A lot of people have said that PVP Live’s HPL features the best players you don’t know much about. This is probably true, so I’ve taken it upon myself to help you guys learn more about these beastly players. For today’s edition, we’ll hope to have a nice chat with JAB from Team Hearthlytics. Wish me luck!
DR23: Hello Jabbers! I’m very happy to have a chance to talk to you today. I really think that the people should know more about you, so why don’t you tell us a bit more about yourself?
JAB: Hi, my name is Justin Black. I am 20 years old and from Indianapolis, IN. I’m currently taking some time off of school to pursue my e-sports dream.
DR23: Can you tell us more about the origin of your battletag? Why did you decide to Jab people to death?
JAB: It’s very simple, my real life initials, Justin ___ Black. I won’t reveal my middle name ;).
DR23: Stealthy! So how long have you been playing Hearthstone? Do you have an extensive gaming background, or is Hearthstone the first dip into these competitive gaming waters?
JAB: I’ve been playing Hearthstone since Closed Beta in 2013. My prior gaming experience was 10+ years of Magic: the Gathering and a bit of League of Legends and other casual games. I never really made an attempt to go pro until I started playing Hearthstone and realized I was really good at it.
DR23: Really good sounds right to me. You are currently representing Team Hearthlytics on HPL, how long have you been a part of Hearthlytics and how has being part of a team affected the way you approach Hearthstone.
JAB: I joined Hearthlytics in January 2015. I was the flagship player of the team and we started everything from the ground up with me. Being a part of Hearthlytics has helped me realize my potential as a competitive player and pushed me to achieve more as well as taking a more analytical approach to the game.
DR23: Hearthlytics is also represented on HPL by Muzzy. What’s your relationship with him? do you practice together a lot, or do you prefer to do roll separately?
JAB: We generally do our own thing but sometimes we’ll toss ideas around in our team chat and help each other prepare for tournament matches. He’s a cool guy, definitely a great teammate to have.
DR23: Speaking about tournaments… You’ve been known to be a strong finisher on Ladder, and have been quietly amassing Blizzcon points. But what about Tournament play? What are your best tournament finishes, and can what are the odds that JAB will hoist the World Championship Trophy this year?
JAB: Yeah, I have been kind of under the radar until recently. Most of my tournament finishes are just in weekly cups as well as top 16 BlizzCon Americas Qualifier 2014. As I pick up more tournament invites I’m hoping to prove myself and win more and more. Ladder kind of comes naturally to me, I don’t put too much effort into my high finishes I just play whatever is the best or whatever I’m really comfortable with (primarily Midrange Hunter). I like to take things one step at a time, so I’m not really thinking about winning the World Championship; I’m just thinking about getting enough points to finish top 8 in the point standings at the moment.
DR23: Lets play favorites: Hearthstone Card, Movie, Food, Twitch Emote, Band, TV show, Video Game, Drink.
JAB: Favorite Card: Savannah Highmane, Favorite Movie: Spirited Away, Favorite Food: Chicken, Favorite TV show: Game of Thrones, Favorite Video Game: Hearthstone, Favorite Drink: Simply Blueberry Lemonade
DR23: What’s your stance on Dank Memes?
DR23: The Tannon Grace, That’s Admirable, and Artosis. Choose who to Kill, Bed, and Marry, and explain your answer.
JAB: Bed Artosis, Marry Tannon Grace, Kill Admirable.
Artosis has an epic laugh, Tannon and I have developed a brotherly love (as long as he keeps picking me to win in HPL), Admirable.. well.. sorry someone had to die
DR23: Speaking about casters, what do you make out of the criticism that the HPL have gotten thus far?
JAB: Overall, I think the casters are doing really well and most of the criticism stems from people not understanding the stats and such (blowback for example). But hey, a lot of dank memes ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) have been created so they must be doing something right.
DR23: You’ve been killing it lately on HPL, but things started rough for you there at 0-2. What happened there, did you have a bit of an issue adapting to the “no rules” tournament format? Did you have some League jitters? Or can we blame your slow start on bad RNG?
JAB: I had no idea what I should be doing in the format in the first few matches, so I played what I was comfortable with and just got targeted rather then making an attempt to next-level my opponents like I have been doing recently. Of course, a lot of losses do come from RNG as well so maybe that was it :).
DR23: Well no matter what happened on the first few games, you have now made it into the HPL TOP 8 and it doesn’t look like anyone is getting you out of there any time soon. Besides HPL, what’s on JAB’s future? Do you have any other big tournaments lined up?
JAB: Yeah it’s looking good for me in HPL so far, I want to win it all *crosses fingers*. I have nothing planned for the immediate future, but in the coming months I think you will see a lot more of me.
DR23: And speaking about big tournaments, do you feel undervalued on the scene? Do you think you should be getting more invites to tournaments? Or are you just happy to get in through open brackets?
JAB: It’s pretty hard to break into the tournament scene, as most of the players that get continuous invites are top streamers as well. I definitely think I am good enough to be deserving of these invites. That being said, I think I will get invited more and more as time goes on and I start to prove myself.
DR23: Well Jab, I personally think you deserve a lot more attention. And I’m really looking forward to see you take the scene by storm. Any closing statements?
JAB: Thanks to everyone who supports me (J A B B O Y S), my gf naekole, and my team Hearthlytics for helping me pursue my dream. I’m really looking forward to the future of my competitive gaming career!
DR23: I’m looking forward to it too, thanks for taking the time to share these things with us!