This week we are happy to announce that the Heroes of the Storm Team from Dignitas are visiting our Bootcamp in preparation for IEM Katowice! The team consists of: Bakery, Snitch, Mene, Zaelia and JayPL; with Bakery and Snitch being part of Dignitas since 2015. I was able to sit down and ask a few questions from the team captain: James “Bakery” Baker.
Team Dignitas was able to achieve many great accomplishments in 2016 like snatching 1st place at the ESL in Leicester and in Katowice. Coming in 3rd and 4th place at the Global Championship is their biggest achievement to date, but Bakery has even bigger aspirations for his team. According to him, the team currently has its strongest lineup yet.
Bakery: “The goal last year was to be the best in the world and we were definitely the best team in Europe last year [but] we were never the best. This year, we have tiered goals like winning an international tournament […]. We are hoping to do that at IEM Katowice this year.”
When the game was first released, it had a lot of in-game issues which dealt heavy blows to the game’s popularity. Since then, its problems have been fixed and people are finding their way back to the game.
Bakery: “Heroes is still growing, definitely. […] How well this year goes will be very important. If this year is a good year, then 2018 is going to be like an explosion.”
Bakery is optimistic about the future of the game, even though Blizzard is diverting most of its attention to the newcomer, Overwatch.
Bakery: “Overwatch can capture the general market, HotS is more niche. So I don’t think that Blizzard pushing Overwatch takes away from Heroes. In fact, we have Overwatch heroes in the game.” He concludes with a smile.
As we moved on, the conversation steers itself towards the owners of Team Dignitas, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Jin-A: Did anything change since a sports organization took over?
Bakery: “The reason why the Philadelphia 76ers invested in Team Dignitas was specifically because of the core structure we already had.”
The organisation has strong roots in eSports and it’s one of the oldest eSports brands.
Bakery: “The management is especially well-known so it’s not that they tried to change things up, but there definitely is a difference. The first one is that we have more resources. […] so the question is ‘Is this going to be helpful?’ Rather than, ‘Do we have the money to do this?’ The other one is that things take a lot longer to happen.” Bakery breaks out in laughter.
Jin-A: “Why did you choose to play HoTS?”
Bakery frowns a bit. When he started to play games more seriously, the first game he chose to play was League of Legends. Even though he was able to play on a competitive level, he was never able to really break into the professional scene. When he received an invite to the Alpha of Heroes of the Storm, he immediately switched games.
Bakery: “I was kinda looking for a new game, because I thought I could do it (play competitively). I just started moving the character, starting to get a feel for the abilities. I just instantly knew, this is my game.”
Jin-A: “So it was a spiritual thing?”
Bakery: “Yeah, I guess.” He laughs.