Sender: 'we can still pull through to win NASL'

General Mario “Kolapz” Mađer
GosuGamers sat down with Trademark eSports support player Alex 'Sender' Wieker to talk about the recently finished DreamHack Winter 2011 and the NASL HoN Finals, due to take place in Ontario, California from 2nd to 4th December.


Trademark eSports: Tralfamadore, ZFreeK, Swindlemelonzz, tkothethrill & Sender

Hey Alex, thanks for joining me for this interview. You guys just came back from DreamHack Winter 2011. How was the entire experience of traveling overseas to Sweden to participate in it, meeting other players, fans, community members and so on?

It was much better than anything I could have imagined. Just meeting people who have the exact same interests as myself. The event itself was great; the admins were fun to talk to and ran it for everyone's interest even though there were some time constraints which was the only downfall.

Going into the tournament your team boasted with confidence and you expected to go all the way and win the title. However, already the groupstage had some ups and downs as you beat Honportal.org and Frenetic Array but lost to Fnatic and Infused. Thus, you had to win the last game against JaGa to proceed to the playoffs. Was there ever a point at which you doubted your own chances considering how the groupstage was going?

The game against Infused was a loss of draft and a bit of luck at the middle lane. Fnatic on the other hand is a top class team and a loss to them should never make one question their skill as a team. Going into the last game of the series we had total confidence going through the entire tournament because we knew what mistakes we made.

The first game of the playoffs saw you matched up against Fallen Kingdom which you won 2-1. After that you lost in the semifinals to Frenetic Array with the same result. Could you tell us a bit more about the playoff matches, what you expected from them as opposed to how they turned out?

To be honest, against Fallen Kingdom we felt we were the favorites going into the series. However, we lost to them in the first match with a risky strategy that we wanted to try out. We remained confident that we could beat them in straight up games in the following two, though, which we did. In the Frenetic Array series we have scrimmed them about 20 times online or so. In practice our games are nearly 50/50 or 60/40 so we were confident we could beat them but we would not take it lightly. We all feel we should have closed the series in game 2 if we played a bit better in some aspects and drafted Valkyrie instead of Midas as she was still available.

The disappointment of not getting to the finals and playing in DreamArena Extreme surely affected you guys during the 3rd place match against Lions? All things considered, are you happy with the Top4 finish?

Going into the event less than Top4 would not have been satisfactory. We are just disappointed in ourselves that we could not have played a tad better to have advanced to the finals but in the end we are content because 4th place is still an accomplishment.

NASL finals are just a day away and it was made public that Stefan 'tkothetrill' Ricelli will not be able to attend and will be replaced by David 'Moonmeander' Tan. Why did you choose to get him as the stand-in and were there any other players that you considered? Do you think the lack of practice with him will hurt your chances or are you confident it wont have a negative impact but instead maybe an opposite one?

'tkothethrill' will not attend NASL.
Given the option we would have picked Trent 'sLiCKz' Tucker but he was on the NASL roster for the former CompLexity team. The fact he never played a single game for them didn't matter, though. I believe if we weren't given a favorable admin decision earlier in the tournament, they would have let him play with us. I think we would have won NASL with him on the team because Frenetic Array and Trademark run the exact same heroes. Moonmeander, however, was our next best option for a player not already on an NASL roster. I believe we can still pull through to win NASL, but it will be harder since Moon is still not used to playing with us.

With NASL Finals being just a week after DreamHack Winter 2011, is there anything you've learned from that experience that you'll look to implement in your and your team's play this weekend? You're matched up against Lions in the first round, will the fact you lost to them at Dreamhack be an additional motivator for you to get revenge? If you had to predict the placements, what would they be and overall what do you expect going into this event?

We learned how mental preparation and having a game plan coming into a series can do wonders. For example, in DHW2011 we had preset bans for every team and sometimes we made them waste like 40 seconds of time. The fact that we lost to Lions in the 3rd place match means nothing in terms of revenge to us. We were all exhausted after our series against Frenetic Array and Mark 'Tralfamadore' Seidl could not even talk. As far as predictions go, I gotta put a swindle here and say tdM #1(USA USA USA), MSI #2, and Lions placing #3!

Thanks for your time, Alex. Any shoutouts you'd like to do or anything you'd like to add?

Shoutout to my team Trademark eSports and our sponsors performancepc.net and Nation Voice. Also, to my friends who have always supported me: Humza, Jabbar, and Chris.

Links
NASL - Source
HoN forums - Source
HoN facebook - Photo source