K: Could you introduce yourself for those who don’t know you?
Keuhn: Of course! My name is Benoît Cornet alias Keuhn, and I am streamer for Gamer’s Origin since November 2015 on Hearthstone mostly. I am also an influencer and coach on Hearthstone.
I started as a freelancer for a while, but previously I was in another structure in Lyon!
K: And could you tell us more about your career?
Keuhn : My career path is quite surprising. Unlike many other streamers or players I didn’t grow up with video games! My family had an “elitist” culture and I was raised more with theatre, opera or literature.
I only got interested when I left my parents’ house at 17. And at first, I wasn’t a mainstream gamer. I had a more artistic and independent approach to the game! And I really consider video games an art.
I studied theatre and I was a professional actor. In parallel, I was watching a lot of streaming and especially Uneed, TheFishou… And one day they came to Lyon for a tournament and I met them. Then they convinced me that streaming could be something for me. I thought it was the right time and even though I didn’t necessarily think I was going to live from video games all my life, I jumped into the streaming world and for the moment it’s working very well. 🙂
K : So, you’re more on the entertaining part than the competition one?
Keuhn: Yes and no. I competed with some great performances that many people don’t remember… I performed a top 8 in DH, some Top 3 on some competitions and some good ladder rankings. But it’s true I left it aside.
On the other hand, on the level of esport, what I prefer is casting! Commenting on competitions is probably my favourite activity. I am an official Blizzard caster on the PlayHearthstoneFr channel. I also commented on FIFA and Smash Bros tournaments and I love that!
K: It’s true that when you cast, we feel that you have an enormous knowledge of the game… How do you analyze every situation so well?
Keuhn : That’s a lot of played time and experience. I’ve been playing at least four hours a day for four years. So we know what we’re talking about.
Besides, I’ve been criticizing sport commentators so much… they can be sometimes slow… There are situations where for just a minute the names of players are quoted! So we try to make sure that this is not the case when we talk about the meta, player statistics… And I hope that esport will influence the way traditional sport is casted and how the profession evolves.
K : So let’s move on to the big question : is Hearthstone an esport game for you?
Keuhn : I’ll answer you with another question: is there randomness in football?
K: Yes of course!
Keuhn : Well you have your answer. If there was no random we wouldn’t have to play the World Cup.
In all human activities, there is a random part. More or less intense, of course, but you have one. Well, it’s the same with games. In all games you have it as well. Look in Battle Royales, you have the randomness of the area, from your spawn to the loot… What is interesting in the practice of esport, is that when you want to progress, you will try to dominate this random part and put it on your side. That’s what makes the difference between a good player and a very good player! And on Hearthstone, if you look, it’s often the same players who are at the top! Kolento, he’s been in the top 25 for four years! It proves that even if you have randomness, the best players can control it.
K: What’s your opinion on esport at the Olympics?
Keuhn : This is already a debate that is starting to get some answers. The Olympic Committee has already organized competitions on Starcraft. We also had a representative from GO with Stefano to represent Tunisia.
There are also the Asian Games this summer that will have an esport game. But does it have to go back to the Games? We must ask ourselves the question: what is Olympism? It is surpassing yourself, competing on healthy values, having skills, intensive training. And if you take all that, the values of esport are the same. So, afterwards, what makes the difference with traditional sport is that video games started as entertainment. And a lot of people don’t go further. That is why there is a debate.
K: And so Olympism, but on which game?
Keuhn: The Olympic Committee has decided to go on Starcraft. The game is impressive for uninitiated people with the number of actions per minute, that is crazy.
Hearthstone for example, which for me is an esport game, could not be at the Olympics. It’s a more intellectual game than anything else with only a few actions.
While LoL, Smash Bros… All these games require a technical mastery skills that can be considered at the Olympics.
K : But for the people who watch little or no esport, parts of a game like LoL or even Starcraft may seem complicated to understand…
Keuhn: That’s where casting is important. It’s up to us to always tell ourselves that an uninitiated person can land up on the stream and not knowing anything about the game… And so we have to explain things well!
K: Interesting! And if we come back a little on Hearthstone which is your specialty, what do you think of the future extension?
Keuhn : So we have very little information at the moment on the cards… It sounds interesting but it’s difficult to get an idea.
After looking at what Blizzard’s done over the last three years, it’s amazing. Currently, all 9 classes have viable deck possibilities. For a while that was the big gambling problem. But today the 9 classes are represented in tournaments, and for a card game with such diversity, it is awesome! And the game level has stepped-up too!
By the way if you’re passionate about Hearthstone, check out the HCT replays it was incredible with an impressive level.
K: And you also do some coaching?
Keuhn: Yes, it’s even one of my main activities! I love doing that and I find it fascinating. I play with people who sometimes live halfway across the world! And what I like most is when I have a student who tells me that he’s blocking, that he can’t level up.. And after a few hours of class he sends me a message telling me that he’s succeeded!
It may sound anecdotal, but it’s a great feeling to have people progressing thanks to you! It’s a real source of pride.
K: You also have a small Youtube channel?
Keuhn: It’s a small chain that’s true! But for the last few weeks we’ve been doing a little show called “Hearthstone Weekly Report”. I’m making it with two editors and we talk about the news around the game! (Link here)
K: Finally the question everyone’s waiting for: the 3 best decks to go up right now?
Keuhn: Demon Pair, Big Druide, And Rogue Miracle but complicated to play! Not to be given to anyone!
K: Anything to add?
Keuhn : I like esport very much and I work in this field. But we must not forget that video games are above all entertainment! Don’t forget the solo games which can give incredible feelings and sensations!
And also, playing together at Hearthstone is super interesting! With better or worse people! It gives another vision of the game and it’s very important!
K: Thank you for giving us this interview, wishing you the best for the future!
PS : if you want to read another interview about Hearthstone… check here !