RWF Guild Spotlight: FatSharkYes
Amidst the changing landscape of the Race to World First (RWF), FatSharkYes (FSY) stands as a lone wolf, different from the rest. Known as a paragon of modern-day raiding and placing world 4th in the Castle Nathria RWF, FSY has managed to push competitive world ranks with talented players entirely at their own pace. Allowing players to leave for top guilds with no hard feelings, FSY maintains a uniquely “chill” vibe, keeping traditions while still evolving with each new member. They are in a category of their own.
To put things in perspective, FSY is one of the only guilds left that ranks in the top 10 and do not day-raid on a full-time schedule. In 2012, Guild Master Tusn and 9 players formed FatSharkYes as a 10 man guild. In 2015, they had their first top 20 world finish, 2016 - top 10. And finally, in 2019, they finished as a top 5 guild. In Castle Nathria, amidst all the sponsored RWF events, they still finished top 4 in the world entirely on their own terms.
Today, we sat down and chatted with FSY Guild Master, Tusn — the only member of FSY from the original guild. He shares a wealth of knowledge and experience that he holds together with the help of his officer core of Lophis, Josh, Xesevi, and Spud. We talk about their roster and migrations to the top guilds, what it would take for them to go full-time, how their raid prep differs and a lot more below.
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“In the end, that’s what this is all about — do what you enjoy. We have created an atmosphere where elite people are pushing each other to the limit of their skill level while still having a good and relaxed time together.”
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. What is the name FatSharkYes and what are the origins of the guild? What is your guild’s core philosophy towards raiding and has it been adjusted over time?
Tusn: FatSharkYes is a direct translation from the Swedish expression “Fethajja”. It is commonly used in this specific sentence: “Det kan du fethajja!” This is pretty much something you may say in Sweden when you are pumped up and are agreeing with someone. We were a bunch of gamers living in a city called Sundsvall, Sweden. We all knew each other IRL and, in the summer before the release of MoP, we decided to start from zero and build something great together. This is when FSY was born.
As all of the founding members of FSY were about the same age, (20 ish at the time). We already had or were about to start studying at universities to pursue a “real” career. We decided that we were only ever going to expect people to play during evenings, so we started off as a 3-night guild and ramped up to a 7-night guild the first week of Siege of Orgrimmar’s released.
Our core philosophy is to have fun and clear all new content ASAP while keeping the preparations on a good enough level. My personal definition of “fun” in this game has been to minimize requirements of raid preparation as much as possible while still giving ourselves a decent shot at climbing up the ranks in each tier. We (me and my officers) always weigh the pros and cons before telling anyone to do something when it comes to raid prep. We prefer to ask less from our raiders, but with our current roster, there are people that do more than what we ask just because that's what they enjoy. And in the end, that’s what this is all about — do what you enjoy. We have created an atmosphere where elite people are pushing each other to the limit of their skill level while still having a good and relaxed time together.
All we ask of people is to come prepared and do their best, and this has so far taken us to world rank 4 twice in a row now.
“We wish them all the best and we still look at them as sharks, but now they're simply up there on the biggest scene representing FSY in some smaller way.”
Q: The RWF has certainly blown up more in recent years, now that more and more guilds are being picked up by esports organizations and hosting events. That being said, there is more movement between top guilds. How do you handle roster turnovers?
Tusn: We ask our raiders to be honest and straightforward when it comes to these kinds of decisions. To be blunt about it, in our eyes, we are not even in the same ballpark as Complexity-Limit or Echo — so if any of our raiders want to commit to a world-first raiding guild, we are only wishing them the best of luck. For us, they will always be a “shark” and its only good PR for us to have them doing outstanding performances on the top scene showing everyone what FSY are made of. (Both in raid environments like Scott, Impec, Wolfdisco, Merees but also the farming environments in The Maw like our beloved shark Fleks.)
They are always welcome back!
Q: Something we’ve noticed about FSY is that you’re very well-liked in the high-end raiding community and lack controversy. What do you think attributes to this perception? What is your guild culture like?
Tusn: I think it might be because we don’t make that much noise; we just log on and play. When progress comes around, we do our best to be as effective as possible. We put all our time and effort into studying the fights and tactics of the top guilds and then try to implement what we think is the best tactic for us.
During the long farm periods, most of us are playing other games or are doing different stuff entirely while waiting for new content to speed through. We are not as invested into the game as maybe other guilds are. We try to focus more on ourselves and look inwards to try and find stuff that we can improve on.
Another thing might be that there is not much to dislike about us because it might be hard to find stuff to dislike in the first place. We are a guild that protects our raid environment by not streaming anything — not video nor voice. All we share is kill videos or you can usually find us on RWF events where we provide hidden live feeds directly to the event.
We are having so much fun together on voice and in raids that we are really conservative with letting people from the outside watch us do our thing. We don't want anything to interfere with what we are doing. We just want to get it over with ASAP so we can go and do other stuff again. But who knows, maybe we will start to share more about what we do - when we do it - in the future.
Our guild culture is built up by memes and dedication. We only accept people to our guild that are a good fit socially plus that they do whatever they can to constantly improve. Everyone in the guild at this point is a leader and we all succeed and fall as a team. They all put tremendous pressure on themselves to perform at the highest level possible. We have an open-minded approach to new ideas and stop to listen to suggestions as we go on.
Here is a kill video from N’zoth where one of our guildies decided to do an edited cut where he included all the memes that were going around during this period in the guild.
Q: Past guild culture, let’s talk pure skill. In the most recent Castle Nathria RWF, Limit Max even shouted out FSY on Twitter for being one of the best guilds in the world, period. What do you have to say about your low pull-count and how you play against other guilds competing at the top world level?
Tusn: We do for sure believe that we got the skill level that both Limit and Echo have. But we don’t have the skill set needed for a guild competing in the RWF. The skill level has a cap, anyone can be good enough. Doing the preparation and having the organisations behind these two giants are putting them so far ahead of everyone else IMO.
Yes, we raid way less than Limit and Echo if you look at how many hours we spend inside the raid compared to both these guilds during progress. But even if FSY said tomorrow that we were going to day raid (16h ish/day) we would still not compete for the RWF.
For us to have a chance we would first of all need a lot of new raiders that were able and wanted to do these hours during progress. They would have to be prepared to put in as much effort if not more on the preparation before the raid release. Then, when we finally would have a roster including these new players, we would probably need at least a couple of RWF before we had a clue what it’s really about. And if the guild were to survive this long and that we kept the quality of players that we got today - maybe we would have a decent shot at world first.
This is most likely not going to happen. We are who we are and we are just doing our thing. But yes, we got a team with the skill for RWF. But there is so much more than just skill that is involved to become a great RWF guild.
Q: Given the scope that the RWF is reaching, have you considered increasing your raid schedule? If so, what changes do you see to the guild if you went full-time? If not, what are your goals for FSY in the future of the RWF and what would it take for you to go for World First all-in?
Tusn: We actually started a few hours earlier than 16.00 the very first day of the last release and we are planning to do that this tier too!
We are always asking ourselves this question because we can see the potential that we have as a team. However, it always comes down to the fact that our raid team is an evening guild that does zero preparation in terms of hours spent in game compared to the giants today. We would need to pretty much start a new guild for this to be a possibility.
Our goal is as always to improve. We are very self critical and do always find stuff that we could have done better. We rarely make the same mistake twice and this makes us a very tough challenger for the top 5. We hope to keep a top 5 position but we are aware that guilds around us are ramping up preparation and hours that we just can’t compete with.
We are always open for suggestions, but something big would need to happen. I think a big financial partner together with a reform of the guild is the only way this would even be a possibility, but we’ve spent so much time moulding the guild into what it is now, and what FSY does right now is what this team is made to do.
“At FSY, you can progress IRL while still playing at the very top.”
Q: Continuing off of the last question, FSY is known to be a highly efficient raiding team. What is your raid prep like? Do you require alts and split runs? If so, how many alts are players required to maintain for each tier and why?
Tusn: We do ask all our members to have one main and one alt for the first tier of an expansion. After that, it's one main and two alts. On these, we try to put as a minimal requirement on prep as possible. We ask people to have 3 characters up to date to enable us to do 3 split raids. We think that generally 3 splits is enough to get good enough gear. If you push more, the upgrade chance divided by time spent is not worth it in our eyes. We want to put all our time and energy in during the Mythic weeks instead of push 6-7 split runs the week prior to that.
Q: You’ve talked about not streaming your progress, but how much of your boss and overall raid strategy comes from watching the top 2-3 guilds clear it before you? Would you say you make your own, specifically FSY strats and comps, or does the fact that they stream mean a lot?
Tusn: Pretty much 100% of our strategies derive from guilds killing the bosses before us. And yes, most commonly we take either a Limit or Echo strat that we study before we go in. On some bosses, it happens that we take strats from any of the top 30 guilds. We try to pick whatever tactic looks easiest to adapt to our raid.
This is always how we have done our thing. Back in the Nihilum days, we were a big fan of certain strats because they were good at making fights look easy. It’s only been a few times where we have started to progress on a boss with no kill video or POV already released. I guess we are great at breaking down kill vids and then going in and executing those tactics. Sometimes we bring some ideas from a few different kill videos to make the most optimal one (for Sire Denathrius we used the Echo P1 strat and a Limit P2 and P3 strat). But most of the time, we just copy pasta.
Q: I know you’ve mentioned that you’ve thought about ending the guild twice. Why is that? What motivates you as a guild master to keep on competing for top ranks, tier after tier?
Tusn: We've been through both ups and downs in this guild. The first time it happened was when we were forced to go from a 10 man guild to a 20man. And during this time, we broke one of our rules that we had and brought along a bunch of people that were almost on the brink of destroying the guild from the inside. This happened in WOD in between Highmaul and BRF. We ended up losing 8 ish people 1 week before BRF progress and everything looked very dark. But we pulled through and got ourselves the best rank yet at that time. It was a good lesson for us and it only made us stronger in the end. Here is a post from our site at this point of time.
The second time was in the Tomb of Sargeras. We went in with two newly-recruited tanks when progress started and after a lot of people quitting throughout our one month progress, we came out with two new tanks. During this period, we lost some of our best players and many people's morale was rock bottom, including my own. But we just kept on grinding because this project was not done. As always we try to learn from our mistakes and are never going to put ourselves in this position again.
What motivates me to keep on going is that, first of all, I enjoy doing what I do. I have an amazing team of people that I get so much energy out of. They are a bunch of great human beings that make you want to farm The Maw and Torghast for hours without even thinking about it. Looking at how the attention is drawn to RWF I personally feel like this scene can grow to be huge in a few years. And I want to help FSY to keep being great at whatever we do for as long as I have something to bring to the table. In the comments of this post is some RP that I brought to hype the guild from back 2013.
Q: There’s a great comparison to be drawn between you and Paragon, one of the best and most popular raiding teams of all time. There are a few parallels, such as your region, your skill, and your seemingly more “private” atmosphere in your guilds. Was Paragon one of your inspirations/did you have any interaction with them?
Tusn: They were always my favorite guild when they were playing. I started to follow the RWF back when we started FSY. But back when Paragon still played, it felt like all guilds were a bit more “private”. What we do now in FSY is something that we just think makes sense for us. We want to keep doing our best work and keep providing as good results as possible. Keeping voice chat private is something we think is one of the great parts in our success.
Other inspirations we’ve had were ScrubBusters and Ascendance back in the day. They were the only guilds that raided close to our hours. We always compared ourselves to them and it felt unreal the day when we managed to beat them. Guilds like us are a bit of a dying art; we would love to have some more competition with another guild equal to our hours again.
Q: Will there be any difference to your approach to Sanctum of Domination compared to previous tiers?
Tusn: No, we plan to just do our thing. It’s been a long farm and we look forward to some progression time again.
“Each tier, we don't really focus on a particular world rank bracket, just that we can get the best out of our players and to be able to look back on a tier with fond memories.”
Q: What are some of your favorite guild moments in the recent tier and throughout the guild’s history? What do you hope to achieve in Sanctum of Domination?
Tusn: Over the past few expansions, there have definitely been some breakthrough moments in the guild. Coming into Legion, we gained our first Top 10 spot and since then, we've had other major moments, such as achieving Top 5 on three occasions since the start of BFA. Each tier, we don't really focus on a particular world rank bracket, just that we can get the best out of our players and to be able to look back on a tier with fond memories. And that will extend into Sanctum of Domination as well.
Q: What were the hardest moments of the last raid tier? What are you doing to improve for this tier?
Tusn: To see the rise and fall of Kungen/Nihilum once again. It had some good content, and we look forward to the next one! But some of it was a hard watch.
I think keeping up the motivation/mentality during the long farm was the hardest thing regarding the last tier. For the first time, we dropped down to just one raid during farm, so in effect, we were only raiding 1-2 hours every week for the last 2 months.
We have made some structural changes due to people quitting etc., so I’m looking forward to seeing what we together with the new recruits can bring to this tier. No major changes, just keep pumping.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Tusn: Lophis, Xesevi, Spud, and Josh — I say thank you from everyone in the guild! Keep it up lads!
Big shoutout to one of the founders and my old Co-GM, Roosta/Carlaena. We wouldn’t even be close to how great we are today if it wasn’t for you and your outlook! You taught me more than you know. And thank you to all of our current and previous raiders!
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About the Authors
Starym is an old-school raider with a wide history of World Firsts under his belt. He is a long-time news writer and interviewer for Icy Veins and formerly Manaflask. Having raided in the Race to World First (RWF) until the end of The Burning Crusade, he has been covering the events since Cataclysm and the RWF has become his greatest passion in WoW. A (Tauren, obviously) Warrior main at heart, when pushed, he will admit to loving Diablo more than WoW and, thus, should be punished.
Vitaminpee specializes in tanking classes in WoW and other MMORPGs and loves doing competitive Mythic+. She is the Editor and Assistant Producer of Raider.IO and is currently pursuing her Masters of Business Administration. She is a partnered Twitch streamer and Discord Partner. Feel free to message her via Twitter for any business-related inquiries.