Heroes of the Storm, like all esports, has a unique equalizing effect. Pro players have access to the exact same characters and in-game tools as anyone. To the untrained eye, a Varian, Chromie, or Medivh looks exactly the same in a quick match as they do on the Blizzcon stage. That said, what makes the HGC truly special is the group of hard-working, passionate gamers fighting for the right to keep pursuing their dreams. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at the men on the other side of the screen. It’s time for you to really get to know the Roll20 Esports Heroes of the Storm team. Check out previous interviews at the end of this article.
Last week, Blizzard took their turn driving the Roll20 interview train. Now we’re back with our regularly scheduled programming. Today the squad’s front man is taking his turn in the spotlight. Warrior main Justing opens up about his journey into the pro scene, his friendship with Buds, and some tips on trading cryptocurrencies.
Heartbreak and Friendship
Justing got a taste of competitive gaming in League of Legends, but never pursued a pro career until he found Heroes of the Storm. What began as a search for direction ultimately led him to forgo college in pursuit of a spot on a pro Heroes team. “Out of high school I was trying a couple things to figure out what I wanted to do for a living and also at the time I was in a relationship,” he said. “The stress from not knowing what I was doing ultimately led to me getting dumped and then I basically just used HOTS as a means to avoid thinking about it. After doing nothing but playing HOTS for a couple months I realized I had gotten pretty good and decided to try and go pro with Buds, so we made an amateur team in October 2015 and now we’re here.”
The friendship between support and warrior began on a 7th-grade soccer team. According to Justing, their relationship has a direct correlation to their success in the Nexus. “We’ve played a lot of team games together (League of Legends, WoW, soccer) so we have a lot of synergy playing together. I am more vocal than he is but if I say I need help he doesn’t have to say anything I’ll just get a [Divine Shield] or cleanse or whatever I need and I just come to expect it. When we played games together in the past we could both be silent and play off of each other really well. I’m also a lot more critical of his play than I would be of someone else because I know him so well–I know I won’t offend him and I want us to improve.”
Although he’s always had the support of a close friend, some family members took longer to get on board with Justing’s career choice. “When I first told my parents this was the career I wanted to pursue my dad was fairly optimistic, my mom thought I was just being lazy, and my aunts and uncles kept asking why don’t I just go to college. Now that I’m on a top NA team, my mom watches all of my games. Whenever I win a big match I’ll get texts from some family members congratulating me and the same aunts and uncles think it’s ‘so cool!’ that I get paid to play video games.
Leading From the Front
Justing plays a crucial leadership role within the R2E roster. He explained that he is the team’s lead drafter (though he made a point to mention the assistance that Goku and Prismaticism provide in draft prep). In game, he is constantly communicating, “calling enemy rotations/information feeding, calling for engages/disengages, giving general ideas of what our composition wants to do so everyone can make the best decisions, and in teamfights I try to make sure we are manipulating our space properly as a team.”
Justing has long been considered an elite warrior in the Heroes community, and he attributes much of that success to his experience communicating with his teammates. “…I think the tank’s communication is the most important on the team so that gives me an advantage.” He added, “this meta also caters to tanks as the solo engage in most cases with aggressive tanks, comparatively the tank skill mattered less when we had defensive tanks with allies’ gust/sunder engage for example.”
With his commitment to personal growth, Justing leaves very little time for personal hobbies. However, he did share one rather unique passion–trading cryptocurrencies. “Trading was one of the things I tried out of high school because I love the technical analysis of charts,” he explained, “I could look at them all day.” Cryptocurrencies have come a long way since the early days of Bitcoin, but don’t go to Justing looking for a share of his riches.
“…unfortunately I sold my cryptocurrency stack when I started pursuing professional HOTS so I’m not a millionaire, but that’s okay because money is easy to come by but you can’t buy a Blizzcon win. I am currently long in TWTR and casually trading cryptos.” He added, “buy TWTR.”
Before closing, Justing had a few final thoughts for his fans and aspiring pros. First, he explained the lack of a consistent streaming schedule. “I don’t actually hate streaming I just think there are better ways to get practice than in Hero League and I value improving at the game over other things right now.”
He elaborated on what those other things are for any players considering pursuing a competitive career. “If you want to be a professional player the best thing to do is make or get on an amateur team [because] scrims against other teams with voice comms are insurmountably more valuable than Hero League, the competitive game is MUCH different than Hero League. Also watch your replays and be critical of your mistakes. Watching professional play can also help.”
To his fans, Justing said “Just thank you for all the support, my favorite thing to do is watching the replays and watching chat when I do something good and reading all the kind words on twitter, I really appreciate it.”
Finally, he had a parting message for all his HGC opponents.
No :cheese: plz, we’re :clap: not :clap: mice :clap:
Thank you so much to Justing for taking the time for this interview, and to Roll20 for the opportunity to chat with these awesome players. Be sure to follow him on Twitter, and keep an eye on Roll20 Esports (and, you know, me) for upcoming interviews with the rest of the team.
Want to show your support for Roll20? Head to the R2E shop and pickup an official Roll20 Esports jersey!