Less than a month after exiting the Heroes Global Championship at BlizzCon in the quarterfinals, Team Dignitas’ roster was overhauled via a retirement of their long-time captain and a trade of their main assassin to Team Fnatic.
Captain of two years, James “Bakery” Baker announced earlier this month he was stepping away from Team Dignitas and will not compete in Phase 1 of the 2018 HGC to pursue other endeavors.
Team Dignitas moved on and added 22-year-old Jonathan "Wubby" Gunnarsson to the roster in a trade with Team Fnatic for former Dignitas’ carry Thomas “Mene” Cailleux. To fill the other roster spot, Team Dignitas added Vilhelm "POILK" Flennmark from Team Zealots whom they reached out to post-BlizzCon.
“I got really excited when Dignitas told me that there was an open spot in their team and they were interested to add me to the roster. It felt like my hard work and time put into the game last year [paid] off even after I failed to qualify to BlizzCon,” said Poilk.
Assuming the ranged position, Poilk has received a vote of confidence from veteran Dignitas member and now-teammate, Joshua "Snitch" Bennett.
“I think as far as new talent goes, he is by far the strongest player to appear in the competitive scene in the last year,” said Snitch via Skype. “I think he is very gifted mechanically and is very excited to learn, so I think he will do his best to be an excellent player and teammate through 2018 and hopefully, as he is surrounded by veterans, he will become one of the best in the world by the end of the year.”
Team Dignitas placed second in all of EU when it came to HGC league play this past season behind Team Fnatic. Hoping to overtake their Swedish opposition in the standings in 2018, Dignitas went out and nabbed Wubby, a strong drafter, who was vital to Fnatic’s success.
“Wubby is one of the players I appreciate the most on the scene as a person, and as a player he is for sure one of the strongest in his role, also he gives a lot during drafting, shout calling, communicative person is a must to have in a team as well and he is filling every hole,” said Jérôme "JayPL" Trinh, the main tank player for Dignitas.
“I have gained a lot of respect for Wubby throughout his career - even when he was on the original Dignitas, he was by no means a weak player, but throughout his time as a professional since joining Fnatic he has pushed himself to become by far one of the best players and minds in Heroes of the Storm,” said Snitch, “I've honestly been interested in playing with him again for a while, and am glad I got the chance.”
With less than a month of practice under their belt heading into the Gold Club World Championship taking place in China starting Monday, Team Dignitas won’t have as much time to play together as the other seven teams in the tournament but will look to get the most out of the experience.
“Because of visas, lack of time between end of BlizzCon and acquisition of players we didn't have the possibility to scrim that much, so we don't expect that much about China, we will do our best but we will take it mainly as a boot camp to prepare for HGC,” said JayPL.
Snitch echoed those sentiments emphasizing a focus on gaining some invaluable practice against strong competition while working on their team dynamic as HGC 2018 kicks off in January.
“We are not going into China with any real intention to win and we are instead using it as a pseudo-boot camp to give us time to find our team dynamic and have a few weeks to gel while training with some of the best teams in the world, as well as give some global tournament experience to our new player, Poilk,” said Snitch.
One would expect a change in mentality within an organization that lost their team captain and top-tier support player in Bakery and mechanically sound hyper carry in Mene, but Team Dignitas isn’t ready to roll over and have the rest of EU feel sorry for them, they’re ready to win and improve on last year’s success.
“It's hard to say anything now about the other teams but we will be stronger than the old roster for sure in the long run and I'm not even doubting my words any second,” said JayPL.
Time will tell if Dignitas can hold off the growing talent in the EU HGC team pool or pass Fnatic as the top dog.
“I think that with the combination of Wubby being able to lead the draft while being able to show his dominant melee play and POILK playing the main carry with his great mechanics, we will evolve into a team that's hard to beat both strategy wise and just on raw mechanics,” said Snitch.
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