Having recently partnered with Mindfreak, the members of Australia’s leading Heroes of the Storm team are about to head to the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Phase #1 Intercontinental Clash in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Joining the Mindfreak family means more than just an opportunity to don our colours on stages both local and international. It involves a passionate community that follows along every step of the way, anxiously anticipating the euphoria of victory.
With only a single map loss to their name thus far in 2018, it’s only fitting to share the stories of those involved with one of Australia’s most powerful esports rosters.
Today we’re grateful to be joined by Andrew ‘Penta’ Moffat, a member of our Heroes of the Storm (HotS) team currently travelling overseas to do battle at the HGC Intercontinental Clash. The winning team will depart from Brazil knowing that they have secured a position in the upcoming HGC Mid-Season Brawl event.
We sat down with Andrew to discuss his history in esports as well as just how the team is preparing in the final days leading up to the first monumental event of the year.
To start off, how were you first made aware of the competitive gaming landscape? Did you grow up following any scenes in particular or was Heroes of the Storm your introduction to esports as a whole?
My first grasp of esports was through League of Legends. I began playing in 2011 and casually followed the NA competitive scene as well as the world championships. The competitive aspect of gaming didn't really intrigue me until late 2014 though, where I attended PAX Melbourne and watched the Oceanic League of Legends finals live. The energy and passion in those players sort of sparked my interest in esports and I’ve been pursuing it ever since.
Is it true that this coming trip to Brazil to compete in the HGC Intercontinental Clash will be your first international venture through esports?
Yes that is true, and while that is a huge milestone for me, it definitely isn't our end goal. I won't be satisfied until we win in Brazil and get to compete against the rest of the world in Sweden at the Mid-Season Brawl.
Are you at all nervous about the travel or just generally excited for the opportunity to compete at such a high level?
I was lucky to travel a lot as a kid so that aspect doesn't really bother me, I'm just really excited to be going overseas to compete.
After having dropped a lone map to Crimson in your final series of the Premier League, how are you looking to adjust knowing that they will be the first team you do battle with in Brazil?
We've definitely upped our practice schedule in the days leading to Brazil in order to fine tune our play. I think the main thing is understanding what our strengths are and using that to carry the momentum on the day, which is what we've been aiming to do over the past week. Additionally, we've watched every replay against Crimson to patch up any areas for improvement.
How do you think the current ANZ scene stacks up against the Latin American competition? Is the team confident heading into the coming event?
I don't think the LATAM competition will be very strong. We've watched some vods available to us from their region and have concluded that they aren't much of a threat. However, their drafting style is quite different from what ANZ prioritises and could result in some pretty awkward clashes, so we definitely won't underestimate them.
Run us through an average day of practice for you and the team leading up to an event of this calibre. How often do you devote your own free time to breaking down footage of opponents or simply grinding the online ladder to refine your skills?
We try to log on early before scrims in order to watch vods together as a team and get an understanding of what we want to play and how we want to play it, as well as to outline any goals we want to achieve from the session.
Scrims tend to go for 2-3 hours and shortly after, we watch over the replays from the games played as our actions are still fresh in our minds. Outside of practice sessions we aim to play the game to stay current with mechanics while also watching player POVs from various regions. I tend to watch tank players from Korean HGC teams and question their choices to get a better understanding myself.
You have been a member of many other competitive organisations throughout your HotS career. What was it like joining the Nomia lineup after having competed against those you now call your teammates?
For the time I've been in the Heroes of the Storm scene, Nomia had always been a very strong team and after competing against them numerous times you eventually get to know your opponents. In fact, I had actually played on a team with John and Vanilla in the past, so getting to play with them again was great, knowing we had synergy in the past.
How has your experience been lately throughout the transition to Mindfreak? What has stood out to you during the process?
The exposure we've received from Mindfreak has been amazing for us, and also for the game itself. Media coverage is exciting and something I've always wanted to be involved in, since you don't really get that opportunity in a self-run organisation. The quick response time from staff for any concerns we have is great and helps us stay focused on the game.
Currently, who would you say is your favourite character to play both in and out of competition?
Favourite character would definitely be Diablo. He just does so much damage when played right and has such a large health pool as well as an instant resurrect to get back into the action. I even told myself if I ever get a pet, I'll call it Dibbles.
Amazing. Well finally, to wrap things up, how do you fill your time outside of the esports lifestyle? Any interesting tidbits that the fans may not be aware of?
Outside of Heroes of the Storm I'm currently dedicated to a full-time aviation degree which trains me to be a commercial pilot and that pretty much fills up the rest of the time I have.
The Mindfreak roster is just days away from representing Australia at the HGC Intercontinental Clash in Brazil starting on May 12. After a sensational showing throughout the past few months of local competition, show your support for the Mindfreak family as they travel overseas to compete with the best of the Latin American scene.
Don’t forget to follow Penta on Twitter to keep up with all the latest news from our HotS team.