An Interview With A World Champion

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Glen Williams - WORLD CHAMPION for Grand Archive!

An Interview With A World Champion

We sat down with the World Champion of Grand Archive, Glen Williams, and asked those burning questions that people wanted to know about, and also a few we thought would be great for the community to hear!

For those that dont know, Glen Williams recently won the World Championship in Las Vegas for Grand Archive, out of thousands of hopefuls who had joined Regionals, Store Championships and more, it was Glen who made it through to the very end.

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Question - Congratulations on your win! Can you walk us through the final match and share your thoughts and strategies during the game? 

Answer - To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to win, it was an unfavourable matchup for myself, the way I put it as I was just playing game by game, he was going to go very very fast, so in order to beat him I had to go faster, somehow it worked, I was able to pull it off and it was really intense, though it was less intense than semi finals as I had a game loss on the first game as that caused me some stress.

Question - What was your preparation process leading up to the World Championship? Did you have a specific training regimen or routine? 

Answer - Leading up to worlds, I didn’t do too much training, as after nationals I took a bit of a break to recharge – but when I arrived in America the week before, we grinded pretty hard and played non stop for 4-5 days before the Championship.

Question - Can you tell us about the deck you used in the tournament? Why did you choose those particular cards and strategy?

Answer - For my Day 1 deck I played something I was very comfortable on which was Merlin, I wanted to make it as variable as possible / as good as I can into everything, it went sortve ok but there was a lot of Rai that was terrifying.  I was expecting 1 Rai not 5 Rai’s, then for Day 2 I was able to switch my deck – I looked at the breakdown, so I decided to play for the brackets so I switched to Hybrid Merlin, it made my matchup to Rai a lot worse though haha, even the funnier thing is in the finals I also vs’ed another Rai so I was playing at an disadvantage.

Question - What was the most challenging match you faced during the championship, and how did you overcome it?

Answer - My most challenging match down to the wire was most likely versing Wilson in the Swiss rounds, it was my 2nd game of the day, he played very well but we went almost to time, and it was also 1-1,  I was able to pull it off 2-1 but that was definitely my most scariest match.

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Glen Williams just after his win in Las Vegas

Question - What was your thought process going into that final turn with the now famous Fireball? 

Answer - I did not expect to win, was very nervous, and spent a lot of time thinking through every scenario before I decided to just fireball to the face, I was worried about Arcane shield but decided to just commit

Question - If you couldn’t play Merlin, who is your next go-to? 

Answer - in our testing, Amy was playing wind allies toniros and that deck is insane. Was actually joking about bringing it as one night she went 14 - 0 against myself on Merlin, fire Diana and luxem Zander. I would say wind allies is one of the strongest decks in the format right now and with mrc release it’s only going to get better. 

Question - What advice would you give to aspiring players who aim to compete at the highest level?

Answer - For players wanting to compete at the highest level, i recommend going to all the tournaments you can as experience playing this game is rewarded greatly. It will help you with all the intricate details with yours and opponents decks. Also, the meta is in really healthy state where if you are great at one deck and can potentially master it you can play well it into anything by adjusting your deck slightly. Deck building is one of the most important features of this game. 
 

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Question - How do you balance your time between practicing the game, attending tournaments, and managing other aspects of your life?

Answer - At the moment im playing Grand Archive about 2 - 3 nights a week at local events and then leading up to major events I’ll be practicing a lot on Table top simulator. However when it’s tournament season, I’ll be trying to travel for all events every weekend. Obviously it does tend to put a bit of strain on yourself so having a work balance that suits this lifestyle is a must or you’ll just burnout. Afterwards I usually have a decent break and just attend the local scene to keep growing the community. 

Question - What do you think sets apart top players from the rest of the field in competitive Grand Archive?

Answer - The top players have a great understanding of top tier decks as well as their own and how to play into most decks. You’ll see this a lot with their side as they will know whats best to put in and out. They know most intricate rulings and are also able to withstand the pressure that comes with success. Game experience is definitely rewarded and you’ll see most top players have a lot of games under their belt.

Question - The big question is now, whats next for you in Grand Archive?

Answer - Next in grand archive? At the moment it’s rest until Taipei and see what’s happening over there. I’m going to relax on the traveling internationally for a while as the USA was a large trip for myself. But next major event will likely be Singapore in September and I’m also looking at Canada in October. I’m very excited to see how the game grows now in NZ and I believe there will be a lot of top level players here in the future 🙂

 

Liam O'Neill

Managing Director

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