From the OGN Backstage: BLS Wiz


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Image courtesy of Team BlossoM

 

“My first Heroes of the Storm team was Stellar Lotus – a North American squad. You see, for some time I had dreamt of becoming a professional gamer in a foreign region. So when Woojae asked me to play with him on NA, I jumped at the chance.”

 

“Soon after I started playing on the North American server, I realized that I was a really good fit in terms of personality. Playing with & against NA players was great fun. My goal became clear: to become a strong NA player and help the region become internationally competitive.”

 


 

“When the 2016 Spring Global Championship was announced to be held in Korea, Naventic asked me if I could coach for them. Since I had been rooting for NA and wanted NA teams to do well, it was a no-brainer. For the most part, I gave a few pointers when watching scrim replays together, and also suggested certain picks and bans for the draft phase.”

 

“I didn’t get to exert too much influence as a coach, though, as Zuna had already been playing a strong leadership role for the team. And the players were prideful about their stylistic approach to the game, so I felt it would not be beneficial to try to force them to do things my way.”

 


 

“Korean teams’ macro play and teamwork are very structured, whereas North American teams often seem to just play things by feel. The largest difference is mindset, I believe. Korean teams and players mostly perceive gaming to be a profession, a job. So it’s common to practice nonstop when not eating or sleeping. Many North American teams and players, however, treat gaming as a hobby. I think the skill gap comes from there.”

 


 

“It was when I was taking an indefinite break from Heroes of the Storm due to health problems – I randomly logged onto Battle.Net out of habit, then out of the blue, N0CHAT messaged me. He asked me to play melee flex for his team, Supreme Mixtape. Apparently the previous melee flex had left the team due to stylistic differences, and the rest had not been able to find any good enough free agents who could play the role. I was quite happy to be thought of so highly despite not having played professionally in Korea.”

 

“Save N0CHAT and DDuDDu, I had not met the other players in person prior to joining the team; I only had met them occasionally in Hero League. So when we first started scrimming and were stuck at a 30% win rate, I did question at times whether we should keep playing together or not. But giving it the benefit of the doubt worked out. Fom a certain point on, we started winning almost every game.”

 

“Unfortunately our scrim performance did not transfer well to tournament play. Most of us had little to no offline experience, me included, so nerves got the best of our team for the first few weeks. It didn’t help that we met the strongest teams – L5 and MVP Black – early on. Getting pummeled so hard right away severely dented our confidence. We will prepare well over the break so we can start showing up on stage from Phase 2 onwards.”

 


 

“My fans are why I returned from my indefinite break. A number of people have supported me over the years, and I did not want to let them down. My play over Phase 1 has not been up to my standards, however. I’m angry at myself for not playing as well as I could have.”

 


 

“Recently, my wrist has been acting up. A lot. It’s been hurting to the point where the pain and its implications for my career and dreams would send me into depressive spirals. But someone helped me overcome it.”

 

“I stream on Twitch from time to time, and always look at my viewers list when I do. Over many, many streams, I noticed that a certain ‘Higard12’ always tuned into my broadcast, but never really typed anything in chat. So one day I asked Higard12 directly, using the whisper function: why do you always watch my stream? And Higard12 answered: Because to me, you’re the best player in the world.”

 

“That one message was enough, more than enough, for me to shake off depressive thoughts and get back to playing. The doctor told me that my wrists were in need of a rest, but I have no intention of giving up. I’ll take care of them by going easy on the practice for a while once Phase 1 ends. I am absolutely determined to repay my fans’ support by making them proud.”

 

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