GosuCup SEA winner interviewed: "The SEA scene nowadays is more competitive and motivated"
We interviewed the Malaysian player Exonator who conquered GosuCup SEA #3 this Saturday on the state of the Southeast Asian scene and its chances at a Blizzcon appearance.
First of all - congrats on winning GosuCup SEA #3 for the Summer season! What are you doing with the $300?
Thanks. I think I'm just going to save it for now and maybe spend them on future major tournaments' trip fee.
You played against some of the best players in the region: WaningMoon, Neilyo, Syvheonne. That must’ve been tough!
Yes it's very tough and the matches were very close, especially Waningmoon and Neilyo who have always been the top players in GosuCup.
I know you aren't new to competitive Hearthstone, but do you still get nervous facing these players? I mean, WaniningMoon has, what, four GosuCup titles? And Neilyo was at Blizzcon!
I've been playing Hearthstone competitively as free-to-play player since open beta. I am still nervous facing them. Even though I faced them a lot of times, and Waningmoon sometimes plays practice games with me, I have to mentally ready to play my perfect game against them.
Speaking of those two, Neilyo in particular and his participation at Blizzcon gave SEA the much needed exposure. How do you judge the state of the scene nowadays, when you compare it to, say, 2014 or early 2015?
I think the state of the scene nowadays is being more competitive and more motivated as people get to see that they get a chance to enter Blizzcon as a SEA player. In early 2015, there were more casual players and people not familiar with the game yet, whereby the competitive scene nowadays is much harder and has more good players.
Are you seeing more companies willing to invest and support Hearthstone in the region, now that the scene is picking up and has an easier path in HCT?
I am not sure about other countries, but in Malaysia it is very hard to get investment and support from companies for now because the lack of competitive and committed players, but I believe in future time, there will be more companies investing and supporting when we get more achievements and exposure from cup and major tournaments.
How do you like the state of the game at the moment, with Old Gods out?
I like it very much, especially when the standard mode was announced. I see some of the old times players are returning and also how the classes are much more stable than before. It’s not just like sticking midrange Druid which it makes the game more fun. Also, no more Dr.Boom and BGH!
And no more Priest either though?
Yeah, Priest is still not. It is lacking good minions. Hopefully there are some new cards that can buff Priest in the future. The class is one of my favorites.
I spoke to some colleagues and they think the loss of Dark Cultist as a solid 3-drop hurt the class a lot.
Yeah, true, because now there is even fewer good solid minions for Priest, although Forbidden Shaping helps the class slightly curve-wise it contains too much RNG where you need to be very lucky to get a good minion out of it.
On the topic of standard - it was welcome by pretty much every single pro player, but the one concern repeatedly expressed is how they treat classic, i.e. leave it as is, always part of standard, without making amends to the card pool. Are you for or against that?
For now, I am okay with classic being in the standard mode, because the cards in the new expansion are not too strong that the classic cannot handle. In order for them to take out classic, they would need to have more good cards for each class in the upcoming expansion. So, I think I am good with it now.
You mentioned you're on Team M8 at the moment. How's that going for you? Who else is on it?
Yes I am. It's going great for me as it is the best managed team I have had so far. My teammates are all friendly and good players. We have solid competitors like Chongger, Fizdarth, Lalasong, RevengeCCS. Sorry I couldn't mention everyone, but everyone in the current team is very helpful.
Your country is doing quite well in GosuCup SEA this season: Two first places and one top 4. Seems like you guys are on a mighty rise!
Yeah, my country is training way harder this season like, more inhouse practice, more discussions and more tournaments because everyone is hyped to aim for one goal: go to Blizzcon!
Do you think the region has a real shot? SEA has indeed come a long way, but then again - so has everyone else.
Yes, I do. I believe everyone has a real shot as long as they play perfectly. From what I see, a lot of the players from our region did play perfectly well and I hope that one of the Malaysian players can go through because of all the hardwork each of us has done. Although it is hard since everyone else is well prepared, we can get through it as long as RNG is with us and play our game with no mistakes.
Awesome man, thanks for the interview! Final words?
I'd like to thank you for hosting the Gosucup tournament, and thanks to my M8 Gaming teammates for everything, without them I might not be able to be the champion I am now. Also, I would like to thank my friends and fans for the supports and cheers. I will continue to work even harder to show more perfect games in the future.