Jhugs

Jhugs’s Last Interview | Goodbye From Bandit Gang | Exclusive

Babyjosus: Last year you became a father and had less time to be active for Bandit Gang. What’s it like to be a father?

Jhugs: Being a father is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. I wouldn’t change any second of it.

BJ: I would like to become a father myself someday. But back to what we are here for. You are leaving Bandit Gang. How did you enjoy your stay in the team?

J: I loved my time with BG. Everyone was respectful, friendly, and always willing to help each other in any way. When the world was amidst a pandemic, BG and Gwent were there to help keep me sane.

BJ: So what was your most memorable moment in BG?

J: My most memorable moment with BG is when I competed in the Duel of Dogs tourney and was able to hang with some of the big names in Gwent. I was really proud of myself and my teammates that day.

BJ: Are there any future plans?

As of now, I’m not sure what the future holds. If I ever get more free time I may return to content creation in some form whether it be YouTube, Twitch, or something else. We’ll just have to wait and see.

BJ: What do you want to say to the fans of BG that have supported you throughout your time here?

J: Keep supporting BG any way you can because these guys are the real deal!

BJ: Thank you for everything and we will miss you!

J: I will miss you guys too…

You can read more about Jhugs on the Honorable Mentions page here.

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 😉

thumb-1920-373302

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.”

KingDenpai Doing The Impossible, Jhugs’s First Tournament, ZigZak Hoping For More Next Time, OneChristo Making Mistakes, Bomblin Sharing His Thoughts

Intro

The swiss of the Gwent Open Partner Tournament #3 is over. And oh boy, what a roller coaster that was. We send five Gwent Partners from the team to participate in the tournament. And thus, I had a little talk with them about the tournament. Note: Most of their lineups didn’t surprise me because at BG we like to create memes. So, you have been warned and shouldn’t be surprised either.

KingDenpai's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/a8017a2947b5d6f65ddc3fecf988b4aa

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/bcce44a0ce08441703a787ad68298cb0

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/ecb72d4681b71d83af4af9ef3dc2d86f

KingDenpai's road to top 8:

”This was my first proper tournament experience – and I have to say first and foremost that I have the upmost respect for people who do this for a living. I really tip my hat off to the pro boys and girls out there grinding day in and out to try and reach top of the ladder. Because doing this swiss, even though it was segmented over the last few days has been one of the most mentally taxing things I’ve ever done in terms of this game. Thinking of doing what I did this week all in one go gives me such a headache…

I play for fun. I don’t play for any reason other than I love memes and surprise factor. I love having weird ass cards and having to make em work. So going into this tourney, I expected to just have a few laughs and dork about a bit. Yet somehow, I’m in the top 8. To describe that feeling… just almost not real.

Day one was an interesting one, because I started with a 0-2 from Doberman. It was a rekt fest – and I thought. “Yeah, this is the reality of the meta I’m facing.” and that was it. Yet – as the days progressed, we started to get progressively more and more hype. 2-0’s a plenty and I started to feel this energy and rush unlike anything I’d had in this game. The pressure was insurmountable, and yeah, I know, it’s a card game yada yada – dude I play Hym for gods sake. I shouldn’t be up here, or so I thought to myself.

My favourite round was my face off against AlanitoBandito with SK vs SK, for sure. Because that was a real meta face down with my memes, no BS. I played an older style of SK that many have forsaken for easy drop and damage nonsense without setup of the current meta. I love self wound to death man, thinking about saving a card like protector for a possible Mork down the line or trying to keep bleed for Hym targets – or even manipulating GS for more points with Hym. It’s SO fun.

One thing that also got to me about this experience was watching everyone unite. Everyone showed a lot of love to all of us, and for the most part we all cheered each other on. It was lovely. I enjoyed watching our BG boys play and seeing them win and lose. I made new friends in my opponents, shoutout to Branca, Handreader, PiotrCNS, Sanxessss, Dobermann, and Alantito Bandito. CDPR even featured one of my plays, which is awesome because they could easily organise this and just leave it to finish on it’s own without bothering to check streams and stuff. But Repek for example, he was in every stream trying to ensure things went smoothly. In closing. This whole experience does not feel real to be honest, but I’m happy that I did it. I can’t sum it up any better than that.”

Jhugs's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/eda74e55c5ce218cd6647ec0a5a41ccc

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/12a22a18e077c536beec234c7b8f83be

SY

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/8a25af82a67f59b68035eee6fb2cd62b

Jhugs's experience:

”This was my first Gwent Partner’s Open and going into it I was really excited but nervous at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to decks to bring, some people were bringing memes and others were bringing full on meta decks. I ended up just going what I was most comfortable with which ended up being SY congregate, NG Lockdown, and NR Shieldwall. I felt pretty confident in my SY and NG while I think NR was my weakest faction of the three. I think people were expecting a lot of Shieldwall because I even played against someone who used Tesham Mutna sword!

The faction I was most scared of in the tourney was Skellige. They have an insane amount of removal and control so I ended up banning SK in almost all of my match ups. In the match I didn’t ban SK I played against my own BG teammate Zig Zak and he absolutely crushed me! I didn’t want to play against anyone else from BG but it was bound to happen. I played against TheOneChristo and was able to beat him 2-0 but on the other end I lost to Ziggy 0-2. I’m proud of how all my teammates performed especially KingDenpai for making it to top 8!

Overall, I had lots of fun playing against great players and fun decks. I even got to play against the infamous Misterhabbla1 for my last match where he brought royal inspiration dun banners and devotion elves. I was able to beat him 2-1 but I think he got some unfortunate draws. I ended the Swiss phase with a 3-3 record so I did not qualify for top 8. There were definitely some games I could have played better and perhaps I could have made top 8 with a 4-2 record, but I will take it as a learning experience and train to do better in the next tournament.”

ZigZak's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/2bcfc117ebc4ab5b4895da83d921ae33

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/7fe26f0f6d090761e4f9732b0583e912

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/0c5e475540a1b57171603ffe209e8217

ZigZak's hopes:

”The tournament was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m glad that CDPR can make this type of tournament that allows Gwent Partners to show their style of playing Gwent and building their signature decks. And many of those decks also do very well, shout out to our team manager “KingDenpai” who managed to reach top 8 in this tournament with only meme decks. The only downside for me and many streamers that I’ve been talking to is Swiss mode with 6 rounds spread across 3 days might be a little bit too long. Maybe if they can squeeze it down to only 2 days it would already be much better. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach top 8 as I expected. This time due to my lack of focus during so many games and massive amount of misplays that I made. Got me to realize that next time I need to practice more before the tournament and be more cautious when it comes to making decisions during the match. I hope next time I won’t make the same mistakes and that I will make it to top 8!”

OneChristo's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b3e8b84cfc075a5705dd545f32755697

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/adefc8fb40f9a1669740e7b6c8332018

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/cf7158fa088283adaf8992317cea6a90

OneChristo's mistakes:

”I joined the Partners Open on a whim. I remember getting accepted into the program the day before the previous tournament and was bummed I couldn’t participate. I thought this was finally my chance! I figured it would be a fun opportunity to play against other content creators, but boy was I mistaken, the tournament didn’t go exactly as planned.

Part of this is my fault, since apparently, I struggle with time zones. I realized, after registering, that the tournament was going to be in the middle of my workday. Not only would I not be able to stream my games, but it turns out playing Gwent while on a zoom call was more difficult than anticipated. Nevertheless, I had my heart set on playing. A Partner’s Tournament should be fun right? I planned to bring some well intentioned non-meta decks that would at the very least be entertaining. I bothered my Bandit Gang brethren for whatever decks they had lying around and I finally decided on NR – Double Commando Draug, ST – BJ’s Double Schirru (because BJ puts Renew in everything) and iancm1997’s NG – Imposter Deck (which demolishes Shieldwall).

I had played the last two decks about 3 times each, but what could go wrong? NR is for blue coin, ST for red and NG to target Shieldwall. We discussed my first mistake being times zones, mistake number two was bringing decks I had basically never played, mistake number three was expecting my opponents to play fun decks as well. After having to choose between banning Rage or Shieldwall in my first three matchups, I had had enough. I probably came into this whole thing with the wrong mindset and after the first two losses it began to show.

Shout out to misterhabbla1 for bringing some fun stuff, but by the time I played against him at 0-3, I was just trying to make the biggest Renew Schirru possible. After the game I chatted with him a bit and told him what my goal with Renew was, his response was brilliantly simple “yeah but open decklist bro”. Plenty of mistakes, plenty to learn from and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, knowing that next time maybe I should take a day or two off…”

Bomblin's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b48b9a649f2a412fee6fbfa9954130b6

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d673ba744997b13ad8db3bb64f25fefd

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/a16d05ddc886556eb9920070bc8b0dd3

Bomblin's thoughts on the tournament:

”The organization aspect was very good. I knew exactly when and how to submit decks when my games start, what are the rules etc. I kind of hoped to test more the tournament platform made by CDPR, but Challonge was working pretty good as well. I love the idea of a community coming together and have fun. It promotes a friendly environment where people can watch unique players that compete on a bit different level of seriousness. I hope we will see more of it in the future. Also, I have to mention, everyone that I played was super nice, friendly and I did not have a single crap encounter. We all love Gwent I guess.

Date and time were actually ideal for me, but I heard some people couldn’t participate because of having to play in the middle of the day. I guess there is no way to make it perfect for everyone. It would be cool if we could see the game mode with half the timer for each turn. It was so annoying to wait 45 min for one pair roping every turn. But can I really blame someone for thinking in a game where you are supposed to think? Another thing that would be cool is if we had swiss cast as well. I believe some would be more than happy to do it. It might be a logistic nightmare though.

Also, I was hoping for more people in the tournament. We have around 250 partners in the discord and there were only 34 participants. I  know that not everyone can play but I expected twice as many to play. And another thing is the decks that have been played. So, there are some rewards for winning the tournament, but I do believe it was made mostly for fun and to promote the game. I do believe viewers that watch Gwent are a bit tired of looking at the same decks over and over. And this is the perfect occasion to show that Gwent can be played a bit differently and you still can have good results and have fun (like Kingdenpai). If viewers want to see the competitive environment, then they have regular Open every 2 months. I would love to see the next Partner have some bans decks, cards, or specific rules like you have to play x, etc.”

Final Remarks

We haven’t stopped laughing because we still can’t believe that KingDenpai was able to beat almost all of his opponents with memes. Its truly an amazing achievement by our General Manager to reach top 8 with that lineup. We will all be rooting for him on Saturday and hope you will do too! Note: Briberyplayer, MoriartyUK and TweedleDumdee got accepted to the Gwent Partner Program this week. Hopefully they will be representing us in the next tournament as well.