Consistency is key in a 5-week amateur Heroes of the Storm series, especially when every point counts toward qualifying for the Series Finals. Firm Handshake’s consistency can easily be seen by the number of points they earned each week, securing the first place seed for the Finals. We recently reached out to their team captain Vestige to learn more about their team synergy and mentality in games. Thank you to Vestige for taking the time to answer these questions!
Be sure to catch Vestige and the rest of Firm Handshake compete in the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2 Finals! The Finals are this Wednesday, August 2nd at 6 PM PDT and will be streamed on https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype.
Halorin (H): How’s it going Vestige? Congratulations on making it into the Finals for Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2. You guys are in first place. How’s that feel?
Vestige (V): It feels really good. We’ve worked pretty hard in order to try and do really well so far in Heroes Hype and I’m glad it’s paid off, and I’m glad it’s showing in the rankings.
H: One thing that I think is really cool with you team is that like I consider you guys to be the workhorses of Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series, while we haven’t been able to speak with you at the end of the night during season, you’ve shown up almost every week and you’re always in the top three of four and that’s what’s led to you guys being in first place. Just consistently ranking high each week. In that I think you guys are dark horses in a lot of ways. We haven’t had a chance to interview you. So some players or some people that watch each week might not know who you guys are. Would you like to give an introduction to those viewers that may not know who you guys are? How long you’ve been together as a team? What do you feel some of your strengths are?
V: Yeah for sure. So, we’re team Firm Handshake. It’s not the most creative name in the world but we do love it. We’ve been a team for a couple of months now, though when I say team I mean mostly the core roster. Dsteves, Necro and I have been playing for months. Hayyoo was a more recent addition. He is our Support player. He’s an excellent player and he does a very good job and he fits in really well. We’ve also had a very recent roster change. We wound up picking up Grizz on our roster now since LexUther sadly had leave us. So essentially lots of our strength we believe falls in our team fighting. We tend to fall a little short when it comes to macro playing we’ve kind of discovered. So we’re rather happy to try and take team fights whenever we can. We usually approach games in that sense. We try to play to our strengths and we try to play to get those team fights. And it doesn’t always happen but when it does we usually get positive results. Which is good.
H: And from the games I’ve been able to see of you guys I’d definitely agree the team fighting tends to be one of your strongest suits. So you’ve had the core 3 person part of the roster, you said Heyo came on short time after. Grizz is now the latest addition to your team. I think there’s always an interesting period of transition when a new player joins a roster because there’s something of a set chemistry with the existing players and then there’s this new element and you want to try and bring in their ideas and they also want to try in turn to meet you guys halfway and then just become part of the team. How has Grizz fit in so far? And you guys in this short amount of time will be ready for the finals?
V: So Grizz has fit in really nicely actually and the point you brought up about having that core groups and that kind of relationship and chemistry already set up has I think helped get Grizz onto a similar page as us but it also really helps that Hayyoo and Grizz are actually, really, rather close. They’ve been playing with each other for a while, they know each other quite well so there is that connection that is there already for them. So it’s kind of right now just make it all blend together and it’s so far going really well. We’ll have to see how it pans out particularly in tournaments because it does add a different level of stress and also like desire in order to perform well and at the level we want to. So we’ll have to see how well it goes but so far it’s definitely looking really solid.
H: Awesome, Heroes Hype and now HHTS Series has been a long standing tradition in the amateur scene. Heroes Hype has been around since the Alpha days at the very beginning. How would it feel to come away the winners of Series 2 and what do you think that would mean for yourself as far as your Heroes career?
V: Coming away being the winner of Series 2 would be just so huge I feel for us. I know personally that it would probably be the biggest victory in my amateur career thus far. And Heroes Hype is such an amazing tournament and it does have very good quality of play. And it always is competitive and it always makes you work for the reward which makes it all the better. Definitely as a team it would give us the confidence boost that we need because right now the Amateur scene is rather condensed with quite a few teams that seem to be neck and neck in terms of ranking. And so if we get that confidence boost it might just be enough to boost us over the top.
H: So speaking of that I do think that going into Phase 2 of HGC and Open Division that the NA scene is pretty competitive as far as high quality teams. What are you guys saying to yourselves when you go against these teams to keep yourselves focused and make sure you’re playing your best game possible?
V: It really does depend on our mentality going into the day. Usually we are very sharp and focused and so there’s not very much that needs to be said. Sometimes when we face a team like “Hold it Down” which is in the Amateur scene but has some very big names on it we take a moment to remind ourselves that hey you know, Khroen and Mcintyre are amazing players but they can make mistakes too. They can make those errors we just need to capitalize against a team of such stature. Lots of times it’s just reinforcing are already solid mental state and going the extra mile saying okay these guys we can beat them. They are beatable. They aren’t indestructible and that can really help make sure we approach the game with the best mindset possible.
H: I gotta say man, I really like that response. And I already respected you guys as a team and for you to have that mindset because a lesser team will say ‘You know, this is “Hold It Down” you know their reputation and name kind of precede them so a lesser team wouldn’t go into feeling like victory was even possible. But for you guys to say like these guys are notable names but they’re still human beings we just need to find the mistakes and capitalize on them. That to me, says the most about your potential. As a team in anything we’ve seen. That’s really cool man.
V: Thank you.
H: Do you have anything you’d want to say to your fans that will be cheering you on at the finals?
V: To the fans out there, first of all, thank you so much for following us in the first place. We really do appreciate it. We really do try to perform to a certain standard whenever we’re playing in a tournament, whenever we’re being streamed especially in order to try and make sure we don’t disappoint. Definitely just a shout out to the fans, stuff might get possibly rocky with this new roster but I have faith we will continue and strive for a standard I believe we’ve set so far and that will continue to grow high and higher as well as our team.
H: Cool man, those are all the questions I have for you. Like I said, you guys have been the workhorses of the season, showing up putting out a consistent effort throughout. I know Grizz is a very strong player, can only be an asset to the team. So I’m really excited to see this newest lineup from you guys and I’m sure you will show up and really put yourselves out there.
V: Thank you.
H: Flagg might have some questions for you, I believe.
V: Oh, pleased to meet you.
Flagg: Do you have a favorite memory or game since the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2?
V: Hmmm, ooo, that is a very, very solid question. Give me a second to dig through the good old memory banks here. I will have to say, so. I think particularly when it comes to probably some of the, one of the best memories I have from HH in particular is I believe we were in the finals against Flame Is Lame and we wound up pulling out this extremely solid set against them actually. Comms were on point and we seemed to make very on point calls together and we wound up playing what I thought was one of our better games and it happened to be in the finals against a team such as Flame Is Lame which is extremely strong, very solid team and we respect them very much and we love facing off against them. And it just felt really nice to walk away with that victory just like that was a very good performance and we seemed to do pretty well there. So I think that would probably be it, my best memory from Heroes Hype.
Flagg: Do you have any advice for players who want to put together an amateur Heroes of the Storm team?
V: Yeah, I do actually. This has been said a lot, by many people in the scene. I think Dreadnaught said something similar at one point, in like a Twitlonger or something like that. But it is very, very important that if you want to make a team or break into an amateur scene or the competitive scene that you really keep on trying. I’ve been on quite a few teams. I love and respect all of my team members that I’ve had. And I’ve had some pretty heartbreaking goodbyes with them but sometimes it can be hard to take the first step to find a team. Sometimes the best thing you can do is find some people who aren’t necessarily the best, the best at the game or aren’t grandmasters but ones that share a similar drive that you do and work with them and play with them and forge bonds with them and that will eventually work you into the scene. You might not realize it at first but forming a team with people who share your drive to just improve and try to be better than you already are can really help in helping starting those original teams and then moving upward ever so slowly. I haven’t made it all the way to the top just yet but I do definitely love the roster I’m on and i do really feel like that we have a shot at finally breaking into the competitive scene. That’s pretty much the advice I have, to really work at it and find those people who think like you do because you’re certainly not alone in that aspect. There’s so many people that want to show their talent and drive and I think you can definitely find them if you look hard enough.
Be on the lookout for another interview this week from SLICEBLADE of the 101st North Umberland Fusiliers!