Jan 23, 2019 Penelope Inside Lounge

Ladies and gentlesloths, we are back again with another Inside Lounge. This time we will have a look at the FAT experience in this exciting interview with everyone's favorite pokémon FAT Metapod, now Morally Greymane. The team plays in the Heroes Lounge NA division 4 and is currently a contender for the playoffs.

First, let us meet the former Metapods.

Kingleberry: Hi All! My name is Kingleberry and I am the captain and off-laner for Morally Greymane. By day I am a stuffy office professional and by night I am a less stuffy gamer.  I have been playing HotS on and off since Beta and the team-based competition really resonated with me.  That desire to compete eventually led me to Heroes Lounge to try out a more organized game and now we are competing for a slot in the playoffs.

Robear: My name is Slim Shaddy? Ok, just call me Robear, friends irl call me Bert, my real name is Robert. I've technically played HotS since Alpha but didn't really play a ton until the Beta, and I'm still terrible at this game, lamesauce. I am pretty old for a competative gamer, but you can never be too old to play games right? I like to think, I'm a flex player.

SgSchultz: Hello! My name is Steve. I’m 25 years old (Turning 26 in July) and I’m currently living in New Orleans. I’m a student at Tulane University School of Medicine. I’ve been playing competitive sports and video games my entire life. I started playing MOBA’s back during Warcraft 3, and then played LoL during beta and up until Season 1. I played HotS during the beta and when the game originally launched, however I was busy with undergrad and never had the time to invest into the game. I picked the game back up last summer, which led me to joining the Heroes Lounge community.

SuccabusYuri: I’m Yuri (SuccubusYuri), and I play healer for Morally Greymane and play draft scientist on TV, so bow down peasants. I have a complicated history with HotS. I went directly from DOTA when it was a map to beta HotS, so now I get all kinds of weird experiences like being in silver league but Quick Matching with (former) HGC players. I like to pretend, I make the game unpredictable. These days I’m a writer outside of the game.

Rothgar: Hello!  I'm Rothgar, the Tank for Morally Greymane.  I've only been playing HotS for just over a year, but I've always been a competitive gamer.  When a friend of mine introduced me to the game, it became an addiction pretty quickly. In real life, I'm a video game programmer, having worked on quite a few MMO's for Sony Online Entertainment.  I left that behind a few years ago and now run a company that creates accessories for board games, miniatures games, and role-playing games.

Despite your name, you guys are actually a free agent team formerly known as FAT Metapod. How has the free agent experience been for you and how have you come together as a team?

Robear: The FA experience has been great for me, I didn't even expect to play this season. We had a great mentor that got us together to make it happen sooner than later. Shoutout to Penelope on the EU for getting us together. Our team dynamic works, because we're all older’ish meaning our youngest player is 25. We seem to fill the necessary roles needed outside of in game roles. For example: drafter, shot calling, researcher and cannon fodder. That last one is my role. The little things have tipped the scales in our favor and has given us an edge over most teams. For example, having a positive attitude, wanting to get better and stubborness for perfection aren’t things you can measure well.

SgSchultz: I think the free agent experience has been no different for us then any self-constructed team. We are extremely fortunate that we share a similar mindset and maturity. We clicked at the get-go of our teams’ origins and have only improved our friendship and coordination as the season has progressed.

SuccabusYuri: I’d say it’s gone pleasantly, but rough. We all seem to get along pretty well, but there’s clashes of styles that kind of fall to democracy. Like, I am a much more structured player. I’m all for scrims and battleplans and hammering those plans again and again. Most of the team isn’t quite that structured, so I’ve had to adapt as the draft scientist. But we’ve all got a good sense of where we’re coming from, the big obstacles in our path and we can be pretty honest with each about that.

Rothgar: This is my first time in an organized play league and I'm having a blast.  I came in a little late as a free agent and was fortunate to find a team that needed a tank.  We all just clicked right away and enjoy playing with each other.  Everyone on the team is here to have fun and to get better.  There are no divas here, and it has made this experience pretty amazing.  Personally, I look forward to any time we can play as a group.

Kingleberry: As a team we all gel well together. Each member of MG has their own strengths and weaknesses, but as a team we really try to build each other up. We’ve also settled into the right amount of taking it seriously and having fun. We really enjoy the wins as a team and use the losses as a group learning experience. 

How did you come up with the name Morally Greymane?

Rothgar: We were just brainstorming names one night and this one just struck us all as pretty funny.  I'm always impressed with the creative names that other teams come up with.

SgSchultz: After our first match, which was a close loss, we decided we needed an official team name. We tossed around a bunch of ideas, however the one that stuck on the dart board was Morally Greymane. I feel it showcases our connection to the franchise and our desire to be a serious contender in the inaugural North American season.

SuccabusYuri: That was just something we wanted to do tongue-in-cheek, as I recall Schultz proposed the final name. I think in hindsight some slight-shade at Blizzard in the HotS community was the right call all along, but I’m pretty cynical. Then again, I spent much of 2018 as a disappointed Sylvanas fangirl, so I agreed to it pretty quickly. It was my idea that our icon be a burning tree, after all.

Robear: We switched it after our first game, cause we lost and well who likes to be associated with a losing name? Since that night, we change our name and now teams are too scared and don't even show up anymore, it seems to be working. Ok maybe HGC dying has something to do with the lack of attendence but I prefer the first answer.

Kingleberry: Schultz likes puns

I know, several of you live in different time zones. How do you deal with that, when it comes to scheduling practice and matches?

SuccabusYuri: It’s been rough, certainly, and hopefully that’s given a little more priority in future NA seasons, when the sloths are matchmaking, because we’ve pretty much been reduced to two days a week, one for games and one for practice. And we’ve been pretty lucky, as I’m the East Coaster of the group (everyone else I believe is more Central/West) and my schedule’s pretty self-determined, but I’m often up til like 1 or 2 a.m. for practice or matches, which wouldn’t fly if I was back in the dress and high heels world.
I’m also sure we’re the team everyone dreads facing simply for the scheduling limitations.

Rothgar: It's always a little bit of a challenge to get everyone's schedules to line up, but we all have regular lives and have to occasionally do some adulting. Most of us seem to stay up pretty late, so that definitely makes it a little easier to come together.  I'm on the west coast so it's pretty easy for me.  I feel for everyone on the other side of the country.  :)

Kingleberry: Caffeine and flexibility help for the most part.  It seems to work out because we all enjoy playing later in the evening. Plus, life happens. The team is understanding if life gets in the way and things need to be moved around.  Early coordination in the team discord has been easiest.

Robear: Flexibility, Yuri has the later schedule so her sacrafice for staying up later has helped us a ton. I have the least flexibility of everyone's schedule, so I feel a little guilty, but overall we have been trying to make the best of everyone's schedules despite our time zone differences. 

SgSchultz: Luckily, we have dynamic schedules and can practice at least once a week. We also have set times where it usually will work to schedule our matches. I don’t think the difference in time zones has negatively impacted our ability as a team.

You have been doing quite well in this first season of Heroes Lounge NA and are so far on 4 wins out of 6 matches in division 4. How are you finding Heroes Lounge NA season 1?

Rothgar: It's been great!  We've been very happy with the direction of our games.  Even when we've lost, we were always proud of how we played and learned from things we could have done better. Keeping things in perspective and just having fun is what it's all about!

SuccabusYuri: I wish we could claim all the credit on those, but it is what it is this season. Though I suppose I am pleased that we’ve managed to stick it out and show up when so many more established teams have lost heart and given up.

Robear: Well, it's like the only league that exists, right? :) The league play at the amateur level combined with a game I like a ton has been fun! It reminds me of a Bball Wreck League combined with an element of soccer outside the US, where you can move up and down divisions plus playoffs. Stuff like that is appealing to me.

SgSchultz: I’m really enjoying the Heroes Lounge inaugural North American season. It’s kept me interested in the game after HGC was abruptly canceled this year. I also really enjoy working and improving with a team, so it’s been the perfect storm for me.

Kingleberry: It is so much fun. This is my first time joining a competitive group for an e-sport. I wish, I had done it sooner. 

What are your ambitions for the season and what do you think your chances are in securing a spot in the playoffs?

Kingleberry: I want to win D4.  I think we have as good a shot as anyone. 

Robear: Division 3 is the prize and end goal this season. The playoffs are something attainable and if we complete our goal, the playoffs will be an awesome side effect. We have had some learning pains trying to figure out the league system, but as mentioned, it is our first season so statistically that will happen. But its best to make those kind of mistakes early, so we know moving forward, right?

SgSchultz: I believe we have a strong case for a playoff spot, and our latest push to stay at the top has helped solidify that case. I think our ambitions could easily be to progress to Division 3 at the end of the season.

Rothgar: We would love to make it all the way.  I think we've got a shot, but we know there are a lot of other good teams out there too.  We're going to play our best and see where it takes us. 

SuccabusYuri: I think we’ll all be happy to qualify for playoffs, especially as a FAT team, anything beyond would be a great bonus.

What have been the biggest pros and cons about being a free agent team?

Robear: CONS with signing up for a FAT team is, that you’re not going to ever know, what you get, until you show up, right? Personalities, chemistry, focus, adaptability, reliability, play style, strategy differences, schedules, commitment etc. You just won't know until you start communicating, feeling each other out and seeing how you can fit in and how to make the team successful.

PROS with a FAT team: We didn't have to create a 5 man team from scratch. You don't know enough members to create a team or have enough friends to make a team? No premade team members and no problem! Since we joined the FAT team and started competing against other teams, the networking and meeting other players of the community has been a plus! Hopefully other teams don't think we're iceholes.

SgSchultz: I think us, and one or two other free agent teams have been outliers. We have bonded well, worked together and succeeded against teams, who have either been together for long lengths of time or have been friends before the season started.

Rothgar: I think the biggest con, if you can even call it that, is just that you are getting to know your team right at the start of a season.  As far as I know, none of us really knew each other before this season, so even now we're learning each other's play-styles and personalities.  I really couldn't have gotten a better group of people to play with. 

SuccabusYuri: Pros are pretty easy; I can’t imagine how else I would have met any of these whackos just playing the game normally. It’s a good experience to meet new people, gel with them, and since the HL seasons are so short, there isn’t a lot of pressure.

Cons are a little more “hidden”. Our team didn’t completely form until the week of our first game, so we didn’t really have practice going into our first week besides a few quick sessions. It’s definitely a mountain to climb and organize around plus the aforementioned time zone issues.

Kingleberry: We definitely got lucky because there was no griping about roles at all.  On the first day, we all said what our preferred roles were and (luckily) it formed a cohesive team.  That said, the obvious downside is unpredictability. There was some roster shuffling in the very beginning due to people dropping, but it worked out for the best.

What are your plans for Heroes Lounge NA season 2? 

Robear: Division 3 to Division 2?

SgSchultz: To be playing with my team regardless of what happens in the post-season.

Rothgar: I really hope everyone on the team can stick with it. I'm sure that we will continue to get better as a team come out even stronger in Season 2.

SuccabusYuri: I haven’t personally decided. I might jump back in the free agent pool or join a team more suited to my style and time zone or stick around here.

Do you have any shoutouts?

Robear: Why yes I do, Chapter 1. First off, to you P (Penelope) for helping us come together so quickly and just being available to answer noob questions. Your continued support to getting us answers has been sooo amazing for us. I want to give a shout out to Yuri for theorycrafting and organizing the strategies for our team, because I would rather just play. That's probably why I'm still silver level after 2 years.. Kingle for organizing all the games and communication with the other teams and really just going to bat as a mouthpiece for our team and keeping a stance on scheduling decisions. Sgs for bringing new elements and awareness to our group shot calling playstyle along with continued support for bringing up ridiculous team makeups. And a special thanks to Roth for tanking for me, because I can't tank to save my life or my team's lives, and yeah, I am not a fan of tanking in general. I would also like to thank my wife for letting me be a kid every once in a while. Without her I would probably be single and alone, literally...  :)

SuccabusYuri: Shoutouts for my oldest HotS-bestie ChrisiFlower, other HotS-friend Kymzi and our team’s lovely Penelope, she’s one of a kind.

Rothgar: Definitely a big shout-out to my wife, Tiffany, for being awesome and putting up with my many hobbies. And, a huge thanks to Penelope, the best Heroes Lounge mod ever. She's always there to answer our questions and help with issues.

Kingleberry: Shout out to the sixth Beatle, Penelope. She has been very supportive all season and especially when problems occur with scheduling or rules (and does so from another continent). MG would not be MG without her. 

SgSchultz: Wendy’s or Chipotle, if you want to sponsor an up and coming Division 4 Amateur team from Heroes Lounge North America, you know where to look and who to call.

This concludes our interview with Morally Greymane. Thanks to the team 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. 


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