After over two years as Team Dignitas Heroes of the Storm player and team-captain, James "Bakery" Baker will step down from the active roster moving into the 2018 season.
James has been at the center of our Heroes of the Storm endeavors ever since signing the Bob Question Mark roster right before the European Regionals in Prague in October 2015. Under his leadership, the team became European champions four times, celebrated one Western Clash victory, and reached the final of two global championships.
Bakery wielding the HGC Western Clash trophy in Katowice, March 2017
Hi, I’m Bakery. I will be stepping down from the team, effective immediately, and I will not be playing in Phase 1 of HGC 2018. This was an incredibly hard decision for me to make, but there are a multitude of factors that I won’t go into that mean continuing to play without a break is not an option.
My time in Team Dignitas and by extension the esports world has been incredible - it has definitely been the most amazing journey of my life so far. I am still seething with passion for the game and the esport, and I currently plan to look to return to competing one day. I am not finished with HGC - I promised ODEE two years ago that I would win him a World Championship, and I fully believe that I can in the future.
There are so many things that I want to do, and I believe that if I commit to them then I can do them. I want to continue being a player, I want to be a caster, I want to coach a team, I want to manage a team, I want to work on the HGC at Blizzard, I want to work on balance at Blizzard, I want to help run an esports organisation, and honestly everything else in between.
I want to do something with my life. I want to make people proud, and I want a legacy. At this time I am keeping every option I can open, and am actively pursuing every opportunity I can.
My shoutout list could honestly be longer than the rest of the post, so I will keep it as brief as possible:
- My former teammates and current teammates
To Zarmony, adrd, Athero, Wubby and AlexTheProG. To JayPL, Mene and Zaelia. Thank you for playing with me. Thank you for learning together with me, thank you for travelling with me. I wish all of you the utmost success.
3 years ago I reached out to Snitch and recruited him for my team, and together we have had the journey of a lifetime. We had a good run, my friend.
I’m sure I would be lying if I called him the best manager, but I can confidently say that he is one of the best people I know. He has always had the best interests of our team in mind, and has always gone above and beyond in pursuit of that goal. Do you remember that WhatsApp message, MepH? I repeat that to you.
I had heard a lot about ODEE before I met him, but when I met him it became very clear that I had been misled. ODEE has always had the best interests of his players in mind. You have been a true mentor to me over the past 2 years, and I can’t wait to work with you again in the future.
- Team Dignitas
Team Dignitas is one of the only big esports organisations to keep on believing in HGC, and they have always treated us well. I hope that their faith will be rewarded in 2018 and beyond. Thank you for believing in me, I like to think I made it worth it.
Blizzard made my dream a reality by creating the amazing game that is Heroes of the Storm, and then creating the HGC. I hope I can pay it back.
Ever since I first met Dreadnaught I knew that we would become close friends. He has always been there for me over these 2 years, and I hope I can do the same for him moving forwards. Let’s do a show again.
Kaelaris has been a great friend to me, but an even better advisor. We very often get carried away for hours talking about improving the things we are passionate about. Thanks for the advice buddy.
I would like to give every single player I have played against (be it in practice, online or even at LAN) a firm handshake, tell them that they fought well, and wish them the best of luck in their journey.
Thank you for reading.
My time with James has been long enough that I think we created our own legacy, and at our peak we were two Brits flying the Dignitas flag and leading Europe. We've established so many incredible memories together that it's very hard to believe that it's over, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. I'll never forget all the trophies and matches we won together, the times that we've shared both online and at events and even the fact that without you I'm not sure I'd be a part of Heroes today. I know this isn't a true goodbye, as I have no doubt there is somewhere else in the scene you'll find to call your own, but I'll miss playing by your side even if we weren't able to work it out for the next year. I wish you all the good luck possible in whatever you choose to do!
We have more Heroes of the Storm news coming soon! Until then: #WeAreJamesBaker