[Kept in Translation] Heroes of the Storm: JOKER (June 2016)


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Table of Contents

  1. Career Overview
    • BM1 Alpha
    • RAVE HOTS
    • Mighty
  2. Why North America?
  3. Thoughts on the North American Server
    • Player skill
    • Player attitude
    • Matchmaking
    • Hero League meta
  4. Thoughts on the North American Professional Scene
    • Teamhouses
    • Tournament lengths
    • Most impressive NA teams
    • Most impressive NA players
  5. Thoughts on the State of the Professional Scene
    • Prospects
    • What Blizzard should do
  6. Personal Sales Pitch
    • Style of play
    • Hero pool
    • Experience
    • Shotcalling
    • Teamwork
    • Potential language issues
    • Potential cultural issues
  7. Stream Invitation
  8. Shoutouts

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Career Overview

  • BM1 Alpha
    • JOKER made his debut in BM1 Alpha, a professional team formed in 2015. While BM1 only lasted for six months, many notable players passed through it, including MVP Miracle Darvish, MVP Miracle ttsst, and RoMg mdk.
    • It should also be noted JOKER was known in this period as ‘Honey Butter Chip’: refer to this Wikipedia article for contextual information.
    • After BM1 Alpha ended their HCOT S1 run in the Ro16, the squad broke up due to internal team conflict. JOKER was immediately picked up by RAVE HOTS.
  • RAVE HOTS
    • Refer to this article for information regarding the organization.
    • After ending Superleague 2015 as a quarterfinalist, JOKER moved on to reach the semifinals of HCOT S2 and Superleague 2016 S1.
    • It should also be noted JOKER was known as ‘Jocker’ for most of this period.
    • After Superleague 2016 S1, JOKER expressed his desire to play in another team, feeling he would benefit from a change of pace. Mighty were quick to pick him up after RAVE HOTS complied.
  • Mighty
    • Refer to this article for information regarding their season with JOKER.
    • JOKER reached the semifinals of Superleague 2016 S2, crushing his former team RAVE HOTS in the process.
    • Unable to hold off any longer his longtime wish to play in North America, JOKER requested a mutual termination of his contract despite Mighty’s extremely promising finish for a rookie team. Owner and Head Coach Moon complied.

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Why North America?

  • “I was following the North American scene even before I debuted as a pro in Korea. I have always wanted to play in NA. Cloud 9 winning BlizzCon is one of my favorite memories as a HotS spectator!”
  • “Two things finally convinced me to actively pursue what had been a vague longing. The first was the recent region lock changes. The second was Wiz’s encouragement – he told me I was held in good regard amongst those in the know, and assured me my chances of getting picked up wouldn’t be too shabby. I hope you’re right Wiz :)”

Thoughts on the North American Server

  • Player skill
    • “I was under the impression that NA players would be much worse on average compared to their Korean counterparts, but I soon realized how much that was an arrogant prejudice. After playing SEL, I felt NA players were not behind at all at least in terms of individual skill. I was wrong to look down on them without having even played with them.”
  • Player attitude
    • “I love how most people are ready to laugh off their teammates’ mistakes. In KR, there are so many toxic ragers that flame everyone for everything and make the game horrible to play. I really love the atmosphere of most NA games.”
    • “They also retain faith better when behind. Really appreciate that.”
  • Matchmaking
    • “NA having a larger playerbase than KR definitely seems to allow for better high level matchmaking. The chances of having a meaningless, mismatched game is observably lower here.”
  • Hero League meta
    • “Most players seem to either pick something they’re comfortable with, or just whatever they want to play; there is little to no concern about building a team that synergizes well or at least conforms to the strongest contemporary meta.”

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Thoughts on the North American Professional Scene

  • Teamhouses
    • “I think living in a teamhouse is integral to building the teamwork necessary to play at the highest level. I was surprised most NA teams are not doing such.”
    • “I’d really like to live in a teamhouse in LA! Just a pipe dream, I know :)”
  • Tournament lengths
    • “Longer tournaments like OGN Superleague are beneficial because they allow rookies to get more stage experience and give a longer window for the players to be exposed to & interact with the fans.”
    • “The Western scene’s shorter tournaments are of course not without several advantages, though. Shorter tournaments allow teams to prepare in a vacuum for longer, and also make it easier for teams to take much-needed breaks.”
  • Most impressive NA teams
    • “The ‘Korean meta’ – mostly pioneered by MVP Black – is in my opinion the best way to play the game. I was impressed by Naventic and Tempo Storm’s efforts to understand and adhere to it.”
  • Most impressive NA players
    • “Tomster plays many roles well and has a mean Greymane, and Kure is great on ranged assassins. I duo with them a lot!”

Thoughts on the State of the Professional Scene

  • Prospects
    • “It’s a very dark time for Heroes eSports worldwide, especially in Asia. Anyone telling you otherwise is a fool. The scene is shrinking and there seems to be very little new money coming into it. People think things are bad now, but if Heroes continues to decline, even our current gloom will seem absolutely rosy as early as next spring. The situation is dire and urgent. Blizzard has what it takes to turn it around, but do they have the desire? I really hope they do.”
  • What Blizzard should do
    • “There NEEDS to be a way for teams to stay together after losses. The scene is slowly dying because teams cannot financially sustain themselves unless they win big every tournament. C9, TNL, EDG have all left after failing to qualify for something, and I know a few more big organizations in similar situations that are considering pulling out of Heroes this fall. It just takes one bad placing to dismantle even the most decorated teams.”
    • “Blizzard should fund a good number of professional teams instead of holding a few scattered tournaments with semi-impressive prize pools. Being a player in one of the best teams, in any major region, puts you at a financial loss… unless you win nearly every tournament you enter. This isn’t realistic or sustainable. It only places an overwhelming and miserable burden on players that want to put food on their tables without having to take out loans. It’s agonizing.”
    • “What did C9, TNL, and EDG have in common? They were their region’s ‘2nd best team’ that were overthrown by a newcomer. As soon as they lost, they left. How can you think this is a one-time phenomenon? Big teams will continue to disband every season until ‘not winning prize money’ no longer is synonymous to ‘pulling the plug’.”

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Personal Sales Pitch

  • Style of play
    • “My main strengths as a tank player are reliability and consistency.”
  • Hero pool
    • “I admit my play last season on tanks other than ETC and Muradin have been nearly nonexistent, but that mainly had to do with my synergy with Pang. The midseason meta shift to double tank was really unlucky for us because our melee flex player – Pang – was really uncomfortable on tanks. Pang had never played tanks competitively before, and we as a team had never practiced playing double tank compositions. Personally I have no problems playing other tanks.”
  • Experience
    • “I’ve played with and against the best teams in Korea for years. My in-game experience and extensive draft knowledge would be beneficial to many teams.”
  • Shotcalling
    • “I’m confident in deciding when and how our team should initate a fight. I also make great calls around mercenary camps.”

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  • Teamwork
    • “I have played well in three completely different professional teams. I have also played in SEL matches with NA pro players and have streamed duo queuing with them as well. I think I do fine in the good teammate department.”
  • Potential language issues
    • “I have no doubt my in-game communication will be fine. Judging from Skype sessions during SEL, pings were sufficient supplements in the cases where my comprehension faltered. Conversational English seems more daunting for me, but I’m confident in my ability to adapt.”
    • “How good is my in-game English? Well… I had no trouble conveying ‘all of their key ability are off CD; let’s avoid fighting before they blow some of them.’ Just to answer through an example.”
  • Potential cultural issues
    • “All I would worry about is jet lag during the first week; adapting to American culture will be nothing but enjoyable for me.”

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Stream Invitation

  • “I stream with cam and mic… I try hard to answer all questions in chat, even if I need to use a translator for the trickier ones… and I usually play main tank. Anub’arak, ETC, and Muradin are my favorite heroes, so you will see me play them often.”
  • “Players that suffer from high ping may want to check out my stream, because I’m playing with 200 ping from Korea. Might be helpful to watch me click in advance :P”
  • “I usually am online from 5 AM PDT to 11 AM PDT, but often stream on other hours as well. Come watch NA Grandmaster HL at https://www.twitch.tv/joker9729!”

Shoutouts

  • “Thanks to Wiz for introducing me to the NA scene, thanks to Pamcakes and Marche for hosting my stream, and thanks to all the NA pro players – Kure and Tomster in particular – for playing with me often.”
  • “I really really want to play in NA; please don’t hesitate to contact me if your team is looking for an experienced and reliable main tank.”

 

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