For today’s interview, I have the Co-commissioner of THL and Systems Lead, MartyB.
Diamond: What do you look for when constructing your rosters?
I'd say that varies by series. The latest blog post covers how I prefer to build a PR team. My PR doesn't usually allow me to go for two high seeds, so I'll try to game the system in the middle seeds. Rebobson and I work closely when constructing rosters, and we rely on each other a lot to find players.
The biggest trait we look for together is how active someone will be in the team server. We like to get people who will be active in prep and discuss different options and strategies with the team each week. We also like to go for people that can commit long term. Look at Rebob with TotinosPizza for an example. Consistency is good for us. It helps develop chemistry and having someone who will improve and get better with exclusively your team is a huge asset to have.
Wild tends to be more lax for me than other series. The Wild community is heavily intertwined at this point and we're all friends, so that vibe tends to carry to the team as well. We all prep a bit there too, but to a lesser extent to what I'd say I like to do in something like Legacy or Hero.
Diamond: How would you describe your captaining style?
I try to keep things fairly lax when it comes to captaining. I'll ask how scheduling is going for my players so I can help prep them before a match, but otherwise I don't like to be on top of people too much. As long as someone feels like they're mentally ready to play their match in a given week, then I've done my part.
Diamond: Do you have any interest in captaining other series besides Wild?
MartyB: In a way, I already do! Rebob and I help each other a lot with captaining in F2L. We'll take over for each other when needed throughout the season and chime in occasionally for prep. I've also been captaining in Trios.
Diamond: Which name do you prefer, MartyB or nhlnjfan1?
MartyB: Both work for me. Some people who knew me before THL still call me nhl, but everyone in THL now knows me as Marty. I've never had a real preference so people can use whichever they prefer.
Diamond: As a board member and experienced captain, what is your advice on how to best prevent DQs from occurring?
MartyB: The obvious one is communication. A single message checking in on your players each week goes a long way. Scheduling is the biggest factor for me when it comes to DQs, so I like to make sure that players have an exact time to play. The other thing I'll look at is during my recruitment process. I want communicative and reliable players that aren't going to miss a match. Players that are responsible and take care of themselves make captaining so much easier. I try to set that precedent by example on my teams to encourage that kind of atmosphere.
Diamond: How do you keep your players motivated during the season?
MartyB: Motivation comes in different forms. I've had teams chase records, awards, and even just a single win at times. If there's a goal in mind, then there can be motivation for people. Sometimes it's ok to have less motivation within Hearthstone too, but being active is important. Bonemasher carries a similar philosophy. If people are talking and engaged, then they're more likely to focus on the team and their matches when the time comes.
Diamond: Who is your biggest competition in the Wild series this season?
MartyB: Sleepyhead Shakers. Seth always fields a scary team.
Diamond: What would your advice for any rookie or newer captains in THL be?
MartyB: Have fun! The best way to get your foot into THL is to make friends and play games in a season. Don't focus on trying to game any system. Jumping into a Hearthstone League has a learning curve, and you need to adjust to that first before you do anything else. Making friends and meeting other members is the best way to make that adjustment a breeze.
I want to thank MartyB for his time and for answering all of my questions. Thank you for reading the interview series and please DM any feedback to me on Discord (diamond22_). Next week, I will be interviewing a championship captain from last season.
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