Hello wyt`, thanks for taking the time for this interview. Let's start with the recent roster change your team had to go through - namely the departure of sLiCKz. What was your first reaction to that move?

Hello sir. To be honest, I was quite shocked. He didn’t give us any warning and told us one day before the HoN Tour roster was locked, but I was also grateful for the time we spent as teammates and friends for over a year.

Did you think your future as a team was in jeopardy without the former captain?

No, but I knew everyone else would think that.

What were your thoughts about the reactions from the media and from the community, basically writing you and your team of for the foreseeable future?

There was still a lot of support. A lot of our fans loved Trent but they also loved the rest of the team members: LeonBlack`, Riser_, Moiravus and myself. Many were torn about who to support. My thanks to the fans who kept on supporting us, and as for the media, as a New Zealander, we like being the underdog. So thanks to you guys, too.

Were you convinced that the overhaul would go over as quickly and smoothly as we are seeing it right now?

I think it is a bit presumptuous to say we are "overhauled" but all my team members are extremely talented so I know we are strong contenders.

This change did not only affected the team, but also you in particular. You took over the captain’s position and the responsibility to draft. Do you like that new position?

I do enjoy it, although it is not fair to say that I have the sole responsibility of drafter and leader. We all discuss during the draft and I listen to everyone’s input and the same goes for in game. Everyone has their input.

Did you have any help growing into the position as a drafter from other distinguished drafters from the scene or was it more like "learning by doing?"

I’ve been playing DotA and HoN for many years so drafting comes pretty naturally to me after that long of a time. We would always discuss drafts as a team. By no means am I saying I am a good drafter yet, but it is not hard if you know your team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Heading into the UB Semis against [tdM]Trademark eSports, your team was a heavy underdog against the two-time Hon Tour Diamond Champion and reigning World Champion. What was your mindset?

We hadn’t been practicing as everyone was busy with Christmas holidays etc. so we went in with the mindset of nothing to lose. We all had been playing plenty of HoN with the inhouse league and matchmaking so I knew everyone was in top shape though.

Ever thought you would be able to defeat them in that convincing fashion?

No, tdM is a very strong team. Don’t worry Mynuts. We still have the utmost respect for you guys.

Was the win in anyway special to you and your team as you broke the streak of Trademark?

The win was more special for the team finally getting things coming together rather than Trademark losing.

Speaking of potentially special matchups, the Winner Bracket Final will see the first
head-to-head match between sLiCKz and his old team. Are you going into that with any extra motivation or is it just business as usual?

It would only be suiting if sLiCKz was to draft against us. (”The gauntlet“ laid down?)

To be honest, playing against former teams when you know their playstyle is quite an advantage. [sG]Stay Green has really become strong and there is a reason why they are in the Winner’s Bracket finals, but it just business as usual for us. Another day at the office, so to speak.

How would you rate your chances against the emerging force that is Stay Green?

As I said, they are a strong team and we haven’t played them since before DreamHack Winter 2024, so it really is too hard to say.

Are you guys going to prepare anything special for that clash?

We are thinking of sacrificing a puppy to the HoN gods.

I wish you the best of luck for the upcoming matches. Any shoutouts to close the interview?

Thanks! Shoutout to my team for being awesome and, of course, the fans too.

- Sören "Fantasy"