eSports Spotlight: Hellshound returns to rAge

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Kyle ‘Hellshound’ Haward is a local gamer who has proved that the greatest eSports moments come when least expected. Last year he quickly worked his way up from the bottom to beating South Africa’s finest StarCraft II players, and this year, returns to rAge 2012 to participate in the Do Gaming Championships and once again demonstrate his powers of awesomeness and bodaciousness…ness.

Haward started off in the lowest division (fourth division) of the Do Gaming League and had absolutely no trouble working his way through the ranks to the top. Before every one knew it he had taken his division and later on the StarCraft II Online Qualifier. When playing at the Do Gaming Championships at rAge he made quick work of some of S.A.’s best including Mohamed ‘seeM’ Lorgat and Marius ‘Stripe” van der Merwe. He went on to compete in the finals against Travis ‘Shase’ Weedon.

Haward topped his group in the Premier Division after leg 3, he will return to compete in the Do Gaming Championships this weekend at rAge, it’ll be very interesting to see if he can repeat his LAN success. We caught up with Kyle to chat about his progress and his views on LAN versus online play.

You stunned every one a year ago by quickly rising up as a StarCraft 2 talent, beating the best the local community had to offer, what has been your progress so far?

Progress? Does getting worse count? I have not really been playing that much for the last four months due to university and how absolutely insane my course is so I cannot really say I have progressed in any way. Though, I am now a much better League of Legends player haha.

How does playing StarCraft 2 competitively online differ from competing at a LAN?

It’s very different. Before rAge I had never attended a LAN before so it was a completely new experience for me.

I had taken part in many competitions and tournaments over an array of games online, but never actually met who I was playing against. It’s always nice to put faces to names of people you play often and get to know them better.

It also creates a completely new atmosphere when you are playing as its not just you on your own, there are lots of people around you who are either watching or also competing. It honestly was the highlight of my year last year being able to attend rAge and then doing as well as I did just made it so much better.

Do you think LAN is a better measure of a player’s talent than online tournaments?

This is a very subjective question to answer. Talent is also such a tough word. I think it’s perhaps a better measure of a person’s ability to play under pressure as a LAN, I feel, creates more pressure than an online event.

It’s well known that a number of incredibly good players in online tournaments in Starcraft 2 under perform at LAN events and I think this is mostly due to not knowing how to play in a different surrounding. I find it hard to say if it gives a better measure of their actually skill or talent at the game.

What have you done to prepare for the Telkom Do Gaming League (DGL) 2012 Championship?

I started playing Starcraft 2 again. I have not really had a lot of time as I just came out of the most hectic three weeks of my university career and still have work to finish before heading off to rAge so I really have not had much time to prepare. Just a few practice games and some laddering (and not much of either of those).

Who do you see as your biggest competition?

I find it very difficult to answer this question as I’ve not really been playing much recently, since Pandatank is not playing also makes it hard to give a generic answer but I would have to go with Shase, I owe him one for last year but if I had to guess who will win? A zerg if they have put the effort in.

Last Updated: October 3, 2012

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