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: Sup Driftbling, nice to have you sit with me next to the campfire for the End of Year Interviews. Its been a while since you left the team, what have you been up to lately?
Driftbling: Hey BJ, first off happy holidays! Lately for TA I was part of the team that helped prep Kole for masters. It was obviously heartbreaking for Kole to come so close to winning it all but he did an amazing job to get that far (and congrats to Paja!). I’ve really loved getting to know the TA people. I could start listing them all but TDLR; the team is fantastic both in terms of talent and personality. For big projects, I’ve also got a few irons in the fire that it’s maybe a bit early to talk about, however what I can talk about is SALAMANDU.
BJ: That video, that’s some cult stuff right there. But yeah, you joined Team Bandit Gang early 2020 and you have really left your mark by starting the Pro Team and Coaching Program, but also the #SayNoToBribery video and Weird Lines series were your projects. How does it feel to have been a part of BG?
DB: It was really hard to leave being honest. It’s a great group of people, and while I have loved being a part of TA, BG is something I am proud to say I was a big part of. From the kinda fun silly little team we were when I joined to the team I left was a great (and quick!) journey. I still get a warm feeling whenever I go to lurk in a BG stream and see the “new” BG logo. The Pro Team, Academy, Coaching and Youtube are all things I can look at and be delighted to see are still going strong. I think maybe my favorite things to look back on (which might surprise some people) are the “is it a problem” Youtube videos, as I remember sending Bandit Pig the audio and the next day he was there with these hilarious video edits he’d done so quickly. As the team grew IIAP went further and further down the priorities list and so there were a few that never came out, but the ones that did are still great in my opinion and they remind me of the early BG days when we were all just pissing about as a few friends really. Also it’s still #SayNoToBribery and even more importantly #SayNoToBriberyPlayer (love him really).
BJ: While you put your heart in BG for a very long time, you decided to follow Ville’s path and join Team Aretuza in the end. Do you still keep an eye out on Bandit Gang?
DB: Absolutely! The great thing is that the team has moved from strength to strength since I left. Ian is doing a good job as comp manager, recruitment for the academy looks to be going well, the stream team is really strong. It all reassures me that I made the right decision as I think it’s worked out well for all parties. I’m exited to see what you and Denpai have moving forward, as you know I trust both of you to do an amazing job. As you know I still keep in touch with some of the individuals too, BG will always be special to me.
BJ: It has been an amazing year for us so far. And can only look forward when it comes to establishing ourselves. So, lots of stuff happened this year regarding you joining different Gwent teams and working on projects. But, how would you reflect on the year 2020 in general?
DB: Well…..corona? It’s obviously dominated the world this year and we’ve all had to deal with it. For me it’s meant our family business hasn’t been able to open our Glasgow escape room yet (my sister would kill me if I didn’t plug) and we haven’t been able to peruse other ideas. Personally, I’ve managed to keep busy with BG, then TA, as well as some music production and a bit of streaming. The Gwent community in general is blessed with a lot of really funny, interesting, and intelligent people who I’ve been lucky enough to get to know (both inside and outside of my teams). It’s not been ideal year but I’m glad I do have things to look back on (especially people I have met and grown close to online during that time) that has made it feel like a meaningful, if very weird, year.
BJ: You mentioned music production. I know you are a talented DJ/producer in your spare time, and the BG themesong got a lot of listeners lately. What made you decide to create your own songs and what is it that you like so much about it?
DB: The funny thing about me as a DJ/Producer is that at 13 years old I hated electronic music. “Why do it like this when it could sound way cooler with a guitar and be real music”. Well, the first time I went to a proper party I saw the time and place for electronic music of this type and I was hooked. I also found a few artists like Pendulum and Noisia which brought me over to seeing the potential of the virtually unlimited kinds of sounds you can make with synths. Honestly, while I may never be a global superstar, the best thing about making music is that occasionally I get a message from someone saying one of my songs is one of their favorites or really brightened up a terrible day. It’s humbling to think that stuff I just piss about with for my own fun can resonate with people like that.
BJ: It has been quite a journey for you. Just like your streaming. Where nowadays viewers can witness DriftMum on stream. She has become a big part of your streaming. Is there anything that you would like to do next year with DriftMum?
DB: Well, thanks to the interest of Ferd and IAMFLAGG (as well as others) mum is very keen to do a history stream (she has a PHD in archaeology). I will be running away very fast from this having spent my entire childhood being dragged around small walls. On top of this we’re finishing the Witcher 3, and so I’d like to try to get her back into Gwent! Ultimately though it will be up to her.
BJ: Sounds great. And do you have any new year’s resolutions?
DB: No, I can’t say I’ve ever really seen the value in them. If people are thinking about having one I’d suggest trying this instead.
BJ: Lol, nice one. But yeah, to wrap this interview up. I always ask the following. Is there anything that you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?
DB: Gwent season 3! 😉 Will be fun to see which players come back for season 3, how the meta shapes out etc. In the wider world, the return of normality. Festivals, clubbing, sports and generally being able to be social again. I’m hoping for a roaring 20s of our own to enjoy.
BJ: Thanks for taking your time to revisit us!
Driftbling's Top 10 Cards of 2020
10. Bribery – I will put it last out of spite but really this card not only high rolled me constantly on stream but also gave birth to “Is it a problem – Bribery” and “#SayNoToBribery” both of which were fun BG projects. Also no I didn’t have a sub goal stream where I played as many bribery’s as possible who told you that never happened >:(
9. Hefty Helge – one of Ville’s favorite cards and part of a deck that nearly got him to open. Sadly the old gedy deck let him down in bo5 vs a couple of the LGC boys, but I remember in prep before the tournament Ville was playing poorly and not enjoying the lists he was trying to use. I essentially told him “right f this you’re taking the lists you’re good (i.e. control at that time with wildcard and Helge) at and we’re building around them”. Probably the biggest impact I’ve ever had as comp manager really as he went on to have the best competitive performance of a BG player to date. Can’t wait for it to be bested, though 😉
8. Bomb Heaver – Screaming “catch” became a running joke in the BG pro team so much that I learned how to scream it in stupid voices in various different languages. It got so well known around the Gwent community that I even put the voiceline in as a little easter egg at the end of the song I made for Lionhart (if you use channel points on my channel I make a song for you).
7. Damien De La Teur – Mainly included for his presence in redrame’s hilarious enslave 7 list which he streamed to pro rank.
6. Vivienne Oriole – I was a proud snake oil salesman for this card when it was a very expensive artefact removal. It traded up on artifacts reall hard but at the cost of being a horrible brick in many games. !vivbird “Best card in the game very good trades very well doesn’t brick that’s fake news get it here look it always works 🙂 ” For reference click here.
5. Salamander – SALAAAAAAAAAAAAAMANDUUUUUUUUUR.
4. Siege – I remember a call when babayjosus was telling me about these busted new cards called “scenarios” that had come out. I wasn’t playing Gwent myself at that time but, with the classic beta deckbuilding attitude, asked how hard can we abuse the card. I asked “is it possible to play it in all 3 rounds?”. We created triple siege as well as other triple decks, but siege was the most infamous one. One of my greatest achievements in the community is that we got a Reddit hate thread (even though the deck was very beatable for good players). I did also take a siege list to bully uprising at a community tournament and beat none other than much-better-than-me-TASanttu2x in round 1 which was vindicating to the deckbuild.
3. Dandelion Poet – Just here for Driftmum, in her very first Gwent stream she quickly developed an irrational hatred for the card. It’s still funny to this day, was the start of many a funny Driftmum moment and even got featured in the great dandelion show. For reference click here.
2. Draug – This was very significant both because SemperEU (formerly one of my players on the BG comp team) was a phenomenal Draug player but also because it was the surprise deck that Kole took to masters. We were looking for the right NR deck for our lineup, we floated Draug and Kole had played some Draug on ladder to success. I was there when he was testing vs me and Redrame early on and we started to really love this decks matchups. With a few small tweaks from Kole and Rame the deck ended up being a great performer at masters with a 100% win rate until it was banned in the final. It’s also a great card design and remains one of the most interesting cards in Gwent.
1. Kiki Queen – I miss this deck. I became a disciple when both Ferd and Semper were on the same team (two of the very best kiki players along with infernz). Sadly it’s hard to see it ever reaching those heights again though, but it lead to very interesting gameplay situations vs good opponents as both tried to play round the other. I also have a fun memory of being outplayed really well by an opponent on pro ladder and the end game screen showing me Kolemoen. Definitely the deck of the year for me personally, there will only ever be one true queen.