published at 01:00 CEST, Friday July 14 2017

The rise of Kure and Team Freedom

Kure is not your average Heroes of the Storm player. Finishing top Grand Master for –count them- four seasons in a row and helping Team Freedom sit currently #1 in NA Pro Division, Kure looks determined to conquer the North American HGC.

With the Western Clash looming and only 112 days until BlizzCon, Kure answered a few questions for GosuGamers about the rise of Team Freedom and their momentous growth so far:

It’s pretty impressive hitting top Grand Master in Hero League four seasons in a row. Watching one of your hero league matches, I noticed you up-voted at the score screen and didn’t seem upset when you lost. Tell me about that.

How does your Hero League winning (and losing) approach to inform your Pro play?

I think as a pro player specifically I’ve learned to utilize hero league for the isolated practice I need. Hero League is a hectic place. You’re getting matched with nine random players so it isn’t the greatest practice unless you know what to take away from it.

I just look at Hero League as a place to practice mechanics, practice heroes that maybe I don’t have as much time to practice during scrims. In a team environment, in a tournament, in a scrimmage, you’re more focused on the team play or your overall strategy versus the micro or your hero.

Why Hero League is so important to me and the main thing I use Hero League for is to get that micro down, get those mechanics down. That way, when I am playing with my team I don’t have to worry about making plays because I’m already equipped to do that.

Why Hero League is so important to me and the main thing I use Hero League for is to get that micro down, get those mechanics down.

 

We all know drafting and mechanics are paramount in top-level play, but tell us a bit about what’s not mentioned very often. Traits like planning, patience, perseverance, and positivity; these have to be a big part of your personal success wouldn’t you say?

Yeah, definitely, especially with Dorm. I think that was the most challenging thing for me because when you’re on a Dorm team it isn’t as voluntary as it would be on a Pro team.

In a pro team, you can scout out the best players with similar skill levels and sit them down. For Dorm, it’s just who is best from your school and not necessarily the best personalities together or even the best roles.

We had one player switch from support to damage and we had another player swap from melee damage to tank so we had all kinds of conflicting styles.

They looked at me as the leader, captain, drafter, and shot-caller. I had to make sure everyone was happy as a team and individually so there was a lot on my shoulders.

Leading the team and keeping a positive environment, those were things I wasn’t really used to. Learning that (from Dorm) has really helped me in the pro scene.

Leading the team and keeping a positive environment, those were things that I wasn’t really used to. Learning that (from Dorm) has really helped me in the pro scene.

You emerged undefeated at Dorm with UTA, you beat Even in Death, you beat Naventic, you beat Superstars, and you even beat GFE, only dropping a set to No tomorrow; that's a tremendous start.

What is the next big reality Team Freedom has to face, moving toward the Western Clash and –dare I say– BlizzCon?

We’re keeping things short-term as far as goals because it’s extremely vital that we win the next two series to make it to the Western Clash.

The other day we were in scrims and one of my teammates, Nazmas, looked at the standings and was like “oh, we’re number one?” We were so focused we didn't even notice. Our only goal is to get to the clash.

The better thing about Team Freedom over Dorm is that I had to do 90% of everything but in this, I do maybe 30%-20%? It makes it a lot easier for me as a player, especially since this is my first time as a pro. The good thing is I’ve joined an already existing system and I just put all my value into it and the results are coming in. I’m definitely helping with planning but I wouldn’t say I’m the driving force of the team.

Nazmas looked at the standings and was like “oh, we’re number one?” We were so focused we didn't even notice. Our only goal is to get to the clash.

  

More personally, how’s the pro-life and community treating you? Is your life like something out of a rap song now with fans and haters?

It’s a little weird right now. I think because my name comes up so often versus other players. On TownHall Heroes they talked about Team Freedom and mentioned my name about 20 times but no one on my team got a mention.

When your name is out there it can affect you. Look at Michael Udall right now. He’s a big personality and he’s struggling a bit, nothing too crazy, but if you look at Reddit or Twitch chat they’re crucifying him basically. It's crazy to think how quickly the public perception of a player can change.

For me, now, it’s nice because it’s 100% positive but it could definitely turn on its head if I don’t keep performing.

I’m not buying into the hype because I don’t want to have high highs and low lows. If I get over-confident I’ll be kicking myself reading everything so I just take everything in stride.

I’m not buying into the hype because I don’t want to have high highs and low lows. If I get over-confident I’ll be kicking myself reading everything so I just take everything in stride.

*Bonus Question*

If you had to guess, how is the Meta going to shift with Stukov getting his tentacles into everything? Is this going to put a damper on your Hero League domination?

I think this is a pretty big question mark for me right now. I’ve seen him a bit in Hero League. He’s actually getting banned at the high levels of Grand Master almost every game so I assume he’s OP.

The thing with me is, since we’re a couple of weeks behind, we haven’t focused too much on the new patch. I even forgot there was a new hero. I don’t even think I know what his abilities are-to be honest. I saw him in a game and saw him shove and was like “what the heck was that?”

I saw him in a game and saw him shove and was like “what the heck was that?”

Is there anything you’d like to tell fans out there?

Shout out to Team Freedom and my teammates. I appreciate everyone for supporting us, regardless if we win or lose. Make sure to follow me on Twitter and check me out on Twitch.tv.

You can follow us on Twitter @GosuGamersHotS and on Facebook for more competitive Heroes of the Storm news and coverage from around the world.

 

QUICKPOLL

What do you think, will Team Freedom be our next big contender for the Western Clash?

Yes! Team Freedom has the tools.
Thank you for voting!
I think older teams will regain ground.
Thank you for voting!
Jason “Renofox” Renau
"In games, we are shown who we are. Through eSports, we explore who we can become." Heroes of the Storm advocate, wellness coach, and armchair sociologist. You can follow me on twitter @renothefox.