David ‘Dinge’ Miller is one of the most renowned and successful coaches within the Call of Duty community. Having established himself under the Epsilon brand, Dinge has played a pivotal role within the organisations recent dominance over the European scene. Despite his absence within the game itself, Dinge has led Epsilon to several significant feats and as a result his reputation has reached worldwide recognition.
As we edge closer to the launch of Europe’s first Major LAN event on the latest instalment of the iconic first person shooter franchise, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, I managed to take some time out of Dinge’s hectic schedule to discuss his climb from competitive player to Europe’s elite coach, as well as his teams initial thoughts on AW, in yet another Gfinity exclusive interview.
Seb: Firstly, could you go ahead and introduce yourself for us.
Dinge: Hey there, my name is David Miller but everybody knows me as Dinge and I am the coach of the Epsilon eSports professional Call of Duty Team.
S: What is your competitive gaming background before coaching?
D: I entered the competitive Call of Duty scene along with the majority of the world’s top professional players in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
I participated in several online tournaments and ladders on Gamebattles for over two years before finally taking the step to compete at LAN events on Black Ops I (EGL4).
Since then I have rarely missed a LAN event within the United Kingdom.
S: After playing competitively yourself, why did you decide to make the transition from player to coach?
D: After competing at 3 LAN’s and getting average/poor placements, I received an offer from one of my best friends "Jokaboii". At the time, he was a really well known player on Gamebattles and he asked me to assistant him with his new team Betamaxx. I attended 3 LANs as their coach, only achieving one highly respectable placement of 5th.
However, I was then presented with the opportunity to join Fariko Dragons, representing the organisation for over a year. During this period of time we managed to achieve a top five placement at three European events, while also attending the Call of Duty Championships as the only participating UK team.
I've spent my last year dominating the European scene with Epsilon eSports, placing within the top 2 at every EU event attended. Hopefully we will be able to replicate this success heading into Advanced Warfare.
S: What do you like most about being a coach?
D: Well, most of all, I love the competition and the feeling of winning as a team.
Unfortunately, Call of Duty: Ghosts wasn't the best game for coaches as all the strategy and tactics were pretty rigid.
Nevertheless, I still believe I played a vital role within the team’s outstanding performances all throughout the Ghosts’ season.
Personally, as I have gained the respect from the team as their coach, my job has become so much easier and enjoyable.
S: As a coach, what additional benefits do you believe you bring to your team?
D: Firstly, I believe that I can always bring an outside view on most situations that occur within the COD scene. The guys can always come to me for advice or help at any time.
At LAN events I am the 5th player of the team. I am consistently working to keep my players both composed and motivated.
If you are able to balance these two factors appropriately, your team has an automatic advantage over their opponents. This is the key to success.
S: For those of you who haven’t had the chance to witness Dinge coach live, at times he can get extremely hyped. Do you believe this is necessary in order to boost your teams playing ability?
D: I've always had the mind set of "lazy coach, lazy team", that is the reason why you will never see me in a seat while coaching, ever.
Although I don't feel it is necessary to be as hyped as me, I do believe that my level of enthusiasm brings an extra amount of motivation to the teams that I am coaching.
S: During decisive moments, who makes the play calls? Is it the players themselves or you as the coach?
D: Obviously, in game, the players make their own decisions on when they believe it is appropriate and necessary to perform a risky play.
As a coach, I would only ever provide in game advice on certain things. i.e. they could try a certain strategy in the upcoming rounds.
In the past, I have made a few calls at LAN, simply identifying something a player may have missed
However, as far as in game plays go, I believe that is the most say I should have as a coach.
S: Now that Advanced Warfare has been out for a week, what are your initial thoughts of the game?
D: I actually love the game personally. I've hit 10th prestige in a week so you can see how much I like it.
I think it brings a whole new aspect to COD and how it is played. I really can't wait to see how the game plays out at LAN this weekend.
S: The team has changed drastically since the 2014 Call of Duty: Ghosts season, with Tommey joining Vitality, Jurd joining TCM and Swanny attempt to try his luck in America. With several significant roster changes occurring before the upcoming season, could you confirm your new roster and share your opinions on how you think they will fare heading into Advanced Warfare.
D: The new roster is Joshh, Madcat, Peatie and Dominate.
Although many people may see this roster as a strange collection of players, I personally believe we hold the winning formula for a successful year on AW.
The amount of slaying power on this team is crazy and early indications show that this squad could go really far this year.
S: Your first event is this weekend in Coventry at I53 Gaming Festival, what are the team’s aims and objectives for this event?
D: Our aim is to simply do what we do at most events. Win
The team knows what is expected of them by being a part of Epsilon and with that being said I expect a good showing out of them this coming weekend.
S: What are your/the teams’ objectives heading into the Advanced Warfare season?
D: My objectives this year is to continue to aid Epsilon in their growth as one of the largest organisations in eSports.
I have taken on a bigger role this year within Epsilon and I am looking forward to the fresh challenges that this will bring.
The team's objectives are not too certain yet as the team is still fairly new, however, I am sure that they will want to attend as many LANs as possible and continue to build on the teamwork that is already within the team.
S: With Hardpoint making a return in Advanced Warfare, how much does having a coach help in this game type particularly?
D: Hardpoint is really where coaches come into their own.
As the game type is so frantic, having an outside voice can be game changing.
Typically, the coach is used to keep track of the score, time and rotations. Allowing the players to focus their efforts entirely into securing the hardpoint and killing their enemies,
I really cannot wait to get back into a good game of HP, I just hope AW is able to replicate hardpoint as it was in Black Ops II. If so, it will be perfect.
S: Recently, we have seen a decline in the amount of active coaches within competitive Call of Duty community. Do you believe we will see a resurgence in coaches within Advanced Warfare?
D: Previously, coaches were banned at some American events, as some of them were caught cheating. Thankfully, this did not happen within the European scene.
As several top European teams already understand the importance of coaches, I am sure we will see more coaches returning for the AW season.
I just hope MLG drop the ban on coaches.
S: Apart from yourself, who would you say is the best Call of Duty coach in the world?
D: Matt ‘Mr. X’ Morello was by far the best coach in the world. I admired the way he coached his team, always balancing motivation with composure.
Now that he has moved on to other ventures, I am sure it is only fitting for me to take his role "joking".
But when it comes down to stats, I am the most achieved European Call of Duty coach to date.
S: What advice would you offer to a person attempting to pursue a career in eSports coaching?
D: First, I think you need to have some experience and knowledge of playing in a team at a LAN event. You need to understand the environment your players are competing in.
Don’t set your initial goals too high. It took me 3 years of coaching to get to where I am today and I personally believe working your way up to the top is always the best and most rewarding route.
Also, make sure you find a group of players that you get along with both in and outside of the game. Building trust, teamwork and chemistry amongst each other is vital.
Attend LAN events or nobody will ever rate you if you're a stay at home coach.
S: And lastly, who is the funniest person you have ever coached?
D: This is so tough.
I’d probably have to say that Shane and Jokaboii are tied for the title of funniest person I have met and coached within the eSports scene.
Shane (left) Dinge (Right)
Thanks for your time. Before I go, do you have any sponsors or anyone in particular you would like to mention?
Yes thanks, I would like to thank the people who got me to where I am today, Jokaboii, Amaze, Madcat, Shane, Swanny, Jurd, Tommey and Joshh. I would also like to say thank you to our great sponsors Nike, @ScufGaming, @fragnetwork, @GUNNARFRANCE, @Dailymotion, @Gamdias and @viewsonic_uk.
Thank you for reading my article and feel free to follow me on Twitter: @sebby_21
Make sure to follow Dinge if you don’t already: @Epsilon_Dinge
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