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By Luis, July 21, 2020

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Welcome to our seventh Aretuza Report. 

Aretuza Report # 7

Gwent

Gaunter’s Ultimate Challenge

Week 4 allows players to choose one faction across Nilfgaard, Northern Realms, and Syndicate. You can find the quests for each faction in the table below, as well as the title that will be awarded upon completion of the final step. 

Faction Nilfgaard Northern Realms Syndicate
1 Play a match with a supported faction
2 Damage units 10 times
3 Play 10 units with the lock keyword Use an order ability 15 times Commit 10 Crimes
4 Win 3 games with a supported faction
Title Reward General Outcast de Aldersberg

Pro Rank Cutoffs:

Here are the key cutoffs for Pro Rank as of July 21 at 2pm CEST.

Top 16 10,203
Top 64 10,069
Top 500 9,823

Events

Top 64 Qualifiers

Best of luck to Team Aretuza's Unforgiven, Redrame, Shaggy, and Kolemoen in this week's Top 64 qualifiers.

Team Aretuza

Stream Schedule

Here is the stream schedule of Team Aretuza’s Pro and Stream Team for the week of July 20 to July 26.

Name Social Schedule (All times are in CEST)
Ceely Twitch , Twitter Tuesday to Friday at 5pm
Sunday at 5 pm
Crozyr Twitch , Twitter Monday at 4pm
Thursday to Sunday at 4:30pm
Lionhart Twitch , Twitter

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 11am

Sunday at 4pm

Redrame Twitch , Twitter Daily from 3am to 7am
Shaggy Twitch , Twitter Weekdays at 8pm
Shinmiri Twitch , Twitter

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 6pm

Tuesday at 9:30pm

TheaBeasty Twitch , Twitter Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 4pm
Videos

Watch TheaBeasty's Northern Realms deck guide as well as Apero's take on the recently announced changes to the automill feature. 

Caster Spotlight: Lionhart

Lionhart

Lionhart is an English streamer who has been playing Gwent since Closed Beta. An avid Witcher 3 fan, inevitably he succumbed to the temptation of Gwent having previously played Hearthstone. After taking a break from streaming for 18 months, Lionhart has returned to a daily Gwent stream schedule with the aim of steadily improving his placements, as well as co-hosting the Out Of Focus talkshow. His streams are welcoming for new players and seasoned veterans alike.

Hi Lionhart. Thank you for allowing us to have this interview. How are you and what have you been up to in Gwent?

I’m great thank you. The Master Mirror expansion is less than a month old and it’s already been a rollercoaster. The initial few days of figuring out what’s initially strongest led us to an armada of SK greed, before the TLG Invitational lists made their way onto the ladder and varied it a little. I’ve spent most of the season having fun and trying to make NR work while we wait for the next Journey to start!

How did you start as a caster? 

Many years ago I briefly worked as a Sports Commentator for Sky Sports but sadly the funding for the project was cut and I went down a different path professionally. I honestly wish I’d pursued it more.  

I casted a few times back in Beta in smaller community events and have been keen to get involved again as I love working as a caster! I hope to cast a lot more in the future!

What are the things you like about being a caster? 

As anyone who’s ever watched me knows, I like to talk! Most of my streams consist of me talking instead of playing and when I am playing I strive to be interactive with the people watching while describing my plays, thought processes, and plans. 

As a result I have always felt that casting fits my style. I love analysing the potential plays and pathways a player could go down at the very top level of the game, calling if they make decisions I would as a player. Seeing the unconventional paths they’ll take when situations present themselves is fascinating both to call and learn from.

You participated in the TLG Invitational as one of several casters. How did you prepare for it? 

I spoke in advance with my co-caster and we made sure we knew each other's cues for speech breaks, etc. Casting digitally is harder than in person as you have to read your colleague's pauses from audible cues instead of body language and experience; nevertheless, we wanted to make sure we performed professionally and didn’t keep talking over one another. I also gathered recorded footage from my community and cast a few games of that in the week running up to the tournament. 

Tell us your experience from the Invitational. 

The Invitational was an amazing experience! Getting a hands-on experience with the spectator client was amazing and getting to cast some superb games with huge swings was so much fun! 

I was incredibly impressed by the amount of work behind the scenes by everyone at TLG. They were supportive and incredibly dedicated. The quality of the gameplay was amazing both to experience as a caster and a viewer. The humility and class of 99% of the players was fantastic right down to the eventual finalist Bushr and winner Unforgiven. Acknowledging the strength and quality of each other's plays in what ended up being effectively a bo15 was heartening to see. 

Tell us your best and worst moments during the Invitational.

Best: Watching the second match between Magpie and KingChezz was fantastic. Mirrors in Gwent historically can be tedious affairs but NG spies have turned this idea on its head. The number of possible paths to victory & strange 5head plays are incredible! 

I also loved watching the variety of casters we had showing so many different games! All of us have different styles but giving the Gwent community access to as many high quality games as we did over that weekend felt amazing! It definitely set a new bar for community tournaments going forward.

Worst: It’s hard to say as I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We had some initial technical issues as Specimen couldn’t access the spectator client on Day 1. Our first game was delayed by over 45 minutes and we had to keep everyone entertained! I feel we did a good job though! Between us we made that work on Day 1 & switched over to my channel with the help of WellMax in the background for the day. Shadow, Max, and Vlad worked incredibly hard to ensure we had a really smooth Day 2.  

What do you think were the good things in the Invitational and the things they could possibly improve on? 

Overall the tournament was superb. I would suggest insisting casters stick to casting their games and not re-casting games other people are casting unless it’s being cast in another language.

As the tournament progressed there were points where 3 pairs of English casters were calling the same game which felt a little redundant.

Additionally while the stamina of some of the casters to go 12+ hours was admirable I do think that they were so (understandably) tired by the end of it that they weren’t actually casting anymore but watching along. There is 100% a place for that but as the tournament became more serious the casters were exhausted and missing things. Perhaps sticking to bo3 until the finals of each bracket to reduce the length of the day or insisting casters who are casting the back end of the tournament don’t cast from the beginning may really help everyone. 

What are your thoughts on the Master Mirror expansion? 

It’s a little too early to judge for me yet but overall I am enjoying it.

The new mechanics (rupture aside) feel great and have certainly shifted things. The pros and cons of devotion lists open up several new avenues for a more diverse meta going forward and offer potential answers to balancing cards with that mechanic. The player base feels like it’s continuing to grow on the back of the new expansion and that bodes well for all of us! I do still think nerfing Harmony was a mistake though, pushing ST to at best the 5th place faction reminds me of what happened to SK when it was good for too long and then it became effectively unplayable. I hope we see some changes there in the coming months. 

Any tips for people who want to try casting? 

Be yourself! Trying to change from your normal style will be false and come across that way to the audience which can be cringey! There are so many different styles of casting & one will naturally suit you. You don’t have to be the best player to be an amazing caster but make sure you understand the matchups each deck potentially has. Ensure you’re familiar with the current meta and the players' overall style in previous tournaments wherever possible. 

Do you have any message to the Gwent community? 

Hi! 

We are a little over two weeks before the end of the season. There is still time to climb the ladder and complete the seasonal trees in the reward book. Be sure to frequently check the shop for new cosmetics as well as discounted faction kegs corresponding to the current week's Gaunter challenge. 

Author

Luis

Luis Luis is Aretuza Member

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. 

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