A long history in Blizzard games and a long history with Sheth come together in the announcement of our Heroes of the Storm squad.
DunkTrain, Pithx, Biceps, Caffeine, and Sheth are the five players who will represent the Liquid blue at Blizzcon, battling Cloud 9, Fnatic, and Evil Geniuses. I’m excited to see these guys come together and work toward the goal of becoming Blizzcon champions. It’s clear already they’re all really motivated to show the world what they are capable of. They will receive the support of Oxygen who will help the team as a coach.
When forming the team, it was a big deal for me to work with Sheth again. Without him, I genuinely do not know if we would be attending Blizzcon with our own Heroes team. I believe in making the most of your opportunities, when the opportunity arose to work with Sheth again it was one I could only welcome. It was his expertise that allowed us to pick up four promising individuals and take a shot at the Blizzcon gold.
Shawn has been through a lot and I'm happy to see him work through adversity and eventually find joy without pain in Heroes of the Storm. We go back a long time and that we get to do this together is something special.
In addition to Blizzcon, we’re also looking to other tournaments to see our team play. In order to test ourselves and practice, we’ll be joining as many tournaments as we can. Although Blizzcon is important and is probably going to be an evaluation point, I definitely hope that forming the team can be a lasting endeavor.
DunkTrain, Pithx, Biceps, Caffeine, Oxygen welcome to the team.
I wanted to take a moment and explain a little about my decision to create a Heroes team with Liquid. Personally, I haven't found a game as fun to play as Heroes in a long time. I've been playing it over eight hours a day for three months now, and I find I’m constantly finding new things. At first I thought I'd learn all there was to know about it in a short period of time, but after playing it for this long, I now know I'll probably be searching for that "perfect game" endlessly.
Coordinating with your teammates is key in a lot of ways, but when everyone works together and a fight unfolds just as you envisioned it, it is a really satisfying feeling. In Heroes you can have an amazing number of teamfights per game, so it feels like there’s a lot of action crushed into a match.
With tournaments popping up and teams really starting to get competitive, I'm having an amazing time. After committing to the Heroes team officially I spent what felt like forever looking for the right players for the team. Eventually I found four people who I think are all extremely talented and a good fit for Liquid. We came back to Victor and discussed everything and now here we are, preparing to face the rest of the competition. I hope to impress with our play, and if you haven't checked out Heroes of the Storm yet, I'd recommend you at least try it once, if only so you can understand how well we're doing on the main stage!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks to TL for giving us this opportunity.
Interview with DunkTrain
Hey, allow me to be one of the first to congratulate you on being part of the Teamliquid Heroes team! Could you introduce yourself for those people out there who might not be familiar with you?
Yes absolutely. For the majority of you who don't know who I am, I'm DunkTrain, a long time ARTS/MOBA player who switched to Heroes of the Storm during the first technical alpha invitation wave. I've been streaming Heroes and trying to contribute to growing the community since.
How did you get picked up by Liquid? How do you feel about TL being involved with Heroes?
The way I got picked up by Liquid is actually kind of weird. I've been somewhat on the outskirts of the burgeoning competitive scene in Heroes since the beginning, substituting for a variety of teams when they were short a player, but never really had my own team. I had pretty much given up on building one at this point due to the limited playerbase, and considered giving up on playing competitively. Until one day Sheth contacts me out of the blue and is like hey, do you wanna build a team? I hadn't really interacted much with Sheth up to this point, but he seemed like an alright fellow so I said what the heck and we started building our team.
As a long time Starcraft 2 player/viewer I am ecstatic about TL being in the scene. I hope TL can become a bastion of Heroes knowledge and content like it is for Starcraft
Tell us a little about your teammates. Have you been playing together long? What can you tell us about one other player on the team that only someone who plays with them regularly would know?
Well Sheth and I put the team together over the course of about two weeks a little less than a month ago, so I haven't been playing with Pithx, Caffeine, or Sheth particularly long. Biceps, on the other hand, is a long time friend of mine. We actually played football together way way back in the day, but didn't really become friends at the time since we both hid our nerd side during football, obviously. Since we weren't very close to begin with we drifted apart after football ended. Years later, we meet up through some local mutual friends while playing League of Legends, and since we happened to be the only two Diamond players out of our friends we started to duo together a lot. We didn't even realize we used to play football together until months later.
Wow, that's a really interesting coincidence! With what you know, what would you say is your biggest strength as a team?
I would definitely say bench press is Bicep's strength, he always skips leg day.
Seriously though, I think it is hard for us to say what our strength is at this point. We haven't had that long as a team to create our own distinctive style, but if I had to say what makes us instantly a contender in the scene it is a combination of two things. The first is that each of our players is mechanically sound, meaning that we can all trust each other to play well on average and use our heroes to the best of their capacity. Secondly, Sheth and I put a lot of emphasis on personality and communication ability while building the team, and I think that shows in our coordination, objective control, and teamfighting.
This is fair, on the topic of mechanics, what would you say is your signature hero and what is one thing about that hero you really enjoy?
It has been hard for me to develop a signature hero in the competitive scene, because I have a tendency to fill the "odd hero" niche in our hero selection process. There are a few heroes I really love for thematic reasons, like Zagara and Witch Doctor, but one of my favorites to play is Abathur. Abathur has so many intricacies to his play and such wildly varying decision trees that you can influence the game in ways that are very atypical in the ARTS genre.
Oh man, KadaverBB usually yells at me when I pick Abathur, but he's still one of my favorite heroes. On the topic of favorites, what’s your favorite map objective in any of the existing maps right now?
My favorite map mechanic is far and away the Dragon Knight. It's not for any particularly good reasons, it's just that I love to make Dragonite puns almost as much as I love punting people across the map or, ideally, into my base.
Moving away from mechanics based things, you did a fair bit of casting for ECS, does this affect how you look at the game? What has made you pick playing over casting?
The most interesting way that casting affected my in-game play was by changing my valuation methodology for hidden information. For those of you not very interested in game theory/design: hidden information is, very simply, the part of the game state which is hidden from you by your opponent, or vice versa. This is a high-level concept that has filtered down through the Starcraft and ARTS communities, but still bears repeating since it is so important. As a caster you have full visibility of the entire map, but as a player you have to constantly estimate where your enemies are in order to play against them effectively. Seeing both teams from that omniscient perspective really allows you to get a different feel for game flow.
The reason I picked playing over casting in the immediate future is simply that I think the transition really only works in one direction. If I'm lucky enough to be one of the few players who really makes it in the competitive scene, builds a fan base, and that sort of thing it will be easy for me to transition into a variety of careers in esports in the future. If I choose to be a caster right now there is a very high likelihood that I don't have the capacity to continue playing at the highest level and never get to chase the dream of being a professional video game player. I really enjoyed my time casting though and wanted to thank ESVDiamond for giving me a shot, and I look forward to casting whenever possible in the future.
Since you bring up game theory and design, do you have a background in these matters? Do you feel like Heroes is a game that is well designed?
I do have a background in game design. During the summer of my graduation from high school and on the way to college I got work as a game tester at a local game development studio. I loved working there during the summer, and was offered a part time position which allowed me to stay on during the school year. When their next project initiative launched I was offered a full time position as a designer and decided to take that, delaying my college degree, but earning valuable experience and getting a lot of enjoyment out of continuing my work in game design.
As far as the design of Heroes is concerned I think that the game is very well designed. There have been a lot of games attempting to get into the market once people saw how large League of Legends was growing, but the vast majority of them didn't meaningfully innovate on the genre. Heroes, on the other hand, has some really incredible innovations which brought a breath of fresh air to the genre. There are some design choices that I'm concerned about, but I think those growing pains will be well worth it as the game develops.
That is awesome, I'm sure having that experience has made being a community figure incredibly interesting, with Blizzcon is fast approaching, and the competition begining to be announced, its looking like a hard tournament,is there anything you are especially worried about? Anything you're especially looking forwards to?
Obviously I'm really excited to be even able to go to Blizzcon, let alone as a competitor, that is honestly a really crazy thing to be able to honestly say for me. I'm really hyped about getting to play against C9 and Fnatic, because they have players on their teams who I learned from in other games, like Shushei from League S1. I think that EG will be the scariest team though, rumor has it they will be picking up the full Snowflake roster, which would mean they would have a 5 man squad who is already adept in Heroes of the Storm and have been playing together for a long time.
We're almost done, right now, if you had to pick a song to represent you and your team, an anthem of sorts, what song would you pick?
I'm not sure about an anthem for the team, but my personal goal is to deserve having Crazy Train by Ozzy as my anthem.
Well, thats it from us, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Any final words and shoutouts?
I think my autobiography is complete actually, so basically thanks to you, Liquid, Sheth, and my other teammates for this opportunity, and shoutouts to my sponsors HyperX, Razer, Twitch, NEEDforSEAT, and ShinyThings.
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