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Interview for yuta14

Note: this article is an English translation of an article released on December 25.

Yuta14 is the leader of QueeN Walkers and won 2nd place in this year’s World Championships. He is one of the top players in the Clash of Clans competitive scene, and his YouTube channel has over 10,000 subscribers. He spoke to us about how he fought in 2020 and the past and future of Clash of Clans. Our interviewer is ponta, a Clash of Clans blogger in Japan.


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ponta:

Thank you for coming today!

yuta14:

No problem. This cafe is so stylish.

ponta:

I chose it randomly, but it’s not really the kind of place where two guys would go on Christmas. (Note: this interview took place on December 22nd.)

yuta14:

Definitely (laughs).

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“I thought about retiring from the competitive Clash of Clans scene if I didn't make it into the World Championship Finals."

ponta:

Congratulations on your performance at the World Championship tournament!

yuta14:

Thank you.

ponta:

To be honest, I felt that there was a huge difference between Japan and the overseas professional teams at the World Championships in Germany in 2019. You lost during the first round then.

yuta14:

I did.

ponta:

However, this year you took second place. Was there anything special that you did to achieve that?

yuta14:

First of all, I was not satisfied with the result at all at that time. I didn’t really feel like we lost. It was more like we were still on the path to victory, instead of having taken a loss.

ponta:

I see. I watched it in-person in 2019, and you really didn’t seem to be satisfied. Did you change any of your methods going from being "on the path to victory" to "victory"?

yuta14:

Of course, we have changed, but the more important reason is that the environment surrounding us has changed. In 2019, we had few opportunities to fight with teams in other regions. Therefore, it was difficult to see the difference in skills between the world and ourselves.

ponta:

Understood.

yuta14:

However, the number of tournaments with prizes has increased since the end of last year's world championships. Regardless of scale, I won some of them and even defeated the clan that we lost to in Germany. “Oh, so we can win!” I feel like that confidence has led us to victory, more than it being that we changed our methods.

ponta:

Oh, that’s interesting.

yuta14:

So then it was like, "We could have won in 2019!” I was so frustrated! (laughs). And so that feeling became the motivation for me to continue on until the 2020 World Championships.

ponta:

I know it can be hard to stay motivated. The basis for your motivation is regret, right?

yuta14:

I’m still frustrated about 2019, even now.

ponta:

You got results in some tournaments, but you couldn't quite get a ticket to the finals in 2020.

yuta14:

Yes. My loss in 2019 kept dragging me down, so I couldn’t move on during the qualifiers. Thoughts like "It shouldn't be like this," kept me impatient. And so I thought that if I didn't make it to the finals in the last qualifiers, I would retire from the competitive scene.

ponta:

Oh, you were going to retire!? Did you think you had accomplished all of the things that you could have?

yuta14:

No, I had begun to doubt my skills. There was a time when I wasn't confident about my skills. If I couldn't win a qualifier, I was going to give up my career. I didn't tell my team members about this, though. Then I got into the finals and had a winning streak. So now it’s like, "Well, I won. What should I do next?"

ponta:

The moment when you won the qualifier during your assault was so dramatic! Were you nervous at the time?

yuta14:

I wasn’t nervous at all, but I was during the other games, though. I suppose that was because I wasn’t feeling confident.

As for the last match, it felt like that I was definitely going to win, since I felt much more confident from getting three stars from my assault.

ponta:

That’s amazing. It’s like you were blessed by the gods of Clash of Clans.

yuta14:

It happens once in a while.

Even during the world championships against Ni Chang Dance, the QueeN Walkers would’ve lost if l didn’t get three stars. Back then, I also felt like I was definitely going to win.

ponta:

I’m kind of surprised by this, but your mentality really seems to depend on the match results. And yet you always seem to stay calm in public.

yuta14:

Yeah, I'm pretty dependent on them …

ponta:

However, thanks to your efforts, it feels like the Japanese community is even more active than last year. Is this something you have noticed?

yuta14:

I have felt the activity, especially on YouTube. It seems that the number of subscribers has increased this year, but I also feel like I’m being supported by a fairly different player base than before.

ponta:

What I think is amazing is that you have continued to upload videos for a year. I imagine that it’s quite tough. Where does your motivation to keep uploading to YouTube come from?

yuta14:

To put it simply, I just enjoy YouTube. It's fun to make videos, and it's also fun to share what I feel is fun with others. Many people have responded to it ... I also want to grow my own channel.

ponta:

As a competitive player, I’d guess that your channel will become an important part of your empire.

How to use the prize money

ponta:

How are you planning on using your prize money?

yuta14:

I get asked that a lot, but I haven't received it yet.

ponta:

Ahh, so soon. How much is the prize?

yuta14:

2nd place is about 15,000,000 yen (about $150,000 US), and then that will be divided between five people. Then taxes have to be paid, so I’m not sure how much I will get.

ponta:

$30,000 sounds like a big deal to many people, but considering the time and effort that you have spent on the world championships, I don't think it's too much.

yuta14:

That said, I'm not interested in cars or watches. Most of the things I want are reasonably priced, easily purchased. Maybe I’ll put together a streaming setup.

ponta:

I feel that ambition is itself also a talent, so I hope that you might become more ambitious. Speaking of which, do you ever want to be a professional player?

yuta14:

Hmm, there is no benefit to becoming a professional at this time, I guess. But I am pretty jealous of Relyh, who’s the top Brawl Stars player in the world.

ponta:

What do you mean?

yuta14:

I think that the pro players who are members of the Paris Saint-Germain FC’s PSG Esports team are pretty cool. I used to play soccer, so I admire them.

ponta:

Speaking of Clash Royale, there’s Kentsumeshi, who is in that Red Bull commercial, right?

yuta14:

Yeah. That’s the dream.

ponta:

Interesting. You don’t really have a lot of things you want to own, but you have a strong admiration for brand names.

yuta14:

True enough. I did play soccer, so I think those kinds of things are cool.

How can I be a better Clash of Clans player?

ponta:

Who built the layout for the World Championships?

yuta14:

I’m not good at building layouts. It was made by GAKU and stadra with the help of overseas layout builders. And while they’re not a team member, Olbor also helped us. But it still barely worked out for us.

ponta:

I’m surprised that “STARs”, who wasn’t a member in 2019, suddenly joined the QueeN Walkers this year.

yuta14:

He asked to join the team.

ponta:

If a player has the skills, they can compete in the world championships, no matter how famous they are or aren’t, and that is fantastic. So, if anyone reading this wants to join QueenN Walkers, is it a possibility?

yuta14:

Well, in case of STARs, while he does have excellent skills, we have also played together normally, and so we know what kind of person he is.

ponta:

Personality is important, isn't it?

yuta14:

Very important. Skills are also essential though. He got good results in the Legend League, so that wasn't a problem at all.

ponta:

What special qualities does it take to be good at Clash of Clans?

yuta14:

Hmm. It is very important to understand the essence of Clash of Clans itself. It's difficult for people who can't do that even if they take the time. In other words, people who understand the essence can do it to some extent without spending time.

ponta:

I see. I’m not 100% sure of what you’re saying, but I kind of get it.

yuta14:

I mean, it is important to know what is the correct answer and what is the optimal solution at that time. The amount of practice just raises the accuracy rate..

ponta:

That makes sense. My opinion is exactly the same as yours.

yuta14:

(laughs)

Clash of Clans 2020, and a while ago

ponta:

There were several updates on Clash of Clans in 2020. How did the year feel to you, including the game’s atmosphere? Please don’t hesitate to say how you feel just because this will be on the official blog!

yuta14:

(laughs) Overall, it’s become a much less difficult game, and the interface has improved in various ways. There have been so many good updates. I mean, we went through a point where it took 45-minutes to make a golem, right? Given that, any updates are good.

ponta:

Sure thing. I can't believe we survived. Do you remember "VERSUS"?

yuta14:

Of course.

ponta:

What effect did that have on you?

yuta14:

That was the first event where my face was shown. The team lost, but for me, it was a huge success. It gave me a lot of confidence.

ponta:

You got to be the ace in the hole, and turn the tables on your opponents.

yuta14:

It was pretty sweet. I never thought that I would be able to play twice. Ever since then, everyone thinks of me as a clutch player. In fact, I’ve had more opportunities to play in important situations since then.

ponta:

Personally, I joined the industry after that event. Dozle also quit medical school and focused on being a YouTuber. It became a turning point and treasure for many different people.

yuta14:

I wish I could do it all again.

ponta:

Me too. I would like to hold a tournament where the reason for battling and the reason for watching are nice and clear, even if it isn’t to that scale. When I do, please join in as one of the major players.

yuta14:

I'd love to.

ponta:

"VERSUS" was three years ago. And it was six years ago that it took 45 minutes to make a golem. What would you say to yourself if you could go to back then?

yuta14:

It would have to be “start YouTube streaming right away”.

ponta:

Ahh. That was when Kiokio got 600,000 views just for putting out the wizard. (laughs)

yuta14:

I’m so jealous of him.

ponta:

Well, your life has definitely changed. Your ability to answer so quickly shows how real that is.

Prospect for 2021

ponta:

I’ve asked about the past, could you tell me about your prospects for next year?

yuta14:

Eh ... (long thought).

ponta:

You’re taking so long! I thought you would answer right away with something like, “Next time, we’re aiming to win the world championships!”

yuta14:

There’s the me that wants to win the world championships next year, and the me that is like “what should I do”... I know that being able to aim for the world championships is something I can do because of where I am right now, but at the same time, I also wonder if it’s all right for me to be here. For as long as I am a player, I need to be able to reach that level, and so I’m watching my own performance throughout the year to see if I can convince myself.

ponta:

It’s definitely common for Clash Royale pros to go from being a player to being a manager, and I don’t think it’s a bad choice at all.

yuta14:

Sure.

ponta:

I’m sure that the fans want you to go as far as you can as a player, though.

yuta14:

That’s true. Half of the time I feel like I can make it as a player, and half of the time I feel like I can’t.

ponta:

Well, you play as a competitive player while you hold down a job and do streaming on YouTube. All of that puts a handicap on you. You’ve been pretty busy, right?

yuta14:

Yes. I cut out quite a lot this year. Even in my private life, and even in Clash of Clans.

ponta:

You mean Mix battles, right? (Note: Mix includes not only level 13 townhalls, but also lower level ones as well)

yuta14:

When I decided to focus on the world championships, I stopped playing Mix because it wasn’t necessary. I also stopped playing in large-scale battles. You could say that I made it that far because of all of the things I cut out.

ponta:

It’s often said, “it’s harder to throw things away.”

yuta14:

When I decide to throw something away, not only does it affect me, but it affects my teammates as well. It hurt that I was causing them problems because of my own desires.

ponta:

I understand. I thought about it when I changed my clan’s stance. It was lonely.

yuta14:

Indeed. You get the feeling that you’ve been working towards it the whole time, too.

ponta:

Were you attached at all to “Hagure Metal Castle”, which you shut down?

yuta14:

Quite a lot. I was given it by the former leader...

ponta:

As busy as you are, you get called on to take part in weird variety livestreams. (Note: He’s referring to the show that he is a producer on, “Ponkotsu no Bonkura”)

yuta14:

Oh, it’s not like that at all. (laughs)

ponta:

Since I asked about next year, can you also tell me what "the ideal yuta” is in 3 years?

yuta14:

It’s an extension of my current path. I hope to become the best Clash of Clans player in the world, and to make my YouTube channel popular, even in English-speaking countries.

ponta:

Are there any players that you would like to join your team in order to win the world championships?

yuta14:

Hmm. The players I care about are already on my team...

ponta:

That’s true. You’ve got quite the dream team. It doesn’t feel like QueeN Walkers can lose next year. It feels like they’ll be saying, “QueeN Walkers are the best, you know.”

yuta14:

I wonder. (laughs) It’s the luck of the draw.

ponta:

What do you mean?

yuta14:

I believe that the important thing is to reduce the effect that luck plays in a match by practicing.

ponta:

That’s rather wise.

yuta14:

Recent Clash of Clans tournaments have been in the double-elimination format, so it’s harder to get lucky wins. Skilled teams win those kinds of tournaments. (The double-elimination format means that until a team loses twice, they still have a chance to be the champions thanks to the loser’s bracket)

ponta:

Well, which is it? (laughs) Well, do the QueeN Walkers, who will have managed the possibility of loss with practice, have any requests for Supercell, such as a kind of tournament?

yuta14:

We would like for a tournament to be held in Asia. There are regional tournaments in North America and Europe, so we’d like to see one here.

ponta:

That would certainly be a reason to root for the Japan team, who play in Asia. Thank you for your thoughts, and thank you for being so generous with your time.

yuta14:

Thank you so much!

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No one doubts Yuta's skill as a "genius". The trust of his teammates, including their leadership, is incredible. However, through the interview, I was able to hear his real voice, learning that he sometimes loses confidence and gets worried. It feels like the fate of any player competing at a high level. On the other hand, his growth as a streamer is also remarkable, and he seemed to enjoy working on improving himself.

Yuta, who is aiming for the highest levels as a player, and is also active as a streamer, will continue to lead the Clash of Clans community by example.

(Writer / Photographer:ponta

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