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.
Weevil89: Well BJ, it certainly has been an interesting year, with an equally interesting set of interviews. I’m happy I was chosen to do yours. First, how would you reflect on the year 2020?
Babyjosus: Where do I start? Well, I suppose I could start with the trip to Warsaw not getting through because the whole situation surrounding the virus changed very quickly all of a sudden with borders closing. Which, first of all, meant that I didn’t see someone that I was looking forward to seeing again, but also that Gwent Masters 1 didn’t go through. And the other thing that was unfortunate was the money loss because I didn’t get a refund from the hotel. So fuck them to be honest, they lack compassion. The Moxy hotel better not be fully booked next time. And that’s where everything happens too. By not being there you miss out.
So yeah, that was that. Two months later I graduated from my bachelor studies which was 1 year later than originally planned. That was mostly my own doing and I can’t believe I actually managed to pull it off. Let’s say that my bachelor thesis didn’t go as smoothly and that I didn’t get the reward for being the best student. But hey, I did graduate in the end and I am just delighted I am done with all that for now. And that I was able to piss off my mentor. The idea of doing a masters has come to my mind at some point, but I don’t need it for the job that I am doing now anyway. And I don’t have the drive right now to go back to school either. Maybe in 5 years or something.
Which leads up to the other thing that I wanted to talk about and that is that I have been very fortunate with being able to keep my job during these special circumstances of today’s world. Although there was 3 months of unemployment in between. At least I have the certainty now that in 2021 I will have a job so I can pay for my dream apartment. Which is something that I’m working on right now. I finally moved out and took the next step into my life by living on my own. In my opinion, this will do a lot of good for me and will definitely work in my favor. For example, inviting that girl over to my place so I could give her a crash course for Gwent 😉
All in all it has been a good year for me because of my accomplishments, but I would love if the coronavirus fucks off the world in 2021.
W: You have really stepped things up this year in Team Bandit Gang, taking on a lot more responsibility. How have you been enjoying that?
BJ: It’s been a great ride to be honest. I joined the team after leaving Team Rankstar. Team Rankstar was sadly falling apart and because of that I simply wanted a new experience. In contrast, Bandit Gang was a small group of people that I was friends with, so joining them made a lot of sense to me. Other than that its exciting to be a member of a new team because you are building something from scratch and then see where it will all go to.
Of course, when you are on a team and you get more responsibility, you start to get in the middle of politics, which means you get to see the whole picture of stuff that is happening behind the scenes. And that can be frustrating sometimes. Especially when certain things are out of your control. Like team pouching. But I would say it has all been an interesting learning experience.
W: Let’s talk about what has changed in the team. Members have come and gone, but I think we have grown so much this year as a team and, in a way, as a family. What are your thoughts on this?
BJ: You know, even with the politics happening and having to deal with that, the team itself has been fantastic because we have had some amazing collaborations on Twitch, YouTube and article writing on our site. Nobody can take that from us. Especially when you consider that it has only been the first year of Bandit Gang.
And I can say that when it comes to content creation, Bandit Gang is the team to look at. The most established teams in the Gwent community might have the biggest streamers, but they lack the creative minds to come up with the ideas that we get. I mean, we even outplayed CDPR by writing an article about the Faction Ambassadors and properly introducing them because CDPR didn’t.
So yeah, we should be damned proud of ourselves, even if we don’t always get the recognition for it. And like you said, members have come and gone. Some left due to personal reasons, some left because they didn’t enjoy the game as much as before anymore and some left to join a more established Gwent team. But you know, someday they will tell their grandchildren that they were a part of Bandit Gang. Because we are going places.
Therefore I want to thank all the current members, but also former members like BanditP1g, Driftbling, VilleKS, SemperEU, DrDenuz, TweedleDumdee & JAExs . They have all contributed in 2020 to the team in their own way.
W: I notice you always have Spotify on when you’re going about your day. Is there any artist that particularly inspires you while you work?
BJ: Not necessarily any artist, while working I like to use Spotify to get to find out about new music. Every week you have a new playlist that has been specially made for you. But if I don’t use it for that I would say that techno does the job. Especially when you need to write reports. If you want to call someone, I wouldn’t say it’s convenient.
W: What hobbies/ activities, if any, have you picked up for the first time during 2020? How have you been passing the time?
BJ: Article writing has become a new activity for me. Early this year, I published my first article about the Gwent Partner Program. I enjoyed doing it so it has become more of a hobby throughout the year. I like to write about certain subjects. Like that one time when I was writing an article about tilt with Mercernn.
So yeah, writing for Bandit Gang, managing the website and doing admin related tasks for the team has helped me a lot with passing the time. There were also periods of time when I streamed, but I have stepped away from that because it’s not easy to combine it with the things that I already do for Bandit Gang and my full time job. It’s all very exhausting so I’d rather watch a movie or TV show in the evenings nowadays. Other than that I have recently been playing Cyberpunk 2077 and I am planning to play more of that so that will help me with passing the time in 2021 as well haha.
W: What TV show hooked you the most in 2020? Or even a film?
BJ: Poah, too many to name really. But recently I have been hooked on Better Call Saul, Ozark & Manhunt: Umabomber. And before that The Queen’s Gambit. I totally binged watched those. Regarding film I would say that this year I have fallen in love with Xavier Dolan’s movies. That guy is so talented. When he was 20 years old he debuted his first movie ‘I Killed My Mother’ already. This one I haven’t watched yet because I can’t find a place to rent it in my country, but I have almost watched all his movies. To be fair there are only 8 movies he directed since he is only 31 years old. But I would definitely recommend watching his repertoire if you are a sucker for drama!
W: Do you have any aspirations or goals for 2021? Or any New Year’s resolutions.
BJ: I would like to start painting again and pick up my music. Music usually comes and goes, but it has been ages since I made some paintings. So I would like to explore that more. Especially different techniques.
Other than that it would be nice to develop myself in getting better at cooking. Not only do I need to cook for myself now, but it’s also a nice skill for when you have someone visiting. Regarding New Year’s resolutions, I wouldn’t say that I need them 😉
W: What do you think of the state of Gwent this year, including the most recent expansion. Have CDPR done well?
BJ: Hmm, the state of Gwent has been on and off to be honest. At times it’s a lot of fun to play and then you have these months when it’s just stale meta. I usually take a break from Gwent when that is the case. And in my opinion it’s because they have released less expansions than before. Now I would say that the most recent expansion offers a lot of unique and interesting cards. But then I start to wonder again how long it will last. Overall I would say that CDPR has done alright, but I expect a lot more from them in 2021.
W: I have to ask: do you have a shirt that you really love, or one that is comfortably lovely? If so, what is that shirt?
BJ: My favorite shirt is bordeaux red and my guess is that it’s made of silk. It just feels really nice when you touch it. I usually combine it with my dark grey pants made of cloth. Some black boots and voila – I am ready to go. To me clothing has become an important part of me. One day I decided that the expiration date of my clothing has been expired, and I wanted to buy clothes that I would say describe me. Because I like to dress to impress. Plus clothing can make you feel more confident. If I wear my shirt with the Gwent logo I would feel less confident than if I wear a shirt that I really love. And if you have your own style, girls will dig that.
W: If I were to buy a shirt that would meet the BJ standard, what would you recommend?
BJ: I especially love my shirts that I buy from the brand OLYMP. They have all kinds of shirts, but I am loving the ones with a pattern and/or are colorful that make sure you stand out.
W: Thanks for the answers and see you at the end of next year!
BJ: Anytime. Let’s see what 2021 has to offer!
*Babyjosus's Top 10 Cards of 2020
*Babyjosus’s honorable mentions are Amphibious Assault, Pavetta & Iorveth’s Gambit.
10. Shupe – I had my best competitive season with Jackpot Shupe (previously known as Gudrun Shupe). I put the deck together on stream and started rolling with it. This got me to almost 2550 mmr. Something that I had never reached before. The key was that Shupe could charm the opponents Bincy after having banished The Flying Redanian with Northern Wind. This would make the match against the meta version a lot better for me. Once I reached this high mmr, people started to even netdeck me. That was an amazing feeling.
9. Bincy – My little girl Bincy. Definitely a card that I have enjoyed playing throughout the year. Its such greedy card, but if you can put a defender next to it, it pops off.
8. Oneiromency – I love myself some tutors and with this card I can tutor two cards to my liking in one game. Except if those Squirrels happen to eat it for their meal. Definitely an auto include for me.
7. Lippy – Many people won’t like me for including Lippy, but the design of this card is just spectacular. Early homecoming it was the Silver Witchers that you would tutor again from the deck. Nowadays it has a lot better tempo with Cerys and Shieldmaidens.
6. Coën – The only WOFW card in my top 10 because the card works so well in my triple commando deck. It gets me a lot of value.
5. Blue Stripes Commando/ Blue Stripes Scout – These two cards will have to share the 5th spot to be honest. Making copies of the commando’s with the scouts is so satisfying. And then after you use Pavetta to put them all back in the deck and play them out from Roche: Merciless is a wet dream for every girl.
4. Siege – This was the best scenario to play three times in a game. Triple siege even hit the Reddit threads and that is something I am fond of.
3. Caretaker – Because of him, we could play scenario’s twice. And if you Renew him you could play the scenario three times. This reminds me of the good old days when I streamed together with Driftbling and fooled around by trying to play a scenario every round since they were so strong that time there was absolutely no reason not to.
2. Renew – As previously mentioned, this was a key card for the triple scenario shenanigans. With the nerfs and reworks that is not possible anymore. But I still like to rock this card in my triple commando deck by using it on Pavetta.
1. Matta Hu’uri – Matta Hu’uri is my favorite card from Gwent so far. Not only because of the ability, but I am also 100% sure she is based on Mata Hari who is a dutch exotic dancer that was born in my hometown Leeuwarden.