Following quite the bumpy road to the Sapphire Showdown, DGL Premier Division victor Dale “Pand3m0nia” Pon of Energy eSports has at last achieved cup victory, securing a convincing 3-0 Sapphire Do-or-Die Proving Grounds final match victory over James “Epsilon” Stewart earlier this week.
The former DGC champion will now be looking to continue his winning streak into the Sapphire Showdown, set to kick off tonight, where he will need to secure a top four placement in order to progress to the Community Shield DGC Qualifier and a guaranteed place at the 2017 Championships!
Telkom Gaming (TG): First off, congratulations on your Sapphire Do-or-Die victory!
Having played in the Emerald Series, ultimately being knocked out in the semi-finals of the Emerald Showdown, you have had a chance to test your mettle against a number of competitors in the local scene. What are your thoughts on the level of play you have seen in the cups in particular?
Pand3m0nia: The level of play has definitely increased, but I think we still have quite some way to reaching the same level as international competitions.
TG: What do you feel would benefit players the most in their preparation for the Sapphire Showdown and the subsequent DGC Qualifiers?
Pand3m0nia: Research is always a useful tool, looking up the various meta decks as well watching pro players pilot them so as to learn the tips and tricks of decks. Also, discussing decks with other players is rather helpful to get insight and a different perspective.
TG: What match-up in the Sapphire series was the most difficult and why?
TG: Who do you most look forward to playing in the upcoming Sapphire Showdown and why?
Pand3m0nia: Probably Jacques “Selfmoord” Wentzel as I haven’t faced him in a while (since he started playing competitive Overwatch and dropped from Hearthstone).
TG: Being one of the top performers in the Hearthstone local scene, what advice would you give to players who are either new to the title or have not played Hearthstone in awhile on how to improve their performance?
Pand3m0nia: As Hearthstone is a game that combines skill and luck you need to compete and play in several tournaments before you are likely to do well. Thus I would suggest that, no matter how casual or new you are, it’s never too early or late to start playing tournaments, whether it’s the DGL or international ones. I would also suggest watching and discussing games with better players to try and understand what makes them better and how to use this to improve yourself.
TG: The Showdown will be the last DGL tournament to follow the last man standing format. Do you feel that this format works in your favour for the upcoming matches and why?
Pand3m0nia: I don’t think it will work heavily in my favour as all the competitors have been playing LHS and are used to the format.
Dale “Pand3m0nia” Pon‘s first match of the Sapphire Showdown will be Sapphire Genesis runner-up Liam “Vengeance” Steenkamp, who gave the Genesis Proving Grounds Champion Matthew “Simplez” Christie quite the run for his money in a tight 3-2 final match.
Did you know that you can play Hearthstone in the DGL?
The DGL is South Africa’s largest online gaming league and is open to everybody.
Join the DGL for free and you could win cash and prizes for playing Hearthstone.