Interview with JayPL on the Western Clash at IEM Katowice



Mon 20th Mar 2017 - 7:50am

After an amazing performance during the Western Clash at IEM Katowice, where Team Dignitas crowned themselves "the Best in the West", the players have now returned home to relax and prepare for the second half of the HGC League. We had the chance to ask Jérôme "JayPL" Trinh, Tank player and Drafter for the team, about his thoughts on the tournament and the team moving forward.

Congratulations on winning the Western Clash at IEM Katowice! Going into the event, you were seen as the clear 3rd seed from EU, while everyone was talking about Misfits and Fnatic. How does it feel to prove the critics wrong?

JayPL: It feels amazing! I didn't expect us to beat good teams like Fnatic and Misfits, but we can't forget that Team Dignitas is a team that performs a lot in offline tournaments and I think our opponents’ mistake was to underestimate us. To be honest, we felt like we were playing at only 65% of our full potential.

How does it feel to win an international event compared to the EU championships we have been used to so far?

JayPL: Well, obviously it feels amazing!

How did you enjoy the event? The stage looked absolutely amazing in comparison to Katowice in 2016.

JayPL: I really enjoyed the tournament. We can feel that Blizzard really wants to make HotS good, and between the players, I really have the feeling that we are a big family sharing the same passion and life.

It seemed clear that when you guys faced other teams, especially those from NA, your macro game was really on point. Do you think other teams don’t play to the maps well enough in terms of timing and rotations?

JayPL: Yeah, I had the feeling that NA teams are sloppy and sometimes just wait to suffer, but it's something you can change easily by watching games from other teams. For example, I have never seen an NA team splitting well at level 1 when just one tower can make the difference.

Team Dignitas in 2017 is really showcasing their flexibility in drafting, in that it seems difficult to target ban any of you. Is this something the team has been working on?

JayPL: It's something we tried to work on since last year, but with all the roster swaps, we couldn't achieve what we wanted to do. We don't want to be in a position where there is one very good hero and we can't take it because of our hero pool. We want to know how to play everything.

You guys seemed to save the Tyrande play until the last series of the last day. Was this a secret strategy of yours?

JayPL: It was definitely not planned, we didn't even practice it once! I just had a feeling that she was good and we just took her.

We saw you have some amazing Stitches play near the end of the event. It seemed like with you on Stitches, Bakery on Tyrande, Mene on Kael’Thas, and Snitch on Falstad, you guys were going old school in your drafting. Is it more comfort picks or is there now a favoritism towards stun and burst compositions?

JayPL: It's actually a pretty random story: we were scrimming against GFE in the practice area and we just wanted to have fun, so we played the exact same comp and we crushed them. Then, we had to face Fnatic on their best map which is Tomb of the Spider Queen, and we had the feeling that if we played standard against them, we would for sure lose the game. So we went kinda yolo and the game went as planned.

Zaelia has been the talk of the team since he joined before the season started, especially with the previous attempts to implement new members on the team. How have the past 2 months with Zaelia been from your point of view?

JayPL: Zaelia has a really huge potential! He has good mechanics and knowledge, so it wasn't that painful to play as a team. The only problem was the fact that he role swapped and not knowing the limits of your heroes can be crucial in rotations and teamfights, and it requires a lot of time and practice.

You had Dunktrain with you on stage during the tournament. Do you think coaches are important to Heroes of the Storm teams?

JayPL: Yes, I do think a coach is really important. The fact that we don't have to argue between the players is important, as it can lead to conflicts and tension. When you have a coach, that usually shouldn’t happen. Also, it can be difficult to see why you are struggling in the game and a coach can report easily what the problems are. No matter what, a coach is a plus in every situation as long as he is respected.

What was Dunktrain able to provide on stage in terms of drafting strategies?

JayPL: The thing is that Dunktrain joined us recently, and I don't think we could have changed what we practiced in drafts to what he might think is best. So he mainly gave his opinions in drafts and pointed out facts that allowed us to make a better and trusted draft.

What did Dunktrain provide off the stage? Like comforting words, problem-solving and so on?

JayPL: He was definitely giving us energy through his hype and still trusted us when we were in a bad position and cheered us on, which definitely lifted our spirits. He also listened to us carefully which gave us the feeling that he's always there for us.

Thanks for your time. Do you have any shoutouts for your fans, team, and sponsors?

JayPL: I would like to thank Philadelphia 76ers and our sponsors: Killer, TP-Link, Alienware, WD, and Twitch. Thanks to Team Dignitas and my teammates, and thanks to the fans for the support, I love you all! It means a lot to me.