Hearthstone players had probably the toughest schedule out of all competitors in the A1 Adria League this season. Six open qualifiers with over 40 signed up players for each one. Qualifiers played every couple of days and only the 8 of the best players with the highest amount of points advancing to the playoffs.
One player separated himself above the rest during the qualifiers - Franjo "reqvam" Blažević won two of the six qualifiers and placed in Top 4 in two others. He kept the good form going into the playoffs and won the whole thing in the end. He stayed true to his Mage deck all the way, and it didn't disappoint him. We talked to reqvam after his big win.
1. What were your expectations heading into the A1 Adria League Season 3?
reqvam: "My expectations were high, to begin with. I entered the season with the goal of achieving a top 8 finish in points - I believed I could be consistent throughout the Qualifiers and achieve good overall results. The two wins were the icing on the cake and a great reward for solid play throughout the season."
2. Why did you pick Conjurer Mage deck? Was that decision based on what are the other players bringing or just your preference?
reqvam: "The main reason for picking this Mage deck was plain and simple - I think it's the best deck for the format. The deck just doesn't have weaknesses that are exploitable enough to make it worthwhile for opponents to play "counters" decks such as OTK Paladin or Aggro Overload Shaman. On top of that, looking at the field in the Qualifiers (25% Warrior, 15-20% Rogue) the deck was simply the correct choice (a favored Warrior matchup, and a 50-50 Rogue matchup where I could also rely on outplay potential)."
"As far as the Playoffs were concerned, I took a look at the decks that other players played in previous qualifiers, and made the logical choice of playing Mage. Naturally, the fact that this Mage deck is the only deck I enjoy playing at the moment was an added benefit. But, of course, had I thought there was a better choice than Mage, I would not have hesitated in picking another class."
3. What did you think of your competition? Were you hoping to avoid some of the decks because of the bad match-up or maybe even players?
reqvam: "The competition was good, there were a lot of good players in this year's Playoffs. The ones I would single out are definitely LemyBiB and uberkaiser. I expected the three of us to be vying for the top 3 spots and it turned out just like that."
"LemyBiB and I crossed paths in this season a total of 5 times, and the games were very close every time, so I wasn't surprised at all to be facing him in the Finals. I would say he was the toughest opponent to beat. As far as dodging bad matchups is concerned, I wasn't too worried about any decks because I didn't find it likely to run into decks like OTK Paladin or Aggro Overload Shaman. Even then, I would say the matchups are at worst a 45% for Mage, and I was willing to take those odds."
4. What does winning the A1 Adria League S3 mean to you?
reqvam: "Winning Season 3 of the A1 Adria League certainly means a great deal to me. I think winning a regional tournament carries special value, and when you add on the fact that it's the biggest tournament I've won so far, that makes it all the sweeter."
5. What's next for you? Where can we see you competing in the near future?
reqvam: "The next bigger tournaments I will be participating in are Season 4 of the A1 Adria League and after that, I will be competing in Masters Tour Bucharest in October for which I qualified at the start of this month!"
6. So we'll see you in the next season of A1 Adria League as well?
reqvam: "Of course! Hopefully, I'll be able to defend the title!"
We wish reqvam all the best in future competitions. He certainly proved to be one of the best Hearthstone players in the Adriatic region!