Thijs “Thijs” Molendijk is without a doubt one of the heavy favorites going into GameGune 2016, a €25,000 tournament that will be held this Friday and Saturday in Spain. The Dutchman will be looking to get back to winning ways following his group stage exit at the World Championship, which came as a surprise to many, including Thijs himself.
Shortly before Thijs’ trip to Spain, we sat down with him and discussed the results at BlizzCon, his expectations for GameGune, the upcoming Hearthstone expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and more!
What are your thoughts on your World Championship run? You mentioned on your stream that you felt some pressure and that sometimes you could not think. What do you think that went wrong?
The World Championship was a big rollercoaster for me. After playing in the semifinals last year, I was the only player there who was not a first timer, so I needed to set up high goals for myself. The community was also incredibly supportive of me. I thought I could handle the pressure well, but, in the end, it got to me a little bit, especially in the first match, in which I faced some kind of brain freeze. It was hard, you work two weeks towards something, and your whole day is about performing perfectly in that one match.
What were the positives that you took from the tournament?
It’s hard for me to look back and take positives from my performance. Let’s say I have learned a really important lesson.Even if you have played a lot of times on big stages, there is no guarantee that you will not get nervous. I should also be a little bit proud about qualifying for BlizzCon as one of the top four European players for the second year in a row.
How do you see the fact that Europe once again has the best player in the world?
Here in Europe, we are really competitive, we take the game more seriously and blame ourselves when we lose, instead of blaming RNG or things outside the game. We also have a lot of players who compete at a top level and more tournaments than other regions. Facing each other multiple times on ladder and in tournaments improves the whole scene in Europe. Even if the winner were not European, I would still think that the level of competition here makes everyone a better player.
This weekend, you will be in Spain for GameGune. After your result at BlizzCon, do you think you have something to prove?
I have something to prove to myself. I am happy how I have recovered after the loss in the Celestial League and got back to the level I am known for. Now I hope I can extend that to an offline event.I had a really good time last year at GameGune, and this is another good reason to be really excited for the event.
More than half of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards are now known. What do you think about the cards that have been revealed? What kind of meta changes do you expect?
I am really happy with how the whole expansion is looking. Karazhan has been a really weak adventure that has not changed much, so this expansion will be really important for the game. The game is really tempo based at the moment, and I see a lot of spells and minions coming that are aiming towards a different gameplan. Even if it turns out that the cards are too weak, I see Blizzard going in a different direction, something I have been a little worried about after the last two expansions.
Have you set up any goals for yourself for 2017 already?
After Blizzcon I decided to set any goals for myself before the start of the new year to remove some pressure. It’s not a secret I really enjoy streaming also, but I am a competitive person and I want to compete to be the best. I will probably take it step by step again next year, which means qualifying for the European Regionals.