Post-BlizzCon Interview With JayPL - "This Is The Best Roster Team Dignitas Has Ever Had For Sure!"
Fri 24th Nov 2017 - 8:07pm
The HGC season for 2017 is over and it’s time to look back at highlights, change what needs to be changed, and look to the future and set new goals for 2018. We sat down with Team Dignitas’ Tank player Jerome “JayPL” Trinh to hear his thoughts.
If we look back at the 2017 season, do you have any specific moments that stand out as highlights for you?
JayPL: The highlight of this season for me was definitely MSB (Mid-Season Brawl), because we started straight up losing to a Chinese team 0-2, but the rest of the tournament we played amazingly, beating L5 (Ballistix), who were the world champions at the time. Every game was just so fluent and perfectly executed, and then we took Fnatic to the last game in the Grand Final. In this tournament I felt really good, because I was causing so many respect bans. I played a lot of Anub’arak and Stitches, and then people started to ban Anub’arak and Stitches against us or picked it first to deny them to me. I think that I really shaped the Tank meta at the event. We simply played amazingly and even if we lost to Fnatic in the Grand Final I didn’t have any regrets. We really showed up and proved that we can be a contender for the spot as the best team in the world.
The last and by far most prestigious HGC tournament of the year was BlizzCon. How was your BlizzCon experience?
JayPL: I think the BlizzCon experience was good for all of us. Blizzard is really good to the players and their main focus is for us to feel comfortable. As for accommodations and food, it was not that different from other tournaments, everything was good. BlizzCon is still amazing, it feels like if you had a good season your reward is to be there. Every player wants to be there, BlizzCon is the place where dreams come true.
Did you get to see anything besides Heroes of the Storm?
JayPL: To be honest, not really. I didn’t do anything that was not related to Heroes of the Storm. Oh, actually I watched the announcement for WoW Vanilla. I guess I will play that a bit when it comes out. I did not watch any of the other eSports at BlizzCon, I was really focused on Heroes of the Storm.
Team Dignitas lost unexpectedly to Team expert 2-0 in the Ro8, what happened?
JayPL: Making it to this event, we felt like we had only one threat, maybe two. The biggest threat was MVP (MVP Black) and they showed why by winning the tournament, but the other one was expert. expert’s meta for the past year would always beat ours, so we always felt like we were at a disadvantage when we played against them. In the Ro8 I think we got really unlucky to be paired up with expert. I think if we faced any of the other teams we would get through to the semi-finals.
I was actually scared as well, because it was Bo3 and I was sure they were going to use some kind of cheese strategy against us, but they simply beat us with a better draft and were the better team in that series for sure. So you see for us it was not that unexpected, because we know that expert is very strong and underrated.
We heard from a lot of players that they didn’t like the Bo3 series all the way to the semi-finals. What do you think about the format this year?
JayPL: It’s a shame, because it’s the biggest tournament of the year, like the BIGGEST tournament of the year. This is the worst format ever, but let’s be honest, if you don’t have the time, and I know that Blizzard isn’t stupid, if they wanted to do a better format they would, but if they don’t have the time, there is nothing to do. For us, the players, it’s a big shame, because I don’t think that this format shows the correct standing in the world. I would prefer double elimination by far. I think MVP Black deserved to win, but I think if the format had been double elimination we would have been in the Grand Final or at least semi-finals.
Single elimination would actually be fine if the series were Bo5, but with Bo3 you have to do double elimination. The best scenario would be Bo5 double elimination, but it requires a lot of time. The perfect format though, would be the round robin format we had at GCWC (Gold Club World Championship) 2016 where everyone played each other in the group stage and that decided the actual tournament bracket for playoffs. This requires a lot of time, but I think that it is by far the best format for both players and viewers. It gives the clearest picture of who is really the strongest team in the world.
Were there any other teams that surprised you with their performance at this year's BlizzCon tournament?
JayPL: NA showed that they have a right to be in the top 8. The community jokes a lot about NA, but I think they are still good. I still expect them to make it through group stage at international tournaments, I think they are still a good way ahead of the minor regions. I didn’t expect Roll20 to win against Tempest, but then again I kind of did. Roll20 is the best team in NA in my opinion, but it needs to be said that there is still a huge gap between Tempest and the two other Korean teams (MVP Black and Ballistix). I still expected Tempest to win, but Roll20 was better on the day.
Team Dignitas is going to China to play in the Gold Club World Championship, but how are you going to spend your time during the off-season afterwards?
JayPL: I think it’s very important that we use the time to take care of ourselves. Personally, I want to get back to the gym so I can get back in good shape and have a good mindset. I think it’s important to feel good in your own body to feel confident. I think it’s important to put some distance between your career and your personal life, so I will also take some time away to make sure that I will not always think about the game. I need to rest so I won’t burn out.
Bakery recently announced that he is stepping down from the Team Dignitas roster. What are your thoughts on that?
JayPL: Bakery has always been a big personality in Heroes of the Storm, he is one of the reasons the game has come this far. Bakery has a lot of paths that he wants to discover and try his hands at. Now is a great time to part ways with him so he can pursue his other ambitions. Bakery has been a really good player to work with and I would like to thank him for the good run we had.
Team Dignitas also announced that Mene was traded to Fnatic, and that the two open spots would be filled by Wubby (former Fnatic) and POILK (former Zealots). What do you have to say about the new Team Dignitas roster?
JayPL: We have made a roster which I think is the best that Team Dignitas ever had by far. We have Wubby back in the Flex role, a role where he is one of the best in the world, I’m happy to have him back as he is a good friend of mine as well. We will also add POILK to the team. Everyone knows POILK, even if they don’t play on the highest level of competition. I think that POILK is one of the best, if not the best, at his role in Europe. He has a lot of potential and I think the rest of the team will be able to help him tap into his full potential. We have a really good energy on the team right now, everyone is on the same page. We are focusing on having a better environment on the team now, and we sit together on voice coms and talk while we play other games. This is important, it’s a huge change from the environment with the old roster. I think this is the best roster Team Dignitas has ever had for sure.
POILK will take over the role as Ranged Assassin while Wubby will fill the role as Melee Flex, this means that Zaelia will swap to the role of Support. How will this work out?
JayPL: I have almost unlimited confidence in Zaelia’s ability to swap to Support. He was a big player in WoW, so he has the ability to adjust to new characters. He played Ranged Assassin first in Heroes, then swapped to Flex, and I’m sure the transition into Support will be just as smooth. It will take a little time, but I’m sure that he will turn out to be one of the best Supports in HGC.
What will the team have to work on before HGC 2018 begins?
JayPL: We will have to work hard on synergy and practice harder than ever before. We have to stay up to date on the current meta all the time, but our main focus will be on consistency. We can’t lose series here and there in HGC that we should have won, so we have to make sure that we are ready every weekend and have the right mindset.
Will Team Dignitas win BlizzCon 2018?
JayPL: I’m not from the future, but I would like to say yes. MVP Black is still the team to watch and the whole world is keeping a close eye on them, but we will do our very best and try to make our fans proud.
Thank you for taking your time to talk to us, do you have any shoutouts?
JayPL: First a shoutout to Bakery, he has done a lot of work for Heroes and for Team Dignitas. Shoutout to Team Dignitas and our sponsors (HyperX, Mountain Dew, Meta Threads, WD, Alienware, Bubba Burger, and Buffalo Wild Wings). Shoutout to all our fans, I love you all. The final shoutout goes to the members of the new Team Dignitas roster. I’m sure that we will go really far and I love hanging out with you guys.