End of Year Interview 2020 KingDenpai: ‘She loved seeing me happy in the way I was and truthfully, haven’t felt in quite a while’

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 GM, that is also a king.  Who other than KingDenpai is here. I hope you are doing well man. Recently I read something about the word simp. Did you know that it has become an insult on Twitch? Which might mean that you can no longer do simpathons and call your community the simp gang. What kind of impact has this on you?

KingDenpai: First things first, hello my friend! Thanks for having me for one of my favorite things we’ve done this year. Onto your question…

Well, technically what they said is that they’d be doing a push to shut down outright bullying using the term. And have since stated that they won’t police it being used in a lighthearted way.

However, I’m going to air on the side of caution and try not to overdo it with the term. But I won’t be going mental and never saying it again, you know?

I mean come on, Simpathon was brilliant. I’m so proud of that! So yes, I’ll be saving it for quality rather than quanity in the future.

BJ: Yeah, its pretty hilarious. And Simp becoming an insult is just one thing that happened in 2020. How would you reflect on the year 2020 in yourself?

KD: 2020 has been unlike any year a lot of us have had, unlike the older generation who have felt some level of chaos akin to what we have. I started a new job this year working in a local surgery right as the pandemic reached the UK.

To say it was the most chaotic start to a job I’ve had would be an understatement. Medical industry and Covid was NOT a fun spot to be in. But I hunkered down and did what I needed to.

Working that job got me to appreciate just what we’re all going through right now. I’ve spoken to elderly people over the phone who were bright and chipper one morning to say “We’ll get through this.” and then the next morning you get a notification that they passed away and it can just rock you to the very core.

For me, it showed me the strength of humanity. Seeing people, faced with this incredibly terrifying situation we’re in – rally together has just left a lasting impression on me. It’s been rough, trust me – I miss my family in the states so much. But we’re all slowly taking the steps across the world we need to move forward.

2020 was crazy, but it was another building block for people to take with themselves to the future.

BJ: Yeah, I truly hope that we can all learn from this and that we take measurements to avoid an epidemic from happening again. Another thing that happened this year was that you joined Team Bandit Gang as one of their first streamers for Gwent and are now the General Manager for the team which means you have gotten more responsibilities. How have you experienced this year on Bandit Gang?

KD: I really did didn’t I? I really don’t know what Joe saw in me when I was just rocking like 54 followers but I’m incredibly proud to call myself BG. 

Joining BG was this lovely experience where as a naive smol time streamer, I was just happy to be accepted. I wasn’t sizing up the competition at all – despite playing since Beta and knowing some of the other teams – just the idea that BG wanted me was more than enough.

I never saw the whole – taking over thing coming and if I had to be honest with you…

The team as a whole? Proud as hell. Everyone has killed it and I’m so happy with every guy and girl that is and has been a part of the team in any small way.

Myself? Not happy.

Joining you and the boys when Joe left was a daunting task, and I was incredibly excited to try and move us forward in the direction we wanted. However, I don’t feel I’ve elevated us in the way I would have liked and done the things I wanted just yet.

There is SO much more I want for the team, every little achievement man. I want it so badly for the crew. We’re getting there, but personally, I feel like I need to ramp it up and continue to build us further. All of us on management have our own qualities to bring, and I just want to know that I’m doing what is right in my role.

I’m not happy just yet, but I’m gonna make sure we reach that mountain top come 2021 mate.

BJ: Sounds promising. From my understanding you are now a full time streamer, how is that going for you?

KD: It feels strange to acknowledge it, when I left my job due to stress based complications – I was full steam ahead on a new gig. However, and I haven’t told this story yet…

My wife and I had a talk one morning. We had a really good talk over breakfast and she just said to me “You’re really shining lately.” and I was a bit surprised by that. We talked it out and she just told me that I’m doing what I want and that is why.

Keep in mind, I’m married and want so much for us. So doing something like ‘full time streaming’ is a bit… well, yeah. But my wife was all for it, she loved seeing me happy in the way I was and truthfully, haven’t felt in quite a while.

So yeah, I’m full time streaming. There’s not particularly a game plan, and as selfishly as I wish it could last forever – I don’t think it can. I’d love if it did. But at this moment, I’m blessed to be in a situation where I have the ability to do so.

It’s been really fantastic, I’ve made such a fantastic family of incredibly awesome individuals. Like, I joke about simps this and that but I really do love learning about everyone who comes into my streams. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting fathers of families, single mothers working their butts off, students working towards their degrees or working professionals who absolutely kick ass.

I’ve done a lot of 24hr streams, had giveaways, subathons, all sorts of crazy wacky fun events but truthfully – I’m just happy to have people to talk to. None of the clout or cash stuff, just knowing I can have a good chat with someone makes all this worth it.

So yeah! It’s been going well!

BJ: That brings tears to my eyes. I am glad you have found your niche. And I saw that you were building your new PC on stream, any games you are looking forward to stream on your new rig next year?

KD: You saw me huh? Say something soon ya dork! Miss ya in my streams. But no no, it was my first build and I owe my success to KilogramSam, CheddarPaul and a lot of other helpful peeps in chat who held my hand for the experience.

In terms of games I’m excited to try on the rig, I’d have to Cyberpunk is the obvious choice. It’s felt a bit like the Crisis of this generation. “Can my computer run Cyberpunk?” kinda thing and to have a PC that can makes me so happy!

I’m the most excited to start my journey through Witcher 3 actually! Viewers will know I’ve played W1 and W2. (W1 being my fav.) and I’m hyped to go through 3 with my family of peeps because I LOVE meeting the Gwent cards I’ve played with for ages, lore tidbits, and just experiencing a good game ya know?

Others include DS3, Devil May Cry 5, the Yakuza series… that kinda stuff.

BJ: Haha, I will don’t worry. And aside of streaming, you wrote your first article for Bandit Gang and it has gotten a lot of great response. Is this something you want to explore more next year for Bandit Gang?

KD: Absolutely! I used to write for a few years when I worked in the games industry and it was a joy – stressful when you had to make crunch for article per day and this and that. But I really did love it to bits.

Writing my piece for BG helped me hit that creative mark I had before, and it was nice. I think moving forward I want to try and dip my feet into something more serious – granted I think the chest article was pretty darn serious anyway, don’t ya think?

But yeah, I want to properly put some effort into something more akin to what Sawyer, You, and the others crank out.

I guess you could call the first article a ‘warm up.’ 

BJ: Exciting stuff. Is there anything else that you would like to do next year?

KD: I’m gonna echo Synergy here and say gym. I live in the middle of nowhere man, but I miss hitting the free weights area of the gym and busting out some good deadlifts. I don’t think I’ll be living in the city anytime soon so I’m gonna have to motivate my ass to do some home work out stuff.

I did some RingFit on stream which I dropped and I’ve certainly felt the shockwaves of that choice – so I’d have to say the biggest thing I want to do next year is just get my body back to a spot I’m comfortable with. Everyone in my life says they love me the way I am – but you know that saying right? You’re the one who has to live in your body.

BJ: Yeah, in the end you need to be satisfied with yourself. Outside of the things you want to do. Are there any new year’s resolutions?

KD: Nah, never do those. If I did, I’ve have a LOT of years to catch up on….

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

KD: I want to personally thank whoever is reading this. If you took the time to read this and the other interviews we have released, THANK YOU. If you have supported BG in any way, THANK YOU. If you’ve just been a fan of myself, THANK YOU. Like, legit this whole bit of word vomit I’ve put forward for the interview would be nothing without someone wanting to actually peek it.

In respect of 2021, I want to just say keep those eyes peeled. BG is going to go places, we’re gonna do a lot more than we did this year. You can be sure that’s gonna be the case and you guys are gonna have a front row seat for this whole thing. No other team has done this level of personalisation. Nobody is out there putting out the amount of articles we have, supporting their team members the way we have with co-ops and interviews, and we’ve got so much more in store!

2021 is gonna be a great year for BG and just wait for what we’ll be bringing to the world of Gwent!


*KingDenpai's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*What can we say, the guy loves to meme. But a memer that got top 8 in the Gwent Partner Tournament. And that, we will never forget.

10. Tidecloak Hideaway – This card became a favourite of mine out of left field really, I was surprised and loved Escan’s pirate deck so much and it’s all thanks to this card. The tempo from this card is absolutely mind blowing if you have a dedicated pirates deck. Honestly, this will be a card people complain about when we get more pirates support. Mark my words on that.

9. Noothwraith – This card has always been a favourite of mine, and I’m plopping this chica here because of my passion for RAT SWAAAARM. Before Speci ever copy pasted some Rat words, I was memeing it up with my Rat decks and have a few commands dedicated to it. I’ll always love this card and the option of absolute degenceracy that it brings.

8. Sigdrifas Rite – I’ll always love this card, and honestly there just aren’t a lot of revive based cards out there. I love that SK gets this bit of extra kit, with Second Wind dead – I use this to bring back those vital memes. My Draco, Olaf, that kinda stuff.

7. Odrin – I’ll only say this. In the words of someone I adore from my community… Odrin is bae.

6. Harald Gord – People who watch me know I love this card in my classic crimes deck, which I’m not sure will ever make a return with the change to portal… but I love this dang dude when paired with it. Seriously, I think paired with the right decks that Gord is just stupid value for his provisions. Never change this card CDPR.

5. Vypper – This card has made me laugh so much, the meme has passed – but gosh dangit it was a blast to enjoy.

4. Hym – These next ones will be no surprise but I LOVE this card man. I’ve been using it for years and it’ll never stop being something that makes me smile. Wether I’m pairing it with Vildkaarl, Olaf or a bled Yghern… I just love Hym. It’s pretty bad, but it’s surprise factor is god tier.

3. Olaf – Honestly, Olaf rarely gets me value. I mean, it does with Hym. But outside of Hym, it’s usually just not enough to sway the tide of battle… but why? Why do I keep using him? He’s actually got my 2nd favourite card art in the game. First being Covenant of Steel, but Olaf is just… aunno, when I think SK, I think Olaf.

2. Dracoturtle – I call this bad boi the points behemoth. Seriously, Draco is such a dangerously powerful card if left alone. It’s ability to turn the tide of a point difference is unreal. Mard on this bad boy is just game over, and when paired with Iris and Vlod… well, it got me to Pro Rank for the first time. So nuff said.

1. Ihuarraquax: This comes as no surprise I’m sure to a lot of peeps. I fucking love this unicorn, playing memes usually means that the higher provision cards are what destroy my day. So quax has saved my ass so many times, the only issue is that CDPR needs to STOP buffing cards! Olaf at a 10 makes my choices so much harder! I can’t include other 10ps without worry now! NO MORE BUFFS FOREVER THX.

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


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:


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


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


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

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:


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


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


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

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:


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


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


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

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:


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


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


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

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:


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


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


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

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.