The other day i decided to interview both Osha and HelloLeeroy from xL.Hearthstone!
Kieran: So since both of you have been at exceL for quite some time now, hows it been representing the orgnisation for just over a year!
HelloLeeroy: I’ve enjoyed feeling like part of a team. The guys are great, supportive and provide us with a bunch of cool gear (even got a cheeky snapback recently). Looking forward to this year where they are looking to support us to go to even more events!
Osha: Considering excel has been my first organisation I was extremely excited at the opportunity given to represent an organisation in a game I was good at and have the support from everyone and feeling a sense of importance. Hopefully this year with more support we can attend events in Europe and be successful together.
Kieran: So Leeroy, you mention your Snapbacks! I can remember watching a ESL Premiership game where we was switching between snapbacks each turn.. how did that tournament go for you overall?
Leeroy: I love the prem. The problem is that I do well in the group stage, where I get to mess around on stream and, obviously, feel more relaxed but when I get to the actual live event I get a little bit phased out by it all. The same happened during an event at the Hippodrome in London too, where I nailed it playing on my ipad in a room but as soon as I got on stream I was taken down by Osha and then xl3en. I definitely enjoyed the experience as a whole though, I just wish I could represent myself a bit better when it comes to live finals
Kieran: So Osha, Leeroy mentioned about losing to you at the Hippodrome event in London, could you tell us about your event history in the last 3/4 months?
Osha: As you may know I participated in the ESL UK Premiership in the 1st and 2nd seasons and my performances in both seasons have been atrocious. In the 1st season I finished last and in the 2nd season I finished second from last. I’m determined for the 3rd season to invest more time in my preparation and analyse my opponent more to figure out a strong strategy to help me win and push me towards the offline finals.
Kieran: Why do you feel like you do worse online? compared to Leeroy who feels like he has the advantage in a casual environment!
Osha: I’ve always seemed to do well in qualifiers when I know I am not being watched and the pressure is off. I also tend to do very well in qualifiers or tournaments which are continuous, unlike the ESL premiership which is just 1 series a week. I have a much stronger mind-set if I have to perform continuously in 1 day. I think Leeroy has a great mind for strategy games especially hearthstone, and I think once he overcomes the offline pressure he will go on to be very successful in future events.
Kieran: So you both mentioned the Hippodrome event, how was that for the both of you and what was the experience like playing in such a different environment?
Osha: The Hippodrome is an amazing casino which I visited a few times in the past but after getting invited to the event along with Leeroy, I couldn’t turn it down. It such a different feeling playing at such a venue and getting rewarded for it as well. Hopefully there will be more events like this in the future.
Leeroy: I enjoyed playing on my iPad in the backroom. When you got to the semi-finals though you were required to play on stream at a little table with the casters sat a few metres away from you. I went 2-0 up in the semi and lost 3-2 and 2-0 up in the third place play-off and lost 3-2. I don’t think I handle pressure that well. The environment wasn’t much different to playing at bar events, like the first time I lost to osha really. Anyway, after losing I got really really drunk, had a little cameo on stream and ‘borrowed’ one of the winners chips and bet it to win £40
Kieran: So moving onto more Hearthstone based stuff, Last month the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan got realised and as usual, the meta always shifts after an expansion, how are you guys liking the new meta!
Leeroy: Personally, I’m not the biggest fan. I know that there are lots of different decks running about but they all have this theme of “run patches or kazakus or go away”, which isn’t great. I’ve tried messing around with typically ‘old school’ midrange/curvey decks like tempo mage and c’thun druid but they just get crushed by (and because they don’t run) kazakus and patches. I’m sure there is room for creativity though, and I’m sure there is a druid list out there that nobody is playing yet. Right now though I would say that meta is stifling creative deck building.
Osha: I’m really enjoying the meta to be honest because I felt a sense of boredom during the previous expansion and got very demotivated as only a certain number of decks were conquering ranked system and tournaments. However now, more decks are created (like every start to an expansion) and there is a lot of room for deckbuilding as more cards get introduced along with the existing cards. I’m looking forward to building and trying more decks as I like to have a few tech choices in my decks so that opponents are confused as to what I’m playing
Kieran: Since both of you have given completely different answers, I would like to ask this, what decks are you prioritising to become better at? Since some players go for pure power or what their comfortable at, what do you guys like playing at the moment!
Osha: When I feel that I’m “comfortable” with, I seem to play it the best. That used to be C’thun Druid. I found it an amazing deck both defensively and offensively. I will be trying to make a variant of it now with the new cards. Other than that, Paladin and Hunter seem to be the forgotten classes with the expansion so I will be looking to create some decks to try out and use against my opponents to confuse them. There is some potential there it just needs a solid strategy.
Leeroy: Rogue, used to play it a lot and even though it’s good again I haven’t really picked it up much. Also, it’s a slightly different style to other decks, even if adding pirates makes it a little bit more of a “slam stuff on curve” type. Renolock too, something I haven’t really played much before, getting the finese of that deck down could prove useful in tournament strategies because you can tech it to do lots of different things. Personally I look for variety because I’m aware that when I play against the absolute best players I am behind them mechanically so in tournaments I need to gain the advantage elsewhere.
Kieran: Interesting, Personally I’m liking Jade druid! But I feel like theirs some hidden archetypes left, what do you think that might become insanely strong in the future!
Osha: I quite like Jade Druid, it feels a little like C’thun Druid did in the previous expansion. However, I think it’s a little slow for the meta at the moment and not many great area of effect spells. I think Paladin will be quite strong once someone finds a deck. I except there to be more aggressive decks in the near future as well.
Leeroy: In the immediate future (before next expansion) I think some sort of malygos or kun the forgotten king druid might pop up and mess people around for a week or two before being hated away and, to go out on a limb, someone might absolutely tear a tournament with hunter just for it to never be seen again too. In the long term, it obviously depends a lot on what cards get added, but after the new expansion there could be some seriously good midrange decks that pop up when reno Jackson leaves and people stop playing kazakus. Freeze mage could make a bit of a comeback if it can tech to beat aggro enough and survive the loss of Emperor T.
Kieran: Interesting that you both see Midrange/Aggro still being on top! But lastly, is their anyone that you would like to shoutout to finish this interview off!
Osha: Shoutout to excel, coolermaster and Leeroy!
Leeroy: shoutout SirFunchalot, Ryukuma and DaquanWolf!