Hearthstone is full of ways to customize your experience, and Arena is one of the most skill-testing! There are great rewards if you can make it all the way to that elusive 12-win streak… and Sensei Asmo is a perfect guide! With tons of Arena experience under his best and an impressive 7-win average run, he’s the guy to go to if you’re trying to improve. With that in mind, we sat down to hear about his coaching philosophy: read on for the details!
Greetings Asmo! Thanks for joining us! Can you start by describing your life outside gaming?
Hey there! My real name is Jan. I’m 27 years old and I’m from Warsaw, Poland, where I currently live with my girlfriend and a devilish cat. Outside the game, I work full-time as a designer’s assistant in a company that does railroad design. I also really enjoy playing football!
You’ve been part of the competitive gaming scene for quite some time now. What can you tell us about your past experiences and exploits?
Before jumping into Hearthstone, I tried my hand at other competitive titles like CS:GO and DotA, and had some success in Polish LANs. Now I’m hooked on PUBG, and achieved a top 500 finish last month in EU Solos! I’ve also worked in the esports community, organizing Hearthstone tournaments for a few big Polish events like Good Game Expo 2017. There I represented my team: contacting partners and sponsors, taking care of our special guest from G2A, Forsen, and casting the whole event alongside my teammates.
You seem to have a knack for organization! Could you share your proudest moment in the esports industry with us?
They all happened this year actually! In January, I started working for Tempo Storm as a video editor (though I’m no longer with that org) and in June, my team and I organized a successful LAN event with a ‘feature match’ stage and everything! I’m so proud of making both these things happen, even though they don’t actually involve my gaming skills.
What are your thoughts on the future of esports?
I feel like coaching in particular is going to become huge. Every new year is the best year in history for esports. The best players are becoming superstars, the prize money is getting higher and higher and people (sponsors, media, and parents) have finally realized that computer games are a legitimate career path. It feels great to be a part of it all!
What was it like becoming a Gamer Sensei?
I started taking Hearthstone seriously back in 2015. I was invited to join a team of tournament players and streamers and started competing in tournaments. But after winning one and placed Top 8 in several others, I decided to shift my focus to Arena. It has always been more my thing, and it helps build a rich collection without spending too much money. I can’t even count how many times I’ve reached 12 wins in Arena, and I feel like the format has no mysteries for me. At the same time, I maintained a strong presence in Constructed alongside my teammates. So after helping teach some friends through my YouTube channel, it was a natural ‘next step’ to join Gamer Sensei as a professional coach!
Sensei Spotlight helps students choose a coach that fits their individual needs. How would you describe your coaching style?
I would say that the best word to describe my coaching style is “casual.” I always try to have a relaxed atmosphere during the lesson so that students enjoy what we’re doing. I can definitely understand people that prefer a serious approach, but I feel that it’s the best way to make the learning process sustainable for students.
Since you’re an expert Arena player, students looking to improve their skills would be wise to schedule a lesson. Break down the content of an average session!
In a typical Arena lesson, we first discuss any problems or questions that the student has. Then we go through the draft together, discussing each pick for as long as required. I follow up with as many games as we can fit in the time that’s left! I always ask my students to explain their thought process before we do anything. That way I can try to correct misunderstandings or help them see why a certain play might not be optimal.
Your thoughts on the current meta?
Right now, Highlander Priest is totally my thing. I’ve always loved playing Control Priest decks, and adding huge burst potential with Shadowreaper Anduin just makes it incredibly fun! I also think Sindragosa‘s potential has been mostly neglected. Her time will come, I tell you!
What would you advise players do in order to improve?
READ. Seriously, reading articles and guides is much better than watching people play. Learning from streamers or tournaments is fine, but it can only give you experiential know-how. Mastering the theory is key so you can judge if other people’s play is actually correct!
Due to the inevitable nature of the metagame, there are always those decks that prompt cries of “cancer”. What’s your opinion on the phenomenon?
There are no cancer decks. There is no cheap way to win. Playing Jade Druid is not a crime. Actually, it’s the best thing you can do! If you want to win, you should take every opportunity and advantage possible, as long as it’s allowed by the rules. Once you realize that mental barriers are holding you back because you feel something isn’t “honorable” or “skillful,” you can truly become a good player.
Thanks for your time! Any closing thoughts for our readers?
I would recommend that everyone give coaching a try! Honestly, there are tons of incredible players just waiting to help you out. If you want to improve your game, contacting people to help you is the absolute best way to learn! Plus we’re all gamers and we all love games, so don’t be shy!
Thank you for having me! I hope you guys enjoyed the interview and best of luck in your Hearthstone adventures!
That’s all for today’s Sensei Spotlight! To see some of Asmo’s past contributions to the Gamer Sensei blog, check out this Token Shaman deck guide!