HRX 2018 Countdown: One-on-One with LeTigress and Echang
With the Hand of the Gods Founder’s Tournament right around the corner, we thought it was about time you got to know each of the eight players who have qualified for the tournament at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo. Today’s featured contender is Jordan “Echang” Mitchell.
Echang’s qualifying victory did not come easily. After falling into the lower portion of the double-elimination bracket during HRX Qualifier #1, Echang had no choice but to battle his way into the Grand Finals and win two best-of-five series. With Odin, Zeus, Ganesha, and Ra backing him up, Echang clenched the victory over Unscathed, who would later qualify for the Founder’s Tournament in HRX Qualifier #4.
For this interview, Echang and I warmed up to some written, one-on-one mingling. I enjoyed learning about this fella from the United Kingdom, and now you will too!
Echang began playing Hand of the Gods after receiving an alpha key in January 2017. With a background in both SMITE and other card games, HotG suited his interests while introducing him to the nuances of board movement and positioning.
Anytime a monetary prize or an opportunity to test his skills appeared, you’d spot Echang’s name in the bracket. During these events, he made his mark as the first person to successfully adopt the Hindu pantheon in organized play. However, Echang’s belief that the pantheon diverges from his preferred “high value, high risk-reward deck” style leaves Ganesha on his estranged list for now.
When asked what pantheon he favors, Echang said that Greek has always been in his good graces thanks to its compatibility with several playstyles. Combo decks remain his favorite due to the decision-making and problem-solving involved with interactive card sets.
Nonetheless, his anachronistic Ganesha play drew some attention, and fans are wondering if he’ll bring the same innovation to HRX. When I asked him about it, he replied:
“I always like to bring my own unique decks to tournaments, even if they aren’t meta. Bringing unusual or anti-meta decks is a good way to throw the opponent off and surprise them with something different. So I will hopefully bring a few decks that haven’t been seen before at HRX.”
While Echang has proven to be a strong contender, he remains humbled. When he first went into the Qualifiers circuit, he says he didn’t have many expectations for how far he’d make it:
“I thought I would be lucky to make some money from the Qualifiers. I was very shocked to win the very first one!”
Going into HRX, he’s bringing the same humble attitude with some added ambition:
“I am already guaranteed top 16, and I am happy enough with that! However, there is so much money on the line this time, so I am working towards building the best decks I can and hoping to go even further.”
What about his thoughts on the other seven qualified players? He said:
“I am betting they are all noobs. I haven’t even looked up the other seven.”
Was this truth or sarcasm? Only time will tell.
Echang’s thoughts on the HRX Open Bracket Tournament aligned with most of the sentiments we’ve heard so far. He believes that the high-expectation players who were thwarted in the Qualifiers will likely make it through — perhaps accompanies by a few new threats. Having recieved support from fellow pros Bubbles and Jinaru throughout his own Qualifier, I’m sure Echang would love to see some of his buddies make it through to join him in the Founder’s Tournament.
This will be Echang’s first visit to America, and I’m counting on you all to make it worth his while! If he wins the $20,000 first-place cut of the prize pool, what does he plan to spend it on?
“Some gifts and souvenirs. And of course the exotic, rare American food.”
If that doesn’t exemplify an excited man with a good sense of wit, I don’t know what does.
We have a lot to look forward to during the Hi-Rez Expo this January 4-7. Echang and 15 additional competitors will fight for a cut of our $50,000 prize pool and the first-ever Hand of the Gods World Championship title.
If you’re attending HRX and want to get in on the action, you can sign up for the Open Bracket tournament for a chance at joining the existing qualifiers on the battlefield. If you’re not joining us in Atlanta for the event, fear not! You can catch the broadcast through the official Hand of the Gods Twitch channel.
See you then, my tactical geniuses!