Pre-Dreamhack Valencia Interview with vVv Kaldi
Posted on July 17, 2014 by Rob
While the hype rolls on from Dreamhack Summer and IEM this weekend, Dreamhack will make its 3rd stop of the season in Valencia. Packing a prize pool of €3,000, this will be the first offline tournament with the popular swiss CCG style format. We had a chance to sit down with Kaldi from vVv Gaming who will be attending this event all the way from Iceland.
Hey Kaldi! First off, thanks for taking the time to sit down and do this interview with us as I know you’ve just arrived in Valencia for Dreamhack. To start, what have things been like for you since your performance at Dreamhack Summer and how have you been preparing going into Valencia this weekend?
Kaldi: Things have been good since dreamhack, started by catching back up on my sleep as the event was quite hectic. Ended up playing a lot more football than I was expecting as my friends were really inspired by the Fifa World .
My preparation for Valencia has been very extensive, I started off by focusing on deck testing and research and built a detailed grid of the current metagame. I went over to a lot of deck building and finishing off any details once I had settled on decks and ended up with alot of grinding practice finishing off any weak points in my play.
That’s great to hear. How was your travel from Iceland to Spain, and how are you enjoying Valencia so far? Also, seeing that you went to Valencia last year for Starcraft 2, does that experience help you prepare for this years event at all?
Kaldi: The travel went very smoothly, we went through check in and the security check in around 5 minutes as there was no line at all something that has never been the case when I have traveled through the Keflavik Airport.
The Flight was on time and I ended up sleeping through the entire flight. The ride to Valencia was around 2 hours in the darkness, as its bright 24 hours a day here in Iceland in July it was almost refreshing to be in the dark.
I am very happy with the hotel, I stayed here last year when I went to Dreamhack and so I knew what I was getting into. The first day I did some light shopping and had a look around. Valencia is quite hot this time of year but the Spanish have excellent air conditioning everywhere so its been nice all around. Having been here last year is very comfortable, knowing where things are and also having had an opportunity to practice my spanish has helped me with the pronunciation this time around.
How do you feel you’ve grown as a player over the last few months and what is your mindset going into Valencia?
The last few months have been very pleasant for me, I have performed better than I expected. I feel the growth comes from lan experience mostly and Dreamhack summer there being a big factor, it gives has given me the drive and confidence to play better and practice more, I have been spending more time also on decks that I hadn't had a lot of experience with so that has helped me increase my understanding of opposing decks.
When I heard there was going to be a hearthstone tournament in Valencia I decided to do whatever it takes to go far there, seeding is unsure when i'm writing this and if it turns out that I missed out on the seeding it means a 128 man tournament to determine who goes forward to top 16. No one has managed to qualify twice to top 16 so it would be an uphill struggle. I am only going to be focusing on my next match and forget about everything else like I did at Dreamhack summer, I believe my level of play is higher than it was then but in a cardgame things don't always turn out like you want them to.
TL DR: Take it one game at a time and only think about my next match, focus on not making mistakes and things should work out.
We just announced that the Hearthstone team has a new Manager in vVv Farley. How has he influenced the team so far and why do you think a manager is important for a game like Hearthstone?
Farley joined vVv when I was at my busiest with dreamhack preparation so I have been a bit out of it concerning the team. My first impression of him was positive he seems driven competent and seems to have the experience and time needed to do a good job so high hopes.
I believe a manager is the most important team member of any esports team as he is the glue that holds the team together. The manager is also essential in promoting the team and looking out for its interest.
Hearthstone as an esport has exploded over the last 6 months. With major tournaments almost every month and more organizations getting involved, what do you see as the next step for the game and community to grow even more?
Kaldi: I would say that that would be getting an organised and consistent individual (and later on team) league sponsored by Blizzard, (something like wcs or LCS) this would really promote the competitive aspect and give an alternative to the stream/casual position the game has been in for a while now.
What are your thoughts on the different tournament formats used at various events and how do you feel about the Swiss style that you’ll be competing in this weekend at Valencia?
Kaldi: I feel that the seeding is still a problem for events as it creates an uneven playing field, the best players should have to prove that they belong at the top. Swiss is a very nice format for the event however it gives players a possibility to make a comeback and in my opinion is the format that has the highest percentage of the best players making it through. Swiss has its ups and downs though and can be a bit rough if 2 top players meet in the early rounds and overall is less stable than double elimination.
Do you feel that overall the new Curse of Naxxramas expansion will be positive or negative for your current playstyle and the inevitable metagame shifts?
Kaldi: I think longterm new cards will be great, I believe it will bring forth a more diverse meta game and will give the top players a possibility to get an edge right when it comes out. Currently about one third of the cards have been uploaded online so its hard to say but as it stands right now it seems that the strongest new cards won't benefit my favorite pay to play (tempo) that much. Overall I'm very excited about the new expansion but it will also mean that a lot of work I've put into the current meta game will be irrelevant.
We’ll let you get back to preparing and resting for the event. Thanks again for the interview Kaldi and best of luck this weekend at Dreamhack Valencia! Any final words or shoutouts?
Kaldi: I would just like to thank my practice partners Vanillatitan and Faramir for staying up with me to prepare for the tournament. I would also like to thank vVv and Steelseries and for helping me attend the event, Steelseries will be having a booth at the event which I can't wait to check out. Also a shoutout to Rob for helping me get everything in order before leaving.