a few games. He also watches a few games when I am on home pc and could name you all the old legends. His own ZH playing usually involves him teaming with 3 Easy Army versus 1 Hard Army. He "doesn't 1v1" and often encourages me to "camp up" during games – especially if I can get alphas!

GameReplays: What happens next for you, both gaming wise and personally? Will you make it a second consecutive big month Clanwars wise or was this a onetime deal?

ExCaL^: At the moment it is just a few FFGs and this 2v2 tournament. Real life wise – more of the same.

GameReplays: Anything you'd like to say in closing to the Zero Hour community?

ExCaL^: If anyone would like to financially sponsor myself and Stefanie I will be your 2v2 partner for a year, you get your logo on my tail suit and we advertise you on the website!!!!

Posts: 12,343

Game: CNC Zero Hour


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