By cherylchalla

ATLC Player Spotlight ft. Kolento! Cherylchalla had the opportunity to sit down with Cloud 9’s Kolento. They discuss Cloud 9’s ATLC team, ATLC itself, and race through Rapid Fire questions to get to know Kolento!


Table of Contents

  1. Kolento and Cloud 9
  2. ATLC
  3. “Rapid Fire” Questions



Aleksandr “Kolento” Malsh is a Ukranian Hearthstone player, currently on Cloud 9’s roster. Before playing Hearthstone, he played World of Tanks competitively. By the time Hearthstone came around, Kolento was no stranger to Blizzard games. “I had played all the other Blizzard games and also liked watching the Twitch streams,” said Kolento. He began his Hearthstone journey just after the Beta release and has been playing since. When not playing Hearthstone, Kolento likes “to rest, since Hearthstone occupies a lot of my time.”

Around this time last year, he was picked up by Cloud 9 and, along with Ekop and StrifeCro, is now representing the team in the Archon Team League Championships (ATLC). “Before I joined Cloud 9, I used to watch Ekop’s stream. I didn’t know StrifeCro that well, but had heard that he was a strong player,” said Kolento. “Now, we’ve all met many times at offline events and have even competed against each other in multiple tournaments. We’ve become very familiar with each other’s capabilities.”

However, Kolento admits that he prefers playing on the ladder alone, over having team practice. “It is really difficult to find time in schedule for practice,” explained Kolento. “Playing alone allows for time to be optimized. It’s much easier to just open Hearthstone and play some games, rather than schedule practice matches ahead of time.”

Growing up, had Kolento ever dreamed about being an esports champion? “I played many games growing up like Doom, Heretic, Blackthorne, Starcraft, Warcraft, and many others,” replied Kolento. “I had never thought I would be an esports champion, since I had never even heard of the term as a child.”


(2) ATLC

During Week 1 of ATLC, Cloud 9 had lost 3-6 to Value Town, but regained their footing Week 2, taking the series 6-4 over Team Liquid. Kolento attributes his losses to poor luck, as well as the way ATLC is organized. “We are only given one minute to discuss decks between matches,” said Kolento. “Although having less waiting time is the best way to satisfy the viewers, it’s harder for this to feel like a team effort, because it really isn’t enough time.” He added, “Perhaps I just prefer playing solo tournaments.”

Kolento does prefer the current format standard of Conquest (which is being used in ATLC and is also the official format for the BlizzCon World Championships this year), over last year’s standard of Last Hero Standing. “The Conquest format feels much closer to the ladder, which I like,” Kolento answered. “In this format, the order of picking your decks is less relevant compared to Last Hero Standing. This makes the pre-game part of the match easier.” 

Some pro-players have argued against Conquest, saying that the format makes the matches feel more like a coin flip. Kolento retorted, “I can live with that. With the pre-game process in Conquest being much easier, I personally like to pick the deck I begin with randomly. Besides, Hearthstone itself can sometimes feel like a coin flip.”

In his opinion, Kolento doesn’t think that there is a team in the ATLC that stands out as the “most” threatening, because the “Team League has gathered many top players from all regions”. With such a narrow gap between the skills of the teams, Kolento feels that the results of some of the games could even come down to draws or the variable on board game effects. Kolento does hope that, in the future, Blizzard will continue to implement “more cards, preferably without the RNG element to them”.



StrifeCro and Ekop fall off a boat, but you can only save one. “Save Strife.”

Dr. Boom OP, or are we all just complaining too much? “Slightly OP in my opinion.”

Most underplayed class at the moment? “Priest.”

It’s the last day of the season and you’re grinding for that top Legend spot...

  • Are you using phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop? “Laptop.”
  • What’re you snacking on? “Banana.”
  • What song are you laddering to? “No songs.”
  • Skype hangout with anyone? “Not skyping with anybody.”

If the entire world could hear and understand you for one minute, what would you say to everyone?

“You’re doing well, world!”


Many thanks to Kolento for his time! You can catch all the ATLC action every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 AM PDT. ATLC information and standings can be found here.

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