Is it possible to win one of the biggest Hearthstone tournaments of the new year and come out of it remembered more for an awkward interview?
This is the question everyone is asking after Austin “SilentStorm” Li made waves this weekend by bursting onto the professional Hearthstone scene with a championship victory at the ESL Hearthstone Legendary Series final.
Li’s win was impressive. The young Canadian’s march to victory included wins over notable players Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen and Johan “Darkwonyx” Hansson. It was after his first win over Mikkonen that Li found himself in front of a camera alongside interviewer Anastasiya Bila.
The early warning signs of what is about to happen are clear to see, as Li struggles to find something, anything, to do with his hands. When Bila moves the one available microphone over to Li after encouraging him to introduce himself, he attempts to wrestle it from her grasp.
Viewers should be advised that watching the interview all the way through may induce feelings of severe discomfort and confusion. The discussion peaks at the 1:30 mark, and continues on for a total of two and a half long minutes.
To Li’s credit, the 17-year-old was a bit calmer during later interviews. His comfort level was likely aided by the production crew smartly providing two microphones after this incident. Li should also be commended for his outstanding and creative Hearthstone play over the weekend, marked by the expert use of a relatively obscure Warlock deck.
We’ll likely be seeing more of Li in the future, and after seeing his unique interview style and his stellar play, it’s doubtful any Hearthstone fans will forget him in the meantime.
Screengrab via noth123/YouTube