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Q&A with Hearthstone champion ‘Staz’ on his winning moment

Marc Castañedas, Michaela Nadine Pacis
Q&A with Hearthstone champion ‘Staz’ on his winning moment
Taking home P7.5 million, Euneil 'Staz' Javinas tells us all about his road to victory

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine eSports won big at the World Electronic Sports Games last January 15, 2017. Among the champions was PH Alliance’s Euneil “Staz” Javinas. He won at the Hearthstone tournament, besting several of the top Hearthstone players around the world, and brought home a whopping $150,000 or P7.5 million pesos.

We were able to catch up with Staz at his victory party held by his team at The Distillery on January 22. During our casual interview Staz revealed the people behind his winning moment and how he was able to maintain such a calm exterior at during the final game of his long and arduous battle against European Jon “Orange” Westberg. 

Up until now, Staz shared that he is still overwhelmed by everything that’s happened and gave a nod to his team, PH Alliance for their support. 

Siyempre, first of all, masaya ako and very thankful sa binibigay na suporta ng PH Alliance. Dahil sa kanya nakapagfocus ako sa Hearthstone, and ayun hanggang ngayon overwhelmed pa rin ako na ako ang champion,” he said.  

(Of course, first of all, I’m happy and very thankful for all the support given by PH Alliance. Because of them I was able to focus on Hearthstone and until now I’m overwhelmed that I became the champion.)

To prepare for the big tournament, PH Alliance teamed Staz with his friend, and partner Pompi, who is also a well-known and decorated professional player in the local Hearthstone community. Together, the two “spar” frequently to test each other’s mettle and improve their strategies. 

“For the last few weeks talagang nag-focus ako sa pag-prapractice. Si Pompi, yung teammate ko, kami ang madalas na nagprapractice, nag-sh-share ng ideas, nagstra-strategize, iniisip kung ano ba ang magandang line-up or decklist.” 

(For the last few weeks I really focused on practicing. I always practice with Pompi, my teammate, we always share our ideas, strategize, and think about what would be a good line-up or deck list.) 

But Staz had more to thank aside from PH Alliance and Pompi. He also thanked his friends and his girlfriend, Eurish, who has been supportive of his journey through and through. 

Thankful rin ako sa mga friends ko na nagsu-support sa akin. At siyempre, thankful rin ako kay girlfriend, napakasupportive rin nya. Kapag pagod ako andyan siya.” he said, grinning while looking at his girlfriend beside him. 

(I’m also thankful for my friends who have supported me. And of course, I’m also thankful for my girlfriend. She’s been very supportive. Whenever I’m tired she’s there for me.) 

Aside from Staz’s remarkable plays, fans also noted Staz’s cool and calm attitude throughout the event. His secret? Focus.  

Actually, nung una parang kinakabahan ako siyempre magaling sila. Pero, nagfocus na lang ako sa game basta binigay ko lahat ng best ko. Medyo sanay naman na ako sa tournament so medyo hindi na ako masyadong naprepressure. Basta ibigay ko lang ang best ko, manalo o matalo, okay lang,”

(Actually, at first I was nervous because my opponents were good. But I just focused on the game and gave it my best. I am a little used to tournaments anyways so I wasn’t pressured that much. I just gave it my best, and whether I win or lose, it would be okay. ) 

This winning attitude was essential for his victory against “Orange” during the finals. Many would recall the incredible 7 game match where the final game lasted almost an hour, something uncommon in Hearthstone eSports. 

“Wala na akong iniisip na iba, basta focus lang sa game kasi mahirap talaga maging emotional. Medyo mahirap din kasi tinatandaan ko pa kung ano yung mga cards na nagamit na, parang andun lang talaga yung focus ko yung game lang mismo. Kahit nararamdaman ko na mananalo na ako, mahirap pa din kasi baka pagsisihan ko yun, siyempre.”

(I wasn’t thinking of anything else except to focus on the game because it’s really difficult to become emotional. It was hard too because I was trying to remember the cards that were used already. My focus was just really on the game itself. Even if I felt like I was winning, it would still be hard (to lose focus) because I might regret it of course.) 

He reassures though that despite the tough and cool exterior, he was still a bundle of emotions deep inside. “Mukha lang, pero deep inside nervous ako, excited, halo-halo, di lang ako masyadong showy,” he claimed. 

(I look calm, but deep inside I’m nervous, excited and a mix of other emotions. I’m just not that showy.)

Finally, Staz gave his tips not only for aspiring Hearthstone players but also for those who want to become successful professional eSports players. “Kailangan mas mag focus sila. Kailangan maibigay nila yung best nila.  Importante i-improve nila ‘yung mechanics nila sa game, pagaralin nila ang meta, alamin nila kung ano ba talaga ang magandang strategy sa tournament, at the same time pagaralan na din nila ‘yung opponent nila if possible. Pero more on mag-exert talaga sila ng effort, mag focus at isama sa priorities. Kailangan din ng discipline when it comes to practice at kahit practice lang or tournament, ibigay mo pa din yung best mo,” he said. 

(They need to focus. They need to give their best. It’s important that they improve their mechanics in the game, study the meta, know what’s an effective strategy for the tournament, and at the same time study their opponents if it’s possible. But they should really exert effort, focus, and include it in their priorities. They need to be disciplined when it comes to practice, and whether it’s for practice or for a tournament, they still need to give their best.) –


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