With CEO 2019 happening this weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida Wildcard wanted to sit down with a Brawlhalla fan favorite, wrenchd, to see how he’s preparing for what could very well be his first LAN win! I took this one on one time to delve into his practice routine, preparation for CEO, brought him back to the basics before he was a Brawl pro, and even caught up about something that has been on many of your minds. Check out the exclusive interview below while you wait for this weekends games!
CEO is right around the corner and we want to know what you’ve been doing to prepare! How many hours a day do you practice?
Honestly I’ve been limiting myself to 3 hours a day. A lot of the prep that I’m doing for CEO is just making sure I’m in the right mindset. I’ve been trying to enjoy my time and just enjoy the game. I really want to work on improving overall, rather than just work to improve for one tournament. Hopefully it will show this weekend but I’ve been working hard on training and maintaining my mental focus- Mental fortitude is so important! Oh… And I’m also analyzing a lot of players right now. Especially Sandstorm.
How are you feeling about playing against Sandstorm again? You did knock him into the losers round at Dreamhack Dallas! I mentioned to you last time we talked that the live chat was going NUTS rooting for you! Think you're in a better spot moving into CEO?
I’m confident that I can win against Sandstorm! In the least, I definitely wanna be his toughest set in the tournament. My Gauntlet matchup is still kind of iffy but I 100% feel like my improvement, along with the balance patch changes, is making me really excited for CEO.
Do you have any secret warm up method?
Nah! I just do training mode, scrim, and review replays which is what people should be doing anyway if they want to improve.
Who is your favorite person to scrim against?
My favorite person to play when training is probably boomie or sandstorm. They’re some of the smartest players in the game and the way the set evolves while we play each other is something you'll pretty much only get from the best of the best like them.
We know you’re gunning for this LAN win. Is there anything specifically different you'll be doing this time compared to the past?
Tons of stuff, to be honest. Like I mentioned I’m trying to maintain focus; This tournament is really serious and so I’m going to be the most serious I’ve ever been.
What made you pick up Brawlhalla? When did you start playing?
A friend of mine that I used to play games with when I was really little- I’m talking like 6 years old and playing Roblox little- Got me into it. We started off playing CSGO and stuff for a while and eventually he showed me Brawlhalla, which was in like 2016.
Is there anyone in the Brawl community you look up to? You just mentioned boomie and sandstorm, but was there anyone before you went pro?
Yeah, of course! It’s really unfortunate that the community lost him, but my idol was antipop. He inspired me to play Asuri. It’s funny, actually, because one of my first tournaments I played he demolished me! After that, though, he helped me learn more about the game. Sorry for bringing some sadness to this interview, but he was really the person who inspired me to put so much work into Asuri and I don’t think I’d be where I am now without him. Rest in peace, antipop!
Who is your least favorite Legend to play against? How come?
Oh that’s an EASY one! Any gauntlets character. Gauntlets are so dumb dude- Insaneeeely dumb. They got nerfed but i still hate playing against them!
What needs a nerf? How about a buff?
People would say katars but I don't really agree. To be honest I think the state of balance is really good right now.
I always see chat going nuts about nerfing Katars! But you don’t think so?
LOL! I know. It sucks because they're counterable but no one is willing to learn the matchup. I’d probably nerf scythe, though. Scythe can reverse so easily offstage and miss moves but you’re still able to recover and catch yourself. As for a buff, to be honest I’d buff lance... It’s been sitting at the bottom of everyone’s tier list for a while now.
If you could change anything about the game, what would you change?
Hmmm… Probably add more inputs. Games like Smash has back and forward air and something like that would add more complexity and variety to the game.
So I recently downloaded the game as I’ve found myself pretty entertained in watching you and sandstorm play live! Any advice for a n00b? What's the best Legend to start with?
Okay- Honestly? Bodvar! Not only is he the main character in the game but he’s pretty easy to pick up and his signatures are also pretty straight forward but really effective. Bodvar is who I started with.
What do you think is more difficult? Mastering the game in a general sense or mastering things that are harder in execution like specific mechanics, weapons, or Legends?
Id say mastering the game in a general sense. The Mental part of playing any game, not even as a pro, if just so deep. It takes a lot of playing against a wide variety of people and having a deep understanding of why stuff doesn't work. However, I’d recommended before even trying to learn about the mental part of the game for players to get comfortable with learning the basic mechanics and combos. With just that knowledge you can probably get into diamond.
Speaking of ranks- How was climbing the ranks in Brawlhalla? Easy? Toxic? Any advice for average players trying to climb?
When I wasn't a top player it was pretty difficult. Like, I remember my first time going for diamond and getting gatekept, and then my time spent in around 2200 elo… But now each season I’m getting to 2600 and it’s just something that kind of… happens on accident.
Oh… Hahah… yeah, hah… That’s so crazy. I, too, find myself accidentally getting high ELO.
Hah! I don't really play for elo anymore honestly. I just use ranked to get quick games against different types of players. My advice would be to go into ranked level headed and don't play when you're angry because you won't play your best. It's easy to get angry, especially if you are only focused on elo. Work on getting better and elo will come!
What is the line between work and play? Once you start professionally gaming can you ever play any game casually again?
Oh, easily. I play a ton of games for fun! My downfall, however is I try to get good at them so I don’t know if they actually count as casual. Sometimes you just gotta accept you'll never be good and that's what I did with csgo!
Let’s talk about school! How does Brawl impact your schooling? Do you find it’s easy to balance the two?
Oh no! LOL I didn't expect this question. Right now it's summer break but last school year was rough, probably because I was wrong in my approach with Brawl. I was more focused on it than I should have been because it was something I wanted to do as a sustainable career. I feel like if you put the dedication into whatever it can become a job, But that's also not an excuse for letting other things go. So next year for school I wanna make sure that I've got good grades the entire time. That’s a big goal for me.
I’ve got to ask, mostly for myself as I’m curious. Do your friends, classmates, or teachers know this is what you do outside of school? Do they watch you and root you on? Or are you more reserved with your pro status?
To be honest I feel like I’m more reserved. I do like to talk about Brawlhalla stuff a lot, like it's one of my favorite things to talk about. I try not to bring it up but if it’s ever brought up around me I could talk for a long time about it. My teachers and friends and some classmates know about me playing because I have to get days excused for when im travelling to lans and stuff and it naturally becomes a topic for conversation. Otherwise they’re all really supportive and it's pretty great! My spanish teacher especially has been really cool about it!
Any interesting stories about being recognized yet?
Actually, yes! Like a week ago I got recognized for the first time in person. It was so cool! I was walking downtown with a friend and this guy came up to me to talk about Brawlhalla. I had hella clout after that!
Tell me about your family. How do they feel about your professional career playing Brawlhalla?
They’re really happy for me and that it's been going well. My dads jealous of all of the travelling I get to do.
Whenever I talk to players or streamers I always wonder if they’ve ever tried to get their parents to play? I know I’ve attempted to get my dad to sit down and play some of my favorite games! What about you? Have you ever convinced your parents to try playing Brawlhalla? If so were they any good at the attempt?
HAH! My mom tried the game once and it didn't go too great. I was trying to teach her but it was ROUGH!
Who would you say is your biggest supporter and fan?
Probably my mom, not gonna lie. She watches all of my tournament sets and she went to all the lans with me! She’s insane!
You’ve traveled a bit for LANs and what not, what was your favorite place to visit so far? Anywhere you have your sights set on going to?
Back to Canada for dreamhack montreal. Canada is great because Tim Hortons is CRAZY good!
Anything you’d like to add before I fire this last question at you?
Ohhh yeah- One thing: Mob Psycho is the best anime ever.
And last but not least a question that I think many are at the edge of their seats wondering- Can we get an update on that mouse?
OH MAN NAH ITS GONE LOLOL I WAS SO TILTED AFTER THAT MICE ARE NO LONGER AN ISSUE OMFG
I just want to know... How? Why? Where did it come from?
Dude i have no idea! It just hopped up on my desk mid game! It was TERRIBLE! I have a fear of mice, too! It was BAD! Never again.
Tune in this weekend to cheer wrenchd You can watch it here https://wildcard.gg/brawlhalla/. We have high hopes for him and wish him the best of luck in making this his first LAN win. If you haven’t already, follow our influencers and grab yourself a #stackthedeck emote to show your pride while you watch! https://wildcard.gg/influencers/