Lat’s Chats with TurquoiseLink

Howdy folks! Lateralus here and I am bringing you the second edition to my new article series: Lat’s Chats! The goal of this series is to feature different members of the community whether they are a content creator, streamer, or just a player. There are a lot of great people in the TESL community and I want to show what different members have to offer for you all whether you have been apart of this community since the beginning, just recently joined, or someone who will soon and is lost with the content we have to offer. So without further ado, I bring you: TurquoiseLink!


Lateralus: Thank you for joining me Link! Warriors tagged you for the second interview, and I appreciate you being open to doing it. Why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

TurquoiseLink: I’m Adam from Canberra, Australia and I’m 28 years old.

Australia! Another from the opposite side of the world from myself. I do not know much about Canberra though. Will you tell us a little bit about your city?

The pretty cool thing about Canberra is how it’s built into the environment for a city. The whole thing is basically one giant park, including busy centres and whatnot. Always liked that about it. It’s also famous for being freezing cold for an Aussie city, although the Canadians always laugh at me when I say that. Apparently, we don’t know real cold here in Australia. We have a reputation for being boring but that’s mostly because our tourist destinations are kind of dull and that’s what everyone looks for, places and events around town are cool.

I’m from the south in the US, so I don’t know cold either. Is all your family from the same area? Have you ever traveled outside of Australia?

Family is scattered around eastern Australia, basically our whole population lives on the east coast. Have never traveled outside of Australia, really hoping TESL will enable that one day.

Gotcha. I hope to travel to Australia one day. Asia and Australia are the last two continents I need to visit (not including Antarctica). Well, it looks as though TESL is starting its competitive scene and that may be possible for you in the near future! Before we get into that though, what brought you to TESL specifically? You’ve been playing a long time right?

I started out playing a card game named SolForge. Its budget ran out and the developers packed up shop so my friend and teammate Eon suggested TESL as the next game. This would have been July 2016 so right as open beta was starting. Eon introduced me to slw and Romanesque and we formed a really dominant team for that time. TESL was interesting to me because it had the backing of a large and reputable company so it wouldn’t have the budget issues that had plagued so many of the indie card games I’d enjoyed in the past.

I am familiar with SolForge although I chose to never play it myself. I was deep into MtG at the time. A lot of big names! I’ve interacted with each of them as well in some form or another. Although Bethesda is a reputable company, it felt like it took a long time to make significant progression. If I am not mistaken, you and I both shared some frustrations over the past two years. Did you ever consider leaving for a different CCG? Are you happy with where TESL is going now?

Did I ever consider leaving? I spent a solid 3 months playing Gwent full time after SolidAge’s disastrous Christmas announcement at the end of 2017. I did tend to get quite angry in the latter half of 2017. I’d had high hopes that Bethesda would have a similar level of investment as CDPR did with Gwent and we sort of stalled and died while they grew to 50x our size (no-one expected anything to rival Hearthstone of course). I wouldn’t say I’m happy with where TESL is and where its headed, but I’m content I suppose. For better or worse this is where the game is and it is entirely on me to decide if I’m comfortable with that. I decided I am. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I committed to Gwent in 2016 instead, but hey, sometimes you pick a winner and sometimes you pick Hand of the Gods.

I think TESL is in a great spot as a game and to people that enjoy good card games I would highly recommend this one. My concerns lean more toward my ability to play full time rather than simply enjoying the game itself, so don’t let me scare you away if you’re having fun.

Yeah. I was one that left for Hand of the Gods (RIP) around the same time. I don’t regret it though. One of my favorite times playing CCGs and got to meet a lot of great people, including Jstarr, Earlmeister and YouCanCallMeAl at HRX. I think I feel the same way as you. It isn’t ideal yet, but I’m hopeful and happy with the progress now. Do you plan on competing in the Master Series Qualifiers? You used to compete often but have recently turned more to casting.

I’ll cast every chance I get and have loved my experiences with WarpMeta and the Champion Series. Sadly, ESL is in charge of the Master Series and they already have their own employee commentators so no one knows how they’re going to run it. I will be playing the Master Series instead and it has been awesome to have a reason to really study and grind a meta again. I do confess that if commentary opportunities come up I’ll jump at them in a heartbeat over playing. 16 players are a lot to qualify and is the part that has me particularly excited. When you’re only qualifying 8 players, I can name 8 people that I know crush me in terms of skill and preparation. But 8 more people after those? That’s a lot vaguer, and maybe an area I can fit into.

Awesome! I look forward to competing against you. The Master Series seems to have made some people’s competitive urge itch, mine included. You’ve been around a long time. You’ve competed, commentated and you stream. You mentioned you’d commentate over competing. Where does streaming fall? What inspires you to do it?

Streaming for me has been taking the escapism part of games up a notch. Lots of people play games to lose themselves in a make-believe world where they can just enjoy themselves. When you’re streaming it’s the same sort of thing but a real world, maybe not a tangible one but you’re in front of a real audience. In 2016 I used to contend with a lot of depression issues. I started streaming full time in 2017 and got so immersed in it those problems sort of just started to fade away. I checked recently and I averaged 55 hours per week on stream from early to mid 2017. I would estimate an additional 10-20 hours/week off stream too. By the end of 2017, I realized I’d buried myself in it so deeply I didn’t feel any of the effects of depression I had at the start of the year. At any time, any day, scheduled or not, I could simply fire up OBS and lose myself in a totally different world from the real one. It was also nice finding a new talent too. I was always a very shy person but streaming is entirely your element. You control everything, you play what you’re good at and everyone watching you is there because they want to be there and see what you do. I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that I would be a professional entertainer.

That is awesome to hear. That has been a topic of late – gaming and depression. The World Health Organization recently said that excessive gaming is a disorder. That those who choose it over other social interactions constantly and play as often as you mentioned might have it in simplest terms. What’s your opinion on that? I think a lot of people outside the gaming world don’t realize that it can be used as a coping mechanism or even a way to socialize and break barriers, such as you getting over shyness. I know I have used gaming in the past when faced with depressing issues, though I have never been diagnosed with depression.

I’m always hesitant to present an opinion on topics I don’t know much about, so I’d like to highlight the following is a vague opinion rather than fact and open to change. I feel as if there is such a thing as gaming addiction, although when I looked into it for myself every piece of help was targeted at parents and small children. I couldn’t find a single resource for adults in their mid-twenties. Of course, defining “excess” gaming is going to vary drastically person to person though. I don’t think “hours played” is a particularly useful metric, if you enjoy what you’re doing and it isn’t causing harm then by all means go for it. Lots of people view gaming long hours as something to be cured or avoided, I see nothing wrong with it.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on the matter either, but I agree with what you’re saying. Most people in the community probably know who TurquoiseLink is, but, maybe not everyone and we are certainly gaining new players with the upcoming changes in TESL. What do you think lead to your success as a streamer? When can we find you streaming? You are one of the biggest in the game.

No up and coming streamer likes to hear it, but I got in early. If I started today I am skeptical I could build something similar. I put in an insane number of hours into streaming, 7 hours/day, 7 days/week so anytime anyone at all wanted to watch TESL I was probably available. On top of that I won a lot of community tournaments and built a lot of the meta decks so my name would come up in conversation as someone to learn from. There are plenty of better players than me and plenty of better streamers, but it takes a lot of outside work to grow, and luck, lots of luck. These days I focus mostly on how to attack meta-games. Mostly when you watch a streamer play something different they play memes or role-play decks, my different off-beat decks tend to have serious competitive building in mind, attacking shared weaknesses or exploring well positioned cards which I feel is a niche not many people other than myself serve. I typically stream around 7:00 pm EDT on a daily basis.

No, I’d say that is not a common thing to see from streamers. I’ve always enjoyed watching and hanging out in your streams and I hope to get to do so a bit more than I have lately like I used to. What’s the future look like for Link? You plan on forming a testing group again to prepare for the Master Series? Expanding on any of the content you provide?

Oh, I’ll be finding a group very soon. Everyone always underestimates it, but card games are very much a team game. Study isn’t possible when your only data is a random, faceless person on the internet, one game at a time. Future content I don’t discuss much because I write and record so much only to never release it so I’m hesitant to make promises. I do have a ton of educational content drawn up though, whether remaining written or on YouTube I’m not sure yet, but I’m confident this one will make it out so keep an eye out for it!

Good to hear my friend. I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding a solid group. Any players you have in mind or is that top secret? I completely agree it is a team game. One simply can’t play enough games alone or come up with enough ideas or strategy to consistently stay at the top. Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to say to the community? Want to make a tag for the next interview? Warriors chose well, this was a blast and I want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to talk with me and let the community get to know you a little better!

Secrets upon deception upon a web of intrigue, sorry! You can catch me most days in my stream, come and call me out on any mistakes. Learning is the point and chat is incapable of tilting me so don’t feel shy (drain vitality on the other hand…). I’m going to put up a vote for Ikarus. We play at totally different time zones so he’s one of the monsters at the game that I know very little about. We don’t meet on ladder and he has been crushing the ESL series which is one I don’t get to see. I want to know how the other side of the pond thinks. I feel he goes a little under the radar due to a little less ladder power, but more than makes up for it as potentially the best at tournaments.

You can find TurquoiseLink here:




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