After Part 1 of our Homecoming Spotlight interviews, Part 2 covers some of the most impactful non-NA players in Gwent who have proven their excellent mathematical skills in the game numerous times. Continue reading to learn about their journey and passion in Gwent and how they picture the future!

 

Pajabol 

How did you find your way to Gwent?

I first experienced Gwent while playing The Witcher 3, I never played card games before that as I wasn't really interested in them. I really liked Gwent from The Witcher, but it felt really easy and I wanted more. Then I found out about Gwent as a multiplayer game and began to play it, and I really liked the gameplay.

Do you have a favorite faction?

I think I enjoy playing Scoia'tael the most. I like the strategy that revolves around surviving the opponent’s bleed and knowing when you should start to go for card advantage and when you should just try to save your best cards. My favorite leader is Francesca, I love leaders with really strong abilities and I think her ability (Mystic Echo) is one of the best in the game. My least favorite faction is Nilfgaard, it feels like a faction without a clear identity and playing it is usually pretty boring: The only Nilfgaard deck I enjoyed playing was an Emhyr Midrange with the Soldiers package.

Who is your favorite Gwent Masters contestant?

My favorite Gwent Masters player is probably GreenKnight. I really enjoy discussing with him about decks and the meta, he is a great deckbuilder and a really good player.

What are your upcoming goals with the game?

I really want to take part in next Gwent Masters cycle; after winning a bunch of smaller community tournaments, I would love to compete at the bigger stage. I missed out on the only Masters qualifiers that I qualified for so far because of my matura exams. Other than that, there has been a really long Gwent Masters tournament drought which is frustrating for a lot of players (including me).

Have you ever struggled with the game?

My toughest time was when I was stuck for a month at Rank 6. I was getting really frustrated, because I thought that I hit my skill ceiling as I couldn't progress to further ranks. I started to change my playstyle a bit at one point and it worked really well for me, I advanced from Rank 6 to Pro Rank in two days after that change.

  

SpyroZA 

Do you have a favorite faction and leader?

That’s a difficult one to say as leaders and factions have been changed quite a few times. Currently I think my favorite leader is King of Beggars (Off the books) and favorite faction is Syndicate. The reason being is that I love how every decision feels like it has an impact when playing Syndicate. You often need to think and plan ahead in order to sequence everything correctly and it makes for the most exciting moments in Gwent currently for me. My least favorite faction right now I would say has to be Nilfgaard as I find it the least interesting of the current six factions to play.

Is there a deck you are nostalgic about that is no more?

In my opinion, the best deck in Gwent history is open beta Greatswords. I don’t think any deck will ever be able to top GS for me as it had so many tools and interesting lines of play at your disposal.

What are you really missing in Gwent or what would you really like to see changed or added so the game gets better?

I think the thing I miss most about Gwent is the importance of bronze cards. In pre-Homecoming Gwent, your decks were built around your bronze core and you would actually want to keep many of your bronze cards in hand as they were a vital part of your deck. In current Gwent the focus has shifted to gold cards and for the most part bronzes just feel like mulligan fodder.

Is there anything you haven't done yet that you really want to do for Gwent?

It would be amazing at some point if I could ever qualify for a Gwent Masters official tournament. I would absolutely love to travel overseas and meet the various members of the Gwent community.

Is there another member of the community you look to for inspiration?

I haven’t given it too much thought but if I had to say, I would say Trynet. Like me, he streams every day and tries to play unique decks when he can. It can be quite challenging to dedicate so much of your time to something while constantly maintaining consistent streams, which I respect a lot in someone.

Why the komodos?

So basically I absolutely loved the KomodoHype emote on Twitch () and used to spam that emote whenever I could. After I started streaming, I wanted more Komodo emotes to spam and here we are. Also my house is covered with geckos so I see a mini-komodo army every day haha.

  

Ultraman1996 

What is your favorite Witcher school and why?

I think my favorite is the School of the Wolf, their members are friendly, but also conflicted, with real questioning and moral values proper to each of them. It looks like a family, with some bad blood, of course; but in the end, when they're in a time of need, they know they can come back anytime and ask for help. Strangely now, that would probably not be the school I'd want to be in – If I had to use one asset, it'd probably be strength, and I like the cold, beautiful landscape of Skellige. I'd make a good School of the Bear witcher!

Why Gwent? What do you love about the game so much?

Gwent struck me with one quality no other card games has: it does not use a Health Point system. With that in mind, it meant every single classical strategy and archetype (Midrange, Aggro, Control, Face, Heal, etc.) from other card games were irrelevant. It also meant you'd have to consider how you play differently than in those other games.

What was the coolest deck in Gwent history, that you enjoyed most?

Is somebody gonna answer something else than open beta Spies? Nilfgaard Spies from October to November 2017 was the greatest deck in the history of the game (special mention to Monster Swarm and Skellige Discard from that time, they were cool too). It was just a low-diversity but high-replayability meta. Sure, there were only 4-5 decks, but damn, were they interesting to play. Your decision making had to be excellent, and you'd lose because of your mistakes 95% of the time. Spies could do it all, hence why it was a really strong deck too, but it could lose to many other decks if played poorly. The mirror especially was such a pure showdown of "mechanics" and mind games; it's such a good memory.

Who is your favorite Gwent Masters player and why?

It's hard to say, as many of them are hyper cool guys and some are friends ahah. As a player, I'd go with Kolemoen – I just love the idea of somebody not making much noise and just getting known through pure skill. But I think any player qualifying to Masters is a great player, and most of them are chill and cool guys I'd enjoy a drink with every time!

What are you best known for in Gwent? What would you like to be best known for?

I guess I'm best known for being a French-speaking bitchy streamer and complaining all the time – but I somehow got good at HC for no reason. So now here I am, an apparently decent player. Life's funny at times! To be honest, I don't really care how people consider me since they'll always imagine you differently than you really are. My next objective is to spend a lot of time with the Gwent community and be remembered by those who met me as a guy who loves good drinks, good food, and good discussion. That'd be more than enough!

 

Jamedi 

Why Gwent? What do you love about the game so much?

I started on MOBAs in gaming, but quickly swapped for card games after I started to feel that I hated losing because some random guy did something incorrectly. Why Gwent among all the card games? It's the most different one, with no mana system and the round system, which introduces two different strategic components which are not present in all the other games. That uniqueness is what makes me more interested in Gwent than in other card game. Also, I like Gwent because of the relative lack of RNG outside of draws.

What was the coolest deck in Gwent history that you enjoyed most?

In my opinion, original Greatswords, especially the Avallac'h plus Renew version which Shaggy played in GwentSlam 2, I think. I loved the combination of an engine deck, which was able to function as a point-slam version in difference scenarios, mixed with mill, which has always been my real love in Gwent.

Who is your favorite Gwent Masters player and why?

It would be between Shaggy, because he was the winner of the first competitive event I casted, and probably Damorquis, as an example of constancy and how hard work finally achieved results.

What are you really missing in Gwent or what would you really like to see changed or added so the game gets better?

Personally, I would like to see an experimental Bo3 (with ban) ladder, I think it could work nicely. Also, the return of fixed coin flips for friendly matches would help community tourneys greatly. Probably something like a Pro League with weekly featured matches could also be a great idea.

Is there another member of the community you look to for inspiration?

Pointing the focus on the two sides I usually work, I would like to highlight two people:

  • Santtu2x as the example of a competitive player and how to always have a great performance in tourneys as well as on ladder.
  • SwanDive as the example of how to create content and how to make it almost perfect.

That said, there are a lot of people in this community that have served me as inspiration during these two years.

What are you best known for in Gwent? What would you like to be best known for?

At this point, I think mostly my contributions to the Aretuza & Nova Meta Snapshot and me being one of the leaders of Team Nova is what makes me most known in the Gwent community. Personally, I would like to make my competitive facet more known, but that's something that depends on my own results.

  

Santtu2x 

What is your favorite Witcher school and why? Which one would you like to be in if you were a witcher?

My favourite witcher school is School of the Wolf as they value honour and teamwork. However, the school I would rather join is School of the Cat, because their members have more personal freedom compared to other schools.

Why Gwent? What do you love about the game so much?

I really like the idea of having the outcome of the game being decided by multiple different skills. I think Gwent does that well with both line-up building and gameplay being important. This is also why I prefer to play in every possible tournament while not grinding ladder as much.

What was the coolest deck in Gwent history, that you enjoyed most?

Personally, I enjoyed playing my Eithné Elves/Mulligan deck in the 6-month patch before Homecoming the most. It wasn’t the strongest deck for ladder, but it enabled unique tournament line-ups and the gameplan was always different based on the matchup.

Who is your favorite Gwent Masters player and why?

My favourite Gwent Masters player would be Kolemoen. I think he adapted to the Homecoming changes really well and managed to improve his already great tournament record with a finals appearance in the first Homecoming Gwent Masters tournament.

What are you really missing in Gwent or what would you really like to see changed or added so the game gets better?

I would really like to see spectator mode and/or a tournament mode added into Gwent. Currently the in-game support for any kind of community tournaments feels slightly lacking.

What are you best known for in Gwent? What would you like to be best known for?

While I have had some decent finishes on Pro Rank, I think my performance has always been best in tournaments. I would like to be best know as a tournament player and I do believe that currently at least among the community tournament scene I am know for that.

 

Crozyr 

Why Gwent? What do you love about the game so much?

Before Gwent, Dota was my great passion. I loved that game, but it really started to bug me that often times it felt like I lost or won the game due to my team's skill and motivation rather than my own performance, and when I started out with Gwent, it felt really rewarding to win or lose a game solely due to my own decisions and strategy.

I had always taken a liking to card games and played Yu-Gi-Oh! and the Pokemon TCG as a kid. Gwent felt a bit like that, but very unique at the same time. I think what I liked the most in the beginning, especially coming from Dota where one game lasts about 40 minutes, is how you would feel this regular surge of satisfaction every 10-15 minutes whenever you won a game of Gwent, especially when it was only by 1 or 2 points.

What was the coolest deck in Gwent history, that you enjoyed most?

Definitely Yoana-Olaf-Ciri-Warcrier overdrive from open beta – the deck that won Challenger #4. I liked to call it "The Beauties and the Beast" even though that name never took off. I think it is the deck I played the most games with by far and it was so cool back then to be involved with Swim building the deck and with AndyWand and Damorquis to help them prep for the tournament. To see them both get to the finals with it and play a mirror was one of my personal favourite Gwent memories of all time. This was way before I got into content creating and I wasn't even in a team yet, so being involved with the big boys was extremely humbling for me back then and the whole thing was a huge motivator for me to start streaming in the first place.

Who is your favorite Gwent Masters player and why?

I mean, Damo is obviously a pretty strong contender since he won Challenger with my version of the Warcrier deck and I can confirm he is a pretty cool dude in general! But it is so difficult to choose only one. I also rooted for Radu when she was playing in the Masters. As far as memes go, I gotta go with TailGod, and when it comes to player skill, I think Kolemoen is probably the best player in the game.

Is there anything you haven't done yet that you really want to do for Gwent?

I would love to be involved in a CDPR event one way or another, whether it is as a player, a caster or just the guy who does interviews behind the scenes (I'd even do it for free, but maybe I shouldn't say that too loud :D). I don't know for how much longer I will be able to dedicate so much time to this game and its community due to me pursuing my career as a teacher, so if I was able to partake in one of those events before August of next year, it would be an amazing way to wrap up this phase of my life.

Is there another member of the community you look to for inspiration?

I admire Kolemoen for his mindset and his consistency. I met him in Berlin once and he told me his secret is to just rope every turn to think through all your plays properly. Obviously there is much more to it than that, but if there was one thing I needed the most to become a better player, it would be a slice of that patience and determination to be that focused every single game.

What are you best known for in Gwent? What would you like to be best known for?

Potatoes. Preferably mashed, with thick gravy. The Potato meme is what carried my streams early on and it always puts a smile on my face when I see people posting the potato emotes. They have been keeping the meme alive for almost a year now! 

Beyond that, while I don't see myself on the same level as the likes of Kolemoen and Tailbot, I like to think that I have established myself as a respectable player and have consistently held a top 100 ladder position for the past 19 months now. Lately, it was a bit difficult to keep up a positive atmosphere with a struggling game and decreasing viewer numbers as well as some personal issues, but I always hoped I could make my streams a bit less salty and more wholesome than some others. Positive Zen Potatoes. And that's what I would like to keep up in the future. Maybe work on the tilt a bit!

 


Graphics: Elis; Editing: Kochua; Website: SwanDive; PR: Callonetta.