Want it More – Winner Interviews: Allen Haas

“Want It More” is a series of post-event chats with the people who wanted it just that little bit more and managed to climb to the top of the field during a given event. We’re asking about impressions, strategies, good (and not so good) plays, and more.

This time we’ve got the winner of the 2019 Store Championship in San Antonio, TX.

Name (or username): Allen Haas
Personal flavour text: “Allen Haas, why are you not playing HB!?!” ~ Damon Stone
Event: San Antonio Store Championship
Placement in Swiss: 1st
Path to the final: Pairings

3N1GM4: Congrats on the win! How was the experience of your first NISEI Store Championship?

Allen: It was a blast. I hadn’t been to an event in the San Antonio meta for quite a while (I moved from there to Houston in 2016), so it was good to see everyone. Also, playing a bunch of games of Netrunner in a row is always fun, so there’s that as well.

3N1GM4: How did you prepare for the event?

Allen: Corp side I had an ASA rush deck I’d been working on for a while that I thought was pretty good. Runner side, I spent a lot of time working on Rube Goldberg Hayley, but decided I wasn’t up to managing the triggers for an in-person event, so I fell back on Adam at the last minute.

3N1GM4: What was the most exciting play (or plays) of the event for you?

Allen: In the second round versus Apoc Val I was rushing early behind a Gatekeeper with an open HQ, and Val Wanton’d away all of my ice. After that my best play was to just jam everything in the remote and hope my two pieces of ice could hold up. It made for one of the most intense series of turns in the tournament.

3N1GM4: Do you have any misplays or mistakes from the event that you’d like to share?

Allen: During the third round, I snuck a CVS into the remote versus 419 for a surprise Turtle blow-out later in the game. Three or four turns later, with the opportunity to force him to hit what would have been a game-ending Fairchild 3.0 on click 3, I completely forgot it was there. Managed to squeak the game out anyway, but it was much tougher than it should have been.

3N1GM4: What was the most fun deck to play against?

Allen: Played against two Apoc decks, both 419 (round 4 and finals) and Val (round 2), and I feel like that’s always a fun matchup. I constantly have to be thinking about “how much do I have to devote to centrals to hold back Apoc for another turn.” I find it to be a really interesting dynamic.

3N1GM4: What do you think is the best thing about the meta in this particular format?

Allen: At least at the store champ level, the current meta has really good deck diversity. 14 players had ten different Corps and eight different Runners.

3N1GM4: What was the main prize for winning the event and where is it now?

Allen: The main prize was a regionals bye, which currently resides in my wallet.

3N1GM4: What would you consider a good way to get into competitive Netrunner?

Allen: I think the best way to get into competitive Netrunner is to just go to events. Don’t be intimidated, Netrunner is a fun game, even when you’re losing (at least I think so). If you don’t have decks, ask in advance and you can probably find someone that will build you a loaner deck. Alternatively, NISEI’s proxy policy means that you could netdeck something and print it out. But the most important thing is to show up and play games.

3N1GM4: Have you had any notable competitive success in the past? What result(s) are you most proud of?

Allen: I’ve won a couple of store champs and the Tulsa Regionals in 2018. I think the result I’m most proud of is top 8 in the 2015 SSCI. Making the cut in a tournament with that many strong players just feels good.

3N1GM4: Do you prefer online or offline events? For what reasons?

Allen: Both are fun. I think I play better in online tournaments than offline ones. It takes away some of the mental burden of tracking various triggers so I can focus on playing. But getting to see a bunch of friends I haven’t seen in a while tilts things in favor of offline tourneys.

3N1GM4: You reach the top cut and you get to choose your side: Corp or Runner?

Allen: All other things equal, I’d probably choose to Corp.

3N1GM4: What’s your antidote to tilting? What helps you overcome stress when the game goes against you?

Allen: One thing I think has really helped me is internalizing that I should feel good about making the right play, even if the right play doesn’t work. Sometimes there are situations where the right play has a 10% chance of losing and the improbable thing happens. That’s not anything to feel bad about if it was highest probability line.

3N1GM4: Any lucky charms or superstitions about the game itself you’d like to share with us?

Allen: I don’t like to think too much about what side I’m playing in the first round of the cut. The first three or four tournaments I played in the current format I overthought it and chose what turned out to be the wrong matchup. So now I have a rule that I have 30 seconds to decide and I’m not going to think about it anymore.

3N1GM4: Any format or card pool you’d like to see an event for?

Allen: One thing I’d love to see is an equivalent of MtG’s prerelease tournaments when new sets come out. For example, a tournament that was just 1x SC19 + Downfall seems like an interesting way to make everyone explore the new cards.

3N1GM4: Any other games or hobbies you’re partaking in on a competitive level?

Allen: Just Netrunner for me. Tournament crowds for most other games are… well, let’s say that they’re unpleasant. Everyone on the Netrunner tournament scene is so friendly, it really makes the game more appealing than almost anything else.

3N1GM4: Thank you for answering our questions and all the best in your future tournaments!