An ongoing article series by Team Genji
Fran Leimontas, “PNC”
PNC is on Team Genji’s Blue Team roster along with fellow players Sintolol and Seiko. This article series was created to provide a better insight of our team and our players various personalities. Team Genji believes that getting to know the players behind the game is one of the most important aspect of enjoying esports. Follow PNC on Twitter and Twitch to keep up with his progress.
What are some of your favorite books?
In my spare time I really enjoy reading. My favorite books, in no particular order, are Harry Potter, The Inheritance Cycle, The Lord of the Rings and The Art of War.
What’s your background and where did you grow up?
I grew up here in Buenos Aires Argentina, where most of my family is from. People here seem to be happier than in other places and enjoy talking to one another. As an example, you can chat with a stranger on the bus and they’ll gladly engage in a conversation.
What are the values that drive you?
I’m very honest, respectful and competitive. When I was 5, I began participating in Football, initially in small neighborhood clubs, but as I started getting better I began competing against teams from across the country. At the same time, I was casually interested in video games, but at 15 I really started focusing on Dota more seriously. After a few years I joined one of the best Dota 2 teams in the league, but I soon got bored of the game and shifted over to Hearthsone. Before Hearthstone I hadn’t even touched another card game, but the game’s ranking system compelled me to become a rank 1 legend. Unlike other games, the bracket gave me a clear vision of how obtaining my goal, becoming the best. If I like what I’m doing I try to be super competitive and try to be at the top
What’s the hearthstone scene like in Argentina?
It’s actually super strong in both Argentina and Brazil. In the 2015-2016 season, we had local tournaments once a month, allowing me to meet the fellow players that lived nearby. We really established a local Hearthstone scene. Everyone lives in Buenos Aires, so if you host a Fireside Gathering everybody comes. We also began curating local online leagues with prizes up to $300, with money pooled in from 100 players playing $3. Our community tourneys built a solid foundation for Hearthstone in Argentinian bringing everybody together, sharing lots of inside jokes and memes. It’s a great to have an environment where everybody is brought together through a common interest. When we’re not around to hang out in person, we’ve created a Facebook page, “Hearthstone Argentina Competitive” where users sign up for qualifiers or share their favorite deck lists. The group is exclusive and you have really understand the game, be interested in the competitive scene and its easiest to get in you personally know a few of the players.
So you were the Number 1 HS player in March, in the Americas, did that change your perspective on the game at all or how you view the competitive scene?
Not really, but it something I wanted to do a long time ago. Actually it’s the first time a South American Player was number 1 in Hearthstone. For me as a competitive player, this is a big achievement.
How did you learn to get to the level you are at?
I spent a lot of time playing the game, and it also helped talking to a lot of people who understand the game better than me. Also, understanding various pro player’s decks and their strategies behind them. I consistently keep updated by checking Twitter, watching streams on Twitch and making good reads on the Meta. The ladder Meta is like a cycle, people start playing something and then a couple hours later they choose a better deck that’s beats that. B beats A, so people start playing B, then C beats b, so people start playing c, so you have to find the right spot. There are a lot of days where you have a close to 50% win rate and you are stacked and then you find the right deck for that moment and then you climb 70% that day, this is something that happens to me a lot.
What is something about Hearthstone that you want to fix?
Give South American players a chance to show what they can do. It’s super expensive to go to a tournament in NA or Europe. We only have 1 tour stop and it’s limited because players qualify online. I would like a Dreamhack Grand Prix to be hosted in Argentina because people would have to travel here to compete, whether they make the qualifiers or not. Last Year I was the only South American to travel to Dreamhack in Europe, which shows how hard it is for someone from this region to travel to majors right now.
What do you like about competitive hearthstone versus casual play?
Hearthstone isn’t my favorite game to play and if it was for the pleasure I would probably play Dota or Counterstrike. The reason I enjoy hearthstone is due to the competitive aspect. Not to mention, I also enjoy meeting all the pro players around the world. Hearthstone is probably the easiest Scene to enter. Once I started playing intensely for a year, I qualified for my first tournament in LA, Hearthstone Spring Championship. In a few weeks, I will be competing at the Playoffs in both Europe and NA. I’ll be competing in the NA playoffs, against the best 64 players in the region and the top 4 gets a spot for the finals in LA.
What do you like about being a pro HS player?
I enjoy traveling, meeting people with similar interests from around the world and of course the competitive aspect adds another dimension to the game.
Before joining Team Genji, what was some of your past gaming experiences?
I played dota for Isurus gaming, one of the biggest organizations in south America for 3+ years, when I started playing hearthstone they picked me up for that as well. Last year Isurus sent me to three Dreamhacks, where started getting recognized in the Hearthstone community.
What do you do when your not playing Hearthstone that makes you feel alive and excited?
I usually take the weekends off, don’t play much hearthstone, hang out with my friends go out to nightclubs. I also spend a lot of time reading fantasy novels, history, philosophy.