'Hearthstone' Disguised Toast Interview: Player, Streamer, Memelord

toast

Disguised Toast is one of Hearthstone’s fastest rising streamers and content creators. Six months ago, he was a relatively unknown YouTuber who uploaded Warcraft 3 cinematics and explained the lore behind Blizzard’s card game and statistical analyses. Now, his knowledge of the game, quirky personality and ridiculous decks are streamed every night to the delight of thousands of fans.

At the Hearthstone Championship Tour at the beautiful Meliá resort on the tropical island of Nassau in the Bahamas, iDigitalTimes talked with Toast about his career, streaming and, of course, meming.

Disguised Toast’s Humble Beginnings

A year ago, Disguised Toast was a slightly successful content creator who made videos about Rexxar, The Old Gods and other Warcraft characters for players who have never traveled to Azeroth in the other Blizzard games the card game is based on. While attending a Hearthstone Fireside Gathering tournament, he didn’t want people to know who he was so he wore a mask – that was the first time we got a look at the Disguised Toast persona.

“I first started out with the lore videos because they were very niche content,” he said. “Anyone can show cinematics, there’s nothing about me. As time went on and I started to get more viewers, I created the Toast persona to get myself into the video. Now that I’m able to be be myself, my content is more personality focused.”

In October of 2016, Toast accidentally showed his face on stream, revealing the man under the mask. He was worried that this would be the end of his career, that nobody wanted to see the man behind the cardboard mask. To his surprise, Hearthstone fans rallied behind him and his popularity soared.

“It’s crazy how things work out when something really negative happens. You just got to try to make the best of it, I’m just lucky I guess,” Toast said.

Mathematics, Statistics And Huffer

The Toast persona started with a cardboard mask with a drawn on sharpie moustache and glasses who also knew unique statistics, infographics and cool facts about Hearthstone. He has a BA in Mathematics from the University Of Waterloo and if anyone ever questions his plays he just reminds them who has the degree. Looking at thousands of matches, he’s determined which Animal Companion is the best, what the best totem to get out of (pre-nerf) Tuskarr Totemic is and how Patches affects winrates.

“I stand behind what I say, even though I may not always be right,” he said. “Because I can back it up with statistics and details.”

Toast isn’t the best Hearthstone player in the world, but he admits that he’s “pretty good.” He streams advice to his thousands of fans, answering questions about card choice, decklists or just some crazy memes spammed in his Twitch chat. He thinks being a good Hearthstone player takes precognition. You have to think turns in advance, predict what your opponent might do and act on those instincts.

“Thinking does matter when you are trying to figure out the best play – it’s always a calculated risk, especially when you are top decking cards,” Toast said. “Sometimes you just hit people in the face, and I don’t need math to tell me how to do that.”

Toast also knows how important it is to maintain a brand; at the HCT Bahamas he walks around the floor and talks with fans, all while wearing his Toast branded merchandise. He knows long term success is tied to opportunities like these where he can market the brand he’s created. And it’s paying off, being at the Bahamas with Blizzard is something that just wouldn’t have happened seven months ago.

“I’m good at the game, but most of all I like to have fun. People like watching good players because they can learn from them,” Toast said. “A lot of the competitive players, who are much better than me, struggle with getting recognition even with high finishes in tournaments, because they aren’t really equipped to market themselves.”

Sacrificial Pact At PAX East

Toast is also known as a huge “memelord,” a player who is willing to troll his opponents to keep his audience entertained. At the ONOG Major Circuit at PAX East 2017, Toast was up against one of the best Hearthstone players in the world, Sjow. Unlike a lot of pro Hearthstone players who remain stoic and focused on the game screen, Toast had fun and played to the camera as much as possible. “I know people are in the live audience and on Twitch, so let’s give them a thumbs up,” Toast said. “

“This is being broadcast to viewers, people are watching you. Why is there a camera there if I’m just going to sit there stone faced? Let’s take advantage of the fact there is a camera and have some fun with your opponent.”

What happened next is one of the greatest moments in competitive Hearthstone history. Sacrificial Pact, a card that destroys any Demon, is generally considered to be a bad card. Unless your opponent plays Lord Jaraxxus, which Pact can destroy if played, it’s generally useless. Sjow got tricked into thinking Toast had no answers to the Demon king and then lost the game because of it.

Sjow was facing away from Toast, he never would have shushed and played the camera like he did if they were sitting across from each other. “You do that in front of your opponent, you just start shushing them, you are kind of a jerk.” Keep that in mind Toast disciples who think they can troll as hard as the one true memelord.

You can follow Disguised Toast on Twitter, Twitch and YouTube and learn why this former costumed troll is one of Hearthstone’s fastest rising stars.

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