Introducing the Splinterviews! Deep Dives With The Movers And Shakers Of the Splinterlands World. Today--Face-to-Face with Uber Whale Jens
Imagine if you could learn from the experts on how to grow and scale your Splinterlands empire. What a goldmine that would be. To this end, every week I'll be interviewing the game's heavy hitters. The smartest and most thoughtful operators, who have scaled the Eiger to rise to the highest levels of the game--the Splinterpreneurs, if you will. If you have ambitions of quitting your job, and living the crypto dream full time, read on, mes amis.
My first tête-à-tête is with Jens, aka the Hand of the King. An investor of such magnitude that he's almost an urban legend at this point. Here's a quick timeframe for us mere mortals. He joined the game in June, and by October he'd made himself a multi-millionaire. Yes, fellow slackers, you read that right. It took him a mere 4 months to make millions through savvy flipping and (dare I say it, in hushed tones) botting.
It was Jens who had to point out the Quest potions loophole to the developers, largely because it had him made richer than Croesus. I haven't witnessed anyone, perhaps Bulldog aside, have a more explosive impact on the game in such a short space of time. Chats with Jens are my secret catnip, simply because whenever I pick his brains, I feel like I've been touched by God. If he launches a project in the future--#I-am-all-in.
Anyway, without further ado Carrie Bradshaw, I give you Splinterlands "Mr Big".
Hej, Jens! Many thanks for making the time to chat with me. Before we get into things, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Of course. My name is Osman and I'm 28 years old. I live in Denmark. As far as Splinterlands is concerned, my ign is LarsJensen. However, I do have many more igns wink wink...
We are off to an intriguing start already. If you had to choose 3 words to describe yourself, which would you choose?
Honest, analytical and whatever adjective describes someone who memes a lot.
PC or console? And if console, which one?
PS5 all the way. However, I will concede that high-end pcs are objectively the best gaming devices.
Casting your mind back through the swirling mists of time, what was the first game you ever remember playing?
I can't recall exactly, but I can say it was definitely an SNES title. Either Super Mario, Samurai Showdown or Street Fighter II.
Additionally, games such as Time Crisis, Tekken 1, Prince of Persia 1 and Rayman 1 had a major impact on my childhood.
Some world-class picks there. Prince Of Persia--what a classic release that was. Shame about the film. Not Jake G's finest moment. Obviously Splinterlands aside, which would you choose as your favourite game of all time?
Ugh, that's such a tough one. Perhaps Kingdom Hearts, since the storyline was such a masterpiece, and the upgrades you would get as you progressed through the adventure were always game changing. I've spent way too much time on Runescape and Counter Strike, but I've enjoyed myself tremendously. Dragon Ball Budokai 1 probably had me the most mindblown.
Spot on. Good old Goku, Gohan and the gang had a genuine and almost seismic cultural gaming impact when first released in 2002. Anyway, we have now exchanged the necessary pleasantries, Mr. J, so let's get down to business. How long have you been playing Splinterlands, and what brought you its esteemed doors?
I've been playing since June 2021. I stumbled upon a tweet about SPS, and this led to me reading the whitepaper. Quite simply, when I looked through the P2P structure, it was the best I had ever seen. I played two all-nighters in the following 48 hours...
Everyone has a treasured Splinter. Which is yours?
I'm a Llama-Kron kinda guy! Earth all the way.
In a similar vein, and without getting too Tolkien here,there are some cards that we covet,we cherish above all others. Our precious.Which card brings out the Golem in you?
Naga Warrior! Don't enrage her or else...
On the flipside, we all have a card we loathe. Which is yours, and why do you want to stamp on it?
Chainspinner, without a shadow of a doubt. Far too many disappointing battle rewards getting that card.
Without divulging too many trade secrets, what’s your greatest weakness in Splinterlands?
Honestly, I find it hard to take profit off the table, because I am always looking to grow my in-game estate. With land and such coming up, I feel like I can't afford to miss out on the good staking rewards or airdrops.
Time to be put on the spot—who would you say is the most difficult opponent to beat in the game?
I never actually look at my opponents' names, so I wouldn't know.
Everyone has had their highest and lowest moments in the game. Which were your peaks and troughs?
My highest was when new reward cards launched and people heavily overpaid for them.
I'd say my lowest was when the old reward pool ran out >.< I think that was a tough period for most people relying on battle rewards.
No wait, my lowest point was me knowing a region for $50k was cheap, but not buying it.
Chaos Legion general release is upon us—which are cards are you buying and why?
All of them. More specifically though, I think no serious player can ignore the fiends. Use protect on Cursed Windeku and he is an excellent tank on the frontlines.
Time to shake your money maker. You have made an obscenely healthy profit from the game thus far. How did you do it, and how can it be emulated? (Asking for a friend, of course....)
I was able to quickly compound my assets by botting, plus I joined at a time where every asset went parabolic. But bots are largely patched by now and as everyone knows assets are in a long downtrend currently. So mostly I've been fortunate with timing. However, I believe in accumulating SPS, land and underpriced cards. I'm looking for Chaos Legion to sellout and land to release. It might cause a major supply shock to cards again, and SPS/vouchers will be key to get them (Riftwatchers). So if I were new to the ecosystem, I'd start planning ahead already and get some SPS to stake, but at least a plot of land and accumulate vouchers. Personally, I don't trade DEC or Hive, or use liquidity pools now. It's all about adding to my assets.
CL selling out, the VC's finally getting rid of their shares and the airdrop ending. These are the catalysts. Then SPS playerstaking goes live, modern/wild format is launched and you need to own SPS and cards to make real money.
It's a complete 180 economically. I'm not sure everyone fully understands the level of opportunity here yet. I'm staking and restaking all I can, and I'm saving my paychecks to buy up as much SPS as I can if it goes completely crazy.
Splinterlands has recently experienced an unprecedented period of growth. The worst vice is advice as the saying goes, but what tips would you give to those just starting out and wanting to build a strong deck?
Understand that there are many ways to skin a cat. I would advise players to rent a wide range of cards, and play heavily for a few days.This will help you to figure out what strategies you enjoy using. Then base your deck around that. If you are on a budget, try to optimize a single splinter first, and then another.
At silver level, one optimized splinter is enough. At lower gold, you'll need to have at least two strong splinters in your deck, and from there you should focus on getting a full deck, one splinter at a time.
2022 is shaping up to be a massively important moment for the game, with Chaos Legion and Riftwatchers being released, and lands finally being implemented. What is your strategy this year?
I need to get at least 10 plots of land and over 2 million SPS, so that I can deploy on playerstaking and reap vouchers.
We've chatted a number of times, and I know you've been well ahead of the curve on many blockchain gaming/metaversey aspects.As an example,you invested in a Gala node before the token exploded and it became a license to print oodles of cash. There are so many blogs, YouTubers, Twitter and Twitch accounts out there. Who do you recommend following to stay abreast of the latest industry news?
Bob Loukas for a macro view on crypto. Bulldog is great on Youtube. He knows how to build a good deck, so I'd take all my advice on that through him. However, I often disagree when he comments on the broader economics of Splinterlands in Mav's.
Right, let's get up close and personal.Have you ever had a crush on a video game character?
What?? That's silly. Obviously I've never had a crush on Sakura from Street Fighter. What are you talking about?
Chun-Li and Cammy spun a few heads too, as I recall. Everywhere you turn at the moment, there's so much fantastic content being released by gaming developers and studios. However, what is a really popular game that everyone seems to adore but you can't stand?
League of Legends. Such a boring and uninspiring concept.
Time to name and shame—what is the worst game you’ve ever played?
Probably one of those games that were my childhood heroes, and that I am deeply nostalgic about. Pretty sure it is Spyro or similar games. "Games were better back in the day" is a lie that we all tell ourselves.
Ha! So true. Nostalgia is not what it used to be, as the saying goes. Outside of gaming, what are your hobbies and interests?
I'm a gymbro in my freetime. I'm hugely interested in artificial intelligence, and I sometimes dream about retiring early just to study and tinker with AI in my freetime instead
Interesting. AI more often than not tends to get a dystopian spin in films,I think since Fritz Lang gave us ‘false Maria’ in his 1927 masterpiece "Metropolis".Robot=bad seems to be the perceived wisdom. The monster in the closet/modern Prometheus. We forget the transformative power of good it may bring to our lives. Although Siri annoys me. And I want to throw Alexa at the wall.
Anyway finally, and perhaps most importantly—what is your favourite swear word?
I love the way British people say "Foook meee!"
Jens, it's been emotional and the pleasure has been all mine. Much obliged.
What are you thoughts on the advice offered by Jens? Anything you'd add on the investment or deck-building side, for players both new and old alike? Let me know in the comments below. After all "I'm Jens. We're all Jens."