We sit down with Baus, a UK Summoners War: Sky Arena player who is participating in the SWC 2019 finals on October 26th with the chance to win $100,000.
In this interview we ask him for his tips for aspiring pros, what it’s like representing the UK and what Summoners War is like as a competitive mobile game.
How did you first get into gaming? What’s your earliest memory in games?
I remember playing games on the school computers at secondary school. We played all sorts of browser games. I think my earliest memories of gaming might have been on my browser at home though.
We had a dial-up connection which was so slow back then, so it would take forever to load the most basic games. Kids were more patient back then so I persevered with the wait!
Please tell us about your background in esports
I’ve tried various games over the years, but Summoners War is the first game I’ve played for so long at a high level. I started playing in 2015 so it’s been over 4 years now!
What’s Summoners War like as an esport? And what’s it like representing the UK?
The World Arena game mode within Summoners War is what is considered to be the esport part of the game. It is a turn based strategy game with elements of skill, account quality, strategy and luck all factoring into the result. I’m incredibly proud to be able to represent the UK. Not many people get the privilege so I’ll do my best to give a good showing!
What does a typical working day look like for you? Do you play Summoners War full-time?
I don’t actually play Summoners War full time. Most of my day is taken up by my day job as an actuary. So I generally only play Summoners War during my commute and in the evenings.
What are your thoughts on mobile esports? In particular, following the announcement that a mobile version of League of Legends is on the way? Do you think that can bring more people into this space, and into other games, like Summoners War?
I think mobile esports has a bright future ahead. The portability of the format allows these games to reach a broader audience as it can fit around people with busy schedules.
With this advantage, I do genuinely believe that competitive mobile games like Summoners War have a lot of potential to increase in popularity over time.
What are your aims and ambitions in esports?
I wouldn’t say that I have a long term goal in esports. I can see myself continuing to enjoy playing Summoners War. Of course it would be great to go one step further and be the European champion in the future. But anything like that is a bonus!
What are your thoughts going into the SWC 2019 finals? How would you weigh up your competition, and your own chances?
I have a very tough match in the first round against what most people would consider to be the favourite to win the competition. So honestly my chances of success are low, but anything is possible!
What would you say to the parents and teachers of aspiring pro gamers, and those who perhaps aren’t convinced that pro gaming can offer a viable career path?
I do believe that pro gaming can be a viable career option. If someone is genuinely talented at an esport, then they deserve to be given a shot to prove themselves. I don’t think it is so different to being a pro sportsperson, and indeed gaming can be a very lucrative career in itself.
What three pieces of advice would you give to aspiring pro players?
My best advice is would be to firstly find a game you really enjoy and are talented at, since without that you won’t go far.
Secondly, make sure you train a lot but don’t overdo it – it’s also good to have a balance in life.
And finally, believe in yourself and don’t give up at the first or even the 7th hurdle. A positive mindset is such an important factor.
What are the perks and challenges of your job?
It’s great to be able to travel to Paris to meet players from all around the world. And it’s very exciting to be involved in filming and competing in front of a live audience. At the same time, the pressure of the matches is high with so many people watching you.
I hope that I can show them my abilities nevertheless!
Thanks Baus and good luck in the competition.
(bear in mind this article was posted on October 24th, before the competition got underway so at the time of writing we do not know the outcome)