TESL Community Member – GicaForta

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GicaForta is a busy man. Between his regular work and family life, the Romanian Software Engineer spends a lot of his time playing The Elder Scrolls Legends, creating great game-related content on YouTube, playing tournaments, and devoting a lot of his passion to helping and teaching others in The Blood Warriors guild. I recently had the chance to squeeze in an interview into his busy schedule and talked to him about The Elder Scrolls Legends and his plans for his YouTube channel.

Hello GicaForta! Thank you for your time today to talk to us about yourself and about TESL. What’s your in-game name? 

(*starts in a commentator tone of voice*) “Hello guys and welcome to a new episode of …” – Oh, wait, wrong show! *smiles* Hi! I’m GicaForta and I play The Elder Scrolls Legends.

What about you real life? What’s keeping you busy when you are not on TESL?

What’s keeping me bus? Well, mostly my family, that is my wife and two kids. In addition, my nine to seven day job as a Software Engineer, and of course: sleep. I try to get minimum of that, to increase my daytime, hah!

I see what you mean. Can you look back on any previous card game experience?

I played a lot of card games. I even have a Yu-Gi-Oh! physical deck set. Have some Pokemon cards, also. Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering basically set the standards for me.

Tell us a little bit about how you started playing The Elder Scrolls Legends?

I hated Hearthstone, but I loved Magic: The Gathering. And one day while browsing through the app store, I found Legends. I decided to give it a shot and here I am! Also, I play exclusively from mobile!

When was the first time you reached Legend rank on the ladder?

I was able to reach Legends during my first month of the game, and I have been reaching Legends ever since. I started playing somewhere around August 2017 and the deck I was playing was prophecy Battlemage. The meta was really small compared to today’s, so it helped me grow as I unlocked stuff and the game grew with me.

 Have you played in any TESL tournaments?

Yup, in quite a lot, actually. I have won a few, lost the majority, and even tested my decks in the Masters Series. I consider that there’s a lot to learn from everything. My motto in TESL is “An understandable loss, is worth a lot more than an easy win.”

Makes a lot of sense. So what about Aggro – Midrange – Control? What’s your favorite playing style and why?

I consider myself a jack of all trades. I could say I preferred Aggro when I first started playing. Since then, I learnt to adapt to what others are playing. My favorite style of play now, is “counter”.

What’s currently your favorite deck?

Karakondzhul’s Catapult Warrior. It is an excellent deck, once you modify it to fit your own play needs it can be an unstoppable force.

[editor’s note: here is GicaForta’s video of the deck]

…and what’s your all time favorite?

Denial of Service Mage. DoS actually stands for Destroy or Steal, but I think my nickname suits it well. Hard to play, fun to learn and can ruin the day of a lot of people.

A question relating to Quadrant Theory  – Let’s assume for a minute that you were a TESL card. What quadrant would you have your greatest strengths in? Would it be  in Opening/ Developing, in Parity, in Winning or in Losing/ Turnaround?

I invoke the right to form my own House of attributes. So I’d pick 3: Opening/ Developing, Parity, and Winning as well. Does that count? (*laughs*) Hahaha, now I get to pick 75 cards.

It sure does! Another tough one: What TESL title are you most proud of and which one are you usually bearing?

I am currently using “The Immortal”, but I would most likely go with “The Mad”. Unfortuntaly I have not unlocked this one yet, and considering the current title reset bug, I maybe never will, but it would be my favourite.

What’s your view on some of the game-breaking mechanics, like Nix-Ox Combo, Unstoppable Rage, or Magicka Ramp?

I don’t actually consider them game breaking, because for these cards there are other “game breaking cards” to counter them. They are the trump cards, the jokers/ jesters of the royal court, the knight in chess. Considering how all the chess pieces move, do you consider the knight to be a game breaker? That’s your Nix-Ox right there!

Why do you play them yourself?

I play them and I enjoy them. But as stated earlier, I like playing counter decks, in favor of any deck that I may be fond of.

Of all the combos in the game, what’s your favorite one and why?

Infinite Uprising: requires Therana, combined with Nix-Oxes, Laaneth and one Uprising.

What is your view on the current state of TESL?

The franchise is continuously growing, and I mean both the game and the communities. Teams have started to appear and there are so much promising updates from Bethesda, hopefully all for the better. Let’s hope that a Hearthstone-wipe will not happen here also.

What happened there at Hearthstone?

Blizzard did not do much balance, they just let the meta handle itself. There comes a point in time where meta becomes so toxic and unplayable, that no amount of patch can fix it. There was a question: fix it and enrage old players, leave it like this and lose new players. They decided to wipe the whole meta and banned cards and created new ones. So everybody started fresh… but it was a sad moment. That what happens when you leave a game unattended. Old meta stuff was only playable on casual, barred from ranked. I think TESL should not get there. At all. If tended correctly, meta and player base can be properly managed to great success. People like CVH tending as community managers can figure out ways to keep the game entertaining and fun for years to come, without breaking any rules in either content management or user base management. It all comes down to how you, as a software company have your goals set  – ‘money for nothing and chicks for free’ – Dire Straits.

What is your opinion on how Bethesda is evolving the game and the TESL community?

So far so good. I liked that they kicked-off the masters series and that they hired CVH as a community manager. I am also hyped about whats coming next.

If you had one wish for the game, what feature, card or card mechanic would you like to see implemented?

In Romania we have a card game called “Șeptică”. I suggest you Google it and play it with your friends and family. It is a simple card game played in 4, with 2 teams set up diagonally, so clockwise turn, teams play cards alternatively. You are not allowed to talk to each other, just feel what you can do to maintain a winning hand for the team. I would like such a feature, in which 4 players face-off in teams of 2, at a single table. It would be chaotic, fun to play and watch!

What’s your role in the TESL community and what’s driving you?

I’m a Youtuber. I got into it when I realized I could help other new players understand how cards and decks work. And also, attract older players into discussions/ debates about the good, the bad and the ugly.

In 6 months, where do you want to be with this?

Amongst the top 10, and in 1 year hopefully, at the next masters series.

Which content creators do you follow?

Oh a lot. Check my channel https://www.youtube.com/c/GicaForta and you can find them all there under who I am subbed to. I will not enumerate because I would feel bad about forgetting someone.

To close this interview – what message would you like share with the readers of tesl.blog?

I recently became a part of the Blood Warriors Guild. I am really happy as it gives me added purpose to what I do and to what I set out initially to do. Being with others that share your passion is really important. My message: don’t be a loner. If you lost a match, don’t swear away: rather say “good game”, talk to the guy, and you’ll see he may even help you in discovering what bad plays you made. By being a strong community we help each other grow. Be kind to your peers and show respect and you will get that back tenfold. If this seems too much of a religiously inspired message, remember, I am an atheist. Kindness and love is all that we have. If we lose that, we lose our humanity all together. I hope to see you on the ladder! May the best deck win!

Thank you for your time today, GicaForta, and indeed, I hope to see you on the ladder, too!

This concludes the interview with GicaForta. I would like to encourage you to subscribe to his YouTube channel. Last weekend, he just made it to third place in the TESL Open Community Cup #12 tournament . Congratulations to that and let’s wish him luck for the 2019 Master Series Tournament…

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