Welcome to Auto Chess: Hyped and Tabzz

April 27 2019


Every so often we see a new game come out that absolutely takes over the public sphere. Auto Chess is one of those games and we knew almost immediately that we wanted to be a part of both growing the community and the game's competitive scene. As such, it is with great pleasure that we announce our official entrance into competitive Auto Chess through the signing Tabzz and the news that Hyped will be moving to Auto Chess from Artifact!

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Statement from Team Liquid Co-CEO Steve Arhancet


Why has Team Liquid decided to pick up players for Auto chess?


In Team Liquid fashion, we enjoy identifying games that are competitive, fun to play, require skill and enjoyable to watch; within those communities if we solve problems and give back, that is where we feel most comfortable. For us, we became fond of the game and the community from its launch. Since then, we've assisted in the build out of one of the largest Discord communities for auto-chess. We've even introduced matchmaking for those who prefer not hitting accept a million times in public games and also prefer tracking their progress and playing with other like-minded competitive players with the QIHL. We've seen the community grow substantially and also introduced a new website to make the process even easier. It just feels appropriate for us to also identify players who we can assist in their aspirations of competing at the highest levels. We understand that there's of course RNG in Auto Chess but we feel this is at levels that don't break one's ability to compete.

Lastly, we've seen support for the competitive ecosystem. There's matchmaking, tournaments, leagues and the developer has even been promoting these events in the loading screen — which I take as a direct indication that they support the growth of the competitive ecosystem.


What qualities does Tabzz have that make him a good fit for Team Liquid and for Auto chess?


For Tabzz, he has not only shown tremendous skill at Auto Chess by doing things like breaking the MMR cap but he also very clearly loves this game. Watching his stream for 5 minutes will tell you that he has a potent combination of raw talent and pure love and dedication to Auto Chess. One of Tabzz greatest strengths is his ability to identify what his opponents are planning rounds in advance and having his counter prepared before they pose a threat. He might add in a Naga bonus to dispatch Mage compositions or add in an Undead bonus against Goblin players who are only waiting to find Techies. Watching his stream is always educational When you love something this much and you are this good at it people start to notice you. In his case we took notice.


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Interview with Tabzz


What do you think draws so many people to Auto Chess? What first made the game stand out to you and made you decide that you wanted to keep playing it?


Auto Chess is a very unique game that appeals to gamers from many genres. It mixes elements from MOBA, Battle Royale and card games together into an enjoyable mix of skill and RNG. I was hooked from the first match I played and I still love it months later.


What ended up being your reason to play for Team Liquid over other orgs?


When I played League of Legends professionally, Team Liquid was known to pros as one of the best organisations in the industry. TL also recognizes the potential of Auto Chess by managing the biggest matchmaking server and hosting tournaments for the game.


Has your history in esports helped you adjust to playing Auto Chess? If so how?


Proficiency in games can often transfer over to other games and positions, especially the mindset required to improve and progress your skills. As Auto Chess is essentially a MOBA teamfight simulator, playing LoL professionally gave me a head start.


What do you think is needed to maintain your position as one of the world’s best Auto Chess players?


Continuously playing in the best lobbies and staying on top of patches and meta changes. I watch streams and occasionally analyse top level games from China. The developers push out new content and balancing every week and it’s a constant fight to stay at the top.


As a streamer, how does Auto Chess compare with other games that you have streamed? Do you find it easier to interact with chat or explain what you are doing and why you are making those decisions to viewers?


Auto Chess is a good game to stream, since the round-based nature of the game allows the streamer to interact with an audience without losing concentration. There are a lot of fun and educational moments to be shared.


Auto Chess is a very unique game to play competitively due to the nature of the matches. There are 8 people who all fight over the same pool of units and item drops are random, how does this impact the strategy element of the game and do you believe there are any changes that should be made for tournament play?


The appeal of Auto Chess is the mix of skill and RNG which is currently, apart from a few exceptions, decently balanced. If I would have to suggest changes, there would be two:
Guarantee a certain amount of tier X item drop from a neutral round, so nobody leaves empty handed and making it more unlikely to play the same player multiple times. Sometimes, a player with a great lineup will lose a lot of health early on because he has to play the 100% HP win-streaker multiple times in just a few rounds. A better opponent finding algorithm could fix this problem.


Is there anything you’d like to say to any possible new viewers of your stream who have started watching you because of Autochess? Any inside jokes, meme’s or anything else they should know when they tune in?


I usually stream 6 to 8 hours of top ranked lobbies most days of the week, and explain things I’m doing. If you want to learn Auto Chess, chill to good music or simply spam the chat, you’ll be in the right place.


You’ve played competitive League of Legends for the better part of this decade, from 2011 up to 2017 and as a streamer for even longer. What made you decide to take on such a new challenge and stream a totally different genre of game?


Streaming is a way for me to share my love of games with other people. My mindset is that if I enjoy a game and can share that joy with my viewers, they’ll enjoy watching it too, regardless of the genre.


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Interview with Hyped


What do you think draws so many people to Auto Chess? What first made the game stand out to you and made you decide that you wanted to keep playing it?


It’s a totally new genre that people are generally pretty excited to explore. It’s a bit like a distilled down version of a MOBA or an RTS, but it’s a lot less overwhelming to get into to. You don’t have to do any of the tedious laning - you don’t even have to do the microing - you just get to put your pieces down on the board and enjoy the action. It’s also pretty addictive! It really has that “one more game” kind of appeal to it. In the beginning it feels like there is a lot of RNG, but the more you play it the more you realize that there are lots of different ways for you to get edges over your opponents, and that part of the game has been a lot of fun for me to explore. The longer I play the game, the more depth I realize that it really has.


What ended up being your reason to play for Team Liquid over other orgs?


Starcraft II and Brood War were the first esports that I was really interested in, so I was always on teamliquid.net back in the day and was drawn to the team because of that.


Has your history in esports helped you adjust to playing Auto Chess? If so how?


All of the games I’ve played in the past were generally strategy games. Even Overwatch which is a shooter, I was initially drawn to it because it seemed to have a little more strategy going on than something like Counter Strike. So, I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned from all the strategy games I’ve been into in the past was the metagame knowledge and how to balance what’s good and what isn’t. In each Auto Chess lobby it’s kind of like there’s a different metagame going on, so you want to try and stay one step ahead of everyone else in terms of strategy and figuring out the best comps.


What do you think is needed to maintain your position as one of the world’s best Auto Chess players?


Right now I’m really experience hungry, I just want to play as many matches as I can and learn as much as I possibly can about the game. There’s still a ton to explore!


As a streamer, how does Auto Chess compare with other games that you have streamed? Do you find it easier to interact with chat or explain what you are doing and why you are making those decisions to viewers?


It’s interesting, because Auto Chess seems like the kind of game that would be really easy to stream, but the game actually requires quite a bit of focus and I make a lot of mistakes because I talk to chat too much. But the format of the game itself is very streamer-friendly, because you can do your turn and then interact with your viewers while the battle is taking place and you don’t have anything else to do. I also think it’s a really fun game to watch, because it’s a lot of fun to cheer for your favorite streamer while the battles are going on and there can be a lot of tension going on during fights.


Auto Chess is a very unique game to play competitively due to the nature of the matches. There are 8 people who all fight over the same pool of units and item drops are random, how does this impact the strategy element of the game and do you believe there are any changes that should be made for tournament play?


I think it all really depends on the scoring system of the tournament. For example on the ladder if one guy super high rolls or gets a bunch of crazy items it’s not a big deal because you are generally just playing for top 4 finishes because that’s what the MMR system rewards you for, so it’d be really interesting to see if tournament organizers would try to score things differently to incentivize players to shoot for something other than top 4s.


You’ve said in the past that your ability to visualize and predict what will happen next in games like Hearthstone, Magic, WoW, and Artifact is part of what makes you so good at those games. How does that apply in Autochess?


Right now I haven’t figured out how to do that yet except for trying to predict what kinds of builds my opponents are going for.


Is there anything you’d like to say to any possible new viewers of your stream who have started watching you because of Autochess? Any inside jokes, meme’s or anything else they should know when they tune in?


I don’t think so - I’d call myself an educational streamer, basically I’ll teach you how to play the game!


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