For our next edition of the DeadlyKittens interview series, we have the team’s support player, Ronel “Stronger” Tan. His claims to fame aren’t simply having both Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson naming their songs after him; Stronger is a heavyweight in the Filipino gaming scene, having enjoyed success in both League of Legends and now, Heroes of the Storm. A jovial, humorous character, he’s the peacemaker of the team and maintains his support role both in and out of the game, taking on the responsibility of smoothing out any communication issues among his teammates.
Please introduce yourself and give us a rundown of your history in HotS.
Hi, I’m Ronel Tan. People call me cute, but I prefer to be known as Stronger. I first got into Heroes of the Storm kinda by accident. Our League of Legends team got banned when we participated in a local Heroes tournament, as we weren’t allowed to compete in other games. My friend NSJ knew I was feeling down about it, so he offered me the chance to ditch League and come over to the light of the Nexus. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse! LOL.
I’ve been competing in the local and regional Heroes scene ever since. 2016 was the best year for me; I was part of the team which represented the Philippines/SEA for every HGC, but we always came in last place, LOL. We’ve had a rough start in 2017, but we’re coming back Stronger this time. I’m confident.
Being the most vocal of the three Filipino members of the team, you’ve been the one to help buffer the inevitable communication issues. How do you feel about taking on this unexpected challenge?
I don’t really see it as a challenge, I’m just being myself in my natural habitat. I don’t like my teammates to end up with misunderstandings, and I want to get that out of the way so we can perform better.
You used to be the tank player back in Renovatio and IPT, and now you’re taking on the support role. Was this something that came easily to you?
Honestly, the tank role was a challenge that I set for myself. I was trying to see if I could play the tank role at a competitive level. Coming back to the support role was the safer decision. After Blizzcon 2016, I was hooked on World of Warcraft for a while and didn’t have much time for HotS. So I figured, I’ll just play support since I’m comfortable with that. But after playing loads of HotS, now I think I should play as an assassin! LOL.
What do you think are the biggest challenges that your team will have to overcome, and how are you working to do so?
#1 Communication. Because of different cultures and languages, sometimes we can’t quite express what we really mean to say to each other.
#2 Resources. Our practices are never stable, because our Internet connection here in the Philippines is… spontaneous. LOL.
You’re no stranger to being considered an underdog in the competition, yet you and your teammates seem to have taken it in stride and overcome it. How do you think the underdog status has affected you, both positively and negatively?
The positive effect of being the underdog is that the bigger teams don’t pay much attention to us, and they tend to underestimate us so we can prepare to pull off an upset against them in competition. The negatives? We don’t get all the perks that the popular teams get. We need support, guys! .·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.
To find out more about the rest of his team-mates: http://zenway.sg/Deadlykittens_WhoWeAre