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Interview with Huyahanachan!

by Natalia Ivanova (RuGwent Tournaments) and Kamil “Hesser” Arcimowicz
Zehua “Huyahanachan” Zao is a professional player from China, a GWENT Open regular, and the winner of GWENT Open #4. A strong opponent, known for his brilliant plays. Zehua is always calm and concentrated. He got his reputation for a good reason — his games seem to be perfect.  After GWENT Open, the new champion kindly agreed to answer some questions, so that our readers could get to know him a little bit better. Let’s get to it!
Natalia: Please, tell us about yourself. What do you do besides GWENT? 
Huyahanachan: Actually, I do play GWENT “full time”.  

N: Are you familiar with the Witcher lore by books or games? How popular are they in China? Do you have any like-minded friends? 
H: Of course, I know both the books and the games. I’m not sure what the sentiment towards the series is in China, but when I introduce people to the series, many of them are really interested in the universe.

N: How and when have you started to play GWENT? Why this particular game? 
H: I’ve been playing GWENT since March 2017. A friend recommended it to me.  

N: Did you plan to play professionally from the early beginning?
H: When I started playing GWENT, it was just for fun. Then, gradually, it turned into a professional career. 

N: As we know, you don’t stream GWENT on Twitch. Any plans for it? 
H: As I speak in Chinese, I stream GWENT on a Chinese platform — I think Twitch is more targeted to English-speaking audience.

N: You’ve participated in all of the GWENT Open tournaments. Can you please tell us how you feel about this journey, and whether your sentiment has changed since the beginning? 
H: I definitely think that this time I was much calmer.  

N: Have you managed to make friends with other participants? Are you staying in touch with someone out of tourneys? 
H: I don’t speak English quite well, so there’s not much communication. The language barrier is also why I can’t keep in touch with players after the tournaments. 

N: Tell us, please, about your trip to GWENT Open. Is it problematic to make such journey? I’m sure there are many technicalities involved — visa, travel expenses and so on.
H: Usually everything goes pretty smoothly. CD PROJEKT RED bears the entirety of the expense, my job is only to apply for a visa. This is always a big journey for me but I’m honored to be invited to these events. 

N: The Chinese version of GWENT varies a bit from European. Are there any issues involved since you play cards that might look a bit different in between versions, or do you just not pay attention on it? 
H: There is some differences between game versions, but it doesn’t really affect the gameplay. 

N: We’ve heard you’re a part of a professional esports team. How do you guys practise before important games? Does it take much time? 
H: I don’t really spend much time preparing. My method is to discuss strategy with friends, and then play against each other. 

N: Why did you choose this particular line-up you’ll be playing? 
H: I just picked four decks, which, in my opinion, were the strongest. One of my initial choices was Skellige and their warships, but I felt that it was harder for them to defeat the Monster faction, so ultimately, I decided on another deck. 

N: How do you feel about your chances in GWENT Challenger? 
H: For now, I’m quite relaxed and confident. I don’t really think about winning — other players are also very strong. We’ll see how it goes!

N: What are your further plans for the conquest of esports peaks? Do you play anything else besides GWENT? 
H: I’ve been playing DOTA 2 and PUBG. I also used to play Hearthstone, as well as World of Warcraft. 

N: Can you give some practical advice for our followers? How can they manage to play as good as you?
H: The most important thing is to take each and every single one of your games seriously and learn from mistakes — not only yours, but also your opponents’.

N: And now a round of quick questions! Favorite card?
H: Old Speartip from closed beta. The effect after transformation was really cool. 

N: Faction? 
H: Monsters. 

N: Archetype? 
H: Consume monsters. 

N: Last, but not least… Triss or Yen?
H: #TeamYen. 

See also

The Evolution of GWENT’s Factions

Imagine for a moment that you are the Lady of Time and Space herself, Ciri, and you’ve just travelled back to November 2016. Would you recognise the GWENT you’ve devoted hundreds of hours to? While it’s enjoyed a loyal following, there are many popular players that weren’t around during the very early days of Closed Beta. This was back when there wasn’t even a ranked mode and a “pro ladder” was the stuff of a Dragons Dream. The archetypes that made up the various factions have been through months of evolution – something which we recently covered in “5 Gwent cards that defined the past” – but with everyone gearing up for Homecoming, let’s take a more in-depth look at how the factions have changed.

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