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.

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