Interview with Dust103, TESL Champion Series Grand Finalist!

The TESL Champion Series is in full swing, and last week saw its first Champion crowned. Taking home the grand prize and locking his place in the Grand Final was none other than Dust103, a consistent force in the tournament scene and active Legends streamer. Despite his busy schedule, he was able to make time to answer a few questions for us.

Name: Reuben, a.k.a Dust103 (TheAdventuresofDust)
Location: England
Occupation: Full time work
Favorite Card: Plunder!

First off, congratulations on winning the first TESL Champion Series Elite Circuit Championship! It must be a great feeling qualifying for the Grand Final so early in the season. With such an impressive showing, were you confident going in that it would go that well?

Not at all. Many names in the top sixteen I had faced previously and been on the other end of victory, so I was apprehensive to say the least!

How long have you been playing Legends, and what are some other accomplishments you have in the game?

I have been playing Legends for a year now, and in this time I have reached the top of the ladder many times, but always looked to bank somewhere in the top 32 as my goal.

In terms of tournament achievements, I have been 1st in the ESL qualifiers three times and been in their finals tournaments I believe five times now since they started in October, but yet to win one of their prestigious monthly finals!

Do you think that experience gave you a tangible advantage in the Championship?

I have clocked well over 1,000 hours of the game on Steam, and many hours from the good ol’ days of the Bethesda launcher, but I believe many of the veterans in the top sixteen have put in the grind as much as I have. However, I do believe being a part of card games competitively for over 4 years had prepared me somewhat!

How did you come up with the lineup of decks you chose for the event?

I honestly struggled with my lineup a great deal. I believe I am my own worst enemy when it comes to forming a lineup as I try to bring something to take down every deck out there, which can become a fatal line to follow.

I felt very comfortable with my Warrior list so that was always going in the lineup. When it came to my Scout list, I battled trying to balance the greed with its controlling capabilities, and honestly felt by the end of the testing that I made a list that was pretty rubbish at both!

My final list hit me by complete surprise a little over a week before the tournament, which was Eyenie’s mid Monk, I lost to it on ladder once and saw cards such as Monk’s Strike and Swift Strike, and immediately dismissed the deck originally purely on the fact that they were not commonly ran cards and put the loss down to being caught off guard.

I then lost to it again, whilst being in full knowledge of his deck list this time around. I then took the list and began testing it on my own. While it dominated the ladder, a good ladder deck is not always a good tournament deck, as mentioned previously your line up has to tailored to take down specific lists, and after much testing I found Monk to be very versatile performing very well against many decks fairly reliably!

I found the list just required a different playstyle depending on the match up as it had very good defensive capabilities but was not shy of damage and burst if required to go on the offensive, so this versatility earnt the list the final spot in my line up.

Of your three decks, which performed the best? Looking back, would you have changed anything about your lineup?

Let’s talk stats for this! Out of the matches played my Scout list went 0-1, the Warrior 4-0 and the Monk with a very surprising 8-1! I was honestly blown away by the amount of work the Monk list did, and although its win rate was not one hundred percent like the Plunder Warrior, I felt strongest when opening with the Monk list!

Looking back, I would have definitely taken my Alduin Scout over my Control Scout as the list that I was really dreading to oppose was scout itself, so I should have made a hard counter for it rather than making a more generic list. If my Plunder Warrior lost to a Scout my line up was in a real tough spot, so I felt limited with my Warrior list as I had to save it until my opponent was stuck on his Scout list which resulted in my lineup feeling slightly clunky and restricted!

Apart from that, I was very happy with the versatility of the Monk list and the wide variety of matchups it had a strong chance to win in, combine this with the very low curve of the Plunder Warrior to dismantle other aggro decks and control lists alike, meant that these two lists ended up doing all the work this time around, and I will go back to the drawing board with Scout for now!

I think a lot of people were shocked at how fast your finals match against Superthx555 was; were there any matches along the road to victory that felt particularly challenging, or did they all go that smoothly?

The run on paper looked very smooth with twelve game wins versus two defeats, but I had my fair share of nail biting moments!

Anything you’d like to add? Shout-outs to make?

Firstly, thank you TESL Champion Series and sponsors for making this happen. The time/resources people put in behinds the scenes is insane and needs thanking!

I feel it's great for everyone to have the chance to be able to sign up and compete in events like this and overall very healthy for the community! Also, a shout-out to everyone who competed in the qualifiers and the final. These things can take a great deal of effort and time to prepare for, the competition and skill I met within this tournament was high and got my utmost respect!

Eyenie deserves a mention here due to my shameless steal of his glorious Monk list. I had a week to wrap my head around the ins and outs of this list - I just hope I didn’t make too many plays you disagreed with!

Finally, to Plunder for not giving me Dragonplate Armor. <3

Congratulations again, we’re looking forward to seeing you play in the Grand Final! For more information on the TESL Champion Series Elite Circuit, click here.