By Luis, September 14, 2020
Welcome to Aretuza Report # 14. This week's report features an updated batch of journey decks, new members, and an interview with Redrame.
Aretuza Report # 14
Journey Quests - Week 6
The fourth week's Journey quests require players to do the following:
- Play 3 seasonal matches (Regular)
- Play 25 special cards (Premium)
- Play 3 matches using a Northern Realms deck (Regular)
- Use Order ability 10 times (Premium)
- Play 15 cards with Purify keyword (Regular)
- Play 15 units with charges(Premium)
Here are suggested decks for these quests:
- Play 15 cards with Purify keyword - Scoia'tael Deadeye Ambush Elves
- Play 25 special cards, Use Order Ability 10 times, Play 15 units with charges - Northern Realms Uprising Siege Resupply and Nilfgaard Imperial Formation Tactics Assimilate
- Play 25 special cards, Play 15 cards with Purify keyword - Scoia'tael Nature's Gift Symbiosis (credits to Lionhart)
Pro Rank Cutoffs:
Here are the key cutoffs for Pro Rank as of September 14 at 5PM CEST.
Manager Spotlight: Redrame
Jonathan "Redrame" Zornio
Hi Redrame. Thanks for allowing us to have this interview with you. How are you and what have you been up to in Gwent so far?
Howdy :). I’ve been mostly playing Symbiosis and dreading playing anything other than Symbiosis. Haven’t really prepped for qualis yet, but will probably get on that at some point as well.
Could you please tell us something about your new role as the Competitive Manager?
My role is kind of weird, since I’m technically both a General Manager (alongside Apero, gulox2, and DarxPhoenix) with a competitive focus as well as a Competitive Manager (alongside Santtu2x), so I’m not entirely sure which role this question is asking about. There’s some overlap between the two, but in general I would say that the former role has to do largely with recruiting new competitive players and communicating with our current ones about tournaments and events that are geared for them (as well as having a say in decisions made across the board and participating in weekly meetings), while the latter is more of a coaching position where we make sure that everyone is able to get testing partners for tournaments. So I kind of do some of everything, which I think is pretty reflective of my Gwent career as a whole.
Who are you most excited to work with from the team?
I’ve worked with many of the people on the team a pretty good amount already, but I’m very excited to get to work with the management staff more. It feels like everyone brings something different to the table, and we’re able to work together pretty well. If I had to shout someone out, it would have to be my fellow Waterloo brother gulox2. He was one of my favorite people on Team Rankstar, and I think that it’s really cool that we’re working together again. Getting to know the LoR folks better has been a lot of fun as well, though I’m still not sold on the game itself despite playing it a pretty good amount lately.
What projects are you excited to start and/or bring back?
I’m definitely interested in bringing some form of the snapshot back for Gwent after the successful launch of the LoR snapshot, though I can’t confirm any details there. Other than that, I’ve mostly just been working with other folks to help accomplish their project goals, as well as stepping in to help with recruitment. I’m also hoping to be able to help out with some more team-oriented content production, like TheFoxBride’s new podcast, game nights, and viewing parties.
Team Aretuza has been mostly involved in Gwent. How will you, as one of the new managers, start working on LOR?
While I don’t really consider this to be my job, since a lot of my abilities as a manager are Gwent-specific due to my high level of connections and community presence, I have been playing some LoR during my free time and doing some co-op with the folks there. I definitely don’t love the game, but anything can be fun when you have the right people there with you, and it’s really not as bad as a lot of the Gwent community gives it a rap for.
Could you please tell us how you got into Gwent?
I played a lot of strategy games already, including some other CCGs. Prismata was my game of choice at the time I first started playing Gwent, and I got interested in the game when several of my friends from that game (notably my fellow red coin members Dunkoro, Crash_overlord, and iminaBearSuit) tried it out. I didn’t really aspire to get anything out of playing Gwent other than personal enjoyment, and always played homebrews for that reason, but I had the right experience from other games under my belt to do well with these decks. Eventually, people took interest in me when I hit Rank 1 with post-nerf Axemen, so I started writing guides, and eventually started streaming and competing.
What event or experience led you in becoming a streamer?
I ended up streaming Prismata after making friends with a lot of community members there, because I realized that streaming was very easy to start out for fun, and didn’t have to be the fiasco that a lot of people made it into. I had around 10 people watching me at any given time, which was oddly similar to the size of all of the other Prismata streams, because the game was extremely small and people were just happy to have anyone stream it so we could all hang out there. It made for a great low-pressure environment where I could sort of just chill and have fun.
I never did this with the goal of actually becoming a streamer, but without knowing it at the time, it was a great way to practice my ability to explain my thought process while playing, which I think is one of my bigger selling points as a streamer to this day. I started streaming Gwent only when a bunch of people expressed interest in seeing me do it after posting several of my deck guides. My laptop has a really shitty GPU, so it was more of a powerpoint show than an actual stream, but amazingly, some people were willing to stick through that, and when I finally did upgrade my laptop, my stream exploded in growth since I had already built a large community presence through other means.
From being a streamer, what sparked your entry to the competitive scene?
I would consider myself competitive before I was a streamer to be honest, since I only ever streamed the game when I was considered good and already had people’s attention, though I suppose I was a little more directly focused on homebrewing back then. I don’t really feel like anything has changed in terms of what I do other than that I’ve brought better tournament lineups and had better results, which I can largely thank Aretuza for.
There are definitely times when my flair in the deck builder helps me out, but it often got in my way in the past when I got too attached to one specific idea, and having a lot of other great players around that are patient with my ideas but still willing to speak up when something just won’t work has been a great help to me there.
When recruiting competitive players, what are the most important things that you and the team consider?
Obviously, we look for competitive talent, but it’s pretty rare that we approach or get approached by people that aren’t qualified in this department or that I’m not already familiar with to some degree. What I usually end up looking for is attitude, both in terms of someone who is friendly, constructive, and interested in pitching into the team, and in terms of someone who can control their attitude as a player, analyze games objectively, and learn from their mistakes.
As someone who is fairly invested in both competing and streaming, and who really wants people out of the team to see our personality and not just our results, I also value people that stream or create content or interact with the community a lot, even if they primarily want to compete, and generally sum up what people can contribute to our team in all areas rather than analyzing people for purely a competitive position.
Do you have any tips for aspiring streamers and competitive players?
First off, if you haven’t tried streaming and are at all interested in streaming, try it out. Streaming is a hell of a lot easier than becoming a streamer, and you will learn a lot of about what you enjoy doing and whether streaming is right for you as a hobby. I highly emphasize as a hobby. There’s nothing wrong with doing something because you like doing it, rather than because you think you can make money in while is realistically a highly oversaturated market (even I don’t make what a typical US citizen would consider a viable wage at this time, though that is rapidly improving as streaming as a career is much like running a startup).
I’ve talked to a lot of streamers, some of whom are a lot more conventionally successful than me in terms of stream stats (Swim and Celerity come to mind here) that have told me that streaming as a profession is a trap that people can’t get out of once they commit to it as a career choice. While I disagree with this opinion and love what I do, I think that it is very important to not be fully dependant on streaming for the sake of your mental health, as many of these sorts of concerns seem to stem from a sense of needing to maintain an audience, and therefore an inability to risk switching up their content and being forced into a routine that they grew tired of.
Having something to fall back on, such as another job, university, or at least a stable home environment where you won’t starve to death if something goes wrong is something that I would consider nearly essential for someone looking to make the jump from streaming as a hobby to streaming as a career. Being successful in the long-term will require you to change up your content as necessary and maintain a good attitude (which sometimes requires a break), and this is already challenging when you feel like you’re risking everything you’ve already built up. Don’t add your livelihood to the list of risks.
Competing is a lot different from streaming, and I feel a little bit less qualified to talk there, since I fumbled my way into the competitive scene, and am also less convinced that someone could compete in Gwent for a living as opposed to streaming Gwent for a living with the current landscape. A lot of competitive success comes down to a combination of passion, time commitment, and ingenuity, which are not really things you can easily coach people on.
Do you have any message to the Gwent community?
We are halfway through the season. The new leader abilities have been met with positive reception from the community and have encouraged players to create homebrew decks. There is plenty of time to climb and complete the seasonal trees in the reward book. Good luck.
Luis has been a gamer for most of his life. His first console was a Playstation 1 which he got at age 7. A few years later, he acquired a Gameboy Advance that became his gateway to the Pokemon series. He spent multiple hours playing through the Kanto and Hoenn Region with his friends. In 2011, he started playing Dota 1 and was his entry to the MOBA genre of games. Shortly after, he started playing League of Legends which he played from 2012 to 2017. Towards the end of the year 2017, he bought a Playstation 4 and played Destiny 2 and a few single player games on the side such as God of War, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Witcher 3 which he enjoyed the most. His first exposure to Gwent was back in Witcher 3. He realized that he was spending most of his time playing Gwent and collecting all the cards instead of doing side quests and story quests. Fast forward to 2019, he found out that Gwent, the standalone game, would be released on iOS. On the release day itself last October, he immediately downloaded the game and chose Northern Realms as his first faction since this is the faction he played the most back in Witcher 3 Gwent.
Elis is a graphic designer in her early 20s, hailing from the Czech Republic. She graduated with a degree in Graphics and Art and has been involved in art and design since her childhood. A coincidence led her to the Witcher saga, and the Witcher saga led her to Gwent, and what she might lack in experience, she compensates for with passion for playing and learning the game. Within the team, she aims to create a visual presence that is united, branded and very much "Aretuza".
Ceely is a 22-year-old from Finland with a hearty hankerin' for Gwent. She found the game through her love for the Witcher universe. Not having played any CCGs before, she was sceptical, but instantly fell in love with Gwent when she first played the game in its Open Beta version. She currently plays Gwent in Pro Rank, where she is continuously looking to learn and improve her gameplay. Ceely feels like she's in her element while streaming. That's when she gets to know new amazing people and their interests while playing a game she truly enjoys. She is fluent in Finnish, Swedish and English and enjoys learning about languages and different cultures in general. If you decide to stop by her stream, make sure to say hi and have a good time! In September 2020, Ceely began an additional role as PR and Social Media Manager for Team Aretuza.