Interview with plzdonhakme, the first Masters Series Champion!

The Elder Scrolls: Legends Masters Series came to QuakeCon this year and with it a $50,000 prize pool and sixteen of the best Legends players the world has to offer. After four grueling online qualifiers which took hundreds of hopefuls down to just sixteen, those players traveled to Texas to compete in the two-day live event. A double-elimination group stage brought us a final eight, who then played off in a single-elimination bracket.

When the dust settled, one person stood on stage a champion and proudly raised not only the trophy, but a check for $20,000. That champion was Canada’s plzdonhakme, playing for Team Rankstar.

Today, plzdonhakme has taken the time to answer some questions for us and tell us how it feels to be the first ever Elder Scrolls: Legends Masters Series Champion!

Congratulations on your victory at the Masters Series finals at QuakeCon! Now that you’ve had a few days to recuperate and let things sink in, how are you feeling?

I’m still the same person I was before, so I’m still not used to people calling me champion. It’s honestly hard to believe, and I think it’s always incredible when a hobby takes a large step towards becoming something more. Having garnered rather negative opinions from people, and even myself sometimes, for playing too many games, it's really, really cool that something like this has happened.

You mentioned this was your first time flying. What was your favorite part of getting to travel to an event like this for Legends with the big stage, lights, cameras, and viewers?

I think my favorite part had to be the people. It was amazing spending my time with and talking to everyone in person; all these people that make The Elder Scrolls: Legends community what it is, as well as hearing their thoughts on the game. I’ve never been all that social in real life, in the sense that I don’t really leave my house for recreational activities, because I think it’s a lot harder to find and connect with people in real life.

The internet has always been more accessible and convenient to find, and talk to people you have shared interests with. To me, getting together all these people with shared interests and cool personalities is what really made the experience great. It was a really fun trip despite the couple difficulties I had, so even if it was my first time, I hope it’s not the last.

Going into the tournament, how did you like your chances against such a stacked field of players?

I didn’t feel confident about winning, but I didn’t think I had worse chances than anyone else. I knew I had more time to prepare than some of my competitors because I didn’t have a job or any real life obligations at the time, so I didn’t feel disadvantaged in any way. Of course, the other participants were all great players but I didn’t want to bother with trying to compare myself with and trying to be better than all of the other participants. I knew that I was the only factor I had control over, so I focused on making sure I was the best and most prepared that I could be.

Let’s talk a bit about how a champion such as yourself prepares for an event of this magnitude - did being a part of Team Rankstar play a major role in your success?

Well first and foremost, I had a lot of free time, and I poured about all of it into The Elder Scrolls: Legends in the weeks leading up to the tournament. I didn’t join the team until after the second qualifier, and leading up to QuakeCon a lot of teammates had their own obligations, so I was on my own for the first few weeks.

After the qualifiers though, I worked a lot with EndoZoa, and I think the time I put into the game together with him was extremely helpful, though that’s not to say the others coming here and there wasn’t helpful. We put in every hour we could in the last few days before the tournament and I think having each other to talk to at the event was very helpful too. I think being on the team will be even more helpful in the future when we can get more of us together for preparation.

What would you say was your most difficult match of the event? What about the most exciting moment?

I think the single hardest game was Doomcrag versus Thuldir’s Conscription Redoran, because with the given draws for the two of us, I don’t think there was a world where I could win that no matter how well I played. However, when it comes to the entire best- of -fives, I think they were all difficult and could have went the other way if certain circumstances were different.

I was definitely very excited to Miraak a Dremora Markynaz on turn ten, slightly regretted not giving it twenty-four attack before I ended the game by Pathmaging a Doppelganger and then giving it Dawnbreaker, but I didn’t want to BM (bad manners). Then there was game five of the finals. It wasn’t as interesting, but it was pretty stressful knowing that no matter what happened, that single game of Legends would be worth more than all of my previous games ever… combined.

Moving forward, we’re definitely working on extending events like the Masters Series and Champion Series that we’ve found to be successful - but what’s next for plzdonhakme? Will you still be competing at the highest level?

I’m definitely looking to keep participating in tournaments, and being a competitive player if I can. I do want to continue streaming though, and with school starting soon, I’m worried about how much time left I’ll have for Legends. I’m not yet sure how I would have to divide that time between competitive play and streaming, since streaming does take attention away from the gameplay itself, meaning the two don’t overlap too well. Still, given that I’m sure plenty of other people will be at least as busy, and I won’t really have any real life activities except school, I think I’ll still have a reasonable chance in competitions, and will continue to do my best.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions! Any last shout-outs you’d like to make?

Probably everybody. My friends that I talked to, the community, the people behind the event making it possible, all the other participants for having great attitudes and making the event so much more enjoyable, and my teammates, especially Endo.

To see more of plzdonhakme, follow him on Twitch and Twitter!