A. Wolff: Streaming is a great chance to stay connected!
10.08.2020, 09:16
Off the court Interview

TO WATCH AND TO BE WATCHED: ANDREAS WOLFF
“Streaming is a great chance to stay connected!”

  • Magda Pluszewska
  • Text

“Handball is my passion,” – says Andreas Wolff explicitly – “I like to play it, I like to be in the goal, be with the guys. And it’s my most beloved thing in the world to do.” The captain of Polish Champions has no doubt what is the most important area of his life.

But just one competition would be definitely too few for him. Rivalry is something that drives him forward, gives him excitement and a pure pleasure of challenging himself with the others. The area where he can get all of this apart from handball is cyber space. Thus when he gets off the court, he lounges in his mighty gaming chair diving into the world of unlimited competition. Recently he even entered professional scene of German e-Sport community, UX Gaming and invited his fans to his space via streams at Twitch.tv.

In the second part of long pre-season interview Andreas Wolff gives an insight into his gaming experiences, talking about how it all begun and what are his plans regarding e-Sport for closest future.

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PlayStation?

Finally!

Looks like previous part of interview was just an introduction to the real topic. Andreas is not hiding his excitement that we will talk about his second hobby which due to the lockdown had recently a chance to develop. The captain of Polish Champions decided to share his passion with the fans and started to stream his play on Twitch.tv platform. Okay, but let’s start from scratch.

How did your PlayStation passion begin?

When I was younger I played each kind of sport with my brother as I always loved to compete. When I was 14 or something like that, I changed the club. My best friend Björn also came to this club and he had a PC. He was the first of us who had it. It was in 2004 or 2005 – the story sounds a bit like one of these told by our parents in the style of “You don’t get it kid! My first mobile phone was of a size of a suitcase” – We made some LAN Parties…

You made what?

LAN Parties – he repeats but when he doesn’t find understanding in my eyes he explains it with a tone of a geography teacher pointing his finger on a big world map in the middle of the classroom and saying to the students ‘This-is-Africa’ – Local-Area-Network-Parties.

Ah, yes, LAN Parties. A bunch of people with their computers or consoles with net connection, that meet to play games together. Now I get it!

We bought PCs and brought them all together. This is how we started to play against each other.

"When I was younger I played each kind of sport with my brother as I always loved to compete. When I was 14 or something like that, I changed the club. My best friend Björn also came to this club and he had a PC. Then we all bought PCs, brought them all together making LAN Parties and this is how we started to play."

What games did you play then?

Call of Duty 1, Warzone, Counterstrike 1.6, Warcraft III…

Of course I have no idea about these games, but I think this may be interesting for the gamers.

Maybe I wouldn’t say that my passion was born then but for sure I discovered the e-sport and for some years I was more or less a casual player. I had an Xbox and when I moved out of my home in the age of 16 I gained PlayStation. I created an online account so that I could play online.

Why did you move out that early?

I received an offer from Kirchzell, where I played in the 3rd league. They co-operated with Grosswallstadt and I saw a chance for me. Shortly after that Grosswallstadt became my first 1st league club. It wasn’t that far away from my hometown, around 270 km, so it’s about two hours with German highways.

Okay, so when your independent life begun you got yourself the PlayStation.

I started to play online COD (Call of Duty – ed.) and I loved it so much! I just played with my brother and some friends at the beginning. But they got bored pretty fast and quit. So I quit as well. I’m an online gamer but I really don’t like to play on my own. I want to play in my team, to grow as a team. Funny, seems like I am a team player – he laughs honestly like this thought really surprised him – It’s boring to me, even during online matches, to play only by myself. There is nothing you can really celebrate. So two years ago I discovered more competitive side of the game, I found new guys to play with and this year I had my entry to the competitive scene in Germany.

And how did the idea of streaming…

…come to my mind? – it’s nice to observe someone being really excited about his hobby so that he is unable to listen to the question till the end as he just doesn’t want to stop talking – I’m connected to UX Gaming, that’s the biggest organisation of Call of Duty in Germany. You know, as a player you watch streams of other people, I really like it! And we were talking a little bit about opportunities. I thought that maybe I can help the organisation to become a little bit more known off the COD scene and just get some new fans, new viewers. I think maybe my streaming can support the UGT tournament as well.

"I’m connected to UX Gaming, that’s the biggest organisation of Call of Duty in Germany. We were talking a little bit about opportunities. I thought that maybe I can help the organisation to become more known off the COD scene."

You play as Andreas Wolff?

No, I don’t play with my name of course, I have a gamer nick, but my streaming is pretty obvious. In German community they know my name but the opponents don’t know who they play against.

You said you like watching streams but it seems to me that you also like being watched. During your streams you allow your fans to communicate with you and get to know you from more private side.

Honestly, I really enjoy it! It’s because of what I said before. I don’t like playing alone. When I stream I have the guys watching me and I talk with them. It’s like having my own community, I know there are lot of guys from German COD joining the chat so I can also get more familiar with them. I think it’s a great chance to stay connected!

What was the strangest question you received on chat?

Hmm.. There was a guy who wanted me to text him back on Instagram. And I said “No, come on, just ask me the question here” as I think that on Instagram it should be my right to answer or not. You know, it’s hard to answer every request however if something really touches me, I do it. The guy finally said that he has got some motivation problem based on mental strength because he doesn’t want to play handball three times a week as he has no free time anymore. To be honest, for me it’s not mental problem, just laziness! You want to do something or not, that’s it!

Harsh, but true.

What I love about your streams is that you play in Hala Legionów. Was it your idea?

Kind of, yes. I thought that as I am a handball player, I want to be recognized as handball player as well because it’s big part of my identity. We were thinking about streaming stuffs and we had an idea of using a greenscreen. We wanted to make me looking like I sit in a special room or something and I said “Yeah, this is cool, but maybe you can make it like I’m sitting in the hall?”. So we made this Hala Legionów thing. And actually I was asked several times, if I’m really sitting in the hall! – he laughs.

"As I am a handball player, I want to be recognized as handball player as well because it’s big part of my identity. Thus we made this Hala Legionów thing. And actually I was asked several times, if I’m really sitting in the hall!"

As I know you also have an idea to play together with your teammates from Kielce?

Yes, but they don’t play COD like I do…

Andreas puts specific accent on last two syllables making the sentence sound in characteristic self-confident style. That deserved to get mimicked.

Oh, “like I do”.

Well, if you want to have it more humble, they don’t spend 12 hours a day playing Call of Duty (laugh)! Better?

Better.

And they also play other games like Counterstrike for example. But I think we have a huge group of players like Mati (Mateusz Kornecki – ed.), Arek (Moryto – ed.), Angel (Fernandez – ed.), Dani (Dujshebaev – ed.), I think Michał (Olejniczak – ed.) as well. I hope that one day we will play together and do kind of Kielce team stream! Or even play against other teams of the league and make Polish gaming league! – looking at Andi’s eyes ignited with excitement I’m pretty sure the idea will meet reality.

Are you going to continue streaming now when the handball season is about to start?

Yes, I play PS or computer anyway because it’s my hobby, I like to play it. Of course I won’t do it for 12 hours like during quarantine (laugh)! That was just an exception because I had nothing else to do. You know, I did my training in the morning and I was like “0kay, I cannot leave the house, so what shall I do?”. So I played and streamed it.

Wasn’t it too much sometimes?

It was! – he admits with no hesitation – Far too much! It was really tiring sometimes, because if you watch the stream for 12 hours you just get dizzy. Because of that I also slept very badly, so there is no way on Earth that during the season I would be back to 12 hours streaming! Maybe I will do it for 6-8 hours when I am free on Sunday. My plan is to have regular streaming schedules with 3-4 entries per week. So that the fans know when they can watch it, enjoy it but at the same time not get sick of me. It’s also pretty exhausting and I want to do other things as well.

What is your goal in e-sport?

There is no goal, I just want to be better. I think I would like to be in Top 8 in one of these UGT tournaments with my team. The best result we had so far was 25th place. It’s pretty difficult, guys that I’m playing with are 10 years younger than me. And even though they are so young they have already played for more years than I have (laugh)!

"There is no choice between handball and gaming. If I felt that e-sport is negatively influencing my handball I would quit it immediately. Handball is my passion. I like to play it, I like to be in the goal, be with the guys. And it’s my most beloved thing in the world to do."

If you had to choose between e-sport and handball…

There is no choice – Andreas is breaking in explicitly – If I felt that e-sport is negatively influencing my handball I would quit it immediately.

What is it about handball that it dominates over everything else?

It’s my passion. I like to play it, I like to be in the goal, be with the guys. And it’s my most beloved thing in the world to do.