Ena Cup #5 hype! With the biggest Ena Cup yet coming up this Saturday, I decided to take some time to get to know the tournament’s founder and namesake Ena1337. It was a good thing someone went to interview him too; with all this great information he must have been about to burst! Ena went full enal with this interview, so sit back and prepare for a wild ride.
Hey Ena, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!
1.Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do outside of Warcraft, and can you talk a bit about all the ways you are involved in the scene?
Hi. Thanks for having me. I'm 25 years old, from Essen, Germany, my main occupation is my studies in Business Information Systems (German:Wirtschaftsinformatik), I'm currently in the middle of my M. Sc. degree programme, I started my Bachelor studies in the end of 2011. Yeah, you can tell I took my time. Well actually, I rushed through my Bachelor studies from 2011 until 2014 while working at the university as an assistant and almost finished my B. Sc. by then…but then I started to “take time for myself”. I kept procrastinating my Bachelor thesis for over two years, lol. I used that time to be … creative. 2014 I have gotten a new flat, 2015 created my own small business in external logistics management (good traffics; at the age of 19 I founded a still running smaller business society in that field for my family); next to working at the University in IT-Support - and by the end of 2016 I was studying in Finland for one semester, taking courses for my masters and having a fun time… of course, as you might guess… By 2015 I started to invest more and more time into my passion (and addiction XD) of WC3, gaming at BNet, watching Back2Warcraft on Twitch and eventually streaming and playing myself on Twitch and w3arena, later on on NetEase :) .
Now I skip the the development of my motivation in detail from 2015 to 2017 and tell you the current state:
My real life…
My involvement in the WC3 scene…
2. You are active in so many roles within the community, such as streaming, playing, and organizing tournaments. Why is each important to you, and which role is your favourite?
3. You have your own Discord Channel. Why did you feel it was important to start this? (Feel free to include an invite to your Discord here, if you want some extra advertising)
First of all, welcome to my Discord: https://goo.gl/9CBmFN
I just started it because it was trendy and hyped by 2016. Every streamer got his own server. So did I. Nowadays I keep it as a stronghold of the ENAL culture and community. It’s probably the best way for people to interact with me / each other off- and onstream.
4. You said that to reach your level of skill as a player you did almost nothing but work and train for a time. How would you describe that experience? Are you still doing that? What advice do you have for a new player who wants to become good at the game?
Yes, that is true. From the end of 2015 until the mid of 2017, I basically kept playing WC3 almost every day, with a few breaks. Even on my semester abroad I kept playing WC3 on my 11.6” tablet PC in my bed, and guess what? Within that time my improvement was significant (which also came from analyzing my team’s league player’s mistakes and game plans by that time). Mass ladder and custom games were the main factor of long-term improvement.
The experience of working and training hard for the purpose of improvement is humbling and elevating at the same time. You get your ass whiped. So what? You stand up and keep fighting. One day you will whip ass. Go hard or die trying.
No, I am not training WC3 anymore. I do not take the time for it anymore.
Advice for a new player who wants to become good at the game: Use your fucking brain. Don’t be a stupid robot who repeats all the patterns everyone is doing like on W3Arena and not understanding why you can’t beat specific strategies. Start thinking about every fucking single nuance in the game and how it influences the overall outcome of possible scenarios. Yes, you might come far as a robot, but you will always stay stupid that way and probably die stupid. As you most likely won’t earn any significant amount of money through WC3 anyways, better try to use the time to smarten up instead of becoming a brainless robotic idiot. Ah well, once you understood this, of course try to learn from other, more experienced players (e.g. on Twitch or on replays), applying their patterns on your gameplay and experimenting with them. After a while, you should pick a main race, just so that you can automatize patterns which, through a process of deep convincement, have been approved in your own understanding of the meta game.
5.You play in NW3CL with clan VIKI. How did you first become involved with that clan? What do you like about clan wars and team VIKI that a player wouldn’t get just playing cups and tournaments?
Playing for ViKi is a side thing for me. I mostly just jump in to fill unstaffed slots. My main focus lies in leading and managing ViKi together with Over-Admire.
I became involved with that clan when SweeT asked me to acquire some Korean players for ViKi’s league team by mid 2016. That way I influenced the league team management, joined the clan and well … because of the way of how I am, together with Over-Admire (big shoutouts to you, kiss :*), I ended up being a co-leader of ViKi by mid 2017.
I like the concept of clan wars and team ViKi as a team manager because I can lead several individuals towards a higher, team-oriented goal. I enjoy leading people in any context. And well, having won a title (NWC3L Season 6) about half a year after joining the clan was of course really awesome and motivating.
Being in a team humbles the perception of yourself. You have to become unbiased about players, matchups and skill levels in order to reach the goals of the higher purpose. The ego-trip becomes irrelevant and the family is the only importance. This does not only teach you in the context of WC3, but also of Real Life. The experience in a team is for sure way different compared to just playing a cup/tournament. And as I consider myself as a very social person, I suit well as a team leader. Apart from that, I enjoy management tasks.
6. What are your future goals as a player and a streamer?
I am basically inactive as a player and as a streamer, I have no goals here (anymore).
Whenever I come on, I mainly want to have fun while ofc winning every game. And when I have a chat full of memes and happy people, I’m more than satisfied.
7. Ena Cup #5 will be the biggest yet, with a $700 prize pool. What made you decide to make this cup so special?
First of all: I just invested a small part of the money for the (relatively) huge prize pool. The biggest part came from an unknown person called “Warcraft3_rocks” who really liked the idea of using LV maps only. He basically negotiated with me: If I remove all other maps and only keep LV maps, he would add $200 more, and another $150 more, and so on … :D ( twitch.tv/thendis32 also donated $150 to the prize pool, thanks bud. I will co cast this event with him).
I had the choice of having several “smaller” cups with $100 to $250 prize pool each, or make “one huge” cup with ~$550 to 700 prize pool. Regarding the development of the WC3 scene and its confusing amount of many small cups, I sensed an oversaturation of minor cups in the market of WC3 events. So I cancelled the initial announcements of EnaCup#5, EnaCup#6 & EnaCup#7 and merged them all together into one big baby: EnaCup#5. That way, I offer less content than planned, but at least it is quality content (thinking of YAWS <3 ).
8. This Ena Cup will feature only LV maps. What made you decide to do this? What are your thoughts on these new LV maps?
Well, my main sponsor offered way more money if I feature only LV maps. That is the only decisive factor.
Def. not all of them are bad maps. I’m serious. Plunder Isles LV became a meta-compatible map. Road to Stratholme LV has a wonderful shape and walking path, creating concise storylines for each matchup. But having something like Two Rivers LV or Bridge Too Near LV on the 1on1 map pool … is IMO just nonsense. Not meta/melee-compatible. Period. I already recommended the head of Blizzard’s classic department to rather include the current melee map pool with AZ, AI, LR and so on. Mixing a few of the (actual good and melee-compatible) new LV maps into the map pool should contribute to a positive and useful development. The current LV map pool on the PTR server makes no sense yet.
9. Ena Cups have been coming in force since your partnership with ESL. Can you tell us a little more about this partnership, and how it is benefiting both the Ena and the ESL communities?
I basically keep supporting ESL WC3 events since the end of 2016, mainly through MooCup by my streamer colleague Marsimoo (shoutout to you: twitch.tv/marsimoo ) which started collaborating with ESL by then. The ESL WC3 admin team and I quickly figured out that we both (Ena and ESL) support each other effectively in our activities. While shoutcasting games with Marsimoo, I took care of vetoing, hosting, reporting … and that continued. At some point I had the idea of creating my own cup, so the first EnaCup ran on ESL, based on the positive collaboration we already had before.
Now that I became an ESL WC3 admin by August 2017, it only made sense to merge both our content-creative (ena) and administrative (ESL) capabilities to have successful EnaCups #3, #4, #5 and so on for the community. I am both a partner but also a part of ESL, with my role of organizing and sponsoring a cup but also administering the online platform it runs on.
10. Ena Cup #3, #4, and #5 were announced fairly close together, but we still have no announcement of an Ena Cup #6. Will there be more Ena Cups to come in the future? What would the ideal future of Ena Cup look like (would they be smaller weekly cups, or bigger cups like this that occur less frequently)?
Real talk: not any soon. Probably yes somewhen, but I do not know when. Why not? q.e.d. - WC3 is oversatured with minor cups. Both WC3 nor I do not profit from the time invested into “smallish” EnaCups. So no weekly cups, that’s for sure. By August, this was, tbh, the initial idea of EnaCup. But yeah, as you can read above, I quickly found out it made no sense. So if there’s gonna be an EnaCup#6 (and #7 and so on) in the long-term future - then it’s gonna be hopefully something even bigger than EnaCup#5 already is, in less frequence.
Having said that and everything else above, that all should indicate that I closed a chapter in my online WC3 activities again. I’ll not be gone, but I’ll use my time differently. This is not a farewell. But this is a significant decrease of my attendance.
At this point I just want to greet and thank all people who shared the fun and enjoyable times in my journey: everyone I will forget and B2W.Neo & YAWS (who gave me their chances when everyone else didn’t), Over-Admire (who’s an awesome colleague to run a team with), Aventador & PriesT (who became good friends, practice and team mates), Muffy (who is probably the sexually most attractive teammate), my moderators (who significantly contributed into establishing the ENAL Community and Culture), Yosh from w3arena (who still does not want to unban me on his server because I ban evaded), my mates from my BNet Clan Area (former Mode, and esp. the leadership colleagues C’SAR and Archy- - who defend a hacker-free place on BNet Northrend), Marsimoo (who started from the bottom with me together, and now we both became assets in WC3 activities) & everyone I do not want to mention because you suck and you don’t deserve a shoutout.