Interview with DIGSMITE's Mid Laner Hurriwind
Sun 28th Jul 2019 - 11:31am
Dignita's Smite team made it to the semifinals of MSI 2019 after having an amazing first split of the season. With the team now preparing for Phase 2, we got the chance to sit down and chat with DigSmite's mid laner Tyler "Hurriwind" Whitney about how the season has gone so far and how he is looking ahead towards Phase 2 and even towards Worlds.
You guys made it to the semifinals of MSI. How are you guys feeling making it to that stage?
Hurriwind: We feel good about making it that far. Our expectation was to make it to the finals, if not win MSI, so we did fall short on that, but overall as a first split, things could have gone worse. Overall, we are happy to make it to the semis. Of course, we’d have liked to have gone further though.
Dignitas hit the ground running in the first part of the season. From your performances in Phase 1 and MSI, do you guys feel confident you'll make Worlds?
Hurriwind: Yeah, we absolutely feel confident about making it to Worlds! It is a long way away from now, but on the back-end we didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve from the first split. We are hoping that we can pick it up into the next split and make a bigger impact there and thus make Worlds.
Let's talk about the semifinal. What happened in the set against Renegades and how are you all feeling about the set?
Hurriwind: In the set against Renegades, it just felt like one of those days where we came and didn’t play to the best of our ability. I also think they had a start that countered our start and we weren’t creative enough coming into the LAN. Sometimes that can just happen.
Ataraxia mentioned in our last interview that he wants to get wins over Renegades and EUnited because they were the only teams to beat you in the last phase. Is this a mentality shared by the whole team?
Hurriwind: Yeah, in general, everyone is trying to beat everyone else. Those were in particular who we were looking at, because they have given us trouble in the split but, moving forward, we are in a spot where I think we can beat anyone. We’re going to start with sort of a fresh slate.
How has it been for you adapting into this team?
Hurriwind: There has definitely been a lot of major adjustments I’ve had to make, things that I wouldn’t have exactly thought about. I kind of knew it would be a jarring experience coming in, because EU players have a distinctly different mindset and playstyle. That is something that I’ve really had to adjust to. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet them in the middle and open their eyes up to some things and, at the end of the day, I think we’ve all come out of it better.
Do you think the level of Smite has improved from last season and why?
Hurriwind: I would say that every season brings more competition and sometimes it comes in the way of people being more innovative and other times it comes in the way of people just being better at the game. I’d say that this year it’s definitely the toughest competition yet. That is something you can probably say every year, though.
What are some positives and negatives you can take from this season so far individually?
Hurriwind: For me, a big positive is reaffirming to myself, and hopefully to everyone else, that I belong on a top team and that I can compete with the top teams and that I’m a top tier player. I’ve played a lot of gods as well this split, so my god pool has shown to be a little bit bigger than some people would have thought before.
As far as negatives go, that one is hard to say but I think the biggest negative I’d take is that I’m not the all-star player on the team. I’m more the support player on the team. As far as I’m concerned though, that is a good thing, as not everyone can be the all-star player on the team.
The SmitePro house tour video gave us a look inside Dignitas' house life but I do have to ask, what's the deal with the coconut outside the front door and whose idea was it to put it there?
Hurriwind: A lot of people have actually asked that question. The truth is it’s just there, although it would be on-brand for someone on this team to put that out there, but it was just here from the start. We moved in and it was here, and no one felt like removing it, which is also on-brand for the team.
How is the team feeling heading into Phase 2?
Hurriwind: That’s a good question. It’s one of those things where we ended on a bad note because we lost the last couple of games of the season. We didn’t get the tournament performance we were really looking for. It’s one of those things where you sit down with your team and you talk about our expectations for the future and what people could be doing better. We haven’t had that talk yet. I know from talking to them already that everyone still expects to do good things, and everyone has ideas of what could be better and we’re still looking at things in a positive way.
Which games are you most looking forward to in Phase 2?
Hurriwind: Now I’m definitely looking forward to the Renegades set for sure on top of the Rival and PK sets. Rival and PK will be interesting to see where they are at after all this time and the LAN. Everyone has been like a wildcard with how they’ve been performing. Rival for example lost to an SML team.
Are you looking forward to those games from a Mid Laner's perspective as well?
Hurriwind: Mid is kind of a weird role in Smite, because you aren’t particularly laning versus the other person except for only the first wave. I don’t really look at mid match-ups in that way. I usually look at how the team plays and how our team matches up against them.
Final question for this interview, Ataraxia told us before you're the loudest out of all of them to the point that they had to get Dignitas to send you a quieter keyboard. Would you agree with that or do you think someone else in the house is louder?
Hurriwind: I would say in general it is probably me, maybe even Trix. Nate is a little bit biased because his room is on the other side of the wall from where I play. From his perspective, I am sure I am very loud. In general, probably me yeah, I mean he says that my keyboard is really loud. I have loud switches on my keyboard and I’d always be typing up a storm especially in ranked games.
Thank you for speaking to us is there any shoutouts you’d like to make?
Hurriwind: Yeah, shout out to DIG, of course, they’ve been incredibly supportive, and they always are available whenever we need anything, shout out to my family, and shout out to my teammates.
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