For many virtual card games like Hearthstone, Magic The Gathering: Arena, and The Pokemon Trading Card Game Online, audiences pine for the newest decks, the best analyses, and the most effective ways to improve their own play. Enter Riot Games’ Legends of Runeterra, a card game that further develops the League of Legends lore while introducing strategies never-before-seen in a card game. In Legends of Runeterra, like the games before it, dedicated players work tirelessly to theorycraft, grow the game, and compete at the highest level.
One such player is Sean “Swim” Huguenard, a longtime Gwent player known for his creative gameplay and intellectual strategies in the game. With 144k followers on Twitch and 122k on YouTube, Swim has become one of the most analytical and reputable Legends of Runeterra minds in the game.
Growing Up Gaming
Swim found his love of gaming at a young age. However, card games (both digital and physical) were not his immediate love. “My years before I started streaming, I actually spent most of my time when I was gaming, I was playing Dota. I played a bit of like, you know, TF2 and Overwatch, like arena shooters,” explained Swim. “But I never played card games seriously. I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t know about me.”
As his love and knowledge of video games grew, he was recommended by friends to begin streaming. “A friend of mine that I had just made in Gwent was just like, you know, ‘Wow, you’ve got some great ideas. I’d love to see you stream the game. I’d watch!’ And I did it.”
After his initial decision to begin streaming, his audience immediately grew. “I got in early on something that was about to experience a lot of growth. I started streaming Gwent right before a lot of people heard of it.”
It wasn’t long after that when he was approached by Evil Geniuses, the organization he would end up streaming with to this day.
What Comes Next? Enter Runeterra
After the end of Gwent and the shortfall of Artifact, Swim was unsure of what his next game would be. Then, Legends of Runeterra was announced. “Legends of Runeterra was not on my radar at all,” he explained. “It was on no one’s because they, they didn’t preview it. They dropped to playable on the announcement, which was crazy.”
For him, it was a deus ex machina moment when Legends of Runeterra dropped. It was a calling.
Streaming for An Audience The Swim Way
Swim’s stream varies week to week. When describing his schedule, he explained that some weeks he streams less in order to take time for him.
But when he’s streaming, he enjoys interacting with fans on as many platforms as possible, through his stream, Discord, and Twitter. He explained, “When we started as a streamer … you get to know your chat really well, because it’s just a couple of people. And it’s just all the same names over and over again. And when you’re starting out, a lot of your chat is people that are your friends, people that know you outside of the stream.”
Legends of Runeterra – The Swim Specials
Swim defines his playstyle as “all-in.” “I really like the idea of like, all-in decks. Right. An all-in deck being a deck that is so singularly built around a specific concept that like, it’s just that’s how it wins.”
One such card he talked about was Zephyr Sage – a card that inevitably got nerfed by Riot due to an in-game infinite combo.
Yet he also earned a reputation for being able to read opponents well and explaining choices on stream. He defined it as “meticulous hand-reading.” When asked, he explained, “In Runeterra, I find myself quite constantly, and like a lot of people in my chat will, you know, pick up in comments on this, like, I sometimes just have insane prediction abilities in terms of like what the opponent is about to play.”
But with thousands of cards being put into the game and constant expansions, one card stands out to him – Fizz. “I love Fizz. Then of course you know, he fits into everything I’m talking about. Right? Because like he’s sort of uninterruptible in his own way. He’s like an elusive, he’s combo-able. He’s everything I want from a card really.”
When asked about his understanding of deck-building, he laid an analogy of a deck being like a tree.
“I like to think of a deck like a tree, right, where it has a trunk and it’s got branches. A good deck needs both,” he noted. “ You need your trunk which is kind of like your solid gameplan and your branches which are … sort of like different ways to build the deck, like flexible cards or also like different ways that you know, you are able to approach different matchups.”
Finally, when asked about advice for aspiring Runeterra streamers, he laid out one crucial note – market yourself.
“A lot of people have this perception of streaming that if you just turn on your stream, that people will just find you through the twitch directory. That does not happen.”
He advised being creative through Reddit posts, YouTube clips, and other means of generating traffic. And his advice rings true to his own success, referencing his analytical means on GwentDB for deck strategies and audience traction to his own stream.
But through all of this interview, one thing remained true about Swim – he’s an analytical player, a calculated individual, and one of the most down-to-earth human beings in the industry.