Q&A With Hearthstone Champ Staz: Preparations and Future Plans
It takes so much than luck to become a champion
Euniel “Staz” Javiñas recently took home the grand prize for the 2016 World Electronic Sports Games, which were held last month. As the first Filipino to ever win the Hearthstone Tournament, he has revived the local excitement surrounding the game. We recently caught up with the gamer to discuss his strategy, what really went on during that final match and what the future holds for him.
Hearthstone was not the first game that Staz got into. He actually tried his hand on games such as Starcraft but found that he did not have the reflexes for such a game. This is why he turned to card games instead, which were arguably more about strategy. And while the interest was there since he began playing Hearthstone in 2013, he put off going pro until he finished his studies. It was in 2014 when he decided to start competing competitively.
When he began joining tournaments, Staz started to realize that he had a real knack for the game as his standings were fairing pretty well. He then kept joining Hearthstone tournaments until he finally qualified. In order to prepare for WESG, Staz practiced like he never had before, as he put in solid hours to hone his understanding and mastery of the game.
In the three weeks that led up to WESG, Staz practiced for 8-12 hours a day. And while he often practiced on the ladder and with his Philippine Alliance teammates, he also devoted time to researching and analyzing Hearthstone game strategies. He watched numerous matches online and checked on his competitors’ profiles and win rates. Despite all this, however, he admitted that he still had difficulty with the final matchup. He recalled that his opponent, Orange, had a fairly unusual lineup and he was ill-prepared for the matchups.
Nevertheless, Staz eventually took home the gold, as well as the US$150,000 (P7,000,000) grand prize. He will not be flaunting the money, however, and said that he is looking to invest the same in a profit-generating business. And while now is the time for relaxing, Staz knows this is not the end of his gaming career. He still wants to better his rank, stay active in tournaments and continue to give his best despite what he now has under his belt. Basically, everything is going back to normal—like he’s starting from scratch. He hopes to one day return to the WESG stage and take home the championship again.