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.
This week we turn our attention to the newest member of the team. Holding down the solo lane, Goku joined the Roll20 roster following the Mid Season Brawl. Today he’ll share some insight into that transition, his goals as a professional player, and the shocking, totally unexpected origin of where the name “Goku” originated.
Like many top level HOTS players, Goku began his competitive MOBA career in League of Legends. However, his tournament experience extends beyond the genre. Before committing himself to Heroes, Goku could be found at local fighting game tournaments competing in Marvel vs Capcom 3 (fielding a team of Spiderman / Dr. Doom / Dante). However, no game pulled him in quite like Heroes of the Storm. “I really never [loved] a game compared to how much love I put into Heroes of the Storm,” he explained.”
That love for the game has given Goku some very clear goals as an HGC pro. Simply put, he wants to be the very best. He noted that qualifying for the HGC gave him the security to keep playing the game long enough to “leave my mark [on] Heroes of the Storm history.” For Goku, victory isn’t enough–he wants to be remembered.
“My greatest goal that I’m chasing is to become a legend in Heroes of the Storm…and continue that legacy until I feel like I did all I can do in the Heroes of the Storm esports scene. And in the end, just be a player that can be admired, or a role model for other players that share the same role as I.”
While those goals may seem lofty, Goku isn’t sitting around waiting for them to happen. “I put a lot of practice and research into my heroes.” He added, “Recently, I have been working out. It’s a great stress relief and I’m not working out to the point where it affects my gameplay…besides working out I usually do some research into other regions.”
To realize his dreams, Goku has put everything else on hold. He explained that he left college and a degree in Business Finance in order to pursue a professional career in HOTS. “At that time I was putting a decent amount of my time into Heroes of the Storm and I realized it affected my studies a lot. It took me a while to realize why it was affecting my studies, but I fell in love with Heroes of the Storm and [decided to] try my best to get into Heroes esports. Luckily…my family has given my a lot of support since the beginning and are continuing to do so, I couldn’t have asked for a better family.” Goku did add that he plans to finish his degree when his HOTS career comes to an end (hopefully many years from now).
Recently, Goku received a bit of flack for some comments he made in a post-game interview, but he explained that this too was part of his process. “I can understand my recent interview has me viewed as being very cocky, but I never allow that pride to blind me. When I [made] those statements it was to make myself only work harder to set up a bar that may seem unrealistic, but I want to give the enemy team more than my all…to give them something that can be terrifying.” He did admit, “of course, I need to work on my interviews…so it doesn’t come out as rash.”
Goku Has Joined the Party
In the first split of the HGC, Roll20 Esports shocked the North American scene by surpassing all expectations. In a move that surprised many, the team chose to make a roster change, trading YoDa to Superstars in exchange for Goku. It took some time for the transition to fully pay off, but Goku noted that the team seems to have found a strong formula with the new roster.
“One of the biggest challenges initially was trying to find our identity, which in relative terms meant finding our strength within the meta. It was decided…that I would be getting the solo lane unless we used niche picks like Abathur.” For example, Goku explained, “…if we were to pick Illidan we’d make Prismaticism go on the secondary support and make Glau main range, so everyone would slightly shift roles so that I can keep the solo lane.”
The team continues to evolve this strategy as they work their way towards Blizzcon. “Our biggest change has been our drafting style. Justing leads the draft while everyone else puts in a lot of input.”
Anime Names and Fan Support
Now, I’m sure you’ve all been itching to discover where the name “Goku” comes from. While it shouldn’t surprise anyone, he did share something interesting about his connection to the handle. “Well, my name is obviously based off the main character in Dragon Ball…but it actually isn’t my favorite animated series. It certainly had the most impact on my life [at] a very young age, but my actual favorite anime series in terms of story is Berserk.”
To close, Goku could not be more appreciative of the team’s fans.
“To all the Roll20 supporters–thank you so much. I know it’s hard to convey that in words, but one day I’ll repay the things you guys have done for us. The cheering and the Twitter support, every time I see it, it gives me the strength to not just keep working hard, but to also ascend and improve and become even stronger than who I was before. So in the end, thank you guys for the support.”
Thank you so much to Goku 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 our last player interview in this series.
Want to show your support for Roll20? Head to the R2E shop and pickup an official Roll20 Esports jersey!