Equipped with spears and numbing his enemies to the top.
“Humongous Ego” is the Metaguild player for Axie Infinity. This conversation happened two days before he headed to Barcelona to participate in the Axie Classic World Championship. We discussed his background, relationships with other esports players, and Axie Infinity competitive scene.
Please tell us about yourself. How did you first start playing games, and what drew you to Web3 esports?
I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories are of Baldur’s Gate, my very first real PC game, dating as far back as kindergarten I remember playing. Then there was a slew of other different titles, but World of Warcraft was the first one with PvP that I’ve played and excelled at. Path of Exile, on the other hand, was the game that educated me the most on understanding what is good and what is not, and ultimately becoming a competent theorycrafter paved the way to my success in Axie. It’s a game where you can literally spend days looking at spreadsheets/simulations just to squeeze that extra bit of DPS from your build. Axie, I picked up quite randomly in July of 2021 and got to Top 68 in my first season ever (S18).
We all have stories behind our in-game names. How did you come up with the name “Humongous Ego”?
I was thinking of a new nick for Axie. I thought having Ego, especially in card games, was a nice thing. You must believe that you are the best and act like it, leading your opponent to anticipate some sort of pattern or a peculiar behavior from you, keeping them on their toes. Other than that, I’d like to think of myself as rather humble outside of the game, but who knows, maybe I am not :)
What has been your most daunting challenge ever since embarking on your competitive journey?
It’s the lack of time, and having to explain to those close to you how it is pretty much a job and should be treated as such. I’d say my last relationship partly ended because of that.
What is the best thing you’ve learned in competitive gaming?
In games, pretty much everyone is equal. And how you have the ability to make even the most outlandish ideas come alive. I often went to bed thinking, “could this actually work?” And well, trash-talking others is fun too. Sadly, in Axie, most people don’t do that too often.
What, in your perspective, separates Axie Infinity from other competitive TCGs and makes it most enjoyable?
I’d say how simple the game is and how hard it is to fully extract the maximum potential out of each card/deck.
What was it like when you first made it to the top ten of the Axie Infinity leaderboards? And did it help n terms of gaining more recognition in the space and networking with other top players?
First top 10, I don’t even remember when it happened, so it must not have been that special. On the other hand, even though it happened on the first day of the season, the first time hitting rank 1 was terrific. I’d say I competed in the top 100 in 4 different seasons, 2 of them spending most of the season in the top 20. Only in the last season, season 21, was I somewhat acknowledged. At the very end of the season, several top players, such as 1437, copied my setup, and that felt really good. Afterward, 1437 followed me on Twitter, haha.
Being a top contender in various Axie Infinity tournaments, especially with the upcoming Barcelona offline finals, is a tough feat. How do you prepare for them? Do you have any practice partners?
You couldn’t really prepare for the first qualifiers. It was more about playing things you are comfortable playing and knowing they are strong. You can arguably only really prepare for your opponents since you already know everyone that is playing. I practiced with Bestoko, Thunder, and Feliciano. I talked with several other people. In Axie, generally, people are very open to sharing their ideas.
Has your view of Axie Infinity changed after you became an esports player?
It hasn’t changed at all.
Currently leading as the Head of Esports for Metaguild, do you still remember how you became a part of the gaming guild? What role did the guild have in your achievements in Axie Infinity esports?
I remember reaching out to Kartoha just before the first Metaguild Axie Invitational. I had hoped to participate, but it was too late. We started talking, and I found out that both Kartoha and I live in the same city. I had at the time an offer to join MT8, but I thought it would be more fun to join a team where you could also meet some people IRL.
Is there anything you would like to change in Axie? Are you going to share your opinion about the game with the Sky Mavis team in Barcelona?
There are certainly many things I’d like to change, especially how the esports scene functions. I think there are too many random casters, which makes it difficult to watch. There are too many random tournaments/formats. There are no personalities in Axie, so it’s hard to get excited about player X playing vs. player Y. The spectating experience is also quite bad.
If you were to be an Axie, which one would it be?
I think my V2 Gravel Kotaro Axie. Everyone hates it, but everyone also wants to have it.
How would you describe your Axie Infinity competitive experience in three words?
Pray For Crits.
How do you see the future of crypto gaming in these coming years, and what aspect or feature are you most excited about?
I think it will be all about “win to earn” eventually and moving the focus towards rewarding the best.
What advice do you have for fellow gamers who have the guts to hop in and break into the esports scene?
If it doesn’t click for you very early, give up and move on to a different game. In most areas of life, to be “good” and make a living out of it, it’s enough to be in the top 10–20% (lawyers, doctors, architects). But when it comes to esports, it’s a completely different story. I played two other games before I moved to Axie at a quite high level, around the top 0.5–1%, which in esports is still considered bad. In Axie, I am in the 0.00001% or something like that, and I’d say that’s about how good you have to be to make it to the esports scene in a game.
Metaguild is the first and largest self-funded hardcore gaming guild. We invest in games to secure guild positions and facilitate our players’ success. At Metaguild, we take the best from traditional gaming and speedrunning to the next level: games with open economies backed by blockchain.