I recently had some time to sit down with World of Warcraft player and Rank 1 Warlock Maldiva. We talked about everything from competitive play, streaming to him promising us to do Push-ups when he loses.

Maldiva while streaming WoW

I saw on your Twitch that for your 23rd birthday you went ahead and did the BWW Challenge, what the hell was that?

It was a Method thing, the Buffalo WoW Wing Challenge, all of the Method guys was doing it and they invited me, I thought that burning my mouth sounds like fun!

The challenge was to eat 12 hot wings in under 10 minutes, and man, they were the hottest things i have ever eaten in my life, they measured at 300 000K on the scoville scale. I believe it was Ghost Peppers extract.

You lost though, what happened? Haha, yeah I did, but it wasn't because it was hot! Surprisingly enough I could handle the heat, at the end though, I just couldn't get them down. Eating that many hot wings in that short amount of time is rough, I should of had some sort of strategy on how to eat them as fast as possible before getting full. I was invested in the pain, it was burning from the first minute so I ignored, but I did eat 10, so I am happy with my performance, it was a fun experience. Though the days to come after… five days later I was still running to the men's room.


They say professional gamers and streamers are the future Rock Stars, have you ever had Groupies?

Haha, I wouldn't say Groupies, but I have met a few girls from when I have streamed. Streaming open up crazy opportunities in every social aspect. People will be like “Wow, you are a streamer, that is so cool!” I have had people fly out just to meet me and see me stream in person, and you get really happy, ‘cause the grinding is paying off!


What's the best and worst with being a streamer?

The best thing about streaming is probably that we can do it pretty much from anywhere in the world, all we need is an internet connection. We make our own schedule and decide for ourselves how to spend our time, who doesn't love being their own boss?

The worst is the chat… Sometimes the chat can be on a whole different level. You got people trolling so much it's unbearable and creating a bad and unenjoyable time for the rest of the people in the chat. Also, sometimes when you don't want your life broadcasted or you are having a bad day, finding the energy to stream is tough. It's a little loss of privacy, but you just got to do it, to not lose the consistency.


When did you start playing WoW?

Started playing in 2006, my step brother introduced me, I was 11 years old. I had no idea what I was doing and was the biggest noob at the start. If I remember correctly I think it took me a year to get my first character to max level, I was just going about on low level adventures all the time. Believe it or not, my first character was a Warlock. Seeing the first cinematic trailer for WoW, the Undead warlock that is creeping up to you, soiling the ground beneath him with his massive infernal beast following behind, I thought to myself, I WANT TO BE THAT CHARACTER.

Leveling up was such a hassle and with school there was really no time for me to PvP back in vanilla. It was in Burning Crusade that I started playing PvP (did some raiding too).

Played 2v2 like a maniac in Burning Crusade, that laid the groundwork for my game. I learned so much in a short amount of time. During Burning Crusade I played a Hunter, the lock I am on today was leveled as an alt during this time. Warlock is and has always been my favorite. I love the lore of it even though I am not into lore Warlocks have a really cool story. People are hating on Warlocks because they have always been viable, damn glad I choose the right class from the get to.


Besides World of Warcraft, what other games do you play?

I play a bunch of other games, mainly Heroes of the Storms and H1Z1, but I feel that I have tried them all, Overwatch, Hearthstone, League. I used to play lots of Diablo and even tried my hand at Dota 2. But my viewers usually get pretty mad at me when I stream something other than WoW. They want WoW and only WoW.


You recently joined Method, how did that come to be?

They felt like the best home for our team. They are a great bunch of guys and they understand how important it is for us to be able to both play competitively and keep streaming. For me, streaming is always my first priority. Competing is great and I love it, but streaming is my job and my source of income, Method understands and appreciates this.


There are not a lot of tournaments in WoW, ever regretted choosing this game over the bigger titles like League, Counterstrike etc?

We actually joke about this quite a lot in the community. Hoping and wanting it to be a pro league, man, we would be so much better off. In the end though, WoW has done so many good things for me, can't be upset with it. I have made friends that I know will last for the rest of my life in this game.


Is every class and spec viable in the Arena?

Maybe not every class and spec, but every class at least has one viable spec and pretty much all the races can play PvP. You might lose some utility and damage here and there, but it's playable.


Who are you Maldiva?

I am born Michael, but since I can remember people call me Mike, although, many people call me Maldiva, even my family are fooling around and calling me that. My family was very skeptical of me getting into gaming and streaming, guess that’s parents for you. They wanted me to go to college, get an education and a job. That was never for me though and I told my parents to chill, I got this, I am going to do something great. Many people give up chasing their dreams, but I decided early that I am going to make it. Today my family are OK with it, they will still pester me, but they see that I can pay for stuff and money is coming in, so they are cool. At the moment I am living with my parents, they got divorced a few years back so I am bouncing between them, it's pretty nice for streaming, if you get sick of one place you just move and keep doing your thing at the other house.

I am looking to move and find a place of my own, just need to find the right roommate. Living solo would be too boring for me! I am also heavily into cars, love ‘em and have always done so! I own a Mustang, such a beautiful car.


Any skeletons in the closet?

Haha, damnit man, what kinda questions are these?

Nah, nothing that comes to mind actually. I seem to remember something about a ticket?

Oh.. you knew about that? Haha yeah, i recently got a speeding ticket. Foot just pressed to hard to the pedal.


Myself and friends included talk about the good old days of Vanilla WoW, do you miss the old WoW?

Man, we all reminisce about the good old days. I mean, remember how much fun we had, the never ending leveling, the interaction with all the people in the world. Of course I miss those days. But to be fair, if we were to get the old days back, we would probably start complaining about something else we miss from the current expansions.


Got some tips for people that are trying to climb the ranks in the Arena?

Make sure you are playing the best possible class, race and spec. This is important, because even though most are viable, it's always good to play something that is strong at the moment.

Always be a good teammate, don't go raging on the healer or your partner. Picking out all their mistakes and flaming them won't do either of you any good, it will become a hostile environment and you will never know their potential. It's really hard to improve when the teamspirit is bad, so make sure to keep your end up, be a good teammate. Always.

Lastly, be sure to watch streams and YouTube videos of talented people playing your class and spec. Watch them play and see what's working for them and try and translate it to your gameplay. That's what I did at the start, copied their playstyles and build.


And some tips for people that are looking to get into streaming?

Tough one! One thing that has been incredibly important in my success as a streamer is consistency. Maybe in special cases, like if you are a famous players for a famous team you can get away with streaming every now and a then, but for the normal person, you gotta be consistent. I did non-consistent streaming for a while and it did not work, and I am pretty well known in the WoW community. If it's doable you have to be streaming and being online every day. Even now, when I have a great community going on Twitch, I push myself to stream everyday and barely take any breaks. Of course, I will not sit and pig out eating a hot piece of meal, after all, it's my job. Eating, important calls and stuff like that, do it before or after the stream.

You need to be able to handle criticism, you WILL be trolled and your gameplay and content on the stream is going to be judged. You gotta stay positive about it and don't let it affect you negatively. Many trolls out there are just pure haters.

Don't pay attention to your users count, this can severely affect your mood. Viewer count is going to be different everyday and every time you stream. Play in the same way regardless of the user count, people come because they want to see you, so act in the same way.


You guys are performing really well in the Blizzcon Qualifiers, tell us about these qualifiers and how it is playing competitive compared to ranked play?

The road to Blizzcon... Well, there are five official Blizzard cups, one every month. The teams that place the best in these cups are awarded points, these points lead up to the regional Blizzcon qualifier. The twelve teams with the most points after the online qualifiers are invited to regionals.  The best four teams from North America in the Regional lan qualifier will go to Blizzcon. At the moment it looks like we will be going to regionals, we are in third place by points.

Playing competitively is a different game, the biggest difference is the insane pressure. If you lose a ranked game while streaming, you brush it off, in tournament games however it can get to you, you don't want to let your team down. Lan events are crazy, you have to play without add-ons, in the online qualifiers you can use addons, but not on lan. You miss the small helpful add-ons, but in the end, since it's the same for the enemy I am OK with that. You need to prepare in a different way, really digging into learning cooldowns of certain abilities to look out for.


You are one of few that really enjoy my Dad Jokes, would you like me to tell you another one? Wait, people don't like your Dad Jokes?

That's insane, they crack me up everytime. I am still wondering where you are getting them. Ok, fire away.

Why can't gnomes be paladins?

Hmm, I don't know.

They can't reach the light!

Haha, Oh my God, I should've known!

Dad jokes everywhere

What can I expect from a coaching session with you?

First thing I will look to do is identify your skill level. This is very important so we don’t waste time teaching you stuff you already know or stuff that is over your head. I have coached every different kind of player, from low level to the absolute highest. We will go over your talent builds and macro, make sure the foundations are in place. When I am sure you got it right, we will get you comfortable with the best skill priority in PvP, this is super important and we gotta make sure this is down before we move on to more advanced stuff.

The advanced learnings would be, for example, how to take control of the arena, how to peel for you healer and partner. How to kite and avoid damage, how to break up CC on your partner. I am a nice guy, but I try to get to the point and make sure you fully understand and get the help you are seeking. Firm but just. I don’t want any of my students disappointed and so far I haven't had a single complaint, but then again, I myself learned from the best and that is also why I recommend getting coached.


What Class, Race and Spec should be removed from the game never to be seen again?

Oh man, Class would probably be mages, people would be so happy! They just blink all over the map, slowing you down, polymorphing you and walking around with their stupid cane. Race, Hmm, has got to be an Alliance one, lets go with Draenei since they are just so weird looking. Haha, what a tough question Peter, but Ok, Spec has to be Beast Master hunter, no love for them. Their pet can just straight up kill you. There used to be a build where a BM Hunter would sit by the pillar in Arena and kill with you only their pet. Using Separation Anxiety, when the Hunter is attacking another target the pet enrages and does 50% more dmg. So annoying being chased to death by a pet in 2’s.


In the current Patch, do you consider all the Specs for Warlock viable?

Pretty much all are viable with Destruction being the weaker one at the moment, you will see some people playing it, but it's just not on par. Demonology and Affliction are great at the moment and I am switching between them, I actually played both today. During the latest Blizzcon qualifier I wiped out the affliction lock, we were up against another Affliction Warlock and it performs really good in a mirror. Its really nice being able to switch between specs for tournaments, gives you so much better matchups.  


What's the biggest differences between 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5 games.

Well, first of Peter, there are no 5v5’s anymore :)

2v2, we call it 2’s, is the most relaxed bracket. You can take it pretty slow and mess around on stream in 2’s. Playing in 2’s is where you test out and experiment on things. 3v3 is the serious bracket, the real deal and what's being played in tournaments. I have the mindset that even when I am casual playing, when it's 3’s, I take it more serious.


Besides your own great YouTube channel covering Warlocks, what other channels, or sites do you recommend people should look to for improvement.

There is not much to be honest... There are a couple of websites offering advice and well written articles, but the articles aren't written from high level players or people with knowledge of competitive play. My best advice is to find the top ranked players that are streaming and making YouTube videos. Outside of that it is very tough, some classes and specs don't even have people streaming them. If you are able to find someone streaming, take advantage of it, watch it all the time and pick up all their good habits. You never know when they might stop streaming.


What makes you a great Arena player?

My understanding of the game is good, I understand nearly every aspect of the game, I am of course still learning and improving. Most of the skill in WoW came naturally to me, I just picked up the game and was able to get really good, it's hard to explain, but WoW makes sense to me. Like someone will pick up a guitar and just know they were meant to play, that's how WoW is for me. It's not like I can jump into any other game and be super good, WoW was the right game for me at the right time, with that said, I have put in a ton of work and fought really hard to become one of the best.


What is the focus for 2017?

With WoW I am giving it 100% in the Blizzcon Qualifier cups. I want to make it to regionals, that is the first goal. There is something building up inside me, I am getting more and more determined to go to Blizzcon and I have started visualizing our team winning it all! I definitely want to make it to Blizzcon, I had such a good time last time I was there. One step at a time, but man, I do want to win the gold!


Tell us a bit about your team bud.

I am the captain of my Team, we are representing Method. I do the shotcalling and as team captain I have final say, but it's definitely a democracy. I want to hear what everyone wants to say, and I will listen to my team's opinion before I make a decision. The team is great, everyone is such a good person. So far in my career this is definitely the best team relationship I have experience. Huge love and respect to my guys Mes and Kolo , love you guys!


When will you stop, and what keeps motivating you?

I don't play on stopping anytime soon, I can see myself doing this for at least another 10 years, that is how enjoyable it is. I love both the Twitch and WoW community and have made so many friends. One day my skill will decline because of reactions and age, but hopefully I will have become such a good streamer and entertainer that people will still hang around my channel.

My inspiration comes from the friends and fans around me. When I started I got motivated by the big WoW streamers at the time (sadly none of them are active anymore) and reached out to them saying, I wanna do this too, teach me! They were super helpful and showed me how to set up a stream, how to do it, what to think about and lots of cool tricks. I have always wanted to show off my gameplay, I know that it's good and if it can inspire other people to improve, that's just awesome.

Maldiva hanging in a harness above a crowd

Where did the name Maldiva come from?

Haha, I made the name because I was playing with a friend named Maldaven, thought it would be funny to match it. Oh, true bromance! Haha, nah man, I was probably only 14 at the time, just thought it was cool.


I had a look at your YouTube channel, awesome videos btw! I did see that a lot of the comments and questions from your followers were about Macros, is that the most common query?

Yeah, people are always asking for macros and what I think of different ones. Like I said earlier, talent builds are very important, so I do get a lot of questions regarding that, probably my own fault haha. Theorycrafting is not something that I am big into myself, many people are asking me about it but I am oldschool, if I am curious about how something might turn out, I will experiment and play it until I have figured it out. It's fun though seeing so many players using my talents, it's the same with other classes, you can often see what streamer they have been following and copying from.


Best and Worst Expansion?

The best for me is Cataclysm, man did I have a lot of fun with that expansion. Gamewise it wasn't the best, but there were so many cool people playing and I had so many talented players around me. So many people were playing the game and streaming it, you had great competition everywhere you turned, will probably never be like that again.

Worst is either this one or Warlords Of Draenor. I am having fun with Legion, but it feels like it's missing something. Blizzard is trying hard to be innovative with honor and artifact system, but they are missing the point. The player count is also dropping big time, and you can see and feel this in the competitive play, there are less great players around, and that sucks cause I want to play against the best. I know many of the people that I used to play with stopped because of the game getting dumber. The classes are easier to play and they have removed many spells that made the classes unique and gave them depth.


What about Physical Training, do you keep in shape?

I try to stay as active as possible, I try to hit the gym a couple of times per week doing some weight lifting, cardio is not really my thing. Streamers are sitting in their chairs all day, so it's important to get active and move your body, you need that extra boost of energy.

When I play League Of Legends I have this rule, if I lose a match I do 20 pushups, if I win I get away only doing 10, how about you try that?

Dude, that's actually super smart! I will definitely try that out when streaming, but WoW games are much quicker, so I promise I will do 5 pushups every time I lose.


That's it for this time, hope you enjoyed our chat with Maldiva. We are working on the next interviews with more awesome people in Esports.