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: Welcome Chris, you are next in line after AcidBunny. How would you reflect on the year 2021?
TheOneChristo: For me 2021 felt like 2 distinctly different years to me. While the whole year was great and I look back on it fondly with many highlights, the second half of the year started to get a lot busier with things moving towards being “more normal”. That meant that streaming took a back seat to additional social functions and a busier work schedule.
Nonetheless I still feel like I accomplished a lot.
I was able to participate in the Aretuza World Cup Qualifier representing Canada and while we fell short I felt like I had an amazing tournament, only losing 1 series (gg Santuu), while defeating a few players who had regularly finished in the top 64.
I was involved with 983’s Gwent Trivia (returning soon) and the ongoing Gwentfinity War.
I was able to cast a whole lot more than the previous year, including many high profile events.
I also took part in the Beginner’s Series with Arya for Bandit Gang and became more involved with BG, becoming part of the partner group.
BJ: An eventful year it was for you. I know you achieved certain goals as a caster this year. How do you look back at your journey as a caster?
C: So many highlights!
First off, I simply wanted to highlight the amount of casting I was able to do this year. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect (well, in my opinion practice makes better, because I don’t know if there’s such a thing as perfect), but I was lucky enough to cast or host events almost every week and definitely felt like I gained a lot of experience and improved in the role.
Second, was the opportunity to work with so many wonderful casters like Flake, Specimen and Ceely. I am a firm believer that practice helps, but working with people who are better than you also forces you to improve.
Third, there was of course the opportunity to cast 2 of the official Gwent Qualifiers, which was the first time I was able to cast something “official” for CDPR.
And finally, probably the biggest achievement, even though it is non Gwent related, was hosting many events for Kards CCG over the year. This led to me being selected to host their World Championships live in Iceland!
BJ: An amazing progress you have made! As you mentioned earlier, you also started the beginner series with Arya, what made you decide to work on that?
C: While there is a lot of content out there for Gwent, I feel as though certain aspects of the community aren’t as well served as they should be. There has been an influx of players over the last year with the pandemic forcing people into lockdown, the Witcher Netflix series, the return of Lifecoach for Masters Season 1 and the release on steam.
Starting a beginner series just made a whole lot of sense. However, I want to take 0 credit for the idea as it was all Arya’s. I just got involved because I thought it was a great one.
Working with Arya, Enzo and Decode on the project has been amazing as well.
BJ: Outside of your projects. What has it been like to stream Gwent on Twitch this year?
C: I mentioned previously that it was an up and down for me, but mostly due to my personal schedule.
The streaming itself was great. I broke 1000 followers and had my average viewers up over 60, which was a new milestone for me.
BJ: Is there anything (else) that you would like to do next year?
C: Two main things come to mind.
Get my streaming schedule back on track. To be clear about this, it doesn’t mean I want to or need to stream a lot, but I would definitely like to do so regularly. Even if it’s only 2 days a week.
Second would be to move on to the next phase of Gwent casting, being able to cast an Open would be a huge goal for me in 2022.
BJ: Do you have any new year’s resolutions?
C: I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions because if there is something worth doing, it’s worth starting immediately and sticking with it regardless of the time of year.
One thing that I started applying this year was to unapologetic-ally focus on the things you enjoy. If it’s not something that brings me joy, I shouldn’t feel the need to do it just for the sake of doing it. That applies to work, streaming and my personal life.
BJ: Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2022?
C: First off I wanted to thank everybody who has stuck with me during my casting, streaming and my absences. Even after not streaming for a while, it’s great to see some of my regulars pop into chat to support me and tell me they miss me! It really means the world to me.
I want to add that you have absolutely not seen the last of Christo’s Cafe 😉
BJ: Cheers and happy new year!
*TheOneChristo's Top 10 Cards of 2021
Christo tried to focus on new cards from this year.
1. King Foltest: Brought Commando decks back…..until he didn’t.
2. Bride of the Sea: So much versatility, playing 2 Decoctions in a game is fun stuff, or at least I think so?
3. Rioghan the Undying: Sometimes I like cards for ironic reasons. Rioghan was touted as being pretty powerful when revealed, went on to have some highlight reel plays in the first week or two he was released and then completely vanished.
4. Idarran: Once you’ve seen Crozyr play 5 Cat Witchers in 2 turns, this card has to make the list
5. Toad Prince: Buffing Monsters/Deathwish makes me happy!
6. Mushy Truffle: While this card might be a bit OP – I like that it’s given bonded a bit of a boost and opened up possibilities for a lot of other gameplay options
7. Crach an Craite: Pirates were borderline playable this year and it was tons of fun – especially with the addition of Fucusya meaning you can play Crach twice
8. Vanadain: Because Vanadain & Simlas = Fun Waylay shenanigans
9. Torque: Because one day handbuff will be good – just not today
10. Rience: Such a cool concept for a card – I wish it was better but I have high hopes for the future (I also love the art).