The Hearthstone Global Games have begun! Pro players from around the world, selected by their countrymen, are already doing battle in one of the biggest tournaments to date. With the first few days of competition behind us, we were astonished and proud to discover that a Gamer Sensei student is representing Switzerland in this star-studded event: meet Remo (pronounced RAY-mo) ‘Ray’ Bügler! We sat down for a Skype chat with this aspiring challenger, hailing from the idyllic Swiss town of Münchwilen!
Tell us about your beginning in competitive gaming!
Diablo II? Yeah, it’s a long time ago… laughs. There was a German website that hosted 1v1 PvP tournaments. After that I got started on WarCraft 3, moved onto The Frozen Throne, and got into playing competitively… But I wasn’t that good! Then, World of WarCraft. laughs. Yeah, everybody knows the stories! I played before the expansions, and mostly did Naxxramas and other high-level PvE, which I guess was pretty exclusive at the time. I started playing many games, League of Legends, then Hearthstone…
So how did you get into Hearthstone?
My little brother told me something about a new card game from Blizzard and showed me the basics. That was around 3 years ago. I played Magic: the Gathering competitively and so… I don’t know how to describe this. I like games like that; card games. It’s not a linguistic thing. I think it’s more an emotional connection, because I have had so many positive experiences, gone to so many events, met so many friends… I started off thinking of Hearthstone as casual fun, and about a year ago I started to play more competitively!
What first brought you onto Gamer Sensei?
I saw it mentioned on a stream, from a friend who was getting coached by Sensei Dethelor. First I tried a lesson with him, then with Sensei FKIShadow and things just really worked! I wanted to get to the next level, a higher level. I think the Hearthstone scene is a bit more introverted than Magic… You have to know a few people to really start training, making contacts, and getting deeper into the scene. It helps to have friends to discuss ideas with and practice against, otherwise it gets exhausting fast! And Twitch is nice, but it’s not the best for actually making long-term connections. I think Gamer Sensei is really great for that, and when you reach a certain level of play it’s easy to stop thinking about the little game decisions.
A coach helps you recognize when there are better options, and when you’re at Legend ranks, small decisions have a huge effect on the way the game plays out. And Legend is like the top 0.5% of players, so even tiny changes matter!
How does it feel to represent your country in the Hearthstone Global Games?
Yeah… I couldn’t believe I was chosen! I play for mYinsanity in Switzerland, and we have national and international teams for a bunch of different games. We’re the biggest esports team in the country, and we organize events and LANs and so on. My wife is happy – my parents, I don’t know. They don’t understand. laughs. But my brothers are super excited: Fabio “Zervas” is one of the best StarCraft II players in Switzerland, and Dario “Aeonatic” does Let’s Plays on YouTube!
Anything to say about or to your Global Games teammates?
We all know each other and have met, as well as played in LAN events! It’s my first time playing alongside them, but it’s a small country and I think the other teams doubt that there are good players in Switzerland… We’ll show them what Swiss quality is!
What skills or specialties will you bring to the Swiss national team?
Hmm, that’s a good question. I mostly play meme decks. laughs. Seriously, I like the value game and control decks, but because of the set rotation it’s super crazy. Reno is out, Freeze Mage is out, so many good cards are out. I have some good ideas but they’re mostly combo decks with the Quests and so on. We’ll see what happens!
Journey to Un’Goro just brought tons of changes to the game. Which decks do you have your eye on?
It’s strange, because if you look through the reviews at the moment, everybody’s telling different stories. So it’s really hard to tell what’s going on, because theorycrafting is different than real play. I mean, Elemental Shaman and Aggro Quest Hunter are both a thing. Discard Zoo is playable at least, I guess. Maybe Warrior? Like a Taunt Combo Warrior with Arcane Giant and Blood Warriors? There are so many ideas, we just have to test it out and see how the meta develops. It’s gonna be rough with the first games of the Global Games played just after the set release! We’re lucky to be playing during the Tuesday of the second week, April 18th.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
My thanks go to Faraz, aka FKIShadow. I played many, many hours with him, learned many things from him, I think he learned many things from me, and I won a LOT of tournaments with his preparation and help. Now I’m going to the Hearthstone Global Games, and I think a lot of the credit is owed to him. And we still play together sometimes!
Thanks for joining us Ray! Best of luck to you in the Hearthstone Global Games!
Thanks guys! Shoutout to my beautiful, wonderful wife for always supporting me! Thanks to my practice partner, karomizu aka mizusayer! And one last time, thanks to FKIShadow: in my opinion, you truly deserve the title of Sensei!