As you may have seen on our social media Wolves eSports attended DreamHack Leipzig at the end of January.
With Tobias “Blank” Endres, Jannik”dontbemad” Hellebrandt, and Franz “Jose_Zlatan” Zech, we had three players who qualified for the Hearthstone Win the Winter tournament by TaKeTV and the Sony PS Masters 2018 in FIFA 18 respectively. With Sebastian “Chrysior” Lautenbach from our Vainglory team and Patrick “Butterflywolve” Freier and Fabio “Sn1x” Coelho from our management attending the event, there have been six Wolves on the prowl at DreamHack. The DreamHack Leipzig was our first major event and we’re happy to have been given the opportunity to attend not just as spectators, but as players.
While “Jose_Zlatan” lost his first match in the PS Masters, the quarter finals, against the player who finished the event in 2nd place and was quickly elimininated, “Blank” and “dontbemad” managed to get into round 5 of the lower bracket where both of them lost their match unfortunately. Apart from that, “Chrysior” and “Sn1x” represented Wolves during the first on-stage 5v5 Vainglory match in Europe.
After the DreamHack was done and everyone had some time to reflect on their tournaments, we asked the three players a couple of questions about DreamHack, their goals and what they learned during their stay in Leipzig.
Hello guys, would you be so kind to shortly introduce yourselves?
Blank: Hi, my name is Tobias Endres and I’m 25 years old. I started playing Hearthstone in March 2017 and invest a lot of time into the game since then. At the end of last year, I was able to win my first tournaments and very happy about my progress so far.
dontbemad: Hi, I’m Jannik. I am 27 years old and live in the vicinity of Dortmund, Germany.
Jose_Zlatan: My name is Franz Zech and my gamertag is “Jose Zlatan”. I live close to Dresden on Saxony, Germany and I’m 21 years old. Just recently I joined Wolves eSports as a FIFA player which also has been the start of my esports career. Currently, I study to become a teacher in maths and sports. In my freetime I play football in the sixth division.
What was the experience like? Especially compared to online play and being able to see your opponent.
Blank: Playing online offers some kind of convenience as you are able to play in a familiar environment without having to travel and taking care of other things. However, I prefer offline as I enjoy the face-2-face situation. It’s a lot more exciting.
dontbemad: It’s always different to see your opponent compared to online play at home. You can always take a look at your opponent and try to interpret the reactions and facial expressions.
Jose_Zlatan: The DreamHack has been my first offline event and it was a completely new experience for me. First of all, you have a lot more respect for your opponent if you sit across from him as he went through the same qualifier. Second, you can’t create the same level of focus and concentration as I can do at home. I usually listen to music and that helps me concentrate. It simply didn’t work for me this time. I was a bit too excited as people were watching me play FIFA and you were still able to hear outside noise from the event despite headsets and music. However, it was pretty cool to be able to meet and talk to the people which isn’t always possible online.
FIFA: You lost your first match against the player who finished 2nd. What was your impression of the other participants?
Jose_Zlatan: Despite the FUT Champions Cup in Barcelona which took place at the same time, the competition was pretty strong. Everyone had to deliver over an extended period of time to qualify and everyone was at the same level in my opinion. The only real difference has been the experience that a few players lacked, including me. That might have been a small advantage for the others.
FIFA: Looking back at the event and your performance, what can you learn and improve on?
Jose_Zlatan: Of course I want to qualify for more offline events in the future, maybe even the PS Masters again if they happen. I had some decent talks with other players and the commentators and was able to identify a few issues I need to work on. For example, I need to cross more. I haven’t done that yet as they haven’t been useful in FIFA17 and kind of neglected them in FIFA18 so far. I also played too slow when attacking. Those fast passes can be extremely dangerous. Everyone had to deal with some kind of delay which made that a bit harder, at least for me. Depending on the situation, I could also change formation a lot more, to see what helps me score more goals. Overall, I need to adapt to certain situations quicker than I do right now. Learning new formations to become more flexible is another goal for me.
Hearthstone: The DreamHack used the Last Hero Standing format instead of the usual Conquest format. What is your take on that?
Blank: I prefer LHS over Conquest as a tournament mode. In LHS, it comes down to the lineup as well as the pick order. Without a decently balanced lineup you can get 3-0’d pretty easily.
dontbemad: I always preferred LHS. You need to have a lot more variation in your lineup to be able to counter different decks. It’s less dependent on queueing good matchups compared to conquest.
Hearthstone: What is your take on the meta? Have there been any surprises during your matches?
Blank: I actually like the current meta. Raza priest has been my favorite deck to play since I started even though a lot of people hate it. Strong decks such as the Raza priest do not bother me as much as RNG or high roll effects like Spiteful Summoner.
dontbemad: The meta did not really surprise me. It was clear that most people would play the 4 strongest decks since it was open deck list. You weren’t able to surprise anyone but I still played against a Quest Druid which confused me a bit.
Hearthstone: Let’s talk about the nerfs after the event. What are your opinions on that?
Blank: I have mixed feelings about the nerfs. Yes, the correct cards are nerfed but we still have to see if the meta changes in the desired direction in the future.
dontbemad: I think the nerfs are understandable. I don’t get why they happen now though. A lot of these cards could have been nerfed a while ago and not just shortly before the rotation. I was surprised that the Warlock dodged any nerf. Overall, I’m still happy Blizzard reacted with these nerfs.
Was it your first offline event? What impressed you the most?
Blank: I was able to get some offline experience in the Innogy Card Master Series and managed to bring that over to the DreamHack. I haven’t been as nervous as I was in Bochum (Innogy Card Master Series).
dontbemad: It was my second offline event since I played the offline finals of the Innogy Card Master Series in Bochum last year. Playing offline at DreamHack wasn’t a first for me and I knew a lot of the players there already. However, the atmosphere at DreamHack was something special.
What have you been able to learn during DreamHack?
Blank: You have to put in a lot of time preparing for the tournament and develop some kind of serenity. Participating here shows you what esports means.
dontbemad: That I should definitely go there a day earlier than I did to have a good nights sleep before the tournament starts. Waking up at 4 in the morning, sitting in a train for 5 hours and then having to play 8-10 hours of high level Hearthstone was pretty exhausting.
Jose_Zlatan: That I need to constantly improve to be prepared a lot better for the next offline event. Well, and I can take this whole experience with me.
What are your goals for the next few months?
Blank: I want to continue to improve and to qualify for a seasonal championship in 2018.
dontbemad: I would like to win a Challenger Cup and participate in local Tavern Heroes if possible as I don’t have the time to reach a high finish in the ladder at the moment.
Jose_Zlatan: To constantly improve of course. Recently I managed 39 wins in the weekend league for the first time. I want to be in the top100 a lot more in the future and I’d love to play more offline events and keep qualifying for them.
Now that we’re done with the questions it’s your time to say something!
Blank: I’m happy I joined my first esports team and hope that 2018 will be a successful year for Wolves and me.
dontbemad: Huge thank you to Patrick and Fabio for their support during the DreamHack! It was great meeting them and Tobias in person, to get to know them. I hope we’ll see each other during other events. Shoutouts to the rest of the Wolves out there!
Following are some images from DreamHack Leipzig – #GoWolves