Team Bandit Gang

End of Year Interview

End of Year Interview 2020 NovaLille: ‘Being in touch with the warm community of Gwent helped me feel better after a difficult period in my life’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Well, hello there Nova. Numerous members have had their interview with me next to the fireplace before you. And now its finally your turn. So, lets begin with the question I always start with. How would you reflect on the year 2020?

NovaLille: The year 2020 was marked by an unprecedented number of changes in my life – and sometimes very radical ones. The period of the pandemic, even if it brought a lot of disappointment and destruction of plans, allowed me to devote more time to the development of my hobbies and work on myself (physical, mental and creative). Oddly enough, most of the significant events for me this year are directly related to Gwent. I was lucky to get acquainted in Twitch’s chat with BG and through the thorny path of self-doubt and self-confidence, a lot of hesitation and hours of work, become a part of an incredibly close-knit unique team. Being in touch with the warm community of Gwent helped me feel better after a difficult period in my life and reveal in myself those positive aspects that I gave up long ago. I fulfilled my dreams of returning to writing, trying myself as a streamer and meeting an incredibly huge number of wonderful personalities, so in the end I can say that although 2020 threw us all a lot of problems, I still perceive it as a new beginning and the resurrection time for me.

BJ: I am glad to hear that you have been well received by BG and that it has helped you in your life. And you originally joined the content team of Team Bandit Gang as a streamer & article writer for Gwent, but recently you also joined the Academy Team. Could you elaborate your decision to be more competitive?

NL: To be honest, since my school days I dreamed of being a part of the esports community. True, I never thought it would be Gwent. In high school, I spent thousands of hours with friends in CS: GO and closely followed professional teams, dreaming of at least reaching some lower competitive level. And in my early student years, I nevertheless ended up in a team with which we played for a couple of years in various city tournaments for pleasure. It turned out to be Dota. There was no question of going professional, but I liked feeling the competitive spirit, rallying with friends at bootcamps and events and feeling part of the touring system. I never thought of Gwent as a competitive game. I threw playing cards at the PS, because I was fascinated by the unique mesmerizing arts and interesting mechanics. I only learned about Pro Rank three months ago. Then I went out of fun to a couple of tournaments – I really love to compete – and, well, it just started somehow… Ian, our team manager, invited me to the Academy Team, which I am still incredibly happy and surprised at, and I don’t know yet in what proportion I will devote my time to climbing, streaming and writing, but I believe that I can find the optimal balance. And yet I will not lie and say that I am determined to develop my playing skills in order to advance in the top. In the end, this is what I dreamed of since school, and in Gwent for the first time I feel that I am really worth something and am capable of achieving a high level of playing.

BJ: Oh, I didn’t know that about you. It all comes together now. Aside of beating people on the ladder you have published one article for the website so far. What made you decide to write about the pain and struggle when it comes to grinding to Pro Rank? And how has the response been so far?

NL: One article – but how long it took before the community was able to contemplate it! The most difficult thing in writing for me was to overcome the mental block, which made me always doubt my abilities. It was really hard to let go of all the worries and get to work. In addition, I am one of those people who can spend several hours over one paragraph, trying to bring it to perfection, which sometimes makes the process of writing a torment for the mind. However, through hardships to the stars, the article was written. Perhaps I expected a little more resonance in its attitude, and yet it was very pleasant and motivating to receive a lot of positive feedback. As for the topic… I think it only took about a month to choose what to write about, because I wanted to break into the team as gracefully as possible. This was supposed to be an article about the role of the minor characters of the Witcher saga in the life of Ciri. It could also be an article on Gwent’s siege engines. Or just something like a series of interviews with Twitch chatters. And yet it turned out to be the work that touches on the psychological aspects of getting into the Pro Rank. I had just started discovering the world of Pro Rank at the time of writing this article, and was extremely passionate about this topic, so on Mercernn’s advice, who supported me throughout the writing process, I decided to tell more about the aspects concerning it. Again, it’s not for me to judge how the result came out, but I was satisfied.

BJ: It does sound like you have plenty of ideas to work on, time will tell if all those ideas will be put into work and eventually be released on the website 😉 Outside of being proud of finally publishing the article, what other moment are you proud of this year? And was there any moment that you had a hard time dealing with?

NL: As I said, I am extremely satisfied and glad that I was able to overcome my inner demons and believe that I can really start changing my life for the better. I went through a huge and difficult path of self-improvement, and this allowed me to open my heart to new hobbies, people and opportunities. This was perhaps the most difficult and at the same time the most significant contribution to my life.

BJ: The more interviews I do it seems like 2020 has had a lot of impact on people their lives in a positive sense. But enough about 2020, is there anything that you would like to do next year?

NL: I really hope that I can improve my speed writing level (okay, we all know this will not happen). Seriously though, the most important thing I want to do is not lower the bar set this year in terms of the number of things that I am involved in and the number of souls I touch on. I am graduating from university next year, so my life may change radically after the summer, and it is still very difficult for me to imagine what lies ahead. I don’t know where I’ll end up at the end of the year and it’s a little scary. But, on the other hand, the ability to constantly face something new makes you feel alive. And if we talk about something more specific, I want to devote more time to streaming, finally arrange the channel and expand the functionality (yes, I will really add a bot one day! maybe…). But the most important goal for me is to get into the top 64 of the Pro ladder within a year in order to participate in the Open qualifiers. It won’t matter to me if I leave after the first match there, I want to first of all know what it is like to compete for a place in a serious tournament and understand that the efforts put into development were not wasted.

BJ: Lots of goals to achieve in 2021. And do you have any new year’s resolutions?

NL: I used to make a million promises to myself, which I then invariably break, so from a certain point in my life I no longer see much sense in this. There are things that I would like to change in myself, which I would like to try to adhere to, or, on the contrary, which I could refuse, but everything that can be taken out of attempts to bring all of the above to life eventually led me to the only common thing conclusion: do not promise.

BJ: Or just don’t break them 😉 Anyways, lets wrap up the interview here. Is there anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

NL: With regards to wishes specifically for 2021, I want to wish people patience and good health, because the insidious pandemic is not going to give up momentum. Please, be responsible and take care of both yourself and the people you love. We are all tired of depressing isolation, but it depends only on us how much the disease will continue to spread. In addition, I want to wish you to follow your dream and never let go of your hands. It will always be difficult to achieve what you want, but the result, in which your eyes will shine, and your heart will be filled with unimaginable warmth, is worth it. We only have one chance to live our life with a minimum of regret, do not waste it on giving up your ideas and following someone else’s instructions or universal aspirations. If you have been waiting for the right moment to start believing in yourself, do it now, otherwise postponing can drag on indefinitely. At the same time, never forget that there will always be people in your environment who will support your hopes, dreams and aspirations and help you resist evil tongues and obstacles that arise. Appreciate such people and do not forget to be such people for your loved ones. Sometimes even one conversation, a kind word or a warm hug can radically affect a person’s life.

BJ: Thank you for your time and until next time!

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*NovaLille's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*The interviewer can approve of the reasoning for including Heatwave in the top 10.

1. Tinboy – This glorious knife lover provided me with the highest MMR in the history of my games, so I ask all haters and Jacques fans to pass by!

2. Eithné – The mechanic of symbiosis instantly sunk into my soul, and Eithné is a great example of its implementation. The card has amazing art and voice acting, in addition to a sad story that makes my heart clench every time.

3. Ciri: Nova – I miss the card’s past ability… Bring back the discard archetype… And I don’t care that the card was almost unplayable before. And, of course, I cannot but mention my attachment to the card thanks to its name.

4. Dunca – Four is an excellent base power that allows enemy Miruna to flawlessly win Dunca to their side. Nobody cares that you also have 5 treants with a power of 1 spawned.

5. Freixenet – One of my adored art and my favorite card description: “He was only meant to be a breeding stud to her. But in the end, they fell in love regardless.” I like how, drawing a parallel with the description, Freixenet first boosts the dryad and then spawns another small one. It is also a good opportunity to keep Dunca safe.

6. Ruehin – Over the past seasons, there has been a strong internal rejection of OH Monsters, but magpie’s deck with Ruehin for me personally breathed a new life into the bored archetype.

7. Whoreson’s Freak Show – Yes, I carry both poisons and his in the deck. Snow, you can say whatever you want, but I like it! He is never superfluous, although, perhaps, for this provision, as in the case of Tinboy, you can always find something “better”. But I don’t care.

8. Ciaran aep Easnillen – Thanks to Mercernn for unleashing the potential of this card! No one is waiting for him in ladder. But in vain.

9. Passiflora – I love these sweet playful girls, but heck, the scenario didn’t come to me at the most important tournaments’ games, so I let it be silently thankful for adding to the top at all!

10. Korathi Heatwave – The auto-include card into a Non-Devotion list. It will make an opponent’s card almost as hot as BJ.

End of Year Interview 2020 ZigZak_Guy: ‘I actually hesitated when I joined the team’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Welcome, welcome ZZ. You are one of the first streamers that joined us and are the rap god of Team Bandit Gang. How have you experienced 2020?

ZigZak_Guy: For me 2020 was a very strange year. I don’t want to say it’s a bad year, but it’s also not that great either. A lot of things have happened in my life and some of them were affected by Covid-19. But I don’t really want to go deep into that topic. In terms of Gwent and streaming in general its kinda going slow for me this year. Even though I managed to reach some of the goals like, 1k Followers on Twitch, 1k Subs on Youtube and joining Gwent Partner etc, I still feel like I can do so much more on creating interesting content. Maybe I am just used to 4 expansions in 2019 for Gwent and this year that has changed and it just feels way too slow.

BJ: Yeah, I get you. I haven’t played for months this year because there was no new cards and they even skipped a month on patching the game. We will have to see what 2021 has in store for Gwent. Speaking of Gwent, you joined Team Bandit Gang as one of the first streamers for Gwent, how have you been enjoying the team so far? 

ZZ: I really enjoy watching this team grow and I think for 1 year this team has really grown so much. We have so many amazing and talented members and team managers. Everyone is so nice to each other and doing a very great job promoting and supporting the team. And just to be honest with you, I actually hesitated when I joined the team a year ago. It was when we only had 2-3 members, but since then I really feel proud to be a part of this team and I can see so much potential in this team for many years to come.

BJ: I am glad you did choose for BG in the end because you are one of our biggest streamers now which I love to see. And what was your funniest moment on stream this year ZZ?

ZZ: Not sure which one is my funniest moment on stream this year (Don’t really remember), but what I can share with you is my most epic moment of 2020, and it’s when I got featured in Dandelion Show #146 on my performance against KungfooRabbit on top 16 Gwent Partner Tournament. The clip is hilarious that’s all I can tell you.

BJ: I have seen that one and I would definitely recommend it to people. And on a more serious note. I know you are working hard to make Gwent in Thailand more popular, could you elaborate why you do that?

ZZ: The reason that I work on this project is I can see so much potential an opportunity for Gwent to be popular in Thailand. People really enjoy playing games on phone around here, one of the biggest game in Thai community right now is ROV and HS which are both Mobile game. I feel like if I can make Gwent more popular in Thailand it will be a big hit for my Streamer career and I can use this opportunity to grow my channel even more in the future as well.

BJ: You are being very candid about it haha. And you became a coach for the coaching program this year, what made you decide to become a coach and what would you like to achieve next year as a coach?

ZZ: I did not look into the coaching program that much so far this year due to the coaching session price is still a bit too high so it is a quite difficult to attract customer/new player, but what I would like to accomplish is be able to teach some new players who interested to be good at deck building, be able to make correct in-game decision and read each Meta by themselves.

BJ: Well, for anyone that wants to get some coaching from you they can check the coaching page on our website. And is there anything else that you would like to do next year?

ZZ: For me Gwent will still be my number one priority when comes to Streaming and Youtube contents, but I also would want to do more variety stream, learn about video editing and create more interesting Youtube contents. Cyberpunk 2077 will be one of them.

BJ: Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that I am eager to play as well. Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

ZZ: I’m not sure, not really have anything in my mine right now. Eat Healthy/Go to the Gym? Just kidding. Maybe arranging a successful Subathon or trying something new on stream. Making a successful Youtube video sounds pretty good too.

BJ: You could also do a Simpathon, KingDenpai knows all about that 😉 And is there anything that you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

ZZ: I know that 2020 is a very rough year for many people due to Covid-19 and other problem, but I’m sure that 2021 will be a better year for everyone as well. We managed to survive 2020 from the start to the end and what I want to say is don’t lose your hope.

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ZigZak_Guy's Top 10 Cards of 2020

10. Kerack Frigate – It’s just a boat! It’s can’t hurt you….right?

9. Endrega Larva – Best bronze in the game..cough cough..Koshchey LUL

8. Novigradian Justice – When is the last time you face ST that don’t run this card?

7. Jacques De Aldersberg – So good all around, very flexible and high tempo. “Good Card”

6. Amphibious Assault – A card that make Bronze turn to Gold? Who else can do that?

5. Harald The Cripple – SKOMEGALUL

4. Lippy Gudmund – Make one leader ability become Meta for more than Half a year? Well…OK!!

3. Masquerade Ball – “Carries Nilfgaard since January 2020”

2. Korathi Heatwave – I use to be called “That guy who run Heatwave LUL” before Bomb Heaver got nerf, well who’s laughing now LUL

1. Oneiromancy – Imagine not running this card in any Non-devotion decks. I mean what the hell you been doing?

End of Year Interview 2020 TheOneChristo: ‘Hopefully I get to continue to do more of the same and try new things in 2021’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Today I am sitting down with the proud owner of Christo’s Café, where Christmas is with no doubt being celebrated. And since Christmas is a time to reflect, I will open with the following question. How would you reflect on the year 2020 and the grand opening of your café?

TheOneChristo: What a year it has been. Obviously, a year like no other, but I’m thankfully for how it has turned out for me personally. Streaming is something I’ve been interested in for a long time and the move to working from home (and the equipment that came along with it) was a perfect opportunity to jump in. From there things just fell into place so nicely, the community was welcoming, and Café’s doors opened to a lineup each and every night.

BJ: It has definitely been a year like no other and not only because Covid but also because you joined Team Bandit Gang as a streamer & Youtuber for Gwent and even did some casting for the Duel Of Dogs Tournament. How have you enjoyed the team so far?

C: When Denpai approached me to join the team, there was no hesitation on my side. Mercernn and you, BJ, were two individuals who were the most welcoming to me as I started as a content creator and were two channels I would often frequent. I was proud to be given the opportunity to represent the pink and black. I’m somebody who likes getting his hands into all sides of things. I started with streaming and obviously YouTube was a natural progression. I organize and help run tournaments with the team at 983 Media and casting was just another opportunity to try something new. Hopefully I get to continue to do more of the same and try new things in 2021.

BJ: If I am correct it was Flake that introduced you to Streaming and Gwent, how would you describe your friendship with him?

C: That’s right! I’ve known Flake since kindergarten, going on 30 years (yes I’m a boomer). We grew up together, shared similar interests, you know Star Wars, comics, video games and everything else nerd related. We started playing card games together many moons ago with Young Jedi, then the Star Wars CCG, onto Lord of the Rings and others. He got me into Gwent during closed beta, but that didn’t last long and I ended up drifting away from it. He’s also been a streamer for many years and that was really my first exposure to somebody I know being on Twitch. When I was fed up of Hearthstone he encouraged me to get back into Gwent and the rest is history.

BJ: Those friendships are definitely something that you should cherish. Back to streaming. What was your proudest moment when it comes to streaming this year?

C: I don’t know that I can pick a specific moment, but there are a few occasions this year that I was asked if “Christo’s Café” was a real thing (PS It’s not). The Café branding and look (Shoutout to Annaellieee for the graphic design work) all came together naturally from time spent streaming and the wonderful people who jumped in and chatted with me and pitched their ideas (and menu items !specials). I’m really proud of my channel and the Café theme.

BJ: I know you also started playing and streaming Mythgard recently, how is that going for you?

C: I’ve actually been playing Mythgard since open beta, in October 2019. For me, it has the cleanest and most elegant mechanics of any “life total” digital ccg I’ve played. I took a bit of a break in early 2020 as their initial expansion was delayed (thanks Covid) and so there wasn’t much new content. They released their first expansion in September, and I jumped back in casually, this time as a streamer and not too long after joined their partner program. I’ve played CCGs my whole life and I honestly think anybody else who is a card game fanatic needs to give Mythgard a go.

BJ: Is there anything that you would like to do next year? This can be regarding streaming or something else.

C: That is such a tough question. There is so much I still want to accomplish! I think 2020 was a great year for me, especially streaming wise. I was able to get my feet wet and try things out. This has given me a really nice and stable base, but I want to build off of that in 2021 and continue to grow my community, as well as the Bandit Gang and our wonderful “groupies”.

BJ: I am all up for growing the Bandit Gang community. And do you have any new year’s resolutions?

C: I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. If you want to change, try something new or improve yourself, you shouldn’t limit yourself to a specific day to start.

BJ: All fine with me. Is there anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

C: I think 2020 proved that you never know what to expect, but I’m excited for 2021. As I read these BG year end interviews, it’s become clear to me that just because the year isn’t going as predicted, doesn’t mean you cannot accomplish tremendous growth. That being said, in a few weeks we turn the page on 2020, what are you going to set out to achieve in 2021?

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*TheOneChristo's Top 10 Cards of 2020

TheOneChristo’s top 10 are just ten cards that he liked this year, without any specific order but I put a number in front of it just for the sake it.

10. Impera Enforcers
– They don’t ever survive, but when they do they’re devastating.

9. Vincent Meis – Enjoy your 1 Power Golyat…Arnjolf…Yghern…etc

8. Ard Gaeth – Because people whine that Devotion OH isn’t good and they’re wrong.

7. Blue Stripes Commandos – Triple Commandos is just too much fun not to include.

6.  Dracoturtle – I actually really like the design of this card and also like alchemy SK.

5. Vigo’s Muzzle – I didn’t use it much, but watching Mercernn Muzzle people was endlessly entertaining.

4. Manticore – Because people don’t respect the Manticore and they will be punished

3.  Skjordal Drummond – Because I like calling him Squirtle.

2. Feign Death – Not the new one, the old one, that only spawned Deadeyes, because Elves are cool.

1. Dunca – I usually default to ST when a new expansion comes out and the number of times people tried to poison, bleed or lock her was amazing.

End of Year Interview 2020 MoriartyUK: ‘The one thing I cannot praise Bandit Gang enough for is their patience’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Streamer, Voice Actor, Teacher and a friend of Shupe. In other words, a busy man. How would you look back at the year Moriarty?

MoriartyUK: It has been a transformative one for me, for sure. Speaking in terms of Gwent I came back to the game, I hadn’t touched it since Beta (Give or take a few looks here and there) and only came back after having a few videos in my Youtube recommended list. Started back up in MM during the Griffin season (Second wind SKOMEGALUL season) and ended up grinding up to pro that same month. Around that time I started streaming to and after a short stint, well, here I am!

In my personal life it’s been about as hectic as it has been for anyone. Though in my case I finished my teaching qualification and started teaching full time for the first time this year amidst COVID regulations and safety measures and half my colleagues dropping around me. The workload has meandered wildly from relaxed at home to manic and crazy when actually in school. Sadly it ended up cutting pretty harshly into my streaming/gaming time.

On the whole though I’d say, global pandemic aside, I’ve had more positives than negatives. A whole load of stress sure, but it all came accompanied by pretty significant life changes that I believe are only for the better. 

BJ: Glad to hear that you have had more positives than negatives. And of course you joining Team Bandit Gang as a streamer for Gwent was a positive too. And then I almost forgot to mention that once in a while your charismatic voice is being featured in videos too. Which is a delight for the viewer. May we hear your voice someday in one of the games from CDPR. But for now, how have you been enjoying the team so far?

M: First of all; you flatterer. Second, I’ve really enjoyed myself. The one thing I cannot praise Bandit Gang enough for is their patience with what is a pretty absurd real life schedule. There has never been any pressure for me to put out X amount of content or Y number of streams. It has only been a place of support and well-intended banter that has allowed Gwent and my fledgling creator career within it to relax as my work consumes my life without adding to a long list of stressors. I know the guys are there if I need them, for whatever I might need them for.

Enough of that. More practically; they gave me my first shot casting tournament games and I had an absolute blast! I’ve not been attached to the brand very long but their willingness to give me a shot like that is a testament to their ability to let new faces have a go, without overly leaning on the old reliables. Naturally I have a lot to learn, but that foot in the door was such a blessing.

Also they finally gave Rasheed a team. Maybe now he’ll get Partner. 

BJ: Well, he was on Sensual Team before us… but yeah I am pulling the strings to make it happen. And what was your funniest moment on stream this year?

M: I think it has to be when I EXTREMELY NAIVELY set up a channel point reward offering to read whatever it is chat wants me to read. I have since made it more expensive but when I started I had it set as quite cheap, since realistically I only had close friends watching me anyway.

Once I had a small audience however, I ended up reading Engineering textbooks and half of the My Immortal Harry Potter Fan Fiction which I think will haunt me to the end of my days. I never thought I’d say this but thank God for Twitch’s stupid DMCA policies for purging those VODS. Blessed.

BJ: I know you do voice acting outside of the Gwent Scene as well. Could you tell us more about that? And have you achieved anything with it?

M: Yeah! I really enjoy it. My father used to joke I have a face for radio and the voice sort of followed. I was a pretty nervous kid but people used to comment on enjoying my reading voice. Eventually when I was at university I decided to give it a real try. I would call my set-up distinctly amateurish but I’ve only ever pursued this for fun! Though I did secure a few pretty well paying gigs which helps! I’m proud of all of my work but the most commercially successful would probably be Pitch and roll (Also available on iTunes podcasts and I believe Spotify too) Which was a lot of fun to record. It, alongside another project called Firebird saw me nominated for a few awards!

I didn’t win, but nominations count right? 

I really enjoy it, anyway. I’ve always fancied trying my hand at acting and I found I have a lot of versatility in my voice. It’s something I enjoy practicing– it even saw me learning how to scream safely! (Heavy metal singers are a godsend for this) which I’m sure is a skill I’ll use often. 

I try to incorporate it on stream with my Dramatic Reading and Story time channel point rewards, anything to keep me sharp!

BJ: Have you ever had to voice act for a female role? The reason I ask is because I recently had to for one of BanditPig’s movies

M: If only! No never. I’ve done voices for genderless entities like deities but never female. But that’s amazing to be honest, I wish I could pull of a female voice convincingly it’s such a good skill.

BJ: It was nothing too official, but I had fun doing it. And to continue to the next question. Is there anything you would like to do next year?

M: I’d really like to go on an actual vacation next year. I haven’t been abroad in almost six years and lockdowns and COVID have really made me realize I need to stop working myself to death and take more time off to recharge now and then. 

In a similar vein I really want to get back into streaming on a regular schedule. I’ve been fortunate to see many of the familiar faces I usually see in my chat crop up even on a very inconsistent nigh-inactive schedule. But I want to keep that up somehow to continue to see them. I also want to improve my personal bests at the gym, I’ve been plateaued for a while now. 

BJ: A proper vacation next year sounds great. I was going to China this year myself but it got canceled due to COVID. Anyways, do you have any new year’s resolutions?

M: Yeah, actually. Though it isn’t usually my thing. I want to improve my time management when it comes to my personal life. With work, I’m a pretty well oiled machine but I really let that slip when I’ve got time to myself. I don’t necessarily want rigid timetables but I really want to make the most of the time off I have– rather than just letting it become nap and Netflix time every time. 

BJ: And to finish the interview. Do you have anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

M: Not to be soppy about it but mostly that I know this year has been hard, for just about all of us. We’re all hopeful things will get better, and I truly believe that they will. At whatever pace they do, we’ll all be okay.

Also. When my streaming becomes more consistent I’ll be reducing the cost of ‘Dramatic reading’ for a bit. So get your fan fictions ready.

BJ: It was a pleasure talking to you!

M: Thanks for the questions BJ, I had a lot of fun answering!

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MoriartyUK's Top 10 Cards of 2020

10. Coup De Grace – Probably one of the weaker echo cards I think the card’s biggest failing compared to the others is that it’s fair. I really like the card though, particularly in the instances where you can use it to steal something valuable from an opponent rather than merely replaying a spy.

9. Kerack Marine – Simple, straight forward, very rewarding. I came back to Gwent this year around the time of MM’s launch following a stint away since beta. Using very few resources to help me I cobbled together with what I had and to no surprise NR felt very strong, and these marines did a huge brunt of that heavy lifting.

8. Viraxas Prince – Controversial perhaps since the Prince has no doubt felt stifling and oppressive to a lot of people. The only evolving card to not catch a nerf– I just really like the card. I love its versatility. I love all the arts. I love it combined with  my main boy, the War elephant. Ildiko and Viraxas look like they would bully me in high school and I’m ok with it.

7. Freixenet – I love the character in the lore, so much so I cobbled together a video on him when I had a free afternoon. I like the cards use in a devotion deck but I’ve also enjoyed seeing him played (rarely) in non-devo for his flexibility. I think flexible cards are becoming a theme or me in this list so far…

6. Coen – IT’S A REVERSE SCHIRRU. KIND OF. The applications here seem tricky to predict but I can’t wait to see if, and how he works in some sort of meta list. I just love the idea, and I love playing NR in strange and esoteric ways. It ticks my boxes.

5. Arnaghad– I think this card is really interesting and awkward to evaluate. I had a really fun time reading the discussions about it, and had a great chat with Pajabol about the card too (Casual name drop. I mix with tournament winners what of it?) And though I think it has potential to be strong it may have issues fitting into SK. Ultimately, I like this card because it makes me curious.

4. Koshchey – Another card with interesting applications. I think it was Ace who ran some maths on twitter to find this card’s potential ceiling when summoning larvae and I think it’s fascinating to see how good it can be. I think I could list most of the newly announced gold insectoids here. So happy that archetype is getting some many-legged love.

3. Alzur – The card is an RNG fiesta which can be fun, though I know new RNG in Gwent gets hackles up as they fear the directions the game might go. I think Alzur does it in a good way though. It encourages alterations to deck building, and has a high pay off with a middling floor. (And comical low roll potential) without necessarily hamstringing your deck if the stars don’t align for you. I also feel it came at a very opportune time as people catch meta-fatigue waiting for the expansion. His release was a very good idea.

2. Salamander – The card looks hilarious. Beefy provisions on one amphibious boi. Sally the Salamandra Salamander is probably not going to be good. Probably. Unless? No… perhaps? 

I just really want to see it work. I want to poison the world, BJ. I want to poison you all.

1. Erland of Larvik – Such a fascinating card! With, wait for it, flexibility. I love the potential synergies, I love the versatility. I love the potential for red coin abuse (unless I’m on blue coin in which case please nerf). I feel like NR has gotten some pretty spicy cards, or at least very interesting ones so far and I truly cannot wait to try them.

End of Year Interview 2020 Bomblin: ‘I will out-meme misterhabbla one day’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Welcome Bomblin, the self proclaimed Meme Ambassador of Gwent. In my eyes at least for Homecoming, regarding beta I would say Repelmer was the Meme Ambassador of Gwent. Nonetheless, I hope someday CDPR will make it official for you. But that’s something for the future. Lets speak about the past year. How would you reflect on it?

Bomblin: The year was… weird. Its like a 1-year pause for your life. Obviously, as for everyone, it was tough with a lot of stress, inconveniences, and unknowns. But at the same time, In February I came back to streaming, I joined the amazing gang of bandits and fell in love with Gwent again. I wish I had more time to connect with everyone and create more projects but I am also grateful for finding a new family in the Gwent community. It helps me stay sane in this unusual time.

BJ: I would say it depends on where you are at life if its a 1-year pause or not. For me personally, lots of things happened. But we are here to talk about you. And this year you joined Team Bandit Gang as a streamer & Youtuber for Gwent and also helped out with collecting data for the Pro Team. How have you enjoyed the team so far?

B: The team is absolutely amazing! At first, I was stressed. It was something new and it was the next big step in my hobby. But I love it! Team Bandit Gang is a group of passionate friends. It is not only Gwent, it’s something more. I just wish I could do more for the team!

BJ: If you had more time, what would you like to do for the team?

B: I would like to do what I started when I first made content for Gwent: write guides and articles for new players. There are still a lot of topics that can be described like reward book, glossary, resource gain etc. Also, it needs constant updates. Another thing would be coop on streams and outside for podcasts and videos. Its just to hard for me to schedule anything now.

BJ: I am hoping for you to have more time in 2021 in that case 😉 But back to your streaming. What was your funniest moment on stream this year?

B: The funniest, the coolest, and my signature moment of streaming was a long slav stream. It is still incredible how many people wanted to see and joined the stream where I squatted and listened to Russian techno, wearing a blue tracksuit and fast glasses. I definitely have to do it again.

BJ: I witnessed it and it was absolutely great and I hope you will do it again in 2021. And as we mentioned before, you are the Meme Ambassador of Gwent. So, what was your favorite meme deck this year? And will you continue to meme in 2021?

B: There are too many to even make a list. But my favorite was probably Dragon’s dream Skellige with Dagur or movement Regis ST. And I will never stop to MEME. I will out-meme misterhabbla one day. I WILL!

BJ: I am all up for that to happen. Is there anything that you would like to do next year? This can be regarding streaming or something else.

B: My dream is to make some sort of podcast. I will definitely try to do it next year. Just please Mr. Job, stop being annoying. I need more free time!

BJ: What would the podcast be about?

B: I want to have a podcast that touch different topics every day. I would love to talk more about movies, games, memes and even politics. I just really enjoy sitting in front of mic and just talk! However, maybe I should focus on one thing first…

BJ: Sounds interesting and if you ever need a guest you know you can always count on me. Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

B: To be honest, I am not a big fan of making new year’s resolutions because most of the time I tend to ignore them after two weeks. But If I made one, It would be to stream regularly and go back to the gym!

BJ: Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

B: Have fun guys! Do not follow boring meta. Make something unique. Try something new. Risk a little. Enjoy the time. Stay healthy. Don’t be toxic. Support each other. All of those apply both, for Gwent and Real life. And I hope 2021 will be better than 2020. For all of us!

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*Bomblin's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*After finding out Bomblin’s number one card of 2020 he has left us wondering if he is trolling us or if he simply has a strange taste in women… no further questions have been asked afterwards.

10. Regis
 – Yes, this card is from 2020. Please CDPR, remove the initiative from Regis. Please. Please. Please.

9. Ctrl c + ctrl v 7 provision cards from the master mirror expansion – Yes, I complain that the design is kind of boring but I really like the flexibility of those cards.

8. All Way of the Witchers cards – They are coming in 2020 and I am just excited to play something new!

7. Ciri Nova – I like deck building restrictions cards.

6. Dimeritium Bomb – Because BJ, list of 10 cards from this year is too hard to make haha!

5. Amphibious Assault – Not only it is a great card, I really love the art. And I don’t even know why.

4. Master Mirror – It’s a meme enabler and I do think, we will see him one day in a competitive deck.

3. Alzur – One card that created more fun in Gwent than the last 3 patches. Also, made me excited for new expansion!

2. Leaders rework – Yes, its not a card but the impact of a change was huge and something that I am looking for in Gwent. Yes, they were not perfectly balanced but they offer something new between expansions.

1.

End of Year Interview 2020 Jhugs: ‘It’s a bad time to have a child so I’m scared but at the same time so excited’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: The one and only teammate that shares the same beautiful name with me. Thanks for joining me Joshua. Some teammates already reflected the year 2020 before you, but how would you reflect on the year 2020?

Jhugs: 2020 has been both the worst and best year of my life. The year started off normally until around late February/early March when COVID really hit hard in the US. I was forced to change my whole lifestyle and began working from home while limiting my time going outside. As a result, I picked up a new hobby which became streaming. I tried streaming a couple years ago and it was so hard for me that I gave up, but while being on lockdown at home I had so much time to myself that I had no excuses. Through streaming I found Gwent and absolutely fell in love with the game and community. Soon after, I found out I was going to be a father. It’s a bad time to have a child so I’m scared but at the same time so excited. COVID is still very much present in the world, but I have video games and my daughter to look forward to and keep me going.

BJ: It has been interesting to undertake new things to fill your spare time with because of COVID. And streaming is definitely a good way to fill your time with. You actually joined Team Bandit Gang as a streamer for Gwent while doing Youtube on the side, but recently switched from Content Team to the Academy Team. Could you elaborate your decision to be more competitive?

J: When I first started playing Gwent I was hooked on the game. I have played over 700 hours within the span of 6 months which is something I have never done with ANY video game. It took me only about 2 months to hit pro rank, so I thought I could make content around helping others climb to pro rank. While I still have the passion to create content, I think I have an even greater passion to compete in tournaments. After my performance in the Duel of Dogs tournament this solidified my decision to be more competitive.

BJ: I am looking forward to see you compete in season 3 of Gwent in that case. And what moment would you say that you are the most proud of this year?

J: My most proud moment this year is playing against Pawloex in day 2 of the DoD tourney. I went 4-2 overall and tied with Pawloex for 16th place – the last spot for the DoD main stage. Although he did beat me 2-1 in the tiebreaker I was so happy that I even made it that far. He’s an amazing player, so props him to him on that win.

BJ: Aside of all the Gwenting I know that you like to watch anime. Is there any particular anime that you have enjoyed watching this year?

J: My 2 favorite anime of the year are Rent-A-Girlfriend and Jujutsu Kaisen. Rent-A-GF is a rom com style anime that I ended up enjoying way more than I thought I would have while Jujutsu Kaisen is just a solid shonen with great music and animation.

BJ: And how about next year. Is there anything that you would like to do next year?

J: For next year regarding Gwent, I’d like to make the top 500 of pro ladder and compete in even more tournaments hopefully coming away with a win for BG. Outside of Gwent, I’d like to get back in shape since I haven’t been to the gym due to the pandemic.

BJ: Sounds good to me! Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

J: My new year’s resolution for 2021 is to be a great father.

BJ: That’s definitely something we all wish you to be. Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

J: Bandit Gang is the best Gwent team.

BJ: I have no doubts about that 😉

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Jhugs's Top 10 Cards of 2020

10. Duen Canell Guardian – Underrated card that if goes unanswered can generate a lot of points.

9. Coup De Grace – I just really like calling it “cut the grass”.

8. Redanian Archer – Deadly card that works very well with mobilization decks.

7. Oneiromancy – Auto include in all non-devotion decks.

6. Auberon – I think he has some of the best card art and I like the wild hunt synergies.

5. Imperial Manticore – Some people don’t respect the manticore and it gets a ton of points.

4. Cerys An Craite – Huge tempo play in Ursine Ritual warrior decks #SayNoToLippy.

3. Blueboy Lugos – I don’t know why but I just really like this card.

2. Jacques – With a small buff he went from one of the worst evolving cards to one of the best.

1. Squirrel – “Just one badass squirrel. Nothing less, nothing more.”

End of Year Interview 2020 Weevil89: ‘My insecurities often cause me to withdraw or isolate myself from others, but being a part of this team has really helped me to overcome that’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Grab a hot chocolate and sit down with me my friend. But you are more than a friend of course, you are also the first member of Team Bandit Gang. And how would the first member of Team Bandit Gang reflect on the year 2020?

Weevil: 2020 has been an interesting and difficult year for me. Of course, Covid-19 was not something I expected. I started working from home in March of this year, and I have gotten used to it, but it still feels strange sometimes. Other than that, I have come out of my shell a lot more and (ironically) connected with more people and forged some interesting relationships. For this, I am very grateful. As for Gwent, it has felt like quite a slow year, but the game is still thoroughly enjoyable and I absolutely love the community that we have built around it. Bring on 2021.

BJ: I am also excited for 2021 and the possibilities of what it can offer. And you joined Team Bandit Gang as a streamer for Gwent at the beginning of the year, but also started proofreading and editing articles for our article writers later on. How have you enjoyed it so far?

W: I really love being part of this team. I have gotten to know everyone a lot over the past year, and I always try to help out whenever I can. My insecurities often cause me to withdraw or isolate myself from others, but being a part of this team has really helped me to overcome that. I think that as long as we are creative, we will never be short of something to talk about in articles or videos, and I am happy to contribute to their success through editing and proofreading.

BJ: I am truly happy that being on the team has helped you in that capacity. And we all know you are one of the OG streamers when it comes to streaming Gwent on Twitch. Would you say this year was any different from last year?

W: I don’t think it’s any surprise that we have seen more people streaming the game this year. More people forced indoors, BG growing a lot, lots of collaborative events and tournaments. Two expansions felt a bit less exciting at times, so there were definitely periods when the game stagnated a bit. The community is what keeps it going, and that has remained as strong as previous years.

BJ: I know you have been reading a new book recently. Could you tell me more about that?

W: Yes, I’m currently reading a book about Attachment Theory. I’m a nerdy Gwent streamer who is 31 and trying to find his life partner. And if I can’t meet as many people at the moment, I’ll do research instead. Very interesting book, talks about the three styles in great detail – secure, anxious and avoidant. If you are someone who has wondered why relationships are also so dramatic for you, this will answer all of your questions.

BJ: I might have to grab a copy for myself, I always try to educate myself more. And aside of reading the book next year. Is there anything else that you would like to do? This can be regarding streaming or something else.

W: Next year, my goal is to improve myself, whether that be through more frequent socialising, exercise, Gwent, or the streaming that goes with it. I’ll be playing the Witcher 3 a lot, as well!

BJ: I thought I would never see you play The Witcher 3, but I would love to stop by when you do so. Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

W: If I had to pick something, it would be to be more positive. Meet more people. Say yes to more things. Take opportunities as they present themselves.

BJ: I would recommend watching the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey & Zooey Deschanel, perhaps it could be motivating for you to say more often yes. And is there anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

W: 2020 has been a crazy year, but I hope that you have learned something about yourself amid the isolation. I have grown a lot in the past year, and I encourage you all to take the experiences you’ve had in 2020 and use them to better yourself in 2021.

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*Weevil89's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*When looking carefully at Weevil89’s top 10 of 2020, you get the feeling that he is still with his mind in Christmas times of 2019. That time when Christmas was celebrated with family, together, in one room and not through a computer screen.

10. Winter Queen – A personal favorite of mine. Gives tempo to frost in a very elegant way. 

9. Harald an Craite – I tried to avoid SK, but Harald is just too good. Even now, after some nerfs, he still leads the best bronze core in the game.

8. Ethereal – His reign is over, but yeah he needs a mention. Thanks for the memories.

7. Amphibious Assault – best Echo. Gives you so much choice for 9p cards, while also protecting 4p engines by boosting them. Perfectly designed for NR.

6. Oneiromancy – This card, along with the Echo mechanic in general, have made so many inconsistent decks possible to play.

5. Vincent van Moorlehem – This card’s existence has been so impactful. Handles so many things. If it has no target, however, it’s rubbish. 

4. The Beast – Most consistent Monsters engine, difficult to stop unless you have 6 point removal (which not every faction does).

3. Masquerade Ball – aka the only thing keeping NG alive as a faction. But yeah, card is bonkers. Punishes tall, spreads its points around with Thirsty Dames.

2. Mattajosus – Card was bonkers this time last year, and it remained popular for a long time. Aaaand it will be popular again very soon with Adrenaline.

1. Siege – because Triple Siege, nuff said. Also RIP Triple Siege.

End of Year Interview 2020 Mercernn: ‘2020 became one of the most impactful years in my life’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Hey Mercernn, thank you for taking your time to sit down with me near the fireplace. Its warmer here than in the office. Especially when you are shirtless. Anyways, it has been an exciting year for you hasn’t it? How would you reflect on the year 2020 yourself?

Mercernn: Well, 2020 became one of the most impactful years in my life, I’d say, if I exclude things that have affected all of us, such as the pandemic or Gwent-related stuff. I have managed to partly overcome health issues that caused me to change schools in the last year of my bachelor’s degree which I have seen as a huge setback and a personal failure, but ultimately, I am happy as things are progressing steadily towards a more stable future. I have also met more friends this year than ever before, I could see myself affecting lives of others, helping them with finding out who they are and what they want to do, what their talents are. I’m glad that I decided to start streaming, it was probably the best decision of my life.

BJ: That’s really nice to hear, and in this same impactful year you joined us. While you originally joined Team Bandit Gang as a Youtuber for Gwent, you are now fully focused on streaming on Twitch. What made you decide to change platforms?

M: There are multiple reasons. though, I think that the most important one was that I stopped enjoying Gwent as much and for as long as you want to upload on Youtube every other day (I used to upload circa 3-4 times a week) you need to edit and play all the time. Taking that into account, you find yourself just grinding the Youtube algorithm, staring at the game you hate all alone and forcing yourself to enjoy it, there is no added value, just the game in it’s purest form with it’s most glaring issues. On Twitch there is less work, more fun and even if you don’t like the game as much, you can listen to music, chat with people, or just start another game, something that was practically impossible on my Youtube channel, or there was a price for it that I didn’t want to pay. Youtube is an anonymous mass medium, I knew a few people from the chat, but just barely and we always talked exclusively about Gwent. On the other hand, on Twitch I can communicate with both my viewers and fellow creators about both the game and their personal lives in a more pleasant and a more efficient form. Streaming on Twitch is like going to a pub with a group of friends, uploading videos on Youtube is like doing homework.

BJ: Aside of that of you do a lot more than streaming on Twitch, and seem to be talented in writing and graphic design as well. Would you call yourself a man with many talents?

M: I enjoy being creative and helping people, but I probably wouldn’t call myself a man of many talents as even these two are limping a bit, haha. I used to write a lot back in high school, but I’m too self-critical or perfectionist even, so I would usually just scrap anything that got beyond page one, the only exception being haiku and works that had to be done for some purpose as I had an additional level of motivation for those. Writing for BG for instance was quite helpful in that regard as our articles are of a rather sparse quantity and I felt the higher purpose in just me putting words on paper, that was helping with getting traction for the website. Graphic design, if you even wanna call it like that in my case, was something that I’ve learned all by myself as I was in a need of Youtube thumbnails when I started uploading there. It is a relaxing activity for me nowadays as I have always enjoyed doodling, so I love playing with my imagination in Gimp or even MS Paint as well. I’ve done quite a lot of stuff for BG, most of it was rather rushed or imperfect to be honest though. I’m not a professional graphic magician, but I still did my best. To close this then, I’m not sure if I could call myself a man of many talents, but I dare to dub myself a man of many interests that is willing to take many opportunities to explore said interests!

BJ: There were times that you dedicated your streams to listen to Nickelback. How much time have you dedicated to listening to Nickelback this year? And do you think you can listen even more to Nickelback next year?

M: Haha, no Idea! Nickelback used to play a huge role on my channel as a sort of joke reward, but ultimately I decided to ice Chad Kroeger and the rest of the boys as it got a bit annoying. Not really the music itself, but just sorting everything out in Spotify whenever someone requested a song. Honestly though, Nickelback isn’t as bad. I used to think they are terrible, but the longer you listen to them, the more you find out that while you wouldn’t listen to them on your own, you don’t really mind them being a background noise. Most of their songs are ok for what they are, but God on Earth, never and by that mean never ever play their cover of Devil went down to Georgia!

BJ: Haha, all good. Is there anything that you would like to do next year? This can be regarding streaming or anything else.

M: I’d like to explore new games on stream to diversify the content, apart from that I’m not having any huge plans or such, I have a lot of wishes and expectations, but I wouldn’t add those to the “plans” category.

BJ: Do you have any new year’s resolutions aside of your wishes and expectations?

M: Not really, I’ve had some before, but my sinful mind has decided to reevaluate them.

BJ: Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

M: Play with your own cards, both in Gwent and life, because while most often it won’t be the easiest path to success, the satisfaction of doing something your way is worth it.

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*Mercernn's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*It seems that Mercernn is trying to send a message to the reader with his top 10.

10. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

9. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

8. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

7. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

6. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

5. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

4. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

3. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

2. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

1. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

End of Year Interview 2020 Sawyer1888: ‘Probably my latest article about Pro Player Mentality was the hardest one, but also the one I’m the proudest of’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Hey Sawyer, thanks for joining me. You are not only the second person I am interviewing for the End of Year interviews but also the second German. Coincidence? I think not! I would say this year has been truly something else. How would you reflect on the year 2020?

Sawyer: Hey BJ, thanks for involving me into your series, appreciate it! So…I think personally this year was one of the worst years I’ve ever had, not only cause of corona but also because of my private issues and obstacles I had and still have to overcome.  But it was also the year I got introduced into the Twitch and Gwent Community, while joining Team Bandit Gang as a writer. I had positive moments, chats and a lot of fun in this community and with my new team, while on the other side personal life still seems to take a lot of recovering in the upcoming year. Nevertheless, I hope to take the whole experience of this year as a lesson, make use of it and only think back of what it was worth in the end.

BJ: You joined us during corona as an article writer for Gwent, how have you enjoyed it so far?

S: It was a pretty cool and unique experience for me. I was involved in Esport Teams in the past, but most of them were Germans only. It really helped my English skills in some ways, I hope, and I also made a lot of new friends. Having a small space in life where you can be creative while also getting positive feedback for it felt pretty good, especially in tough times like right now. Who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll write articles in my job or even a book and I might say “This is where it all started”.

BJ: Yeah, I remember you telling me about your esports experience in the past. Which article would  you say that you are the proudest of? And which of them was the toughest for you to write?

S: Probably my latest Article about Pro Player Mentality was the hardest one, but also the one I’m the proudest of. It took a lot of work to contact all these players, while I also felt a bit unsecure on how they’ll all react. Not everyone knows who I am and I have a lot of respect for the “Champions” of our Gwent scene. So now getting in touch with so many of them, while also being able to create something I really think was worth creating and working on, feels amazing and really satisfying in the end. I hope that people enjoy it while reading as much as I did while working on it.

BJ: I read it and as you know you have gotten my seal of approval for it. While reading it I imagined you as a guru of the competitive scene. Sharing the knowledge that you gained over the last days with a warm voice which gave me comfort. But, you are not only a guru when it comes to that. You also are a darts guru from my perspective. I know you like to watch it a lot. Was there any particular match that happened this year that will forever stay with you?

S: I love Darts, that’s right. I love the simple aspect of being responsible for how far you can get and without any chance of blaming something else than your throw. If you win, it’s yours to take and if you lose, it’s yours to reflect on. Corona hit darts hard as any other sport this year, so I really appreciate the PDC (Professional Darts Cooperation) to handle things so well and make tournaments and all that possible. As a huge Gerwyn Price fan I probably would say that the World Grand Prix semi-final against Dave “Chizzy” Chisnall was probably one of the most intense matches for me to watch this year. He had to dig really deep, defended his throw, lead by a few Sets and had to survive 3 match darts in the end. After that he even managed to win the whole thing against Dirk van Duijvenbode, an aubergine farmer. Imagine, an ex-rugby player vs. an aubergine farmer in the World Grand Prix of Darts, life tells the most interesting stories.

BJ: Yeah, I was hoping the aubergine farmer would win because of his Dutch nationality 😉 And is there anything that you would like to do next year? This can be regarding article writing or something else.

S: To finish my master thesis and finally move out of my students apartment and hopefully out of my students life. It’s time for a change and I want to take the next step.

BJ: That’s a good plan and I hope you will be able to do it. Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

S: Hell no, after the last year I understood what Chris Cornell said, that to be yourself, is all that you can do.

BJ: Fair enough. Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

S: Well, without sounding to cheesy, but I really hope that everyone always finds a way to keep in touch with the little things in life. This year was tough for all of us and I think that the Twitch and Gwent community in general did a massive job to remind us, how important a bit of daily joy can be. So, I guess I just want to thank all the streamers and users in chat for making my day during this quarantine, I hope I gave something back as well.

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*Sawyer's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*Sawyer’s top 10 doesn’t contain any kind of bias for NG and SK at all.

10. Arnaghad aka that guy I don’t know how to spell – He looks like a real promising cheese card for SK…but also to be a good use for my favorite faction NG with Imposter.

9. An Craite Raiders – One of my favorite Bronzes this year. Love the set up value together with Harald.

8. Gerd – Hopefully will support my greedy and control heavy Skellige playstyle.

7. Idr and Koshchey – For me this bug duo just looks super scary, in terms of art work and card value.

6. Herkja – Love the horn sound. I often play with cards like Madman Lugos, Donar and other Bloodlust stuff, so if not answered, this card really sets it up well.

5. Braathens – Love create stuff, while it also is so flexible and has a great art work.

4. Skjordal – Pure damage while also playing for points. Rip NR engines.

3. Fergus – Enforcers go Brrrt. And it’s also the Card that won me the Bandit Champion Title as my last play (Roderick into Fergus for double trigger Scenario, while an Enforcer on board).

2. Harald – Harald is cheat, simple. If not answered it can be devastating in a Bloodthirst deck.

1. Usurper – I love the sound and animation, it feels powerful to grab something from your opponent, while triggering Ball and also gaining Enforcer Charges.

End of Year Interview 2020 Escanbryt: ‘What’s tough to write are seasonal articles where I don’t like the rules of the month’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Hey Escan, thanks for joining me. You are the very first person I am interviewing for the End of Year interviews. I would say it has been an interesting year. How would you reflect on the year 2020?

Escanbryt: I guess I’ve been better off than many other people. I’ve got a safe job, none of my loved ones have suffered serious health issues and I even managed to make progress in my career. However, it’s been a very lonely year as so many events and opportunities to socialize were cancelled. Some major celebrations that were planned got postponed as well. But while this all sucks a lot, I’m still grateful that it’s only these things that drag me down in this pandemic. Really want this to be over soon though!

BJ: During the pandemic you have joined Team Bandit Gang as an article writer for Gwent, how have you enjoyed it so far?

E: I love to see that my articles are being appreciated. It’s also a nice pastime activity to return to writing after a few years and being more active in the Gwent community. And our members are high quality people. At least most of them. 😉

BJ: Yeah, I remember you telling me about writing reviews for music albums and live reports on festivals before you joined us. I know you like to listen to music and go to concerts in your spare time too. Is there any particular song that you have enjoyed listening to this year?

E: Man, I miss the concerts probably more than anything else. To compensate for that I probably bought more music than the years before and there have been great releases this year. Orbit Culture, Igorrr, Gaerea, Dark Tranquillity, Caligula’s Horse, just to name a few. Along the new release of Caligula’s Horse, I also bought some of their older records and really fell in love with their song “Graves” from the album “In Contact”. Absolutely terrific!

BJ: I will make sure to check those out. What article would you say that you are the proudest of writing this year? And what article was the toughest to write?

E: It’s cool to see that the pirate deck I recently created got some resonance. It’s just lovely to finish the deckbuilding process successfully and then even finding approval by other people. What’s tough to write are seasonal articles where I don’t like the rules of the month. There are some seasons where one deck just outruns all the others by a big margin. This puts me in a position where the good deck is already well known and other decks you want to come up with just can’t compete. The best seasons are those where many things work.

BJ: And is there anything that you would like to do next year? This can be regarding article writing or something else.

E: Article writing is nice, but it’s not one of the things that I’m starved of right now. I will really enjoy doing all the things that weren’t possible this year again. And it would be cool to get into a relationship again. Let’s see.

BJ: That’s understandable. Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

E: I’ve never been a big friend of new year’s resolutions. And I think that I’ve got my shit together.

BJ: Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

E: Stay healthy, stay safe, this pandemic won’t last forever.

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*Escan's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*Escan’s top 10 are just ten cards that he liked this year, without any specific order but I put a number in front of it just for the sake it.

10. Tidecloak Hideaway – A card that has been bad for a long time. It surprised me how much tempo it brings to the table in a dedicated pirate deck.

9. Tyrggvi Tuirseach – Not necessarily strong, but I really like Rupture as a status. Hope to see more of this in the future.

8. Blue Stripes Commando – Playing triple commandos made me go climbing to pro again. Was really fun to play when it emerged.

7. Amphibious Assault – This card is just so great. A powerful echo card that pushes cheap bronze cards to power levels of gold cards.

6. Viraxas – My favorite of the evolving cards. The versatility in a deck with a lot of greedy order cards is just nice.

5. Ciri: Nova – Has been a bad card for a long time, now enables a new deckbuilding approach. Few of these nova decks are good, but some of them can be pretty surprising if played correctly.

4. Sir Skewertooth – Loved to play this card in the seasonal mode of the season of magic. I have no clue why syndicate wasn’t more popular in that month.

3. The Beast – Another seasonal mode, but this one carried a really cool deck in the season of love. playing tall when everyone aims at midrange.

2. Vanhemar – Iconic inclusion in any imposter deck, which is my favorite among the new leader abilities we got this year.

1. Caesar Bilzen – Dunno why, but I find this guy adorable. Currently picked as my favorite premium card in the profile screen.