Today, 30th September 2022, around 3am CEST my teammate Danirai accomplished the first ever flawless run from Rank 30 to Pro in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. Flawless means that not a single loss or draw is allowed. Only reaching the perfect +91 -0 total record means success and Danirai delivered it while streaming whole speedrun over multiple days on Twitch!
The total time used to lead the new account to Pro Rank was less than 20 hours (19h 47m). Not even the fastest speedrun ever, but quality mattered most. You could watch each stage of the journey on Twitch vods:
Rank 5 => 0, Time: 5:05:27, 23 games played, 91 in total
Rank 8 => 5 3:00:57, 14 games, 68 total
Rank 12 => 8 2:05:55, 10 games, 54 total
Rank 17 => 12 2:45:38, 13 games, 44 total
Rank 22=> 17 2:40:07, 11 games, 31 total
The faction used for the speedrun was Syndicate and after completing enough scraps, Danirai decided to build following meta Lined Pockets list, as played by Kerpeten and Pajabol in Top16 Qualifiers (Gwent 10.9).
- What inspired you to pursue Flawless 30 => 0 speedrun?
Danirai: This month’s pro rank season was a non-competitive one and I was looking for content ideas for my twitch. I thought this could be both interesting for people & thrilling for me as it would take one loss to end the stream. And the question of whether it’s possible was in my head for a long time so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to see.
- How much faith did you have in the flawless run given that the best runs recorded before ended at 4 (KusokStula) or 5 losses (Redrame, Pawloex)?
I actually did. The difference here was I didn’t do it as a one sitting speedrun but instead played over multiple streams and tried to focus on one game at a time.
- How does it feel to bring zero-to-pro speedrun to the next level and make the first ever flawless run? Do you think people would try to repeat it and if so, how do you assess their chances?
It is possibly my biggest career achievement until someone else will do it too. It’s a huge relief that the speedrun is over and I can finally play something other than SY Nekker. Will people attempt it? I don’t know, I made it look possible but the reality is it’s very stressful and with one bad game it all goes in vain. I personally don’t think it will be done again.
- How many trials were needed overall? Do you remember some of your past nicks and how the speedrun finished? What was your best score when it comes to completing 30=>0 as well as the highest flawless before?
I think I did about 10 attempts overall since the moment people started speedrunning the game. My best run before was 94-3 (ihatedaikirai) and the biggest winstreak before ended at 69-1 (MagnusCarlsberg). Plenty of times I lost around rank 20 before assembling a full meta deck. The most embarassing loss by far was on rank 25 as Gift against Cahir NG just days before starting my SY speedrun.
- Do you think the current meta is especially good (skillful) for speedrunning?
I would say so, but I think it was more about the deck I played rather than the meta itself. Syndicate has proven to be a perfect package for this type of challenge as it’s both the best deck right now and it’s very rarely played on ranks before pro.
- What made you choose SY as the speedrun faction? Do you think SY Lined Pockets is the most versatile and consistent deck right now?
There were a lot of reasons. It being the most versatile and consistent in accessing your wincons were just some of them. I’ve heard there’s a lot of Sihil on ranked ladder and SY has multiple ways to shut it down and autowin after round 1. It’s also a pretty enjoyable deck to play with no 2 games that look exactly the same. Cards like Shady Vendor, Salamandra Hideout or Stolen Mutagens give you multiple situational options while the core of the deck is both capable of shutting down cheesy decks as well as outpointing almost everything in a long round in case you don’t get game control.
- Do you remember what opponents/decks posed you most trouble during speedrun? In which moment the risk of a loss was highest?
There was a game on around rank 15 where I could’ve lost to a double scenario Scoia if my opponent didn’t brick a waylay from Simlas. On rank 5 I also had two very scarily looking games vs Muta Siege & Lippy. Until the last card it looked like I could be losing the game. I’m sure if not for opponents’ missplays there could be a couple more of those nail biters too. However the moment of risk of a loss was the highest right at the end when I had 89-0. I queued against SK Nekker from red which is typically a bad matchup. And then I also went for a coin abuse line which cost me almost all my cards. I had to bet my opponents last card was Nekker and luckily it was. Then I proceeded to 2-0 him in a 4 card r2 and I barely made it. That would’ve been so sad if I lost 2 games away. That was probably my poorest played game in the whole challenge.
- How would you compare Top16 on Pro Ladder in a competitive season to flawless speedrun? Which one of these two is harder in your opinion?
Definitely a flawless speedrun is the harder one. You can get top16 while losing 40% of your games if you play a good number of them. Here you just have 91 games out of which every single one has to be won and it’s very tough challenge mentally.
- A rhetorical question: how much money did you spend to complete the meta SY deck during the first hours? Would you agree with some GOG/Steam reviews that Gwent is p2w or pure RNG?
I obviously spent 0$, at the beginning you get reward points for literal breathing and just by spending them in exchange for gold, scrap and kegs you should be able to build a meta deck in about 10 games if you mill everything you don’t need and just focus on getting one list asap. Gwent isn’t pure RNG either (especially when skill disproportion between players is huge) and this speedrun should be a final proof for it.
- Are there any other achievements you plan to pursue in the near future? What do you think about sub10, sub5 losses or flawless placements on Pro Ladder? Is that even possible?
I don’t think flawless placements are possible. I think if I ever cross 80-20 from placements I’d be happy but it’s been done before. My main goal is obviously to qualify and win World Masters in December, but if I don’t qualify I might do an attempt to surpass the current mmr record of 10809 on pro rank in the offseason. Although it seems kind of hard to do on stream without people queue sniping or queue avoiding, but streaming those sort of challenges is my priority.
- If you had to give three tips to players trying to speedrun pro or simply climb the lower ranks, what would it be?
1. Follow Danirai_ on Twitch
2. Learn from your mistakes
3. And then don’t make them