And there's no feeling quite like finding that last piece and snapping it into place. Faced, Nana! Faced.
Kyle "Killajive" Stewart got that feeling early this year when he brought Supersam into the Angry Chicken Fan Club. Sam proved to be the exact piece the Club needed to propel itself into the playoffs, and a first round matchup against the perennial contender, Xnergy, helmed by Zakary "VendiClique" Miller-Granger.
Will the Red Division powerhouse face a first-round upset? Do Supersam and company have any heroics left? If you're getting up can you freshen my nog and find me some Advil?
VendiClique: Season Inception has been a bit of a roller coaster for us, after starting off very strong we have faltered a bit these last few weeks. Despite that, this season has been very successful for us, with the No. 2 seed going into playoffs. Our key to success is just good old teamwork and hard work. We put plenty of time into practicing our decks and choosing wisely, and communicate daily on class selections, strategies, and tech choices.
THL: Who was your team MVP and why?
VC: Team MVP is hands down Catota. I don't know if I speak for all captains when I say this, but those No. 1 seed matchups are crazy and stressful. Being able to consistently see him post in chat that he won his match with no sweat, or, even when he loses, hearing him be calm and collected about it has a positive impact on the rest of the team going into our matches.
THL: No team got a hotter start than Xnergy, but you ended the season with two ties and two loses. Where is the team's confidence level heading into the playoffs?
VC: Our confidence level is as high as it has ever been. Despite the losses and ties, we've really pulled through with getting a good portion of match losses with two wins. Our last three weeks have been against very tough and competitive opponents, and while those matches didn't end the way we had hoped, we have time to prepare for the playoffs—and get those match wins all the way to the title of champions.
"Between the streaming, the friendly chatting, THESE AMAZING PLAYER PROFILES and WWYD posts, and yes, even the memes, this is the most enjoyable CCG experience I've had."
THL: Xnergy made it to the finals during Season Kappa, but let's face it wallets were not on the line back then. Is there a different feeling coming into the postseason this time around in THL's first official season?
VC: The feeling is very different, but in an overall positive way. In season Kappa, none of us really knew each other too well, though the team construction was well thought out, and we were all obviously strong players. To reach the finals while we learned how we worked together, to become friends in the process, was amazing, and this season was very comfortable for us all.
Though we did have the advantage of being overlooked last season for awhile. This season, after nearly taking the title, I feel we've had a target on our backs in our conference.
THL: You're one of the THLers with some competitive CCG playing outside of Hearthstone. How would you compare THL with this previous experience?
VC: Hearthstone isn't too unlike Magic in its basic principles, but THL is like nothing I've ever done before. This league is so amazing, and supportive, and just simply fun. While the matches require decision making, patience, and intelligence like any other CCG, outside of the game play, THL is the most amazing, educational group I've had the privilege to partake in. Between the streaming, the friendly chatting, these amazing player profiles and WWYD posts, and yes, even the memes, this is the most enjoyable CCG experience I've had. Regardless of how this season ends for us, I, and Xnergy as a whole, thank everyone for the THL and this wonderful season.
The Angry Chicken Fan Club
KJ: A lot of our teams success is credited to SuperSam and his amazing team coaching as many would suspect, but I also believe that another large portion of our success comes from other teams underestimating our own. When you look at TACFC it is one of the lowest PR teams in the league, and we weren't anything special last season. I personally tried to capitalize on this a lot during the season and it has won me a few games.
THL: It sounds like having the lowest PR in the postseason is a point of pride for TACFC, is it going to be a source of motivation as you prepare?
KJ: Our low PR has definitely become a motivation for us since its a unique feature to our team, I'd like to think of it like the The Angry Chicken card. The Angry Chicken card is a mere 1-1 but with the use of other cards it can gain its enrage mechanic. Our team may have weak PRs but together we've pulled out our "enrage mechanic" and pulled ahead of other teams.
THL: Who was your team MVP and why?
KJ: Our team MVP has to be Sam hands down, his coaching and overall knowledge of the game was invaluable to the team, we're going to miss him BibleThump.
THL: Sam is leaving the Fan Club?
KJ: Sam will be making his own team and be inviting some of his other friends to join him on his team, and would recommend some of his guys to our team if we need replacements.
THL: The ACFC was one of the more improved teams between Kappa and this season, what do you credit this bump in the standings?
KJ: Besides Sam our teams increased improvement has to come from our teams overall willingness to improve, last season our team was in the league for fun and weren't really trying that hard. This season our team has changed completely, practicing constantly and trying to make sure we can win every week.
"Our team may have weak PRs but together we've pulled out our 'enrage mechanic' and pulled ahead of other teams."
THL: Your team has been pretty consistent all season long, and you narrowly missed taking down Archon Storm last week, how confident are you guys heading into the playoffs?
KJ: We're feeling pretty confident, our team is hitting ranks on ladder we've never hit before, we're learning match ups and how do to deal with unfavored match-ups and how to capitalize on one sided match-ups.
THL: Adding SuperSam in the offseason looks like a huge pick up as he's been a dominant force at the top of the lineup. For all those captains looking for a game changer this offseason, any words of wisdom?
KJ: Practice, practice, and practice some more. Being more aware of what your opponent could be bringing will help greatly, and if you practice that match-up you'll know what cards you should tech, how you should handle certain situations, and generally how to defeat you defeat your opponents.
Even if we don't win this season, our team has had the opportunity to really connect and have fun with a lot of the personalities of THL, lots of new friends were made and it definitely has been an enjoyable experience. Thanks to everyone involved in THL for a wonderful season!