What are you doing after the pro scene? Why 17 year old have a bad mindset? Read the story from an ex Hearthstone player, how he get there and what is he thinks about the mindset and gaming?
How do you get into Hearthstone and why did you quit playing competitive?
I discovered it when I was studying as an exchange student and I was playing a lot of Blizzard games and a lot of card games, because it was very natural for me back in the beta and I kept playing for at least four years. I loved the game especially in the first two years but now I decided to stop playing competitively because I didn’t spend a lot of time playing anyways. In the last year mostly because I got I got bored and because I wasn’t really a fan of the new system as a competitive player.
Now what are you doing? What are you playing now?
I mean I play some games but I’m not aiming to be professional of them at least for now. I played some artifact but it’s not very popular so I kinda stopped playing and now I play mostly Auto Chess.I might start magic I would either pick up Hearthstone again or play magic but I’m not going to full time anytime soon.
You focus more on your job now?
Yeah, I mean my my work is not disallowing me from playing competitively I guess but I cannot say I don’t have so much time to play anymore.It’s ok I’ll just play you know like couple of hours after work maybe at weekends a lot but I don’t play 8 hours a day as I used in the past sometimes.
Was it because of the earnings you quit playing or because of the time?
I had that contract and the salary it was much easier because when I had the salary I was going to play more well. I mean I have to be on a high level since I am paid for it but if I’m not a professional if I don’t have a contract I just play as a hobby. So in that case I just play as much as I feel like. Like I don’t do it as a job so I will only play when I enjoy it.
Let’s go to the mindset. What keeps you motivate everyday?
When I was playing Hearthstone even as a beginner I was seeing the competitive players like the ones that made the tournament, especially back in the days invitational, and I saw them and I was contemplating that I can do better than them I can you know I can play as well where I like I can give it a shot. I was motivated by high level tournaments and realizing that I can also do that. For example if I watch League of Legends I know that I need to put ten thousand two followers to become like master or diamond D1 but that’s nothing. So to be you know I cannot be at LCS level ever but I’m good in strategy games because I play board games and card games since I was a child and you don’t need any reflexes. So you can just study them and put time only when you have time. So yeah I mostly that the switch came from a lot of LAN tournaments here in Greece. So every weekend we had the big LAN, and the first place won 50 euro or something. So I just went there played and it was a good game but it was good competition and at the same time good practice.
How do you react to haters?
I guess you have to live with having people that don’t like you and I usually try to just be passive with them.
I tried not to talk to them. Not tried to change there mind. At the same time I’m not going back at them. But usually people that they didn’t like me were the ones that didn’t like the fact that I was a very very strong about putting the time in the game and saying that it’s very important to do your best because the people that I had disagreements with were the ones that they said Hearthstone is only RNG and you got lucky because you won and I was like “yeah it was like this guy won and he played well”. So you should congratulate him not say he sucks. I only care if you play well I don’t care if you win though you have to do your best and they don’t realize that they just think it’s just all RNG and you’re lucky that you got there and it’s not nice because I don’t care because they attack me. I care because they attack the game. So if they say the game is RNG it don’t affect my job because that was my job so that’s why I didn’t’ like that.
How many hours have you played per day and totally?
I think, I have maybe 20000 wins all over overall account but that’s only ladder and I’m a tournament player so I don’t know but about right hours. I didn’t play a lot of hard time compared to most players. I could say I played on average four hours but I did some coaching as well and that changes a lot depending on the day. So if I have a tournament coming up or if it’s the last days of the ladder I may play like 10 hours but if I don’t have a reason to play I may play like a couple of hours. I never played too much because after 10 hours of ladder there I played like shit. So I was a player that played like two four hour session and when I played for five hours I was like Oh my God I played so much because when I went to play I tried to think I don’t just throw cards so I don’t want to go into mechanical mode or whatever you call so.
Are you still coaching today?
I still do some lessons here and now if I have a couple of students that still want to have lessons with me so I still do it but not too much like maybe a couple of hours a week. It’s mostly I don’t coach like people to become the best. I coach mindset. If someone wants me to rise up I just you know help people discover decks and make combos and stuff but not in a very competitive setting. Mostly like a play by play and some fun stuff.
When was the last time you raged or got toxic?
I think it happens to everyone. The games that make me very angry are used to be FIFA or these kinds of games. I only want to play against another opponent in the Internet when I play with friends. When I play alone I don’t rage but I rage because you know when you did a mistake you get punished. And a goal is a major event in a game. It’s the same with Hearthstone. If you make a misplay and you lose a game because of that you rage because it’s a major event. And I usually rage at myself. If I make a splash it costs me I rage a lot but I don’t rage off my opponent if he gets to lucky because I tried to pretend that doesn’t exist and I cannot influence luck in any way.
You search the mistake not by the opponent more by yourself?
Yeah I will not rage if my opponent’s misplayed and win. I will rage when I misplayed. Well if sometimes my opponent plays and wins I tried to calm myself and be like Okay. But I think it’s important to always try to do that about your part of the story because you cannot influence everything right?
How confident are you? Or have you any fear when you play?
I don’t know because I don’t play that much anymore but I can say I’m pretty confident going through the tournament when I know the decks well. I’m sometimes concerned about match ups or if I haven’t played them well and especially that building. Sometimes I’m very uncertain about lineups. I tried to prepare with other people that care about lineups who put the time. That was the hardest part and hardest on for me to find the lineup.
What means success in gaming in Hearthstone for you?
I didn’t have a huge moment of myself maybe Dreamhack Final but it wasn’t like the hardest Dreamhack I played. So I would say the happiest moment when I was 9:0 Dreamhack in Valencia. But then I lost in the next round. But when I won all the rounds I was very happy and I was discovering that was blink. My level was high at the moment but I was still not playing well. So I understood that I learned the game. So basically what success is realizing that your are on a good level and getting better and at the same time you get lucky enough to get results. So what I wanted was to be able to get good at the same time to be able to make that into results. And that’s the hardest part because there have been tournaments where I played well and didn’t do that well because of luck. But a lot of tournaments where I was decently prepared but I played very well and I got there. So it’s mostly about converting your work into the end zone. And that’s why Hearthstone was interesting because you you could go into a tournament unprepared but figure things out on the tournament if they get lucky and make it.
When was the hardest time in the tournaments?
One time when I was qualified for the last playoffs in like two years ago and I submitted the lineup that most thought a lot of pros created. I was practicing with Orange and my friend Fennel was practicing with another practice group. They just told me this is the best lineup so I played it and I had some concerns about both lineups but then ended up playing. I knew that a lot of the matchups I’m going to face are going to be very very one sided. So I just prayed I would avoid these matchups. I only played against such a person but on the tournament I realized the lineup is terrible. So I was telling the people we should knew that they would bring this things and we brought the terrible lineup. So I was just playing a lineup that I felt I needed a wonder to win. I was playing in bad matchups that were 10% maybe in my favour. And it felt really bad because I felt that if I did another preparation I would have a shot. But with this lineup I was begging for a miracle.
Do you believe the positive mindset helps in gaming?
I think it is at least the best thing to try to do the best with what you’re given and never be negative. Don’t be hyper optimistic and in the same time but you should always try to be positive and try to do the best with the resources who are given. If you say, I’m going to lose I’m going to be unlucky, then yes you will lose.
Are you more a positive or a negative person?
I would say I’m slightly optimistic scope but at the same time I’m also realistic. So if I know I am unprepared I’m going to go I’m fucked but okay let’s do the best we can. You know like being mega preparded. I try to be realistic I overall.
Do you have supporters?
I after my second year in Hearthstone after playing competitively, we worked a lot with Phenomeno because we were in the same team. When he started, I was already in a good team so I helped him start his big break. And then he just became very good. And then I was learning from him.
But it’s very it’s very important always to work with people that are equally good or better than you.
How is your health activity outside of gaming?
I used to work out a bit. Actually, I worked quite a lot but in periods so I’m not consistently working out and I tried to catch some like I go running but that’s not very often. I play some tennis but that’s not very often I play soccer with my friends but not every week.
So I would say I have a medium to light activity but to answer probably your next question I feel way better when I work out so that I would say it influences my play better when I work out and I’m actually going to the gym in 40 minutes. I get it after months
How is your social life while you were playing Hearthstone? Could you met your friends?
More than I do now for sure because Hearthstone is like except if you are in a high stakes tournament or in a very busy period it’s for me it was a relaxed work because I didn’t stream every day. So I had more time for my friends for sure and my friends are also gamers.
And two of them also play Hearthstone and I and my Hearthstone friends are also kind of my friends. So it was it worked quit well.
Do you have any goals for the future?
I mean I would like to work in the gaming industry. I don’t think I’m going to be a player again. Maybe decent in Hearthstone if I find that Willpower. Sure but I don’t think I’m going to compete full time.
What I’m saying to my friends is there’s some 17 year old German kids that are very clever and they play 14 hours a day and cannot beat them. You know it’s like that and you can beat them in any LAN environments if you will because you have the correct mindset what they don’t. But their gameplay will be much better except if you work super hard.
So my goals I would like to have a good job in the industry maybe be a manager of a big team or you know traveling with a team. I could do a lot of things I guess like marketing business development manager and so on. I currently work in the i betting esports betting sector which is a bit close to esports but I prefer esport for that.
Have you a tip?
Some times after when you play some decks or whatever some classes you’re done to get good with them. So what do you like and what you’re good that you do to prepare it. And when you play a tournament you need to try to create your comfort zone in the in the LAN environment. So what do I mean. I mean bring the decks you can play well being in a position where you are confident and you’re feeling well eat food that makes you feel well. Workout for your feel well. So try to make an environment that simulates the environment you have at home. So if you only play aggro decks and you go to a tournament and you play control and eat a pizza up before you will play terribly because it’s the first time you face that you’re under stress. Your computer may not work. You have to be on stream which is always hard sometimes especially for beginners. My first time on stream with 40’000 people watching was brutal. It was brutal I just blacked out.
What is the different between you as a 26 year old player and a 17 year old?
Yeah I would say newer players they expect quick results so they don’t have patience. They’re going to LAN tournament. They do zero. They just lose the first round and then that affects them. So they are affected by losses very easily. And they want fast result so they’re not very used to the process.