A big thank you to Division 1 standouts, Flavia Felix for joining me! To start off, could you all please introduce yourselves to our audience?
Rennella: Hello, I am Rennella, manager and analyst for Flavia Felix. I am 20 years old. and I am from Russia. In the team I am playing as main support, which is my 3rd role in this team after some role swaps and roster changes. I've already played in Heroes Lounge Season 2 for a world-known team Zero Tinder Matches
KobraDL: Hey, my nickname is KobraDL, and please don’t ask what is DL because I don’t know either I’m from Belarus and I’m 19. I used to play assassins but when I came to this team I became solo laner/melee flex. This is my second team and i enjoy play with it.
Gunter: Hello, I am Gunter. I am 17 years old. and I am from Russia. In the team I am playing as dps. I am the most chill person on the team.
Ekoril: Hello, my name is Ekoril, I'm 21 years old guy from Moscow, Russia. I play main tank and my favourite spells in the game are Cursed Bullet and Seven-Sided Strike. I am the most adventurous member of the team as I love checking bushes and making questionable engages.
CandleLight: Hi! My name is CandleLight, I'm 24 years old from Odessa, Ukraine and playing competitive esports has been a lifelong goal of mine that I am still chasing. Currently I play as ranged flex for Flavia Felix. I am shot caller and coach for this team and I also have the final say in drafting. As far as our team environment goes -- I'm that "work first, have fun later" guy.
Pleasure to meet you all. Getting right into it, let's talk about expectations. You guys are obviously one of the top teams in Heroes Lounge, what would you say your goals are for this team, both within Heroes Lounge and beyond?
CandleLight: So, this one is easy. First, we have to win Heroes Lounge, then we gotta start getting 1st place in every ESL Go4Heroes cup, after that comes getting top 2 in HGC Open Division and making it into HGC Pro Division. Obvious plan from there is Western Clash, Mid-Season Brawl, Blizzcon, World Dominance, conquering Mars and beating some aliens. The rest is classified.
Rennella: I'd prefer Venus but else is good
That seems like quite the plan! As a budding amateur team, how do you guys feel about the amateur scene at the moment? Do you think Blizzard/others do enough to support and nurture it? What could be improved?
Well, doing nothing is obviously not enough. If creating massive tournaments and well payed competitive leagues from scratch seems too risky or costly for Blizzard, I think they could at least afford to invest/partner up with competitive leagues that are already functional, in particular, with Heroes Lounge.
Amateur scene in Heroes of the Storm at the moment is far from where it deserves to be, in my honest opinion. I am confident that there is an amazing potential for this game, I think it can become one of the bigger esports if given the chance. However, at the moment, Blizzard's investment into HOTS is minimal. I think they are unsure whether game will grow and develop or fizzle out and are waiting to see which one it is, before putting any big money into it. So, while Blizzard is standing idle fans and dedicated players are doing most of the heavy work, creating tournaments, competitive leagues, streaming, casting and much else. In my opinion Blizzard should invest millions into HOTS esports yearly, just like Valve invests into Dota2 and CS:GO and only then game will grow and take the place it deserves among esports disciplines. It will never happen on its own. It amazes me that Blizzard hasn't acquired/partner up with Heroes Lounge yet and only tip-toeing with few other amateur leagues. As a massively dedicated player and huge fan of the game I'm disappointed.
A good start would be making more tournaments and sponsoring more competitive leagues. That means prize pool money, hiring casters, organizers, admins etc.
At the moment -- few tournaments they sponsor in HOTS look kind of miserable. Even some cell phone games and titles by indie developers have tournaments with bigger prize pools on ESL than Heroes of the Storm.
As a decent level amateur team, what is your normal schedule for tournaments and Lounge games? How much goes into your practise, and do you review replays at all?
Rennella: I am the team manager, which means I look for scrims and make the scheduling arrangements for all practices and tournaments we play in. Our schedule usually consists of 6 workdays a week. We participate in every tournament we can find both from EU and Russian organizers and on the days, we don't have any tournament games we play scrims. Usually we play 1-2 scrims a day, consisting of 3-4 matches each. When CandleLight joined the team back in September he enforced replay analysis sessions where we discuss mistakes and develop tactics and strategies. This way after\before scrims every day we're watching and analysing replays. Also, all players are practising in Hero League, which helps with individual skills as well.
Since I joined the team and filled into coaching position I'm doing most of the criticising in replays and I'm just glad my teammates don't hate me.
Also, I got to say that by the time I got on this team I was kind of convinced that having such a tight and dedicated practice schedule with a team in semi-pro division of HOTS esports is an impossibility. You see, with my previous team we only played scrims twice a week, never watched replays and even with schedule this lose it was a huge struggle to just gather 5 people together on time. So basically, I was this hopeful guy who was all like: "I will build/join a team, we going to practice 24/7, become the best team ever and win everything". Then I tried that and turns out a lot of semi-pro players are too busy with other things in life or just much less enthusiastic about committing time to gaming. However, after that I got onto Flavia Felix team, we played try-outs and they said like "Cool! Come play with us tomorrow", then they said the same thing on the next day and the day after that. Soon enough I realized that I actually met some awesome, dedicated players, whose work ethic matches mine, which felt amazing. It was like I just met 4 strangers but ended up at home.
You have qualified in the top seeing group for the Heroes Lounge Championship, making you one of the clear favourites to win it all. What are your expectations for the playoffs, and do you plan to do anything differently? Are there any teams you'd rather avoid?
Rennella: Well, we want to win Heroes Lounge Championship of course and we believe we can do it. There are other strong teams though. Personally, I see GGU as the strongest team, bacciballum, Cozinheiros da Avó and REEEEEE can win it too. Also, I should mention New Meta HOTS because they are like a friend team to us and if I don't mention them, they will be sad I guess Keepo #FelixFTW
We didn't play much against other Division 1 teams, as well as Division 2, so I am not sure how strong they are. Also I don’t know if we want to avoid any teams, as I said GGU is the strongest one in my opinion, but that doesn't mean we don't want to face them.
KobraDL: We will try to win this tournament just as any other team. I think we will adhere to the same strategy, as used in the previous games. And as far as other teams go, some opponents are stronger than others but we'll face them the same -- prepared and unafraid.
That just about wraps up our interview! Thanks to everyone on Flavia Felix for their time, did you guys have any shout outs you wanted to give?
CandleLight: Shout out to all fellow gamers and esports enthusiasts. Big thanks to my teammates for working hard and being good friends, Rennella for carrying manager & analyst burdens, Gunter for simply carrying, Ekoril for taking the hits for all of us as a tank and KobraDL for being KobraFM. Shoutout to Bayaz and Dentro for being great casters and doing some awesome work. Shout out to my good friends and former teammates SlamJam and Xavider. And thank you, Robb, for taking the time to make this interview.
Rennella: Shout outs to my teammates. Thanks for being dedicated players, who are inspired by the same goal and willing to do whatever it takes to reach it.
Shout outs to other Russian-speaking Heroes Lounge teams: Duo Abuse Gaming, who has just won their tiebreaker match and made it through to the Championship, good luck there, and Furrow Nexus Team, who were less successful during the season, but I believe they will find da wae.
Shout outs to Heroes Lounge admins and casters. Thanks for giving an opportunity for amateur teams to experience competitive HotS environment.
And thank you, Robb, for the interview.
Gunter: Shout outs to my former teammates: dZIRT, ImMoRtaL, FromRussia, FTD.
Shout outs to BLIZZARD for created imbalanced assassins.
This concludes our interview with Flavia Felix Thanks to Flavia Felix for taking time to answer some questions, and to all of you readers supporting the Heroes Lounge blog. I hope to see you all again for our next Inside Lounge interview. Should you have any suggestions or criticism, you would like to share with us, you can always find us at the Heroes Lounge discord.