Heroes of the Storm is a dynamic game, and the pro scene has seen a lot of change in just a short amount of time. One thing that has been consistent, however, is John Paul “KingCaffeine” Lopez being one of the best tanks in the game. He’s the captain of Denial.HotS, and he and his team will be headed to BlizzCon in November to represent North America in the global tournament.


I recently got the chance to have a chat with KingCaffeine about Denial’s recent victories, upcoming matches, and all things HotS related:


Let’s be honest, you guys have been a bit of a roller coaster ride thus far: first, you were the “Crescendo” of the chaotic roster changes that took place after the summer season; you qualified for the first regional and had so much hype, and things didn’t work out. So, you qualified for Pax West, finished second, and now you’re headed to BlizzCon. What changed? Was it a different approach to drafts? New strategies? More Synergy? Or all of the above?


Well the most notable difference in our team from Bubank to PAX was our roster change that brought iDream onto the team. With this pickup, we had a lot less synergy to learn as a team in the limited time we had. Overall, I'd say it was a smart decision and contributed heavily to our performance at PAX.


You guys played some pretty crazy hero compositions at Pax West. Was that due to the acquisition of iDream? He seems like a Swiss Army knife when it comes to his hero pool. 


We have always prided ourselves on our ability to find drafts that counter the standard meta. It’s something we will continue to do as long as we're playing this dynamic and innovative game. 


What are your thoughts on the current PvE meta? It seems crazy that Hammer is seeing action, right?


Honestly, I hate it whenever the meta shifts to a slow, pve-centric style. Our team thrives on teamfights and ganks, and lane pressure really limits our rotational and engage options.


Braxis Holdout: Love it or hate it?


Hate it. The map is the return of Haunted Mines. The objective is too imbalanced considering its a two lane map with little option to get value any other way.


Cloud9 never had a prominent, central shotcaller, right? Has that changed for Denial, or is it still a group effort?


No, we still maintain the communal shotcalling. Anyone that has something important to say is encouraged to speak up. We feel that this style of communication allows us to get multiple views of developing situations.


Who is the best tank in the game right now, and who is your favorite tank in the game right now?


The best tank is definitely Muradin. The mountain king has been my favorite hero since I started playing this game. I'm happy that Blizzard is keeping him relevant in the meta.


What does a day in the life of KingCaffeine look like right now? How much are you guys scrimming? You guys said you worked harder for Pax than you ever have before, right? Still grinding?


I live a pretty standard life. Wake up, deal with my responsibilities for the day, then scrim for several hours. After scrims I spend some time with Jill and then either continue the heroes grind or relax with some other games.  As far as team is concerned, we aren't quite going as hard as we were before PAX, but our regimen will get a lot tougher when the Blizzcon patch comes out. 


“Back to back BlizzCon champion” has a nice ring to it. How are you guys planning on toppling the Korean overlords? Special cheese? Murky got shafted in a recent patch, so that won’t work this time.


We are working on a variety of styles and execution comps that people haven't seen us run. I wouldn't count Murky out just yet...



You can find KingCaffeine on Twitter at @CallmeCaff, where he tweets about Heroes of the Storm and occasionally other random things in life. And, if you haven’t already, go give the rest of the team a follow at: @c9k1pro, @Glaurung_tv, @apmgod, @C9iDream and @Arriett_. You can catch them back in action during the Nexus Games of the next three weekends, but they’ll be playing Vox Nihili first at 5:00 CT. Catch the action at: https://www.twitch.tv/esl_heroes.