by Sean “Swim” Huguenard
Challenger is soon approaching and as the anticipation for it is mounting, I decided to interview TailBot — one of the fan favorite participants of the tournament. He has taken part in several major GWENT events already, including the second Challenger, and he’s one of the most consistent Pro Ladder players. That, in addition to his unique personality makes him an interesting character to look at. So let’s get to know him a little bit better!
Real Name: Damian
Occupation: Destroyer of hopes at GWENT: The Witcher Card Game
Swim: You entered the GWENT scene as a ‘heel’ but you’ve become one of GWENT’s most beloved and joked about players for it. What do you have to say to your adoring fans and to the public?
TailBot: While that’s nice to hear, I think you might be exaggerating it a little bit. Jokes are appreciated and all fans are loved. My message for everyone is to not take yourself too seriously.
S: What drew you to GWENT in the first place, and more importantly, what’s keeping you here?
T: I like both the Witcher universe and card games so obviously, I had to try GWENT. I got hooked with the mechanics of the game when I first tried it and it keeps my attention as I still have fun playing and competing.
S: You’ve made big showings in several of GWENT’s major competitive events but have yet to take home a champion’s trophy. What are you doing different this time in your Challenger preparation to ensure ultimate triumph?
T: I haven’t started my preparation yet. It probably won’t change much because I never really felt unprepared before. I tend to win games if I trash talk my opponent before so it seems like a wise choice to do more of that.
S: Who are you hoping to face in Challenger and why?
T: Doesn’t really matter. I don’t think it can get even easier for me anyway.
S: You’re known for liking Scoia’tael the best of the five factions. What parts of Scoia’tael’s identity and playstyle make them a winner’s choice?
T: Actually, I’m the type of player that has a really hard time picking his favorite faction. I like all of them and play them rather equally. It’s almost impossible for me to stick with a single deck or faction for too long, but for the purpose of the theme of the next Challenger, Scoia’tael can be my most liked faction. I like Scoia’tael because it’s considered to be the fastest of all factions, and sometimes when I mulligan a card from my hand, it appears on the board after that.
S: CDPR has alluded to hammering out at least three strong archetypes for each of the factions to achieve a better faction identity. What could change about a faction besides Scoia’tael that might make you enjoy it more than you currently do?
T: Anything that can make me stick with a faction for longer would make me enjoy it more. Basically what you said, having multiple viable ways to play a faction should achieve that.
S: A lot of people talk about LAN experience, and how nerves can affect tournament play. Has this ever affected your performance?
T: By the amount of mistakes I made in tournaments, you can easily tell that nerves did affect my performance. Experience definitely helps dealing with that but the most important thing is the right mindset. I’m very satisfied with my series against Hanachan in the last Open where even though I lost, I managed to reduce my nervousness level to zero, which was a bigger deal for me. I hope to keep up this trend for the next Challenger!
S: You’ve alluded in the past to how your family and social circle can’t respect or understand your card game prowess. How much success must you amount before they finally bow down in awe?
T: Well, almost everyone I know think that what I’m doing is great. Some even watch my games having close to zero understanding of the game. Mostly, only my mother is truly sceptical, and I don’t believe amount of success could change her mind. People bow down ahead of me on a daily basis. Okay… maybe not everyday.
And that’s it! TailBot is a very strong participant and a name to look out for in GWENT’s Challenger event. Despite not having won a major event yet, he’s far from an underdog, boasting a very consistent performance for many of the last several Opens and Challenger level tournaments. It’s a strong field between all eight participants, but will April’s Challenger event finally be TailBot’s ultimate triumph? Only time will tell!