Around noon today I finished recording what will be the last episode of the HearthPro podcast — at least, with me as a host.
This was a very tough decision to make, but with the support of my fellow hosts Marc, Stephen, and Robert, I was able to do what needs to be done. Due to major changes in all of our lives, scheduling our recording times while taking into account a three-hour difference on my end had just become too difficult. In order to accommodate my schedule, Robert would have had to leave the show and Marc would have had less time to spend with his family, which was double-plus-uncool all around, despite the fact that these incredible gentlemen were actually willing to make that sacrifice. I was the one who suggested stepping down, and although there were many protests, we all came to the conclusion that this is what was best for the show. I’ve also got some other things in the works that would prevent me from having any more involvement on the show, depending on the outcome, and I would have hated to make them work so hard to include me only to have to quit a week or two later, anyway.
Without Robert, we would have lost a valuable voice regarding Hearthstone’s meta-game and insight into strategy for both deck-building and gameplay that I certainly could not have made up for. Marc is the mastermind of the show who keeps us all in line and does the dirty organizational work that, honestly, none of us would be able to do half as well as he does, not to mention the incredible editing job he does for each episode (I actually sound smart when he’s through with my audio!). HearthPro is his baby, anyway. It was his Hearthstone podcast I listened to what seems like forever ago, when I was just starting to make a name for myself, and thought “Oh man, I’d love to be a guest on that show.” A bit later I ended up getting my wish, and beyond, because halfway through recording my guest spot the decision was made to offer me a permanent spot as a co-host! I never imagined I’d be part of such a passionate and generally amazing team.
Stephen, a.k.a. Leviathan, and I only recently started working together, but on that first show with him as a guest I was sort of “auditioning” him to take over my role. This decision to step down is one that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while since things started getting more and more hectic, but I didn’t want to leave HearthPro in an absolute lurch. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I could not find a better replacement for the community side of things than him. Not only is he a great temperance to Robert’s hardcore mentality, but he also has a wonderful understanding of the game on all levels of play, and the ability to express it in an endearing and well-thought-out manner. I look forward to hearing great things from him as the show goes on and have full confidence that if he put on a squeaky voice, no one would even notice I was gone.
I wanted to make this somewhat short post just to let everyone know that I was not forced into this decision and that there was no behind-the-scenes drama — yes, I know that Robert and I had opposing viewpoints on pretty much everything and engaged in more than a few friendly battles on the air, but there’s zero animosity between us. We’re both very passionate people with a love for gaming, especially Hearthstone, and the debates and banter were a welcome indulgence for me. In fact, Robert was the first one to rush to my side and make sure I was truly okay with leaving the show. Believe it or not, Marc, Robert, Stephen, and I are all on very good terms both during and after our recordings! I couldn’t ask for a finer group of colleagues or friends.
So what does this mean for HearthPro? The show’s still going to continue to kick ass and take names as it always has. The only difference is that you won’t hear my voice on a regular basis. I say “regular basis” because I’m not precluding the possibility of popping in now and again as a guest, either to talk about major news stories I cover or just to check in from the community.
As for me, I’m not disappearing from BlizzPro or Twitter or Twitch (although I admittedly have fallen off of the streaming wagon — I hope to remedy that soon!). I will still be writing articles for BlizzPro and their sub-sites for as long as possible and updating you with on-the-hour thoughts about tacos and obscure German industrial bands. And of course, you might just see me in the matchmaking queues for Hearthstone whenever I have a spare moment!
Thank you to everyone who’s listened to our shenanigans, challenged me to friendly Hearthstone matches, sent me awesome emails or bantered with me on Twitter. I love the Hearthstone community and wager that it’s one of the best out there because of you, the players! Deck on, dudes, and I’ll catch up with you later.