The first division S qualifier will take place in just over a week and so far we’ve seen a good amount of former pro players sign up to compete as well as teams who aspire to break into this level of play. Unlike HGC, Division S will allow the players to stream their PoV, including coms of their games. Among others HasuObs, SmX and Mene have said they will be doing so. We spoke to them about their plans.
After the HGC cancellation, we’ve seen a lot of players transition to different games and/or decide to pick up full-time streaming. What is your way forward after HGC?
Mene: At first, I didn’t plan to do fulltime stream. I didn’t really enjoy it at first. When I used to stream during the boot camp it was fun because we had the team webcam and you could see the team practising. It wasn’t just me, everyone was doing their own thing, it’s different. But I love Heroes of the Storm and I don’t think I can change game right now. If a new game comes out I might try it and maybe even be pro, who knows. But I realise it might be best for me to stream. I am twenty-six and I don’t have the time to become pro, unlike the Swedish boys I play with whom are all twenty, twenty-one or something. I am just going to try to stream until August, see if I can handle it and see how it goes. Maybe I can keep going with that and otherwise, it’s time for real life.
HasuObs: After Blizzard's disastrous announcement for HGC 2019 I started to stream on a daily basis. I'm sticking with HotS because I like the game a lot, I enjoy playing it, although the highest level of play in grandmaster took a big hit in terms of quality. I know there's a lot of people out there that prefer to watch Heroes over Dota or League, so I thought its a good idea to connect my knowledge and love for the game but also provide content for people who would like to see it.
SmX: My future right now is to try to be as involved with the hots community as possible, I want to be full time streaming, making youtube content (got a lot of ideas but can't edit etc), play each and every tournament with a prize pool and join talk shows etc. I will try this for a couple of months most likely and see if it's something I can do as a living or if I will have to take to studying/working.
What has prevented you from moving away from Heroes of the Storm to a different game? What kept you with the game we all love?
Smx: The thing that made me stay within HotS is the love for the game, I've played and loved hots for the past 5 years and even though I feel like blizzard treated it poorly and handled the situation in the worst possible scenario, its still the game that I love, and I can't change that feeling.
Mene: I can’t just stop with the game. I used to play Dota, I played a lot of League I was semi-pro at League. But with Heroes of the Storm all the blizzard universes are mixed, characters from Starcraft and World of Warcraft and so on. The games are fast, there is always an objective to go for which you can’t ignore. I’ve spent 4 years playing this game every single day. I can’t just cut that game, I have to keep playing it simply for the love of the game.
HasuObs: Coming from a WC3 and SC2 professional background, I know how it is to switch games and become successful at it, but when I made these changes in the past, it was on my own terms and not forced. I don't think its reasonable for me to try to become competitive in another game and I also started to enjoy streaming quite a lot - especially the stronger connection between myself and my viewer base via twitch chat.
A lot of us share that passion for the game. Is this also what made you decide to compete in Division S?
HasuObs: If I could choose, I would play heroes fulltime on a competitive level, but that option was taken away. With the announcement of Division S, there will some serious gameplay again and I am looking forward to playing it. Teaming up with former pros that i haven't played with, besides ethernal, will also be a very fun experience.
Mene: I like to be competitive, especially in games. I competed in the Nexus cup, the tournament of Malganyr with two pros and some friends. I know I am better at video games than I am at say football. And I like to compete, and I like to get wrecked sometimes, this is how you improve. If you always win you don’t improve and that is no fun. I’m playing with Hasu, JayPL, Ethernal and SmX and we’re not going to try as hard we did before, but we’re still going try hard to win because it’s still decent money. Even if I have to compete for $100 I will do it because my parents taught me I can’t be lazy to earn even a small amount of money, go for it if it doesn’t cost too much. And in this case, I am still streaming Heroes of the Storm and I will be streaming the tournament with the pro players and with the communication.
SmX: It's great content for both the stream and Youtube. Hopefully, it also brings viewers and future tournaments to HotS, that is my idea behind it. If Division S does well, maybe that's the start of something new.
Unlike HGC, Division S allows you to stream your point of view (including communication) during the matches. How do you feel about that?
Mene: The viewers will love it for sure. They can see the game from the eyes of a pro player for the first time so it’s a good step for the viewers as they are going to love it and for me to play in a competition with friends.
Smx: I think its gonna bring more high profile players and more viewers in general, probably less for the actual main stream but I think it will help the overall viewership and attraction.
HasuObs: To have the option to stream our player's point of view is very interesting. For the first time, people will be able to fully dive into the shot-calling aspect of the game but also understanding how the voice communication is structured in-game in terms of what is worth to call out and so on. Having Khaldor and some other great shoutcasters on the main channel to "consume" heroes esports like you always did, but also having the option to tune into first-person view and voice comms by the competing teams. That sounds pretty awesome to me, I hope people will like it.
I'm really interested to see how that works out for sure. Who is the shot-caller on your team? Who will we hear the most on coms?
HasuObs: Ethernal used to shotcall in Team Liquid, I know that JayPL is a good leader as well - also because he plays main tank. Mene likes to "plan" team fights before they happen and I get very loud when winning team fights, haha. I'm curious about SmX level of communication because I've never played with him before, but as all of us used to play in very successful teams I have no worries!
Anything you want to say to the Heroes Community?
Mene: I wish people would come back to the game so we can have better matchmaking quality because its pretty much the same every day. It's like living in a small town, you see the same people every day. So I wish people would come back, or new people start improving just to make it a bit more high quality. I respect the Heroes Lounge move to launch Division S. I cross my fingers and hope it’s going to work and they can attract sponsors. A thanks to Heroes Lounge to give us a chance to compete again.