Working As One

There’s no possibility of a hard carry in Overwatch. I used to have the mindset of wanting to be the best player but, realistically, you can’t have that. You can only do so much yourself.

Overwatch is such a team-based game; everyone just feeds off each other. A lot of my improvement this season has been off the back of my team getting better as well. When the team is doing well, I’m doing well. When we’re underperforming, I’m underperforming.

Take Widowmaker as an example; a Widow is only as strong as their team. There are exceptions to that of course – if you can hit your shots, opportunities can open up – but the better your team is, the more opportunities you have to take shots.

Some people say that I’m kind of “meta-proof”. I’ve always been a pretty adaptable player and I always try to think about how I can be better or do things differently. I’m very self-critical. I think that helps me learn. I don’t plateau or get stuck in certain situations.

There is always lots of emotion in any team environment and, because Overwatch is a team-based game, there are so many little things that affect a win or loss. The format of the League means that sometimes, emotionally, it can be quite jarring.

Confidence plays a big part, as well as having belief in your team. I think the teams that win the most tend have the most confidence in each other and that confidence just drives the teamwork even more. These things can be affected by stuff as simple as how a person is feeling on that day.

The wins and losses can have a big impact on your mindset; it’s what affects me the most. The hardest part is pulling out of losing streaks. If you feel like you did everything you could, it’s not that bad, but if things aren’t going well in certain areas or you feel like you could have done better, that’s when people fall into a rut. That said, once you finally get that win, you’re reinvigorated.

At the start of the season, I had to change the way I communicated, I was a little bit blunt in the way I was saying things to my teammates; I would sound angry or passive-aggressive. My performance coach, Blake, helped me with that, he helped me word things better so I no longer accidentally tilt anyone.

As a team, I wouldn’t say we’ve changed that much from the beginning of the season, but we’re just constantly improving. We’re getting more acquainted with each other as teammates and making sure we’re always confident.

We have a lot of key phrases and words we use specifically in our comms – they’re just one or two words with a deeper meaning behind them, that way we don’t have to use long sentences which might need to be translated.

For example, if you want to push them really fast and go in hard, we just say, “rush, rush, rush!” We try and find terms that everyone can say, whether they mostly speak English or Korean. Bischu helps a lot with translation when we need to use complicated phrases. When Void is playing, Fissure tries to speak his mind in English as much as possible. Bischu and Fissure put in a lot of work for our comms to work.

A lot of our strategy behind the scenes is just our coaches thinking about stuff beforehand. Then, at practice, we do half an hour on whatever map we’re working on. The coaches give their thoughts and if the players have anything to add, we’ll bring it up. Otherwise, we follow what they say.

We’re not the kind of team that just puts new players in and grinds them into the team. Our coaches make lineup decisions based on when they think players need to be put in and when they’re the best fit. We look at hero strengths and what’s good for that player which is why we have so many DPS rotations and now even some flex-tank rotations.

A lot of players in the league have wanted to take a break, but in my position, I can’t do that. It’s important for me to grind through the season and any burnout I might be feeling.

I’m the only Widow player on the team right now, so if I went away, we wouldn’t have anyone to fill those shoes. Besides, I never get burnt out with the game itself, it’s just some of the other stuff that happens in the game – the emotional stuff. In the end, you just have to get through it.

We’re trying to make sure we always believe in each other. We’re making sure we’re always focused on our fundamentals – ensuring we’re all on the same page, having a plan and believing in each other’s plans. We’re all in it to win it together.

I just want to win the Overwatch League. I used to want to be the best player, but I don’t think Overwatch is the kind of game where that title means anything. There can be so many good players but, ultimately, it’s your team that wins.

Image Credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

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