Pre-IEM Katowice Interview with Quackniix
Posted 2017-02-28 Lepertum
At the Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland, our Heroes of the Storm squad will participate in the very first HGC Western Clash. Currently ranked second in Europe, the team will take on opponents from our own region but also from North America, Latin America and Australia. The goal? To take home 30.000 USD and bragging rights for the rest of the season. We talked to Quackniix and asked him about his expectations for the event that takes place from March 3-5th.
How do you feel about returning to Poland for IEM Katowice? An event that’s been said to have some of the most amazing crowds out there and a really cool venue as well.
I am very excited to return to IEM Katowice. Last year was insane, especially when thinking about all the fans and the atmosphere. We are also hungry to achieve more than last year, as we didn’t have the best run ever then.
This week, competitive play takes a break. How has preparation for the Western Clash been going so far / What is your main focus?
Preparation for IEM Katowice has been going great in general. Our main focus is to stay “ahead” of the meta/ find our own ways in drafts to make sure it’s hard to draft against us. We also want to make sure we have some kind of “safety net” vs unexpected cheese and make sure we stay on top of our game.
You didn’t seem very impressed by North America in a recent post-game interview but how do you feel about the LATAM and ANZ teams that’ll be attending, Infamous and Nomia?
Just to clarify, when I trash talk like that, I do it mostly for fun to create a bit of rivalry and it’s mostly friendly banter to create hype. However, I do think for sure that Europe has the upper hand, as we are the stronger region but we will see if NA does have something to say about that at IEM. Regarding the smaller region teams that are coming, I can’t say too much because I don’t really have a lot of info about them. I think they will have a hard time but it’s important to never underestimate anyone.
When it comes to European teams the possibility exists that you’ll face off against Misfits and/or Dignitas at some point during the tournament. Both series during the regular season went to five games and there’s a lot history between them and Fnatic already, including last year in Katowice. Who would you rather run into?
Yes, there’s a lot of history between “the big three” and it's always super exciting to play against either of them. I think I would rather play Dignitas because I feel that they are slightly worse than misfits at the moment.
Based on all the above, what are your expectations for the event?
It's always hard to tell because, from time to time, even though we feel like the strongest team going into most tournaments, it tends to change pretty fast at offline events. Other teams might excel or we might choke for whatever the reason is but I am very confident in our ability to win the whole thing if we play our cards right. I don’t want to say too much but I hope for a top 4 spot at least.
The Sgt Hammer pick was definitely one of the more surprising ones during these five weeks of HGC. Were you and the team happy with how she worked out during the games?
I think Hammer is a pretty good pick situationally, especially when it has been forgotten and comes out of nowhere. The pick being a bit fresh means people don’t exactly know how to play and draft against it. I’m fairly happy with what we managed to accomplish with her. We also had an Azmodan pick on Dragon Shire that worked for the same reasons by the way ;-).
Meta: Will you ever rush a core again when Kaelaris is casting? The chance of success seems to be in the 2-3% range.
Good one! Yea, the chances of failing tend to be way higher than I usually “calculate” ;).
The things that usually go wrong when attempting core rushes/backdoors like these, are many, many small misplays that usually don’t have too much impact in other situations. However, when it comes down to the core having only 2% left, every single mistake counts, no matter how small it was. It can really be anything: where you position, your movements, how you dodge spells, and the usage of your own spells, tanking splash damage from the core, etc.