Interview with WePlay! Dota Underlords Open caster — Swim

Aug 09 2019 6 min read

Interview with WePlay! Dota Underlords Open caster — Swim ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

During the WePlay! Underlords Open, we got a chance to sit down and chat with popular streamer and one of the casters, Sean “Swim” Huguenard. 

WePlay!: So, how was your stay in Ukraine this time? 

Swim: It's good. It was better than last time. Last time you know, we got flown down here in the middle of winter and we went on walking tours through the city. It was very, very cold. I underdressed. This time, it's a lot nicer, although I did have an unfortunate hand of poker against a table of you guys. 

It was very funny though, we all laughed. I've played way too much poker to actually get salty about that sort of thing. It was very, very funny. 

WePlay!: How did you feel about the event in general? Was it everything you expected it to be? 

Swim: Yeah, the event was good. As always, WePlay! has really high production value which is funny. We got to do some of the funny guided skits like Joel's night rap, everyone loved it. It was really, really hilarious. I will say about the event, I was kind of hesitant or nervous going into casting an Underlords event. I've never cast an Auto Chess or TFT event or anything like that.

SUNSfan has in the past. I went up to him and I was like, "How do you cast this kind of game?" Cus' there's like eight players, you have to follow all of them, it's gonna be really jumbled, it's all over the place. It's not just like 1v1 or team vs team. It's eight independent players. It seemed really hard to cast but it actually ended up working out pretty well. I think we hit a rhythm going into it and it was a better-finished product than I was nervous about. 

WePlay!: Any comments on something else like how the qualifiers went and or the format of the main event? 

Swim: Yeah, I think that the qualifiers were very interesting. It was a pretty close thing overall. I'm not sure what I feel the best format would be. There's probably going to be like different tournaments experimenting with different formats as we move forward. I really like how many games there are.

It's really important with a tournament, if you're gonna host an event for a Dota Underlords or a TFT game, you really can't use single-elimination format or something like that. The amount of games is really important cus' there's a lot of variance. We see some of the top players in this tournament were still doing pretty poorly in some other ones, so it's important to have these nice long events that give players enough time to play. I really like how WePlay! did it this time. Only 16 players going into it with a few enough players that we were able to give enough time, ten games per day, was really great. 

WePlay!: Is there a player in the tournament that maybe didn't go high but he left you intrigued and you want to follow him in the future?

Swim: I think Fibonacci, out of all the players, is probably the most interesting. He had a pretty rough time just because of the patch. He was doing really well in the event, but then the patch happened on the second day and he ended up not qualifying for day 3. I think he was 5th place, right under it. So, he's a very good player. I remember him from Hearthstone, he was a very popular control warrior player. I think he's very innovative. He makes pretty interesting strategies. Very smart guy. I plan on personally playing, theory crafting with him and I want to see more of him at future tournaments. 

WePlay!: OK. Do you have any general advice for the players who didn't make the top 8. 

Swim: I think that some of them weren't really playing the format quite well enough. The interesting thing about tournaments, you have to approach it with a different point of view than to the ladder. This is actually something that a lot of players, especially spectators don't immediately realise. For example, there's a reason why so many people are picking Aegis. Aegis is a better tournament item than a ladder item. Which isn't necessarily immediately obvious, but there's a strategy with tournaments where you want to basically tighten your range to restrict variance, until of course you're forced deviate from that and play for more risky strategies.

If you feel like you might get eliminated and if there's not really enough of a payoff to getting wiped under the cutoff, you pick Aegis because you want to play it safe. On ladder, it's ok if you can take some risks when you make plays because you know you can just play another game. In tournaments you can't really do that, so you need to play a little safer, so that, things that, just kind of lower your variance make a bit more sense. But also, we saw some players that were in positions, X (maxbringtheaxe comes to mind) where you're in a good position going into day 2, and you need to play safe cus' you have a high score.

You only need to make top 4, so you need to just not take risks, and I think he took more risks than he needed to. Whereas Fibonacci at one point was behind at the end of day 2; he played a little too safe when you have to take risks. Mone of this is a ladder mentality, which I think is really interesting. 

WePlay!: How do you feel in general about the patch hitting during the tournament? How did that disruption impact the overall tournament outcome? 

Swim: I think the patch was really great. It obviously is very unfortunate for some players. A big patch that forces you to realign your priorities and discover new stuff. It's not great, but at the same time, it's better for the event than if there hadn't been a patch at all. Some of the upgrades to the patch are very important, like for example, the ability to watch the fight on both boards.

It's a really big upgrade and I think it makes the event a lot more interesting as well. Ideally, they would have patched a day or two sooner, but I think it's still better overall than not patching at all. Because there were some problems with the old patch as well. 

WePlay!: Everyone knows you dislike Shadow Shaman in its current iteration. How would you tweak it to make it playable? 

Swim: Probably just change the use of the Shaman tag. The Shaman tag is always really, really strange. Basically for the entire Dota Underlords.

There have been three different things the Shamans did already; drastically different.

It turned them into a chicken at the start of a fight with two Shamans, and then this weird minus mana thing that never got used. I think the design of that made no sense, honestly. And now they've made it so that it's got the proc rate of turning them into a chicken when they attack them, but Shamans aren't really tanks either, so none of those three things really make sense. Honestly, the first one made the most sense, but I think the Shaman tag just needs to be changed or reworked. 

WePlay!: So it's not Shadow Shaman that's the problem? 

Swim: As a unit, he's weak. He's kind of designed around being a caster. I do think he could get a buff, something to be changed with his mana pool, I think would be the biggest thing. 

I think a decent suggestion for the Shaman tag would be making it the same thing that the old Dragon Alliance used to do, which is starting the game with 100% mana if you have all three. I think it's an interesting way to go about it. It's weird now that they've changed Arc Warden. It doesn't make as much sense, but it kind of gives them their old instant chicken with Shadow Shaman and instant Disruptor ulti, which is powerful but not OP. Something like that, maybe like readjusting their abilities would make a lot of sense and kind of fit the flavour of the tag as well. 

WePlay!: One of the players also had the idea of making Enigma a three cast unit. What do you think about that?

Swim: It's interesting. I don't know if it can be lower than four cost, but I could definitely see it being four cast if its ability and stats were changed to match that. 


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