IF YOU'VE ever tried to search for 'Gwent' online, you might have found yourself faced not with information about the area of South East Wales, but rather a card game based on a popular series of novels, video games, and a Netflix TV series.

Gwent: The Witcher is a computer-based collectable card game based on The Witcher series, which started off as a series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski before becoming an acclaimed series of video games, and later a Netflix show starring Henry Cavill.

Gwent is a card game of choices and consequences, requiring skill, not luck. The players pick a faction, build an army, and wage war against other players across multiple game modes.

Daniel Chesworth is a Gwent gamer born and raised in Newport, and played in official Gwent game tournament.

Free Press Series: Daniel

Daniel Chesworth

Speaking to the Argus about the strange connection, he said: “I don't think the game has had any real impact on the Gwent county - as far as I know I’m the only person from Gwent who plays at a high level or a major part of the game’s community.”

The Newport gamer started playing the game because, as a Man of Gwent himself, the name grabbed his attention.

“I started playing after seeing the name on a Facebook ad," he said. "Not long after I started, they announced that anyone who reached a certain position in ranking by a certain date would become part of the very first ever pro 'ladder' (ranking system).

Daniel Chesworth interviewed at a Gwent tournament

“At first, I didn't think I would be anywhere near it as I had only just started playing and never played any card games before, but quickly I started to move up the ranks and it became more and more of a goal. Eventually I managed to hit the rank with a day to spare and I have never really looked back since.”

The gaming community has always been one where players can make friends from all around the world. Mr Chesworth became good friends with Jonas Saber, as well-known gaming YouTuber from Denmark, through their shared interest of the Gwent game. They talk daily which leads to many Gwent puns.

Free Press Series: Jonas Saber YouTuber

Jonas Saber

Speaking to the Argus, Mr Saber said: “I think a lot of people who are interested in Witcher lore like the game, but in terms of competitive success then I think the reason people it is due to how the game rewards good plays. I know a lot of Gwent players also like to play Chess, which also is a very skill intensive game.”

Explaining the game, Mr Saber said the objective is to have more points on the board in two out of three rounds and you can play any card from your hand at any given time. This means you can play your most powerful cards to secure the first round, but the drawback is that you might run out of quality cards for later rounds.

He said it is quite easy to understand the basic concepts of Gwent for most players, but it is hard to master and games between top players are often decided by who played better rather than who was luckier.

Mr Saber himself reached the semi-finals of the Gwent Masters, the game's competitive scene. Each year there are four open tournaments, with the winners qualifying for the world championship at the end of the year together with the four players who had performed the best on ladder over the last year.

Mr Saber qualified through ladder placement and was initially supposed to be taking part in Warsaw, Poland - but due to the coronavirus pandemic the contest was held online.

Mr Saber has a Gwent-focused YouTube channel, which he used to help help intermediate players improve.

“I still think it's a bit crazy that 500+ people often watch me live whenever I play Gwent and that my videos get up toward 10,000 views," he said. "I would never have thought that would have been possible just a year ago.”

“The Gwent community is super wholesome. I used to be a bit shy and not super comfortable speaking to big audiences in English, but that changed quickly after I started streaming in June last year. I don't think I have had a bad interaction with anyone in the Gwent chat and most people are super chill.”

Daniel Chesworth's ingame and twitch name is KingChezz93 and Jonas Saber's gamertag is Saber97.

Are you a Gwent: The Witcher gamer or are you interested in trying out the computer card game? Let us know in the comment section.