TidesofTime for the WEC final: "The series advantage gives me 80% chance to win"

Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev at 06 September 2014 11:59

At least $13,000 richer, Tides discusses the switch from Dota to Hearthstone, his prediction for the grand final and gives quality advice on how to be good at Hearthstone. 

Find more WEC 2014 coverage including VODs, results, interviews, news and schedule in our hub

The North American region has a new king. After several months breathing in StrifeCro's back, Drew "TidesofTime" Biessener finally overcomes the Cloud 9 player in the GosuRankings. And not just him - following his 3-0 run at WEC Grand Finals as well as the slew of other tournament achievements, the Tempo Storm ace now sits on top of the ladder, pushing down the previous #1 Rdu.

Our on-site reporter Skim now catches up the former Dota professional right after his victory over RenieHouR in the winners final and his advancement to the final match. At least $13,000 richer, Tides discusses the switch from Dota to Hearthstone, his prediction for the grand final and gives quality advice on how to be good at Hearthstone. 

More WEC interviews:


  • Portugal Ignite - Where we talk about why the WEC format decreases the skill ceiling
  • Sweden Darkwonyx - Where the Swede discusses his rivalry with Rdu and the EU vs NA vs Asia topic





You are pretty close to winning this thing? How do you feel?

I feel pretty rich.

I can imagine. Tell us about the games from your perspective, how did they go?

My first match against Surrender was the closes one, I guess, I went 3-2. My first deck that was favored against his first deck lost and I was pretty worried but then my Miracle won two games and then for the fifth game I ended up having a really good start of double Innervate into Stampeding Kodo.

Against Rdu and RenieHouR, I beat them both with Zoo only.

Did you expect to go that far?

I halfway expected, yes. I thought I was highly favored but you know, I didn’t think I would 3-0 Rdu and 4-0 RenieHouR.

"I thought I was highly favored but I didn’t think I would 3-0 Rdu and 4-0 RenieHouR."

Every player I talked to in this tournament said they didn’t get the chance to scout the Eastern opponents. How was it with you?

I had some idea what they’re playing but yes, you can’t really scout them thoroughly. I just did my own thing, and that’s what I normally do – I don’t usually scout and that’s what I’m used to.

So, Hearthstone – how did you get into it, considering you have a Dota background. Did you just pick it one day and notice “Hey, I’m actually pretty good at this”?

After I stopped playing Dota, I played some League of Legends. I gave myself a time challenge to hit challenger in three months but I couldn’t, I only reached diamond, so I quit. Another couple of months later, I tried Hearthstone and ended up #1 legend on North America. Someone told me I should stream, I did it, then Reynad invited me to Tempo Storm and the rest you know.

So after you quit Dota, was it definitely a goal for you to stay into eSports?

It wasn’t necessarily a goal, but I guess it was something I sort of wanted to do. The way I lived my past ten years is just going with the flow.

Is there a bright eSport future for Hearthstone?

Yes, for sure. There are so many viewers, lots of money in it, Blizzard are actively trying to promote it, etc. It has another several years in it.

For your Dota fans, have you ever considered coming back as a competitive Dota player?

I’d love to come back to Dota and I have considered it many times. Unfortunately, going back to Dota is very unreliable, because I have to retrain myself: over the past year and a half, I’ve played a total of four weeks of Dota, one day at a time. I can’t reliably be as good as I was and I’d probably want to be even better if I came back. I’m also pretty busy with Hearthstone at the moment so it’s pretty unlikely.

"I’d love to come back to Dota and I have considered it many times. Unfortunately, that's very unreliable - I have to retrain myself and I can't realiably be as good as I was."

Do you follow the current Dota scene at all?

I talk with my former team-mates and discuss results but I don’t actively follow it, no. It’s mostly about my team-mates – how are they doing, what teams they’re in, that sort of things.

As you know, there have been Dota rankings on GosuGamers for basically the entire lifespan of the competitive game. Now we also have them for Hearthstone. How do you feel about them? I know there are players that just don’t bother with rankings but now that you’re ranked individually, do you pay attention to it?

From what I know, about 80-90% of the Hearthstone players pay attention to the GosuRankings. Some take them seriously, some not so much but since GosuGamers is the only site that has ranked Hearthstone players, it’s the go-to place for that. For me personally, I like to be #1 in any ladder so I’m a bit upset I’m not currently but I can only try harder.

I suppose if you win the WEC grand finals, there’s a pretty fair shot at that.

In general, what do you feel the competitive Hearthstone community need to do to grow, because right now it’s mostly a casual game.

I don’t know if Hearthstone actively needs to do anything. It already has a lot of players, a lot of tournaments coming up. As there are more viewers and more money tournaments, more people will naturally come over.

What would you recommend to any aspiring players? Say, I want to get into competitive Hearthstone, what would you advise me to do?

In any game, first and foremost, people should have fun. If you’re not having fun, it can be worse than your day-to-day job. After that, and I’ve always said that, you must always blame yourself for every loss, no matter what ridiculous stuff happens. In 5v5 games, even if my four team-mates are feeding I’d still put it on me.

In Hearthstone, there are a lot of hidden mistakes when you don’t look ahead, you’re not predicting to what your opponent might play or are not tracking the cards that are already played. So always blame yourself.

"Always blame yourself for every loss, no matter what ridiculous stuff happens. There are a lot of hidden mistakes when you don’t look ahead or are not tracking the cards. So always blame yourself."

That’s some solid advice. How much time do you devote to Hearthstone on a daily basis, not just streaming but preparing for tournaments as well?

When I prepare for a tourney… well, actually WEC is the first tournament I prepared for. I spent probably around 48 hours for the qualifier and 2-3 hours before every game at the actual event.

Why is WEC the first such tournament for you? What makes it special? Is it just because of the new format?

There are a lot more money involved in this than other tournaments and I don’t like putting effort into something if I think it’s not worth it. There has to be a certain amount of money for me to prepare specifically for it.

That makes sense. What do you think about the format here? It’s pretty new to the Western players, with all that 4-classes-9-decks set-up, which seems kind of a replacement for the traditional sideboarding in other TCGs.

I know some players don’t like it. For me, I’m fine in any format that doesn’t allow you to sideboard against a specific deck you just played against. As long as you prepare your decks in advance and are not allowed to hard-counter stuff, it’s fine.

You’re going to the grand finals tomorrow. Do you expect to win no matter the opponent?

I expect to win about 80% of the time, mainly because I have a series advantage, coming from the winners bracket. They have to win two series and I just need one. 

Photos: WEC 2014