HS: Interview with Páscoa, first Brazilian to go to the World Championship
"Páscoa" was the first Brazilian to triumph at Hearthstone Grandmasters, the player will also represent the country in the world championship! Come check out this interview to learn more about him!Edit Article
Cards Realmare proud to announce that we interviewed “Páscoa”, the newest champion of the
Hearthstone Grandmasters Americas, as well as being the first Brazilian to reach the world championship. Check out this interview to learn more about the player's career and history.
The original interview was conducted via video call, being slightly edited for the sole purpose of facilitating reading.
Interview with Páscoa
What is the story of “Páscoa”?I've always been very competitive, I remember disputing school test scores with my classmates when I was 10 years old. And that gave me a good performance in high school, but not necessarily reflecting directly on the game. I count a lethal quickly, but until then, we know that we have to make several decisions.
“I've always been very competitive, I remember disputing school test scores with my classmates when I was 10 years old.”
Chessteacher, I have always had contact with this style of game, an example is
Pokémon TCG, I started at 8 years old and played a national tournament of the game in São Paulo when I was around 12 years old. I've always been connected with this world, since before all that, at age 6, I received my first video game, a
Nintendo 64. Also, I have a lot of experience with online games, I spent hours on titles like
Grand Chase, I also played a bit of
League of Legends.
How did you start playing
Hearthstoneand what made you like the game? I've had this fondness for card games for a long time, played a lot of
Yu-Gi-Oh, in addition to meeting several
Magic: The Gatheringplayers. I also love decks in general, I have many with me, including one from Germany that I received from a friend, and I've done some deck magic for a while. So, back in mid-2014, I was in my 3rd year of high school and a friend recommended
Hearthstoneto me. One thing that attracted me a lot about the game was its simplicity because
Magic: the Gathering, for example, is very complex, especially with
landsand a lot of card texts,
Hearthstonesimplifies this very well. At first, I didn't have that much money to buy cards in the game, so I was in
Arenamode a lot.
How did you get started with tournaments?In 2015 I started playing my first tournaments, some online like the qualifier for the
America Cup, and others in person with some colleagues from college. Then, in February or March 2016, I had my first result in a
Panda Gamingtournament that earned me R$ 200 (around 40 dollars today). I remember beating
Legolasin the semifinals, a very famous player since that time, and in addition to experience and money, I gained a lot of confidence with the triumph. In those months, I was going through serious personal problems and other very heavy things, that's when I started playing more
Hearthstone, in addition to starting therapy. I was doing
livestreamsof the game and playing a lot; in a matter of months I had several results, and I felt that
Hearthstonehelped me a lot in real life and vice versa. Therapy today for me is an investment because it will definitely bring me (and has already brought me) victories and long-term results within the game. For example, if I get one more win at
Grandmastersbecause of my psyche, I can already afford several months of therapy, and if I win more, I'm already in profit. In addition to generating several benefits for my personal life, I even recommend it to everyone who asks me.
“The therapy today for me is an investment because it will definitely bring me (and has already brought) victories and long-term results within the game. For example, if I win one more victory at Grandmasters because of my mindset, I can already afford several months of therapy, and if I earn more, I'm already in profit.”
RNGand other random factors where I have no control. Of course, luck or misfortune can affect a match, but knowing that eventually it won't make much difference makes me feel more relaxed. The
RNGhas ups and downs, maybe in a specific tournament it can make a difference, but the tendency is that over time it will stay in the 50%.
How does it feel to win a title the size of Grandmasters and still be the first Brazilian to represent the country at the World Championship?It's bizarre! It's an achievement I've struggled with for 6 years, and while it's surreal, it's also something I was sensing would eventually occur. I wondered “when” it would happen, not “if” it would.
“I wondered “when” it would happen, not “if” it would.”
Grandmasters, but I already thought about doing a 7/1 (7 wins and 1 loss) on the next
Masters Tourand try to qualify for the
Masters Seasonal Championship, and then I would have a great chance to go to the worlds. If it didn't work out,
Grandmasters: Last Callwould start soon after. It may seem like too much confidence, but it's a matter of dedicating yourself and knowing that in the long run a goal will be achieved.
“During the Semifinal and Final, I was thinking about winning for my friends and for the Brazilian community that always supported me, totally forgetting this goal of “being the first”.”
Fledwho came close, we are friends. But after it happened, I realized that it is cool, yes, but not as amazing as I imagined because I would be happy with any other Brazilian in my place.
With your title, and with the exciting Brazilian final in week 2 of the tournament, do you feel that Brazil is evolving in Hearthstone and in Card Games as a whole?If you asked me that a few years ago I would have said yes, I would have said that even before the first Brazilian top 8 on the
Masters Tour. Today, we can count many Brazilians who reached top 8 or even top 4 in the tournament. This comes from several factors. The first is the online tournaments that are helping players in our country a lot. I can also mention the prizes, today it is excellent for us who spend in reais, a good result can sustain you for months, and this allows you to live from the game, being able to dedicate yourself quietly until you reach a great achievement, a “Big Hit”, as they say on
Poker. Another factor was the growth of networks like
Twitch, until the launch of the live game platform it didn't exist, and it was just a utopia, but with the beginning of
streamseveryone saw that one is possible to make that dream a reality. With that, the people of Brazil are always helping each other and dedicating themselves a lot, in addition to using each other's conquests as a form of inspiration and motivation.
We know that
Grandmastersis divided into weeks of different formats, where you get different decks for each week. Meanwhile, new decks are being discovered, or a new update is coming to the game, how do you adapt to these new features? You also mentioned earlier the fact that you are in therapy, does that help you in this adaptation? Wow, it helps a lot! Before
Grandmastersstarted, I looked a lot at trends from the last
Masters Tourthat were happening in the same format, and I separated a good
line-upfor the first week. Even so, I ended up 0-2 and got knocked out early, so I talked to my therapist, and she recommended that I remember some habits I did before any tournament or match. Over time, I ended up withdrawing a habit of eating chocolate before matches, intending to keep myself healthier. But I remembered how much it helped me, many studies say that sugar in general is good for the brain, and as the tournament was my priority, I decided to go back. In addition, I also remembered a “psychological ritual” that I had based on the book
The Mental Game of Poker. Sometimes I made some guides about certain decks that I didn't know how to play so well with, to read before the games and not forget the details. Getting out of therapy for a bit, and back to the first question. I study Computing at Paraná's Federal University, and with this knowledge I created a
Software(program) that helps me define the decks for the tournament. Basically, I take the data of each match that some sites provide and make a prediction of which decks will be used in the championship, then I throw all of that in the program, and it gives me thousands of
line-ups, arranging them in order of win rate against my prediction decks. Then I look at the first 50 or 100
line-upsuntil I find one that I identify with and know how to play, then I clean up the lists and train a lot with them.
“[...] I set up a software (program) that helps me define the decks for the tournament. Basically, I get the data from each match that some sites provide and make a prediction of which decks will be used in the championship[ ...]”
Softwaremay not shine so much in the
Conquestformat, as it is a format where everyone already has a great idea. But modes like
Last Hero Standingor the new
Trioaren't explored as much by the community, in this case I have a much bigger advantage. When updates come out in the game, I try to know the size of the change. If it's a big balance or even a new expansion, I'd rather focus on my mental health, as I wouldn't be able to easily predict the new meta. In case of a small change, I assume nothing would change.
HearthstoneCompetitive will undergo a major overhaul, from the
Masters Tourto the world championship. Have you been following these changes? What is your opinion? At first, I thought it was terrible, since financially speaking I would be losing a lot. But then I thought it would be good overall for competitive, the fact that this new system is more open attracts new people who want to compete and increases the chances of a Worlds qualification.
FuryHunterwas having spectacular results, but he still couldn't play the Worlds, just because he wasn't in
Grandmasters. I'm sure he was living his best moment and was probably the best player of the last half of the year, he would be one of the favorites for the title. I imagine that if the competitions continue online, Brazil will have even more space in the scenario.
Along with these changes, a new monthly
Battlegroundstournament was announced, the
Lobby Legends, of which the first edition has now ended. Do you intend to dedicate yourself to the mode, aiming for this tournament? Or is it only focused on the
Standardformat? In 2019, I played a lot of
Auto Chesswhich was very popular, I stood out a lot and even got a top 16 in a thousand-player competition. My problem with
Battlegroundsis that the mode is too good! So good that I literally couldn't stop playing, as I needed to train and focus on
Standard, so I forced myself to stop with the mode.
“My problem with Battlegrounds is that the mode is so good! So good that I literally couldn't stop playing!”
Hearthstone, so I'll follow where the biggest prizes are. If
Battlegroundsbecomes the main and most profitable competitive mode, I would try to stand out. But I intend to continue only with
Standardwhile it is being the focus of competitions because I imagine it is quite impossible to keep these two games at a high level.
Do you play other
Hearthstonemodes besides the traditional one? Not. I tried to play
Mercenariesmode, but after about 2 days I got sick.
What can you say to players who are also looking to become
Hearthstonepros? What tips would you give? The most important, of course, is to focus on the long term, and always seek to improve. You also need to know that when you learn a deck, you're not just learning to play with it, you're acquiring skill. For example, if someone learned to play with
Garrote Rogue, that someone will already have ease and skill with other similar combo decks. So, you transfer the skill from one deck to another, and you can remember a lot of knowledge from years ago, increasing your results.
“You also need to know that when you learn a deck, you don't just learn to play with it, you are acquiring skill.”