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Gwent Challenger 4: Please give your feedback!



GWENT Challenger #4 is in the books. The new champion is crowned and the battle of wits is over. For now.

As always, GWENT Masters team is super interested in getting your feedback about the event. We will have more time before the next Challenger (due to Homecoming offseason), so in theory, we can level things up more than usual.

Many thanks for all of you who watched, and for those who didn't - I have the links to the VODs:
Day 1
Day 2

Following the format of the similar threads for December and April Challengers, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the last one:

-Is there anything that was out of place or annoying?
-What should we avoid doing going forward?
-On the other hand - what we should implement in the future?
-What do you think about casters/analyst/host synergy?
-Do you think immersion was good?
-What are the best and worst things about this Challenger? ... and anything else you want to share!

As always - constructive criticism is very welcomed. We're aware of the most obvious issues, but it's always good to compare our impression with yours and make next GWENT Masters event better.

Thanks in advance,
Vladimir Tortsov, Esports Manager at CD Projekt RED
I just finished catching up, what a great show! It was really entertaining and I enjoyed watching it.

+ I really liked including more of the Gwent streamers as part of the team. They all did a great job, and it builds a sense of community. Maybe you can cycle through and bring in more in the future? Here's my nod to Oceanmud, Crokeyz, and SirPumpkin.

+ Burza's irl streams! While not an official part of the show, it also gave us a behind the scenes look and a sense of what being there would be like.

- Camera mishaps. Just a small thing, but having whoever is speaking be aware of which camera to look at, letting the actors know when filming is happening, etc. Also, the weird camera angle for Swimiri half the time. Why was it so zoomed out and above them, in a corner?

- Casters giving dialogue during the Skellige acting bits. Sometimes it added something, but also sometimes it detracted. Perhaps separate the two?

- About the HC reveal. I love me some Burza and Luigi, but perhaps show more of the new footage while they talk over it, rather than show them talking about it.

All in all it was a great watch, and my complaints are far outweighed by the merits. Thanks!
-Is there anything that was out of place or annoying?
When you are doing interviews with the players I would let them walk around a bit more naturally. What I mean is, that sometimes touching trees or plants for example does look very staged :D

-What do you think about casters/analyst/host synergy?
Casters: I like how they explain more and more about some combos and synergies. I think that's very good for newer players. Jaggerous could talk a bit more slowly.
Analyst: The chemistry between swim and shinmiri was perfect. Yea, shinmiri was a bit more nervous, but that's normal in the beginning. I really like how good they explained the moves of plays!
Hosts: Flake was in his element :) Ash should pay attention to her posture, she was nervous, but that's normal for the first time on stage. Overall I am really glad you chose to pick people of the community and in my opinion you chose really good :)
-Do you think immersion was good?
Yes, it was on point, nothing to complain.
The ending was a bit weak for me. Casters speaking over the ring ceremony was annoying. It might be more epic if everyone shut up, someone from the ceremony crowd loudly names the winner, he takes the ring and then rave begins, with all those fires and music. Not before winner gets the ring.
Besides that, Challenger events are the best esports events, mostly because they are truly fun, and not so serious like the other tourneys. Hope you keep that balance between serious analyze of matches, and those amuzing scenes.
Would like to see Asia tournaments for Gwent or for those who is already experienced with the game for sometime.
I'm always looking forward to Gwent live events and this one was sooooo nice

-Is there anything that was out of place or annoying?
some contestant's choice of fashion and footware

-What do you think about casters/analyst/host synergy?
Ash and Flake as hosts were a very nice duo! Ash appeared a bit nervous at times but I guess even for a streamer that's normal and any small pause she had was effortlessly blended by Flake, they appeared to work very well together
SwiMiri also seemed to have good synergy and Mogwai+McBeard do have it anyway, Panda and Francesca have a more clinical/analytical way of covering the matches which is refreshing after Mogwai+McBeard's almost heartattacks. I liked that all of the casters often explained certain mechanics or card interactions especially from the Team Aretuza decks for viewers who were maybe not as familiar with them.
Big thumbs up also to their wardrobe, especially McBeard's suit with the Shoop brooch on the 2nd day and Burza's suit stood out!! Dunno if intentional but I like that the casters wore ties and the analysts bow ties.

-Do you think immersion was good?
it was great, I really enjoyed it and appreciate the effort it must have taken to set this all up with the costumes and requisites and people etc etc., so much detail!!!! The only thing that was missing was some sort of boat + maybe Harald and his skeleton friends, Kambi at the end was the beeeest :D

-What are the best and worst things about this Challenger? ... and anything else you want to share!
best: Skellige theme was on point
worst: it's over :(

Loved the Geralt clip on the first day ;)

+ Ash and Flake as hosts (excellent work, better than mr. Cox and possibly better than Mercer and Marisha)
+ Swim and shinmiri as analysts (another example of great work, with analyzing each match)
+ Pretty much every clip showing the Skellige Isles (Cerys, Archery, Hammering steel, training owls, throwing axes, brawling, fighting :p )
+ Reduced amount of changing viewpoints between the participants


- Decks used. This is basically my only complaint but it's an important one. The ones who got rewarded the most were the ones with the most point spamming decks. Granted, it probably took some good predicting and analyzing the meta in order to consider what they will encounter, so I am sure that both finalists deserve all the credit for making it there, because preparation is a really important part for each tournament, but still there was an excessive amount of veterans, consume, and other point spam decks. The only non GS engine deck we saw was Foltest, and it was a bit of a coin toss. It lost all matches against the greedy lists, but generally performed alright in other fields.

I am just sad Harald stayed out of the tournament once again, but that's how it is. Foltest, Nekkers and Handbuff all have the advantage against him, so with the state of the meta, it's not worth bringing him along. Plus, ST plays a lot with Ida Emean.
I was watching with a beginner at Gwent and had to explain all the card interactions to him i feel a better balance could be made between commentating on advanced strategies and helping beginners follow the action.
Maybe better visual aides for the casters to highlight cards in hand and on the board/graveyard but definitely the analysts should have better visuals prepared to help those who don't have all the card interactions memorised in their head.

I think the skellige isles theme was amazing maybe next time to take it further have prepared scenes to tell a story of the witcher lore and the history of some important characters. Somethings would definitely be cooler experiencing in person, like the skellige village, for the viewers at home i think something like a play telling a cool story would be better.
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TailBot was the only one to bring a ST deck. Interestingly enough it was a dwarf deck. Gonna have to try it out cause ST is my favorite faction.
Exceptional production quality. Either the best Challenger, or tied with the Nilfgaardian one. (y)

- The team that arranged the Viking settlement deserves a lot of credit. Loved the aesthetics, music, animals, and overall atmosphere.

- This is the first Challenger where the cosplay hasn’t bothered me. It’s because the cosplay was low-key, with people mostly dressing in authentic-looking medieval garb. Hope to see more of this, instead of the more flamboyant character-focused cosplay.

- Shinmiri was such an excellent addition to the team. He and Swim were great together, so I hope to see this analyst panel continue in future events.

- Mogwai & McBeard have become an ideal caster duo. They complement each other very well. Mogwai is particularly engaging and a great entertainer.

- I enjoyed Burza's unofficial "behind the scenes" stream. Needs to become a tradition!

- When the contenders were introduced (walking into the settlement), the voiceover and the cameras seemed out of sync. The voiceover would switch to the next contestant while the camera was still focused on the previous contestant for several seconds.

- I’m the first to admit that the hosts did a better job than I would have done, but I don’t think they matched the high production quality of the tournament. Flake did quite well, but Ash felt a bit wooden and had a limited vocabulary, too often repeating the same phrases. I have a bit of a bias however, because I don’t like some of her conduct on Twitch. I think Matthew and Marisha set the bar almost impossibly high though.

- Panda & Jaggerous have a good talent for casting, but I don’t think they suit each other so well as a casting duo. Might just need more time to develop the right chemistry. Hope to see more of both of them though.
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I am always amazed how much work you put on the settings of the tournaments. I'ts such a joy to watch them especially this tournament with the best analysts, hosts and commentators!
Also love that the players also made the stream fun to watch with amazing decks and plays, and you could see the joy the players get from playing this game in the final.
Overall it was great. Swim and Shinmiri's analysis was the best part, they really know their stuff and the technical breakdown of certain plays and decisions really help in understanding the finer mechanics of Gwent.

Dane and Miguel were awesome as always, super amazing chemistry.

Flake was a beast, feels like he's been hosting for years. Ash was a little awkward with not that much added or needed info, Flake probably could've handled it on his own, but I congratulate Ash and it def was great seeing the Queen of Skellige there!

Minor mishaps with cameras and people popping in when they shouldn't but whatever, no biggie.

The cosplay is bananas, really on point with the outfits as always. Great job and look forward to the next one!
The organization of the tournament was absolutely great, especially the cultural background, theme music, activities and yes, Cerys :cool: I really like the Witcher games and Gwent. However, let me get to the real thing guys. I believe due to the current game mechanics the decks and strategies used by the contestants were pretty much the same. Let alone seeing some forgotten cards, we were not even able to see some leaders like Eredin, Radovid, Francesca, Eithne, Harald, Morvran and others... I hoped that I would see some extraordinary decks with really unique cards and strategies. I believe this should really make the developers think. The whole tournament revolved around stereotyped 3-4 decks. I would really love to see games with unorthodox strategies and I believe that the developers doing their best to improve the game mechanics for the future updates to allow more competent-variability of strategies.
The skellige immersion was stunning. Really the best to date in my opinion. Mcbeard and mogwai are always amazing! Jaggerous and panda don't have great chemistry yet. I find the way jaggerous rambles a little intense and turn the volume down on the matches she commentates for, which is a shame because I enjoy panda. Ash seemed very out of place hosting. I wonder if commentating might be a better fit for her? I like her being there, just thinking there is a better place for her. Maybe her and panda together and switch jaggerous to hosting?

Flake was my favorite part!!! He is a natural.

The only thing I really hated were the decks from aretuza. I find the decks with limited opponent interaction and high greed to be pretty dull. I have really enjoyed the decks that were brought to previous tournaments more.
- Is there anything that was out of place or annoying?

- What do you think about casters/analyst/host synergy?
As always casters were amazing, great duos, with the more analytical one and the hyped one, it really works, makes every games fun to watch even when games can be a little longer.
For the analysts, Swim was himself like the casters he did an exelent job as always. For Shin's first time on screen, he did great imo, bringing new blood, new things during analysis, Swim and Shin is a duo that can work in the futur they really ballance each other.
concerning the host in my opinion they did great for a first time, I see people saying that Flake was carrying Ash and was the real pro, but actually they did both a great job, especially for a first time, Flake could seems more professional but he already done this kind of job in the past, in the other hand, Ash is really young and not a native english speaker furthermore she had the toughest job cause she was the only one with no one else on camera but she did really well imo. Next time maybe let them more together and rotate the interview with players, anyway really hope to see them together on futur event

- Do you think immersion was good?
Bringing a SK village to life was a really good idea, really fun and immersive to watch, also, sounds, lights, musics were really immersive, you've done an amazing job on this one

- What are the best and worst things about this Challenger? ... and anything else you want to share!
Best: talented players, well deserved victorys, fun casters/host/analyst, great immersion
Worst: greedy Swim's deck finally works #TeamKolemoen
-Is there anything that was out of place or annoying?
Can't think of anything. A few mishaps here and there but nothing major.

-On the other hand - what we should implement in the future?
Really liked that all the decks were shown and analyzed right before the matches. Would be nice to also have this segment (+ the analysts if possible) at the opens.

-What do you think about casters/analyst/host synergy?
The Casting Duos are getting better and better with more experience. Swim and Shinmiri showed and broke down a lot of interesting and not easily discerniable plays.
Personally i thought it was really advantageous that for the first time the hosts not only had a deep knowledge of the gamemechanics but were also familar with most of the players and their tournament history.

-Do you think immersion was good?
Really enjoyed the Skellige flair and all the little interludes with the villagers/"birds"/notice board.

-What are the best and worst things about this Challenger? ... and anything else you want to share!
Best: Great Mix of Gwent Players/Casters/Host/Analysts. Amazing level of detail in regards to production/design/cosplay immersion in general. Felt like Skellige came to life.
It was awesome. I think Kotaku should cover Gwent more though...

Also, I wish Gwent wasn't dying. It's a really good game actually. Homecoming ruined it. It's like crustless bread, a great idea, but no one buys it.