Who Is This POILK Guy, Anyway?

Dylan Walker, Blizzard Entertainment
December 5, 2017

The atmosphere for the Opening Week of the HGC Finals was surprisingly relaxed for how high the stakes were. At one point, Dob "Quackniix" Engström and James “Bakery” Baker were both slouched on the couches in the player area watching the matches. When asked who some of the hottest up-and-coming players were, both captains (current and former) answered rather quickly:

“POILK.”

Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark lives 30 minutes from Denmark in the south of Sweden, just outside of Malmö. He’s a long way from home currently, sitting now in the lap of luxury that is the third-floor banquet hall of the Pangu 7 Star Hotel in Beijing. This is his first time away from Europe, and one of his first interviews as a player for Team Dignitas.

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“I have a lot to catch up on,” admitted the 20-year-old-Swede. Straight out of the Open Division, POILK has made the jump many players strive for. He added, “I’m trying to fix my mistakes and break any bad habits I have.”

It’s hard to see what mistakes he’s talking about. He’s done nothing but impress with his time on Zealots in the HGC. Now that he’s joined up with Team Dignitas, the sky is seemingly the limit. He said, "I’m focused on getting used to playing with the team. They’re all veterans and I’m the rookie. They’re all so good in my eyes and I’m the new one coming in.”

The Gold Club World Championship (GCWC) has been the first time the new Team Dignitas roster has been on display. “In the first series, I was pretty nervous and a little shaky,” POILK said. “I just pressured myself more which led to playing bad. I also felt pressured in our first scrims, but I just feel relived now.” Part of that relief came in the form of a 2-0 win in groups over Ballistix, one of the strongest Korean teams in the world.

While he claims the jitters are gone, it’s still worth noting that the crowd at the Water Cube, where the GCWC is being held, will be the largest POILK has played in front of to date.  

POILK is a flex player, and is generally seen on ranged assassins such as Valla, Gul’dan, Greymane, and Li-Ming. While growing up, he competed at the occasional DreamHack in Sweden for fun, and he was a challenger-level carry in League of Legends before making the switch to Heroes of the Storm. “I like being on Heroes that have a lot of damage,” POILK said of his preferred style. “I like being on play-making Heroes.”

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His favorite is Tracer: “She is a pretty high skillcap hero, which makes her really fun to play for me. She can make plays and has a lot of mobility.” It’s promising to hear that “difficult” and “fun” can mean the same thing. This perspective is especially essential to have when tasked with filling the shoes of a player like Thomas "Ménè" Cailleux, and stepping up to bat for one of the best Western teams in the world.

With GCWC, POILK has skipped the regional and inter-regional clashes and been thrown straight from the womb of online play into the slaughter that is international competition in the heart of Asia. With no training wheels, he’s adapting admirably, helping this new Team Dignitas find their footing in the post-2017 HGC Finals era.

“I don’t feel the need to prove myself,” said POILK. “I just want to do the best I can, and at least I can say that I tried my hardest then.”