Hey Testie, welcome to SK Gaming! To start things off, can you tell us a bit about yourself on a personal level?
My real name is Nick Perentesis, I live in a small town called Huntsville located in Ontario, Canada. I'm 25 years old and have always been competitive when it comes to games since I was 4. I generally consider myself a nice guy who doesn't have patience for people who I already have a bad impression of. If the 25 year old me met the 16 year old me, I'd ignore the jerk and ban him from my games without a second thought. Sorry, previous me. I enjoy a lot of different activities like swimming and skiing but rarely if ever do any simply because I played DOTA and HoN so much. Long story short I've lived as Testie more than Nick recently and Nick has some good things ahead of him and needs to take some time for himself. But yeah, I still intend to play a lot.
As most people already know, you've been a professional gamer in the past, namely in Starcraft. Can you tell us a bit about that period of your life?
Competing and traveling around the world, meeting a lot of awesome people, making new friends from other countries, and learning a bit in the process. I burned on the beach in Mexico, experienced Christmas time in Singapore, managed to have a blast in Korea despite being given terrible news, was enchanted by Milan in Italy, fell in love in Beijing, China, and tried my best to get fat in the USA. Each place I went to I felt I met some great people who improved me personally. I feel like I should give a special mention to the country China because I hung out with some hotel staff who took me around on a mountain trip in China and they truly extended a genuine friendliness that I will never forget. Despite not making much money they insisted on treating me to meals and even gave me parting gifts, I was very moved. It was a great time, and while traveling can sometimes be extremely exhausting it was well worth it. It helped me grow from a cocky brat who thought he was the best and challenged every good player in sight, to a seasoned competitor who just loves playing and working at the game to smooth the rough edges and strives to perfect his play.
How, when and why did you make the transition to HoN?
I made the transition to HoN in September of 2009. I had been playing dota before that and people around me attempted to convince me HoN was better. I ignored them for a long time ignorantly figuring that DOTA was superior but after playing HoN for only a week I stayed and never looked back.
What are the similiarities and differences between the skills needed for SC and HoN?
They are vastly different games yet many of the same rules apply. There's too many things to list so I'll just say some similarities would be judgment, awareness, reaction time, and mechanics/fundamentals. Differences would be Starcraft takes more talent, speed/apm, and the ability to multi-task to do well. It's a much more demanding game whereas HoN is more newb friendly.
How and when did you meet your current teammates? Can you tell us a bit about how things work between you guys when in a tournament? How do you decide picks, lanes, who plays what etc?
Most of the current team mates we have I met on HoN with the exception of Blavo and Tabako who I knew from DOTA days a couple years ago or maybe a little over a year ago? Fogged, Draskyl, Bdiz are relatively newer friends that I've added. While I'm usually in charge of doing picks, we always discuss them throughout the team and what we think is best. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow though. For instance Fogged will say, "I'm feeling like Valk" and then he runs around getting a bloodbath on valk, or Tabako will say, "get me on pyro" and then he works his magic and kills everything in sight. Right now though everyone has a good idea of what role and heroes they are playing going into the match.
What are your thoughts about HoN's competitive scene?
The organizations are there and they are improving and organizing better events. I always prefer playing an entire tournament in one day though if those are possible. I really enjoyed the old GR tournaments. There isn't too much to say other than it is shaping up and I hope there's a lot more to come.
Who are your main competitors?
The usual suspects. Loaded, KD Gaming and Fnatic. I don't know if I'm excluding anyone at the moment but these three are the most dangerous for us so far.
Are you satisfied with the number and format of tournaments? What would you suggest to anyone who organizes a HoN tournament?
Satisfied for now. I want more tournaments to be played on a single day but that just isn't possible as weekdays would be bad for tournaments, saturday isn't exactly the best day either, that just leaves Sunday. And with numerous tournaments being run only one gets that spot. To organizers who are going to run tournaments... make a strict set of rules. Tournament mode, no MODS for instance?! Make sure you have staff that act in a professional manner no matter how idiotic any players try to be to aggravate them. Ignore the stupidity and just do your job.
What do you think about the current state of HoN and where it's heading?
It's a bit hard to answer this question at the moment. As the player base grows I'll have a better idea. S2 is quite dedicated and looks to continually improve HoN while taking advice from the people who play the game itself. I can't say for sure where it is heading, but it looks to be in a good direction with S2 seeming to genuinely care and constantly making improvements.
Are you happy with the recent DotA ports: Bubbles, Tundra and Gladiator and how they fit into the current metagame? Do you think they will have an impact on how the game is played?
Neither Tundra nor Bubbles changed much to be honest. While both being good heroes neither is overpowered so they aren't first ban or insta-first pick material. I think Gladiator might see some play, as he's widely considered to be a fun hero to play.
What are you favorite heroes? What heroes do you hate to play against?
Any good solo that can control and or carry the game. To be honest I like playing almost any hero but deep down both my friends and I usually want me to play something that will likely ensure us to win. So while I love playing heroes like Behemoth, if there is a free farming Armadon in some other lane I am starting to regret what hero I am on. And the worst part about it is my team is like, "why are you playing behe?" if we start losing... and i'm like, "what, I'm doing great!" I don't really hate playing against heroes in particular. It's more against certain heroes in certain situations that have arisen for one reason or another. For instance being a Magmus against a Thunderbringer + Sand Wraith + Vindicator, sometimes finding a place to blink+ult is very annoying.
Why are you "Angry" in HoN?
Because I had to make another name when my Testie name was stolen. At the time I was quite angry, hence the name AngryTestie. There's a lot more details to that but that name thievery created AngryTestie. However it also led to identity theft which in turn led to an interesting time in which we tracked down the criminal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After that I had a strong urge to work in law enforcement, because it really was a lot of fun nearly putting this guy in prison. S2 gave me back my main account though, and I consider Testie my main account now as it is the name I have used for over a decade.
Thank you for taking the time for the interview, Testie. Anything else you'd like to add, shoutouts, etc.?
The second question of this interview made me really nostalgic so now I feel like I should give a shout out to everyone I can remember going 10 years back. So rather than doing an insincere mudslide shout-out to cover everyone I'll just do the most important one. Shout out to TaintedLove. Baby, I'm with SK now, we can afford to go to KFC tonight! But seriously nah, get your best dress ready we're going some place nice.
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