Ostkaka about the Patron Warrior changes: ”No one could play that deck even close to perfectly”av
Sebastian ”Ostkaka” Engwall is a Swedish Hearthstone player who not long ago qualified to the world championship at BlizzCon.
Very recently, however, the deck he has dedicated most of his time to was destroyed in a patch that entirely changed the meta game.
– We now have two weeks to prepare new decks. I hope I’ve done the right preparations, the Swede tells Aftonbladet Esport.
Sebastian ”Ostkaka” Engwall, who’s nickname means cheese cake in Swedish, got his hands on a Hearthstone beta key during High School. He soon realized that he was possibly one of the best players in the world and decided to take a year off to commit to the game. Today he is qualified for the World Championship at BlizzCon and is a member of the legendary organization Na’vi.
– I took a year off from school to fully dedicate myself to Hearthstone and it went really, really well, Ostkaka tells Aftonbladet Esport.
The Swede is considered one of the best players in Europe. In the beginning of October Ostkaka traveled south to Prague in the Czech Republic to compete in the tournament ”Road to BlizzCon”, the qualifier for the world championship. After a successful event his spot was secured and now the young player looks to compete against the world’s elite for the title.
– There were so many fans and it was really cool that so many people recognized me and wanted to take photos. It was really the first time that has ever happened to me, except maybe for Dreamhack, Ostkaka says.
”They are of course very impressed”
According to GosuGamers world ranking, Ostkaka is the 21th best player in the world. Even though the Swede is one of the greatest in the Hearthstone scene today, he is yet to step out in the spotlight.
– Since Hearthstone is based around Twitch so much – more than in any other esport – you don’t get that constant publicity of people watching you every day. I often qualify for tourneys and many of the professional players have said for about a year that I’m one of the better players in Europe. Qualifying for BlizzCon was my big break.
How has your friends and family reacted to your career choice?
– They are of course very impressed. They don’t really follow esports themselves, but only the fact that teams and tournament organizers wants to pay for my plane tickets and hotells is enough to impress them, and also that I play in one of the biggest tournaments in Hearthstone. It’s pretty cool.
Do you have an opinion about wether it’s a good or bad thing that Hearthstone is based so much around Twitch?
– It’s a pity, but I understand why it’s like that. If you watch poker for example, since it has a clear connection to Hearthstone in that there’s a lot of luck involved. In poker it’s not always the best players that are the richest or get most tournaments invites, it’s much more based on personality because that’s what the viewers wants to see. I can understand that, but it’s too bad for those who aren’t big personalities within the scene. But I guess I’ll just start streaming.
”We now have two weeks to prepare new decks”
Recently Blizzard dropped a bomb over the Hearthstone community. The famous ”Patron Warrior” deck received a devastating blow as the Warsong Commander card was changed in a patch.
– We now have two weeks to prepare new decks. I hope I’ve done the right preparations. And I hope my guesses about the opponents decks are correct.
How have the changes affected you?
– A lot of people would say I was one of the biggest Patron Warrior players. I’ve dedicated so much time to learn that deck. Out of all decks in Hearthstone history it’s the one with the highest skill cap in. No one could play that deck even close to perfectly. Considering I’ve practiced it so much and spent so much time learning it, it’s of course a bit sad they decided to remove it completely. I still think I have a pretty decent advantage since I don’t think the other regions are particularly strong.
What do you think of the new meta?
– It’s hard to say. Whenever they release a new patch it takes about 1-2 months before people find out what’s the best. So it’s hard for me to say exactly what will happend. I think Paladin is going to be popular, and also the Warlock Zoo decks have been popular in Asia. I definitely take that into consideration when I’m building my new decks.
”The biggest and most prestigefull tournament”
The Swede has previously competed in the Archon Team league where the prize pool is identical to the one at BlizzCon. But it’s not only prize money that matters and for Ostkaka the world championship is going to be the biggest tournament he’s ever attended.
– I think most people view BlizzCon as the biggest and most prestigious tournament.
– I mean, this is the World Championship of Hearthstone and it’s the only tourney that uses results from the ladder and let’s you collect points throughout the year. Everyone tries to qualify for BlizzCon so I would say it’s the biggest tournament.
Ostkaka took one year off to commit to Hearthstone. He’s about to start his second. But if his future lies within esports is for the future to tell.
Right now his plan is to continue competing and then move on to studies at the Royal Institution of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.