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Interview with spalding (2018 edition)

By cncHD - 15th December 2018 - 15:51 PM

Hello Generals! We recently decided to get in contact with a bunch of good Zero hour Players from the past who stopped playing years ago. What are they doing nowadays? Are they still watching this game to see the latest news, strategies, drama and more? And the most important question of all - will they make a comeback in the future? Lets find out!

In todays Interview weve got spalding. For those who dont know him, here is a little overview about him:

Native country: Germany
Current Age: ~31
Started playing online: A few months after release

Spalding was, together with Dackel, bliNd-, d.Apollo and Yumi, one of the first Players to receive an Expert badge on GameReplays.org. He gained the two Expert badges in 2009.

GameReplays - cncHD:
Hello spalding, thank you very much for agreeing to an Interview with me! So, lets beginn with your gaming career. Back in an Interview in 2005 you said that you were looking forward to Starcraft 2 and Red Alert 3. Im curious: After you stopped playing Zero Hour and Generals in 2013 (correct me if Im wrong with the date), did you jump over to Starcraft 2 with the goal to get very high up in the ladder there? Starcraft 2 is a very competitive game and getting high up there in the Ladder sure isnt easy. So, if you really went to Starcraft 2 after quitting C&C, how far in the ladder did you get?

spalding:
I didn't really commit to starcraft. I've finished masters multiple times in 1v1-4v4 but there's still a gap between masters and gm (grand master) and an even bigger gap between GM and the best players in the world which were 90%+ koreans. You could be the 10th best european player while not even being top 100 in the world. To be one of the best in ZH it's enough to play like 2 hours most days but that's obviously not enough to compete with koreans living in team houses who practise 10 hours+ every single day. I quickly realised this and since I had more important things to do in life, becoming very good at starcraft (not saying Id have been capable of it even if I played as much as the koreans) wasn't a realistic goal for me to aim for. I've played some hearthstone where I held the highest paladin winrate in EU for arena, aswell as being the highest ranked legend player in EU a few times but after thinking about it some more I came to the conclusion that being a "hs pro" wasn't the right thing for me, even though I'd have easily been capable of it skillwise.

There are basically 2 types of HS pros
-Streamers who range from bad to good but are mostly popular because they're entertaining. I don't think I'd make a good streamer and was not very interested in it either.
-Pros who try to make a living by winning tournaments. After I ran some quick math on it, your realistic hourly would be very low compared to what I made at poker/got for coaching people at poker. The biggest tournament was blizzcon normally which had a prize pool of around 1 million this year (was lower before)


Hearthstone Tournament


I think. In order to qualify for this you had to finish at high legend every month to earn points. This usually takes anywhere from 200-500 games a month so let's go with 350. Depending on your deck, I'd say the average game time including queues is around 6 minutes. So you're looking at 2100 minutes or 35 hours of hearthstone every month just playing but that's very conservative and doesn't include weekly/daily cups that you'd also want to play to increase your chance of getting a spot at blizzcon. I'd say you're looking at 3+ hours on avg every day.

How much is this blizzcon spot actually worth?
This one is a bit hard to answer but I think it's hard to be more than a 55% favourite over another really good player in a single series, so your average finish with 16 players is probably around 7th, which is worth 50k. You're not guaranteed to make blizzcon even if you are the best player in the world so your EV (expected value) is even less (also have to include travel costs to tournaments if you're not sponsored). All in all, it didn't seem like a smart choice to me when a very frequent outcome after one year is winning less than 10k because you didn't qualify for blizzcon.

GameReplays - cncHD:
After you stopped playing C&C, did you still follow the news, tournaments, current matches and drama in Generals & Zero Hour? Do you still watch Replays from time to time or do you watch any commentators on Youtube when you have some freetime in your life?

spalding:
I sometimes follow the big events such as the world series and also casted one of the previous finals between rage and size which I enjoyed. Occasionally people ask me to go over their games with them on skype/discord which I'm happy to do normally. Downloaded replays don't show up when I open zero hour so I haven't watched a replay in years. I've checked out some videos/streams on youtube by logica, cncHD and dominator which I thought were well done.

GameReplays - cncHD:
Back in the old days you mentioned that you rather play Sim City than watching a GLA Mirror. Do you still stand by this or have you changed your mind on GLA Mirrors over the years?

spalding:
I still think gla mirrors are the most boring mirrors on zh