The intro weeks of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 have been exciting all-or-nothing brawls filled with both new teams and old. These teams are made of amateur players who put their heart and soul into the game to build a winning team. Each week is filled with scrim matches to practice and then watching replays to see where they can improve their play-style. As a viewer, all that is seen of that dedication comes down to matches that can last only fifteen minutes. We aim to change that with our series of interviews with various players from the Finals teams.
Today we’re going into the nit and grit with Necromongerz from Five Musketeers. For those that have watched our past Series, you may recognize him from the team Firm Handshake. Typically playing Ranged Assassin, Halorin asked him about his role, team, and more:
Halorin: Hello everyone, my name is Halorin, and it’s my pleasure to have a chance to sit down and chat with one of the Five Musketeers. Necromongerz, how are you doing tonight?
Necromongerz: I’m quite well, quite well. Thank you so much, and thank you for asking. How about yourself?
H: I’m doing well man, thank you, really. A big thank you. We’ve seen you around in the scene for a while. I’ve seen your body work and always been impressed when I see you doing your thing in HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. I’m not at all surprised to find the Five Musketeers, they’re in the top three right? You guys are number three seed?
N: Yes I believe so.
H: Okay. For those that may not be familiar, you want to give us a little background on yourself, your team, how long you’ve been in the Heroes’ scene, stuff like that?
N: Of course, yes. We originally started as Firm Handshake. You’ve might have seen some of the members of our team starting off on Firm Handshake. The inception of that team was basically to try and qualify for HGC Open. Then things got a little rough. We ran out of substitutions. Basically we decided to drop the team, and we didn’t feel like using the same name, so that’s why we got the name changed to Five Musketeers. Two core members are still in here: Dsteves and myself. And now we have a new squad, and we wanted to keep practicing, so that’s why we are doing HeroesHype.
H: Let’s talk a little about the concept of rebuilding a team. I always commend that effort, because what that says to me is that there is a lot of passion and drive to be a competitive Heroes of the Storm player. A lesser interested person might see that as too much of a setback and decide to step away, or take a more relaxed approach. When you and Dsteves started rebuilding the roster, what were some of the things you guys said to yourselves to maintain that drive and commitment.
N: Both of us knew that we just wanted to keep practicing, cause we have sort of a long-term goal where we’re playing to improve. My goal again is to try for HGC Open in the next phase. So we just want to keep practicing and that was our main goal, we want to rebuild our roster.
H: I would say your new roster has definitely found some success. There are no slouches in this go-around of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. To make it to top three with three new members is an accomplishment in of itself. You specifically play the assassin role right?
N: Correct. The Ranged Assassin, flex.
H: I really like the idea that you said that one of your personal goals is to improve. I think sometimes there can be a more relaxed, hands-off approach to playing competitive Heroes of the Storm. It’s like, “hey I show up and play scrims and stuff like that.” What specific aspects of the assassin role interested you when you walked into the Heroes of the Storm competitive scene and what are some of the more finer things you look to work on?
N: The reason I was attracted to the assassin-role was before I started Heroes of the Storm, I used to play a little bit of League of Legends, and I used to play the mid-role. Which was basically an assassin-type role. I would focus on mages, and so I translated that over into Heroes of the Storm. A kind of focus on mages, on the Ranged Assassins. Things I’m trying to improve on, I believe was the second part, was a consistency. I want to build consistent gameplay no matter which Hero I’m on, just always performing on any circumstances that show up.
H: Nice. Now you’ve mentioned you played League of Legends, how far back has your passion with competitive gaming go? What are some other games you’ve played?
N: So for League of Legends, I never intended or tried the competitive aspect. It was only once I started Heroes of the Storm where I found “okay, I can climb into the GM leaderboards.” Where I saw “okay, I actually have potential in this.” That’s where the competitive drive grew, when I saw that I might have a chance at this.
H: Cool, cool. From what we’ve seen here of you play, I definitely feel that you do. I’m really glad that you’re here and continuing to work on improvement. Some of the viewers, while the name Five Musketeers might be new, we actually saw you in the Finals Week 4 if memory serves.
N: I believe so (laughs).
H: My memory is rough around the edges about stuff like that. But I definitely remember you making some upsets and stuff, but then you know, you guys were Firm Handshake. It definitely adds a lot of context to make sense, but we do have some pretty established teams in the top eight this Series. Team Numerics, a team that was in top four of the Open Division just now, definitely starting to make a name for themselves. I guess the question I have for you, some might see your role as third-seed going into this as something of an underdog. How have you prepared for some of these known teams that have made a prominent stand and how do you feel about going up against them?
N: I definitely like being known as the underdog, because then any upset would just seem that much better (laughs). The way we’ve gone about it against trying to compete against some of these teams is we’re constantly scrimming. We’re scrimming the teams you just mentioned, Numerics, and we’re trying to build our own style, our own gameplay, instead of adhering to what some of the other teams are drafting. We want to build what we’re strong at, what we’re good at. I think just with constant practice and scrimming, we might put on a good show.
H: I think you will. Now, you’ve done a consistent amount of scrimming. You’ve faced a range of teams over the five weeks of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3, and you mentioned that one of the things you want to try and do as a team is innovate. Would you say that there’s a sense of stagnation in the current meta of the amateur scene, and you find yourself as more of an outlier looking to shake things up a bit? Or have you found other teams try to find their own identity as well?
N: I feel like that there’s a very defined meta right now, and a lot of teams are playing it right now. But it’s for a reason, because it works. So we’re’ trying to find a way to fit into the current meta, but also figuring out ways to beat it. Because if that’s what everyone’s drafting, we want to be able to outperform the current meta. It’s always in scrims, it’s just current trial and error in drafts. We lose, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we’re constantly learning from our mistakes.
H: That’s a really cool perspective. As a senior member of this core roster, I think there’s a lot of leadership that falls on your shoulders to maintain a sense of consistency. You go through one of these scrims and you have on these trial and error instances. You try out a different kind of composition. I’ve seen teams really struggle with lulls and low periods over scrims and things like that. How have you guys as a team pulled back together after any of those setbacks and scrims and maintained your focus on a long-term goal?
N: I think the biggest thing that helps with us, is that at the end of the day we’re actually all just really close friends. So we remind ourselves, cause it can be tilting as you said, trying out and it’s not working, and maybe we feel we’re playing against a team that we should win. But when we hop on the next day ready for the scrims we’re just a bunch of friends, it’s okay whatever happens. Yesterday was yesterday, let’s focus on today. Let’s focus on the goal we set, that we want to try to achieve for these set of scrims, and I think that’s what helps the most is being friendly with each other.
H: (Laughs) Now we just had a very exciting conclusion to the Open Division Playoffs. We talked a little about that. How is seeing there are teams out there like HeroesHearth that have been for a long time in the amateur scene kind of destined for the Crucible? And I would say they’ve ran into some pitfalls going there. Imported Support, a team that is definitely no stranger to HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series, managed to actually beat them and make their way into the Grand Finals ahead of HeroesHearth. How do moments like that affect you as an aspiring amateur player? Does it give you more drive? Like, “hey that could be me if I just put in the hard work.” How is that an inspiration for you?
N: For me, from what I noticed, it felt that the set Imported won against HeroesHearth, they were more prepared. Then we saw the next day where HeroesHearth took it back, beat them 3-1. They showed up ready to win. So I think that’s what I take away from seeing something like that. If you do the work and you prepare for the match, all the teams can make mistakes. All the teams sometimes might look to you that you’re the underdog and might not prepare as well. So there’s always that chance of hope almost, that if you do the work day-in day-out and prepare, that you have the chance to take some of the games off of these teams.
H: I really admire that man. That dedication, hardwork, and commitment because I one hundred percent agree. I think the amateur scene is a lot deeper as far as it’s viable talent than some may think and mindsets like that are how we prove that theory right. Now, if I’m a viewer and I go into the Finals, I’m not exactly sure who I’m rooting for. What’s your proverbial message to make me a fan of the Five Musketeers? Why should we cheer for you guys?
N: That’s uh, you’re asking one of the hard questions Hal (both laugh). A reason why you should cheer for us? You know we’ve been in this scene quite a while, we’re not going to give up, you’re going to see us in the future, so I think that’s one of the reasons. You’re going to be seeing a lot from us, so expect some hopefully big things in the future.
H: Work horses, stalwarts of consistency. I know I respect that a lot man, thanks a lot. I think that’s the main things I really wanted to go over. Like I said, I’ve seen you guys in the scene, you and Dsteves, for a long time. I’ve always been impressed anytime I got to see Firm Handshake. Once I saw who was on Five Musketeers, I was like “okay, I get it.” It was really cool to sit down and talk with you and get into your head a bit and understand your approach to competitive Heroes of the Storm, and I think you have the right mindset for greatness man. I’m looking forward to seeing how you guys show up. I guess the last question I have is: are you feeling any sense of pressure or intimidation going into the Finals, or are you, like you said, just focused on preparing for the moment?
N: I don’t think we have that much pressure going into it. We’re mainly going to show up and play our best and what happens, happens from there. Of course we would love to win. That’s always the goal. I don’t think we feel that much pressure in it, so I guess that’s a good thing for us. I just want to say, I do appreciate you taking the time for doing this as well. I think you’re awesome (H Laughs). Been wanting to have a nice little chat with you for a while, so yeah (laughs).
H: Thanks man, that means a lot. I really appreciate that. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys show up. Looking forward to big things coming from you Necromongerz. That’s it for me. I’m looking forward, I’m excited to see.
N: Awesome, awesome. Hopefully we deliver.
H: I think you will.