Interview - Hanging With Solu
As a first article of the "Hanging With" series we have interviewed our very own Claudio "solu" Giovanniello, currently playing as an SMG for our Call of Duty 4 team.
Claudio Giovanniello, alias "solu", was born on the 8th of July, 1989 in the lovely city of Groß-Gerau, Germany.
His mother is German, his father is Italian.
Two decades later, he represents many teams throughout the years such as Cubesports and Airborne, a Tek-9 thread-famous Heroes @ Frag O Matic mixteam and many more. When his team NCE.I3D folded, another search for a team began, sadly it wasn't successful and the German thought of saying farewell to Call of Duty 4.
Clearly that wasn't meant to be as The Last Resort expressed their interest in having him in the team as one of their players had left the team to find his luck elsewhere. And from that day, Claudio represents The Last Resort.
You've been in many organisations and teams, throughout the years we've seen you compete at many LANs and online competitions, what motivates you?
Basically, I would say passion but it is so much more then that. Everyone has goals and dreams in his life and would nearly do everything to make them come true. I just love to compete... mix myself with players from all over Europe and beyond. Getting in touch with people that I would've never met in my life... players that I would call my friends now. Professional gaming isn't just about winning or losing. Ofcourse you have ups and downs. Sometimes you're motivated, sometimes you are just listless. But all that reminds you that you're not just playing a game. I am living my dream and I am happy with the decisions that I have made in my career so far. But well, to get back to your question. I think my biggest motivation is just to feel all these emotions with your team, the players that you decided to spend alot of time with.
In which team did you enjoy playing the most?
Thats a hard question because every team had it's pros and contras. I dont really want to miss any of those but if I would have to choose one I would say the Italian teams that I played with such as cubesports.AMD and Airborne. Ofcourse the time with the other teams was and is awesome aswell but due to being half italian I felt more comfortable in those kind of teams even if my italian is far from being perfect.
Do these Italian teams play differently from the .EU mixed teams you've played in?
Well, every team has its own style but Italian teams do play different, yes. They bring their tactics to perfection and they really act like a team. Ingame, in voice and at events. Their gamestyle in general is slower compared to European teams as well. They dont just sprint to the spots, they do it keen.
At the many LANs you've attended you've brought your Pikachu hat with you, why?
Erm... tough question. To be honest i have no idea. Pikachu has always been my favourite pokemon and since I've seen the hat on Ebay I can't go to any event without it. It brings the team together, increases motivation, spirit and reduces the tension... And ofcourse, you make a lot of friends with the pikahat because no one hates Pikachu.. Its like you would hate bambi... no one hates bambi, right?
The Last Resort
At the end of last year you've officially joined our very own Call Of Duty 4 team, can you explain why you were the right pickup for this team?
Its always hard to answer such a question, but I think I fit in the team very well because Robert, Mathias, Senne, Robby and me have nearly the same character and personality traits what makes us feel so comfortable as a whole. Besides that we all have the same goal and are willing to invest alot of time, passion and energy to reach it.
After a somewhat disappointing result at the second cod4 edition of the e-series LAN with the team you've switched back to your beloved SMG role, how has this change affected the team?
I think the team progressed alot since Mathias and me switched the weapons. There was less rumour between players and the teamplay as a whole increased alot. Beside that I really enjoy playing with my SMG again after I had to drop it for a few months. Due to the fact that I feel really comfortable with my SMG, plus the fact that my SMG partner is no one less than Robby "pazazu" Kraai, opponents should beg down for mercy.
What is your goal to achieve with TLR this year?
My goal... if the team continues to improve like this I would say our goal is at least to finish top 4 at a major event and do an impact on the top cod scene in 2011. 2k11 will be TLR's year. Our motivation is skyhigh and if we are in a good shape and have our momentum, everything is possible!
After The Last Resort announced the TLR eSports Challenge you've been keeping track of interested teams for this event, with 97 teams expressing their desire to attend this LAN, can we say COD4 is on a high?
I wouldn't really call it a high. It's known that there are always a lot of events in the first months of the year. There have always been a lot of tournaments from January to June. But lets say I wouldn't be suprised if the amount of tournaments, lans, events or leagues will still increase. 2011 could be cod4's year with a well organized network behind it including lots of different iptv platforms, vita-nova, leagues and a big environment of high-level organisations that finally support COD4.
Do you think Call of Duty 4 can survive the release of another sequel?
In my eyes there wont be any new sequel that will be even close to compete with COD4's strength. especially not if they continue the development of the games like they did with MW2, World at War and BlackOps.
Every year there are a couple players breaking through to the higher ranks within the COD4 scene, can you name a couple players that you think will surprise us this year?
I think players like NIGHTYI (Team h2k), skkiNN (Team Made in Italy), MAKKE (Virus) and sEnzaj (The Last Resort) have the chance to show the gaming world what's up and make a step up to the same level as real Call of Duty superstars such as Raz, Stevy, Qlimax, dUFFER etc.
Life outside gaming
Obviously there's more than just gaming in your life, what do you study?
At the moment I study at a private school of Media management. I am in the last year and the exams are close... If i pass them what I clearly expect, I would love to study Digital Media with a focus on Interactive Media at the University of Darmstadt.
What kind of work would you like to do later?
I invest a lot of time to understand what I want. You have to chew a lot about those kind of relations because you only get the chance to live the role of life once. I want to stay in the Gaming and E-Sports scene in some way. What i would absolutely love to do is to launch my own cross-media agency with a focus on projects and communities such as Heaven Media. Besides that i would love to have my own eSports and gaming center one day. Organize events and stay in the scene somehow when im old and my reflex and aim is as bad as Seanza's.
Besides pikachu, is there a special someone in your life?
Besides pikachu? To clear one thing out. You can only have me with pika.. there is no "without". And well.. theres not really a pikachu girl yet if that's what you want to know. but time will tell if I die alone or if Amir Hajar will be the only person that gives me true man love.
Apart from gaming, what is your biggest hobby?
Besides my gaming career and school there's not much time left. I usually head out on weekends with my friends.. go clubbing, bowling, play some poker, have a few drinks or watch football. I love to watch movies and listen to music if I have still a bit of spare time. I'm actually music and movie addicted.
If you were to place a personal ad to find new people to hang with, what would it say?
Im cosmopolitan, likable, droll, duteous, spontaneous, provident and open-minded. I love to hang arround with friends and/or have long talks (preferable at a beach with bonfire, cocktails, 30°C and a cool breeze!)... Except that theres not much to say, Im game for anything! Just throw me a message and ill answer for sure!
Your favourite food?
Your favourite game apart from COD?
The first Command and Conquer on N64.
Your favourite shoutcaster?
Your favourite team?
Airborne / Mondial Servers
Your favourite event?
Outpost On Fire 3
Thanks for your time and answers, any last words or shoutouts?
I thank God to be able to live my dream. There would be so many shoutouts that i could give. so I'll just keep them small. I thank George for the wonderful time that i had in my Call of Duty Career aswell as all the organisations so far that made all the great memories possible (cubesports, Airborne, prediction-Gaming, Heroes and ofcourse, TLR! I would also like to thank a few very special people who make this scene stay together and are always there if you need them: dfb, Gizzor, Darren and alot more.