Interview with DIG iRens, Hunter for Team Dignitas SMITE



Wed 27th Jan 2016 - 8:02am

I got the chance to briefly discuss several different aspects of SMITE with our Hunter player from the Netherlands, Rens "iRens" Oostenbach! I was even able to inquire about some sillier topics as well. Check out the interview below for competitive insights and the latest developments between iRens and his man-crush, Yammyn.


Everyone say hello to iRens, Hunter for the Team Dignitas SMITE team! How did you get into SMITE initially?

iRens: About 2.5 years ago some friends of mine gave me a beta key for SMITE, and told me to try it. I really disliked it at first, since I was a big COD fanboy then, but my friends made me keep playing it. Eventually I started to like it more and more, and started playing ranked as soon as I could (Don't do this!).


For those who may be unfamiliar with you, can you provide a brief summary of your competitive experience (i.e. teams, placements, etc.)?

iRens: My competitive experience started in November 2014. I joined 'Upcoming Stars' then. Before that I only played ranked, and made myself known as a decent hunter. We qualified for the SPL Spring Split with Upcoming Stars, after a three-way tiebreak in our group! I played the Spring Split and the Summer Split for Upcoming Stars, and joined Team Dignitas after that.


How are you enjoying your stay here at Team Dignitas?

iRens: Being here at Team Dignitas is absolutely amazing. It's great to see how much of a family an eSports organisation can be, and everyone in Team Dignitas has helped me a lot since I joined.


Looking forward, how do you feel about the Season 3 changes? What did you like? What did you not like?

iRens: I think Hi-Rez is going the right way with the Season 3 changes. I like the addition of new items, which will hopefully put more diversity in everyone's builds. There are some items and relics that do need to be balanced though (Purification for example), but I'm sure Hi-Rez will balance that correctly before the launch of Season 3.


You frequently played Rama in the SPL. Would you say he’s your best god? Why or why not?

iRens: I do think he's one of my best gods, but I dont think I have one best god though. I really like his kit, and I know how to get the advantage in lane in every matchup. I also tend to hit a lot of my snipes, which helps on Rama as well!


What made you pick Hunter as your preferred role?

iRens: I honestly can't remember anymore. I've played Hunters since I started playing SMITE, and still feel like I won't change my role anytime soon.


How do you feel about the state of Hunters in general currently? Are they in a good spot or do they need some improvements?

iRens: Hunters are in a fine spot right now I think. They don't crit for 1k+ anymore (like they used to do), and they also aren't underpowered by any means. Some people like to complain about the damage Hunters deal lategame, but that's exactly what Hunters are about.


As a Hunter, do you feel more pressure to perform well due to how important your damage output is in teamfights?

iRens: For sure, especially in lategame teamfights where it's very important to deal as much damage as possible while staying safe. If I would be the first one to die in a teamfight, the fight is almost guaranteed to be lost due to a huge lack of damage. That is also what makes the Hunter role so fun though, being able to do so much in a fight, but only while playing correctly.


What do you think is the strongest Hunter/Guardian duo in the game right now and why?

iRens: It's hard to tell right now, because Season 3 is right around the corner and some stuff has changed for the duo lane. My expectation is that supports with strong push (Ymir, Khepri) will be strong, combined with Hunters that offer the most lategame (Freya, Rama).


What’s a funny memory you have regarding something that happened in the duo lane?

iRens: That would definitely be when me and Funball killed each other in a duel. I managed to hit all 3 of my ult's shots as Rama on a Freya with Fatalis, which isn't easy at all, and got pretty hyped from it! (video)


If you had to spend a week alone on a deserted island with another SMITE pro, who would it be and why?

iRens: I would definitely want to spend a week alone with Yammyn, main reason being that us two make the cutest couple of all SMITE pros. It even says on his Wiki that he thinks I'm cute! So if someone could make this week with me and Yammyn happen, please do so!


We all know the Dutch make good cheese. What’s your favorite cheese strategy in SMITE?

iRens: That would have to be a team comp with gods that shred objectives, something like Bakasura, Bastet and Anubis. It's amazing to see Fire Giant or Gold Fury die so fast, although it rarely works out in the end.


How does your family feel about you playing video games for a living? Are they supportive?

iRens: Right now, everyone in my family is really supportive about me playing SMITE for a living, although that used to be different. Especially my parents were really skeptical in the beginning, however when I left for Super Regionals, they realised how important this was for me and were really happy for me. My brother and sister (especially my sister) were supportive from the beginning on, because it's easier for them to understand how important this is for me.


What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not playing SMITE?

iRens: I like to spend as much time as possible with my friends. Sometimes scrims have the priority over seeing friends, but we like to go out often on weekends, which is always a great time. I also play football in my spare time, and support my favorite club in the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven!


Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Any shoutouts that you’d like to give?

iRens: Shoutouts to all of the fans, my teammates and Team Dignitas of course!


Thanks for reading! To get all of the latest news about iRens' professional career, be sure to follow him and Team Dignitas on Twitter!