Hello friends of Gwent! We’re very proud to present you an interview with one of the very best Gwent players: Demarcation. He come back to Gwent at Season 18 of Masters 1 after a very long break, instantly finshing as a runner-up after Alessio1996. Since then he even kept improving, claiming 7th, 1st and 2nd positions respectively in the first three seasons of Masters 2. The last season was especially exciting, with amazing win-ratios and MMRs among top players.
During the season, Demarcation also managed to qualify to Open#1 via Top16 Qualifiers. As he was a bit mysterious player for non-China community, also for us, we couldn’t hesitate to ask him a few… well more than a few questions. Have a good reading!
Who is Demarcation?
- Most Gwent players probably identify you as an outstanding Chinese player, but in fact you are currently a US resident. Could you introduce yourself a bit to our readers?
Starting from high school I enrolled in an international curriculum, so after I graduated from high school, I traveled to the US to attend college. I am a second year college student at Georgia Institute of Technology and majors in Electrical Engineering. So right now I only return to China during summer and winter holidays.
- Does your real life occupation help you somehow in becoming a better Gwent player?
I think so, but it’s hard to say. Electrical Engineering helps my reasoning a lot. But I think it comes down to the fact that I played a lot of card games in general.
- Could you give us some examples? Have you got great scores in other card games as well?
For example, I played Hearthstone and Shadowverse before. I wasn’t playing competitively so it’s hard to say how good the score was, but it wasn’t hard to get top 3 at the end of the season.
From Beta to Homecoming Gwent
- You were a Beta Gwent player back in the days, but then suddenly took a very long break (up to Season 18). Your comeback was quite impressive. Did you keep in touch with Gwent during the break? What was the reason behind departing?
I didn’t really pay much attention to Gwent during my break, back then I was graduating, so I focused on my study instead. The reason was because with the release of the mid-winter patch, Gwent introduced many bugs and random create mechanics. It made me very unhappy about the state of the game so I decided to quit.
- Could you compare Beta with Homecoming? Like Pros and Cons about both of them.
Homecoming has better visual, graphics, better user interface, just overall way better player experience. In terms of actual in-game mechanics, Homecoming lost many interesting archetypes (Spies, Alchemy NG, to name a few) but also introduced many new ones. I like Syndicate as a new faction for example. Overall the biggest change was from bronze-centered gameplay to gold-centered. This change makes the game more dependent on draws but I also think a game that you can only play 4 golds out of a 40 cards maximum deck felt somewhat uninteresting. Overall I think Homecoming was a success.
- Could you tell a few words about Chinese Gwent Community to our readers? Do you work in a team, or are you rather a lone wolf?
The Chinese Gwent Community has a meta report group that obviously produces a meta snapshot, but also other content. I am a part of that team and I occasionally write meta analysis for the monthly meta report. We don’t have a competitive Gwent team in a sense like Team Legacy, but Chinese players do prepare for tournaments together. I consider myself more of a lone wolf than a team player. I often just prepare decks by myself.
Playing on Pro Ladder
- What is your attitude for ladder play? Are you focused on achieving the best possible score, or just try to play well and results are a happy accident? 😉
I am not a super serious player. At the beginning of the season I just try to have fun and win some games. But if the season started well then I may consider fighting for top spots. In such case, I approach my games more seriously and think more during the games.
- Do you have a routine for ladder grind? Could you share some secrets with our readers?
I play mostly when I wake up in the morning, that’s when I feel I perform the best. If I get 30 mmr that morning I am not gonna play for the rest of the day. But if the grind doesn’t go well I may play more in the evening. I try to avoid playing on tilt or more than 20 games a day because I feel it’s low efficiency. I think the best approach is to take time each game to increase the winrate, but it’s hard even for me. When I am tilted I play way faster and make mistakes all the time.
- Your competition against TailBot for Top1 spot last season was breathtaking. Did you play against each other often? What do you think was decisive for the final result?
Yeah I played against him a lot during final days. I knew I wasn’t gonna win the season because my SY was the only faction high enough and all other factions were below 2650. And I think he was high on all factions. So the big difference maker was he managed to get 3rd and 4th faction high enough when I couldn’t.
In a search for Gwent drama
- Ok, let’s talk about the latest drama, what is your view on the recent changes to competitive Gwent: hidden nicknames and fMMRs?
I don’t like it, it takes away the majority of community experience, which I value a lot. I think it’s important to be able to identify your opponent and play based on their weakness and strength.
- What do you think about Bot excuse from Devs? Even if it is true, does gathering information affect the game in a negative way ?
It sounds very strange, I have no idea what kind of bot is being used by who. Information gathering for a card game is important. I remember in open beta there was a Gwent Up website with very detailed meta analysis. It’s both better for competitive Gwent and new players in general. Even if it sometimes gives different levels of information access to different players, the difference shouldn’t be big if CDPR keeps all the data public.
- What do you think about Gwent Masters Season 2 in general? Are you happy with the format?
There are pros and cons to this new format. Open tickets through online qualifiers makes so that a player can’t get wintraded into the tournaments because they need to win a qualifier (although it doesn’t really happen as far as I know). The downside is that the qualifiers are very random, most of the matches are very close and comes down to better draws and coins. Especially in top 64 qualifiers when the games were played in bo3 format, a good player can be easily highrolled out of a tournament.
By the way, congratulations for making it to the Open! We’ll keep fingers crossed for Andi99 from our team, but wish you best luck at the tourney!
- Do you create Gwent content? Do you read/watch Gwent content yourself, and if yes, what would that be?
My main contribution to Gwent content is writing the Meta Report since I am not a streamer. Watching other players streams is the main way I consume Gwent content. I also occasionally check out meta snapshots or articles by other competitive teams.
- Are you maybe familiar with articles written by Team Legacy? 😉
Yes I am. I have read several articles from Lerio2 on Twitter. I remember the article about Legacy’s attitude on nickname hiding and the interview with Iluxa228. It’s fun to get to know how others think about a problem.
Gwent World Cup, new Season and trivialities
- You are the captain of the China team for the Gwent World Cup organized by Team Aretuza and your team seems to be one of the favourites for the title. What do you think about your team’s chances, group and etc.
I think we have a pretty decent chance at advancing into the next stage. The strongest team in our group is Poland. I think it will be a very tough matchup. The matches are played at the beginning of this new patch, so it comes down a lot onto correct deck building. I am not sure if I am confident in that part of the game but we will try our best to outplay our opponents.
- Speaking of the new patch, can you share your thoughts about the last patch with our readers? Any interesting ideas ?
The new patch changed the meta a lot, NR is finally back to playable. I don’t like the nerf on NG’s elder bears, NG was already not a very strong faction that relies on outplaying your opponent and they still nerfed NG while buffing all other factions. I am also surprised that they didn’t touch SY at all. The thing I like the most about this patch is NR’s leader ability, it feels like Precision Strike, very versatile at the same time it is a strong finisher. The Dwarves rework seems a bit clumsy and I don’t really like SY’s new leader ability even though it clearly is overpowered, because it kinda encourages engine slam type of game play which I don’t like.
- Funny question from our youngster Danirai: Can you tell us why Chinese players like to play cards like Igni, Scorch or Tavern Brawl? These cards are not popular in the EU community, but it seems Chinese players love burning careless opponents.
I am not sure. Tavern Brawl is a card I like a lot, just because it’s a funny card and reminds me of old Ioverth:Meditation card ability in Open Beta. I don’t have a preference for Igni and Scorch. I run them when I feel like it’s the right call (for example when people were playing Harmony and Portals).
- Finally, could you tell us why you’ve chosen “Demarcation” as your nick? Something special about it?
There really isn’t anything special about this id. I’ve chosen this id when I was preparing for standardised tests and came across this vocabulary that I needed to remember.
Authors: Thanks a lot for the interview! Good luck on the path you choose!
Demarcation: Good luck to you too!
Written by: J.Constantine and lerio2