Earlier this year, Dan “Alchemisxt” Waltonone was permanently banned from playing Hearthstone professionally.
But Walton, who had always considered himself one of the “good guys,” isn’t quite ready to abandon his esports ambition. Today, he’s launching his very own Hearthstone team.
Accused of “win trading,” Walton insisted that the ban by Blizzard Entertainment, the game’s developer, wasn’t so black and white. After the ban and his subsequent retirement, however, he found himself still paying close attention to the pro scene. “I still play Hearthstone and watch all the events… I always wanted to create my own team but never committed to it,” he said to the Daily Dot, “The ban just solidified my reason to go on with this.”
His new team will be known as Illuminati, and for now, he’s doing most of the work by himself. His approach, however, promises to be different from many of the game’s top teams.
“I do not want this to be like all other teams where everyone does their own individual thing and then slaps the same logo and wear the same gear. I made this very clear to all potential players and made my decision heavily based on this… I am not saying that people on those other teams don’t practice… but it usually is within their own separate groups. Everyone on my team is very close time zones and willing to work together.”
Have players been scared off by his ban? Walton said that he’s been “100 percent open about all the details with any player, potential player, and potential partner that wants to know.” And it hasn’t stopped him from already gathering a solid core group of players. The current roster is includes Matt “Dart” Orgel, David “ProtoHype” Kunze, Case “Koyuki” Kiyonaga (who will be the team’s captain), and Brian “Th3 RaT” Courtade.
All of the players are fairly well-known in the pro scene, and many of them have earned high ranks atop the Hearthstone ladder. Th3 RaT, for example, recently popularized the Grim Patron Warrior deck by earning Rank 1 Legend with it. Koyuki was a regular on ESGN’s now-defunct tournament series, and hasn’t been on a team since last June.
For now, Walton has the players focused on streaming and content creation, but he hopes that the ranks of the Illuminati will soon be joining top pros in tournaments and cups.
Image via Illuminati