Before we start the interview, HUGE congratulations to xBlyzes on his recent victory in the Masters Tour Los Angeles! His unparalleled understanding of the meta, matchups and resilience enabled him to come back in the finals for a 3-2 victory against TNCAnswer.
Walk us through how you usually prepare for tournaments. Any specific routines, programs you use, schedule you follow or anything else that you’d recommend to other aspiring players?
xBlyzes: I practiced with a group of French players 2 weeks before the tournament for at least 5 hours a day to be ready and have a full knowledge of every matchup. I recommend all players find good practices partners so they can have a lot of different advice going into the tournament.
xBlyzes: On the first day of practice, we found this lineup composed the four best decks in the game. We tried a lot of different lineups to find a weakness against it, but we didn't found any. I was debating between Dragon Hunter and Highlander Hunter, but I decided to take the one that performed best against Galakrond Warrior.
Do you think playing this Master Tour from the comfort of your home vs from a venue with the other players the last time around had an effect on your play? If so, how?
xBlyzes: I don't think anything changed for me. I feel comfortable playing at home, but I definitely prefer when Masters Tours allow me to travel to nicer places.
With your back-to-back Masters Tour wins, you’ve now guaranteed a spot in the Grandmasters. How does that feel? How important was this for your future in Hearthstone?
xBlyzes: I'm really happy to get a spot in Grandmasters. It's always been my goal. Becoming a Grandmaster is really important for me to finally become a pro player.
Having earned your Grandmaster spot through the current system, are there any specific changes to it that you’d like to see the Hearthstone Esports team implement in the future?
xBlyzes: I think that a second Grandmasters League would be a good idea. A lot of players deserve to be in there, but they have not had their breakout moment yet.
Given your recent results, a lot of people are pegging you as a strong contestant for the World Championship this year. Do the high expectations from fans have any effect on you?
xBlyzes: I hope to qualify at World Championship, but the path is very long. I will do my best to get in. The fact that people think I'm favored doesn't change anything for me. I just want my friends to be proud of me.
To finish the interview, let's do a series of quick questions. Just say the first thing that comes to your mind!
Best non-GM player (besides you)?
Player you’d like to face the most?
Favorite card in the current meta/year of the Raven?
xBlyzes: Van Cleef
Card you hate the most from the current meta/year of the Raven?
Anything else you’d like to add?
xBlyzes: I would like to thank my practice partners : Zhym, Swidz, Felkeine, Kalaxz, Dizdemon, and Maverick. I hope they will have as much success as me this year.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, xBlyzes!
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