Pre-Blizzcon Interview With DIG Heroes player Mene
Thu 26th Oct 2017 - 9:15am
It's that time of the year again. BlizzCon is upon us and the strongest Heroes of the Storm teams in the world are traveling to California to duke it out in epic matches that will go down in history.
We had a chance to sit down and have a chat with Team Dignitas' Ranged Assassin player Thomas "Mene" Cailleux to get his take on the team's bootcamp in Korea and the upcoming matches.
Looking back at the year and up to where we are now, do you think the team is stronger now compared to when HGC EU started?
Mene: I definitely think the team is stronger since HGC started. The league puts more pressure on the team to improve and be better to stay in the league and have a secure income. We always wanted to be at the top and when the league was introduced we kept that goal.
Would you say that the constant league play is a factor when we look at the team’s improvement over the year?
Mene: I think both the league format and the former tournament format is fine, it’s up to personal preference. I personally prefer the old format where we only played big tournaments throughout the year, because it is only at LAN events that you can see how a player performs in front of a crowd. I don’t think you can compare the performance to someone sitting at home, being comfortable with everything they want. If there is literally no pressure around the player it’s easier. I like the fact that we play every week, but I would like it to be like in other games where the players would have to move to the same country and play the matches at LAN every week. Only then would we see the true standings and I think the current standings would change if this happened.
Last time Team Dignitas worked with a coach you ended up winning the first Western Clash at IEM Katowice. What does it mean to you to have Nabby with you on stage?
Mene: It’s not the same kind of coach, because Dunktrain was an ex pro-player so we wanted him to be part of the draft and help us in the games because he had experience with that. With Nabby it is different. He is kind of the policeman of the team who is there to keep everything clear and make sure that we are not arguing for no reason. He helps us a bit in games for sure, but he is more like a daddy for the team, keeping the team spirit up and making sure every step in the process is clean. I’m super hyped to see him on stage. It’s going to be exciting for him and fun for us. In the end we are happy to work with him, he gives us a lot of important information and we hope to make a great result again.
Has the bootcamp in Korea been affected by the fact that you have your coach Nabby with you compared to previous bootcamps?
Mene: Our schedule is definitely cleaner with Nabby here. Sometimes beside the work he does for us as a coach, it’s just nice to have an extra person here to take care of things that we won’t have to worry about. It’s definitely better for us to have a coach here to work with before, during, and after the scrims.
When 5 teammates are gathered in the same house for a longer period of time fun things are bound to happen, how is it to be around your teammates 24/7 at the bootcamp?
Mene: Just having Zaelia here is fun. He is the new guy on the team who has not competed at BlizzCon yet, so he should be super prepared for the bootcamp and giving it his all, but instead he eats all the weird food, gets sick, and is the guy here who sleeps the most. Other than that Jay is snoring like a bear.
Team Dignitas is in Group C with: Roll20 esports (NA), RED Canids (LATAM), and Tempest (KR). How do you like the group and how do you see it playing out?
Mene: I think our group is the hardest one. If you look at the other groups, there are only one of two favored teams. It’s going to be hard, but I’m confident that we can come out as number one. I think Tempest is scared of us, because last time we played the Korean teams we won against both of the top teams, and now we have the name of “Korean Killers” so maybe they will be scared to play us. Roll20 is pretty basic NA, big ego and no play, so it’s like big mouths and small arms. We will see, but I’m definitely confident that we can finish first in our group.
People are talking a lot about MVP Black, L5, Fnatic, and Team Dignitas. Do you see some other team that could be a dark horse and surprise everyone?
Mene: For me the dark horse of the tournament is Team expert. This is the first time they will get “real practice” in scrims outside of Europe, scrimming Korean and Chinese teams. It will help them as a team, and I think they will pull out some good stuff. I don’t think they will be mechanically better than the four favorite teams, but I think they can show some really good macro play.
At the beginning of the year we heard Bakery say that this Team Dignitas roster had the potential the be the strongest iteration we have seen yet. Later, after the Western Clash in Katowice, he said that the roster was playing up to 80% of its potential. At the Mid-Season Brawl in Sweden we heard that the roster was finally playing at 100%. Is this the strongest version of Team Dignitas we have seen yet? And have you reached an even higher potential than what we saw in Sweden this summer?
Mene: I don’t think we were at 100% in Sweden. We have really good mechanics, good rotations, and good shotcalling. The biggest problem for the team is our hero pools, with the possibilities we have for comps now there are still some comps we can’t run. We want to work on it, but we are aware that it can be too ballsy to try out new things in important matches. I think we are at 90-95% in Sweden, and the missing parts are pure hero pools.
As for the question about this being the best version of Team Dignitas we have ever seen, I would say that this version and the version with Wubby is very close, and the game has changed a lot since then.
BlizzCon is the pinnacle of competitive Heroes of the Storm. It is the tournament that every player dream about winning. It’s not only the competition itself but the whole atmosphere at the event. You have been at BlizzCon once before, what is that makes this event so special?
Mene: As a pro-player at BlizzCon you feel a lot more special, you have a different kind of celebrity status. We are treated well at all events, but at BlizzCon everything goes a step further, it’s almost unreal. Everything is bigger, you see thousands and thousands of people who love the same games as you do. I played World of Warcraft and I played Starcraft, all my favorite games are here and I’m here as a pro-player. When you are at BlizzCon it just feels like you are in another world, everything is just so good and nothing can disappoint me at BlizzCon.
Again and again Team Dignitas has been close but yet unsuccessful in their endeavors to win a Global tournament. Merely 4 months ago you took your EU rivals Fnatic to the last deciding game in the Grand Final at the Mid-Season Brawl. Is this BlizzCon the best chance Team Dignitas has ever had to take a Global title?
Mene: I don’t know if it’s the best chance, but we have a big chance to win it, yes. It will be hard for sure. Every team looks more prepared than ever. One thing I will say is that I don’t believe in a pure EU vs EU Grand Final, I think that there will be a Korean team in the Grand Final.
Thank you for sitting down to talk to us, do you have any shoutouts?
Mene: Shoutout to my teammates and our coach, shoutout to Team Dignitas and Philadelphia 76ers and our sponsors: HyperX, Mountain Dew, Meta Threads, WD, Alienware, Buffalo Wild Wings and Bubba Burger.
A huge shoutout to South Korea for being so friendly to us while we have been here, and for making delicious food. Also a shoutout to all our fans, we really appreciate you all and we hope to meet many of you at BlizzCon. And last but not least a shoutout to HGC stream chat - Don’t let your memes be dreams guys.