Andi99 (Andrian Soelter) is a Brazilian-German Gwent player, co-founder and captain of Team Legacy. While he started to play back in the Closed Beta days, he launched his competitive career only recently, during non-competitive Homecoming seasons. He managed to achieve some good results in community tournaments, including European Gwent Cup finals. His main achievement however is claiming Gwent Open #1 spot in the last month Top64 Qualifiers. On this occassion we present to you the interview below.
While Andi will be solely representing Legacy in Gwent Open #1, we are also very happy to announce that another of our players, Iluxa288, gained his Gwent Open #2 spot in the most recent Top64 Qualifiers. If you want to read more about him, I refer you to Interview from February.
1. Hello Andi and congratulations on making it to Open#1! I guess it is a dream come true for you?
Oh yes, I have been a Gwent fanboy for a long time and have watched each official CDPR tournament. Being a part of one is something very special.
2. Did you celebrate your victory somehow?
I did not, mainly because of the pandemic though.
3. While you managed to claim the Open spot, it is hard to predict when the tournament will be organized, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Are you even thinking about Open now? What is your view on the idea of Opens going remote?
I hope of course that the Open will take place at Warsaw, like every Open before. But I do not think about Open right now as I expect we have to wait a while for the Season 2 circuit to start. I think that Gwent Masters Team is going to finish Season 1 before Open#1 of Season 2, so it might take some time.
4. On the scale of 1-10, where 5 would be a main community tournament, how would you rate the effort you put into preparation and play in Top64 Qualifiers?
I would say a solid 8 because I practiced with my teammate Danirai for almost 2 weeks every night. First for his Top16 Qualifier and after that for our Top64 Qualifier. We built the same lineup and practiced a lot of different matchups and what to do in different scenarios.
5. Top64 Qualifier is very random (detailed analysis could be found here). One day you go home after 0-2, the other you finish with perfect 6-0 score due to pairing and good tourney meta calls. What was your attitude before Day1? You finished at safe 4th place in the end…
The first qualifiers I took part in I went 4:2 and didn’t make it to Day2 because of tiebreakers. That gave me a big confidence boost going into the second qualifiers.
6. Out of Legacy players, Konsiu also made it to Day2, so that the chances for LGC to claim a spot were almost 50%. You also came up with identical lineups, and had deadmatch between each other in the losers bracket. Could you tell us a bit more on it?
Yes, this series was quite interesting. We made our lineup with the intention to avoid Scoia’tael(ST) targeting by not playing the usual ST swarm and ban ST and let Syndicate(SY) through. As me and Konsiu had apart from a couple of bronze choices the same lists I decided to try to avoid mirror matches and banned SY for the only time in that tournament. I had very good knowledge about my decks and its weaknesses and I managed to exploit that. For example, my Nilfgaard(NG) list played one Magne Division and Konsiu decided to bring 2 Magnes. In one of our games I played a well timed Matta drawing him a dead Magne, which ended up giving me an edge over him. Still, even with the result being a 3:0 on the paper, it was a way closer series and it could have gone either way.
7. Your final match was against Cmel, playing somewhat extravagant decks, including coin-reverting Nilfgaard deck with Isbel and Matta. What do you think of this deck and how did you manage to go with clean 3-0 after all?
I felt like his decks were unconventional and he was favoured in the matchups. He had very annoying cards, like Deithwen Arbalest in his NG, which forced me to change the way I played Skellige(SK) and made that matchup a lot worse. The combo with Isbel and Matta was honestly something I wasn’t aware of during the tournament. I guess I got lucky that he only played his NG on blue. The only deck I wasn’t really concerned about was his SY, without the key cards Ewald and Phillipa. Before the series I felt like I would have to sweep his SY. Luckily for me, even the unfavoured matches went my way, because I fought very aggressively for R1 and ended up having R2 control in all 3 games.
8. Tactical Decision Double Ball is a deck strongly polarized towards red coin (going second). Would you play this deck also if the coin was not controlled? How do you like the return to controlled coinflip from a tournament gameplay point of view?
I like the controlled coin a lot and I think that it makes a huge difference in tournament play and deckbuilding. I would not play the Tactical Decision on blue(going first) as it struggles with proactivity. I basically only lost with it Day 2, when I was forced to play it on blue.
9. Finally, what do you think was decisive for your success this time?
I would say on Day1 a bit of luck was required, because in a Bo3 format with a lot of close matches, it is easy to play well and still lose. On Day2 the most important thing was the mentality, staying focused and not rushing plays, but thinking about all possibilities. The predictions for the tournament meta I made before the tournament were also quite good and my lineup managed to avoid the main targeting strategies.
Gwent and Card Games background
1. How, and when did your Gwent journey begin? Did you play other card games before?
I started playing Gwent during Closed Beta and had only played Hearthstone before, but never competitively.
2. Did you jump on the LoR (Legends of Runeterra) hype train? If yes, do you like the game, and how would you compare it to Gwent?
I play it, yes. I really like the game. It is very cool and has many unique mechanics. I don’t like to compare it to Gwent though, because Gwent is unique in itself and it’s hard to find any similar game.
3. Do you play some other card/video games now from time to time?
Yes, I own a PS4 so I play FIFA and some other cool games from time to time.
4. As a Gwent veteran, what is your view on the game evolution since Beta times?
The game is very different from Beta and yet the basic concepts are the same. I loved Beta Gwent, but Homecoming Gwent also got a lot better since it’s release, improving constantly from patch to patch. Overall the evolution is positive I would say. Yet there are some changes CDPR made lately that I don’t agree with.
5. I think you will expand this topic in the final section, but now… You are German/Brazilian player (TheMoses even nicknamed you ‘AndiTwoFlags’ on Twitter). Are you involved in your national communities? What would you recommend for a beginner German or Brazilian player to get community support and improve playing skills?
I am not hugely involved in either community, but I watch Twitch and I am active on Discord. For German speaking players I can recommend watching “sch3iki” and for Portuguese speaking players i can recommend watching “gwentsoul” and visiting the website “vale do pontar” which has a lot of useful information and articles. To improve yourself as a player I can recommend you to play in community tournaments – they help you a lot in improving tournament performance and tournament deckbuilding.
6. I look through your Top64 Qualifier decks: Double Ball, Harmony, Second Wind Gedyneith with Boats, Passiflora Saul Syndicate… Very similar lineup has been used by Iluxa to win Top64 Qualifiers this season. In general all these decks are in meta now, without any relevant changes. And a month passed… Do you like the meta? Do you think the game needs some fresh air?
I really desperately want some new changes. The leader patch was cool and everything, but the main thing it did was putting Northern Realms as the second best faction. The other factions and decks are still pretty much untouched and pretty similar to last seasons. I am hoping for a bigger patch with a couple of reworks at the end of the month
Captain of Team Legacy
1. You are the captain and co-founder of Team Legacy. Could you tell us a bit more on Legacy beginnings?
We started small with humble objectives. The main reason to start the Legacy project was to create a small practice group to practice for community tournaments, specifically the EGC circuit which was happening at that time. We did very well in those tournaments and started growing and growing and today we have great players and I am very proud of what we accomplished
2. What were your expectations while founding Legacy? Have you managed to make some of them real?
I didn’t have any expectations to be honest and I am still a bit overwhelmed of how fast we managed to grow.
3. Team Legacy is mostly focused on competitive play and you are the man in charge here. Is LGC open for new players? What would be basic requirements and what should a player do to join LGC?
We always listen to new applications and messaging me on Discord is one of the ways you can apply to be a part of our competitive team. However, for the time being the basic requirement is for new players to be of Top64 quality, and either be fighting for Top64 or have an impressive tournament or ladder record. We know we have high standards now, but aiming for the top is what helped us grow.
4. With Konsiu, Javis99, Xiwer, Danirai, TheMoses, InNomineSatanas, lerio2, ReynevanGK and HectorV, the team is dominated by Polish players. Did you expect the squad to evolve in such way?
I didn’t and it might look like we are purposely going after Polish players, but we are just going after the best. I guess that tells you something about the Gwent Nations 😉
Thoughts and opinions
1. If you had to compare, how much skillful is Gwent now with respect to its past, and with respect to other games?
It’s hard to tell as Gwent is very different from other games and I only was a casual player during Beta. It’s safe to say that Gwent is still a very skill intensive game.
2. What are your favorite streamers/content creators? What do you like to watch for fun, and what would you recommend for developing players?
I have more than one favourite streamer. I like watching Spyro and Pajabol while I play myself and later at night Redrame, just for his awesome decks. For newer players I can recommend OceanMud, who is someone I have watched since Beta.
3. If you were SlamaTwoFlags rather than AndiTwoFlags, what would be the first 3 things you would change in the game now?
1. Nerf Scenarios and remove Bomb Heaver.
2. Rework many NG soldier cards and MO cards with no use (beasts mainly) as well as neutral cards with no purpose, like Ciri:Dash.
3. Bring back players names and public fmmr.
4. Do you have any Gwent heroes? Are there any players or community members which you especially respect?
I have huge respect and I am a big fanboy of all the Beta pros who still play the game, like Kolemoen, Tailbot, Adzikov, Molegion, Damorquis etc… (hope I am not leaving anyone out) but one of my “Gwent Heroes” is without a doubt Mogwai. I always enjoyed watching him on Twitch and Youtube.
Thanks a lot for the Interview, and good luck at Gwent Open#1, whenever it would be!
Thanks a lot for doing this interview lerio and big shout out to the whole Legacy project! You guys are awesome 🙂
Questions and Intro by lerio2