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[OK]H4nn1:"I feel that we will not be beaten"

By Mario 'Kolapz' Mađer
Jun 13, 2011 14:16

ImageIn an exclusive interview, SK Gaming talks to Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbückers of Online Kingdom about the upcoming DreamHack Summer 2011.

With DreamHack Summer 2011 and it's Heroes of Newerth tournament, the IOL Final Four, just a week away, SK Gaming sat down with DE Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbückers of EU Online Kingdom to talk about his expectations of the tournament, his team, recent patch changes and a myriad of other topics.

Hello H4nn1! Although I'm sure by now everyone knows who you are, would you please introduce yourself to the HoN community and the SK-Gaming crowd?

"Hey there, my name is Kai Hanbückers, also known as H4nn1. I've played HoN now since beta and right now I am playing for the well known team Online Kingdom. I'm 21 years old and I'm looking forward to study at Maastricht University in the beginning of September. Beside playing HoN, I've got a lovely girlfriend, that sadly is 7.500km apart from me, that I'm hoping to see soonish again. I enjoy playing and watching soccer, as well as I love to go out partying with my friends. While having a gaming hobby, I'm working as a waiter in some high class hotels around my lovely hometown Düsseldorf. So if you are ever thinking of visiting Düsseldorf, you might get to see me during your stay ;)."

As winner of the Gosugamers HoN Awards 2010. in the „Best overall player“ category, who do you think is most worthy of that title at the moment? Who do you think is the most dominant player on the competitive scene?

"Thanks for telling me, that I got voted as such, as I don't really follow the communities votes too much, though now that I know of it I'm glad that I was :D. No but honestly, I've never held too much of these votes in general. There is only a few players that actually diverse between their roles and playstyle that it's hard to figure out on who to call the best overall player. But what I can say is that players that do impress me by their playstyle and skill would be PH Marc 'Mr.Swish' Parasdas and DK Johan 'n0tail' Sundstein."

When the current Online Kingdom line-up was announced, many expected you to simply crush all opposition in a manner similar to what fnatic and Evil Geniuses did for the most part of 2010. While you did have some impressive results you didn't quite live to the expectations yet, though. Do you think it's just a matter of time or is the competition just too close for one team to have a monopoly on tournament wins, unlike last year?

"Before I left for Singapore to see my beautiful girlfriend, I was actually sure about that there is no team to that certain point, that has a chance of beating us during this time. Obviously due to my absence, things have changed but we are hopefully just getting back on top with the upcoming Dreamhack. It's a certain feeling that I get, where I know that we ain't getting beaten and that is usually when I understand the picking phase again. But yes, the competitive scene gets harder to compete in and obviously to stay on top of it as well. HoN is a new game and is far off the stage, where the competitive DotA scene is right now. This leads to the DotA vs HoN scene, that I don't want to open up, though what I can say is even though the games are alike, the competitive scenes are not comparable at all. In general you can say, that the further a game goes the smaller the chance of a monopoly exists, cuz it's just a matter of time, the top team gets interrupted with something, that effects their effort for the game. On an equal skill level, the team that does the most earns the money, just like everywhere else, you got to work for it."

Unlike the vast majority of other teams, there doesn't seem to be a set role for each player within Online Kingdom with each of you swapping roles and heroes from game to game (Except for SE Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall playing the main support). Do you think that's something that possibly holds you back or are you confident that each of you can play every hero to it's maximum potential?

"We are actually in a phase right now, where we are trying to somewhat give each player a certain heropool or playstyle. I am known for a good carry but I am also known for playing whatever I like to play and not what's possibly the best choice for the team. Though yes, we are noticing that especially when I'm sticking to the solo lane/carry what not part, that we do work out best."

Considering all of you have immense LAN experience from the past, and some of you even winning the DreamHack Summer tournament a year ago, do you think that LAN experience will make you more prepared for what you'll have to go through at DreamHack Summer 2011. and maybe give you an edge over less experienced teams?

"Online and offline is always a huge diffrents and it also does change a lot in playstyle, confidence, etc. I'm quite used to it already, as I've seen Dreamhack quite a few times back in my DotA days and from back then I know that offline experience can decide games, just like the old Mousesports team is an example for playing poorly offline in the early stages and SK Gaming DotA team always being right on top of the offline events are examples for it. Playing offline doesn't decide the whole game but it definetly has a huge impact on the game. It's mostly about the whole bondage in the team, that is a difference in offline events."

Now, there's been a lot of talk about whether the format of the tournament is a fair one. TS Gaming and Reason Gaming, as winners of the Swedish only IOL LAN Finals, have been given spots in the semi-finals while a myriad of top teams will have to go through a tough and exhausting BYOC Qualifier, including yourself and teams like fnatic, KD Gaming, Team unZ and others. How do you feel about the tournament format?

"I actually didn't know about that yet, though what I can say to this is, that it obviously isn't fair because these two teams are not the best teams, and even if they would be there is no reason for a team to get seeded into the semis for winning a tournament that not everybody is invited to. It's not fair but if that is how the tournament is then you just have to make the best out of it. Crying about it afterall won't change it."

Which two teams do you expect to advance through the BYOC Qualifier and which one of the Swedish teams would you rather meet in the semi-finals? What are your chances of defeating them?

"Well my personal wish for overall final is just like last year: fnatic vs Online Kingdom. I know my old friend SE Kim 'PapaDrayich' Larsson is playing for TS Gaming , so I'd love to face them."

In the recent video interview Marc "Maliken" DeForest announced a "competitive circuit unlike anything eSport has seen before with a massive prize pool". What do you think it is? What do you think the competitive scene needs the most in order to develop?

"I actually have seen that interview as well, and I was pretty excited to see what they are planning to do. I have no clue on what they are planning, honestly. But what HoN needs just like any other game is a huge community. Only huge playerpools are getting investors and that can only happen over the time. You can't force it, but maybe their idea turns out to be genius and that could speed up the process."

The recent 2.0.35. patch brought some fairly significant changes, particularly to the map. The "Secret Shop" was removed and replaced with "The Observatory" and the Kongor area has been overhauled. What impact, if any, do you think those changes will have on how the game is played?

"I don't know about the the whole secret shop thingy, hasn't really shown any diffrence so far to me, rather making me run to the secret shop randomly trying to pick up an item that isn't there anymore. But to the Kongor change, I hope it really changed the whole hellbourne advantage, that there has been for so long now, as it was just way easier for Hellbourne to kill Kongor than it was for the Legion. I haven't gained that big of an experience about the Kongor spot so far, that I could say it definetly balanced it out, but at least there has been an attempt, that future will tell us, if it really helped."

Alright, thanks for your time. The last question, as always, is reserved for you. Any last comments or shoutouts you'd like to make?

"First comes first, big shout out to my lovely girlfriend Mischa, I love you.
Beside that, to all the people crying about the server issues lately, it doesn't make it any better. S2 is trying their best, maybe the whole capacity thingy that Maliken was talking about could have been solved or at least looked into way earlier, so that the ddos attack wouldn't have taken such a huge impact, and I'm actually pretty sure they knew about it as well, who ever did it. The only thing, that I've missed is a proper update possibly at the HoN startup, that when you start the game and are about to log in, you know where you are at, instead of trying to login without any knowledge whether it's gonna work or not. I know there is forums, there is twitter, there is what not but the casual gamer and also I would enjoy it the easy way of just seeing it at first sight and not having to look up for it, cheers."

EU Online Kingdom roster:
DE Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbückers
DE Marc 'Mag1x' Müller
PL Remigiusz 'Powzilla' Pusch
DK Mathias-Benjamin 'SemiJew' Larsen
SE Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall

Stay tuned to SK Gaming as we bring you an interview per day in anticipation of DreamHack Summer 2011.!



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