In previous years, I didn’t even have the chance to try-out for the Overwatch World Cup. This year though, I will get to represent my country.
In 2017, if Finland had moved past the group stages, I probably would have played the Lucio role during BlizzCon, but sadly, they didn’t make it.
I’m trying not to get too excited about anything yet, even though it’s obviously incredible to be able to represent your country. None of us know what will happen in the upcoming group stages.
The trials were pretty straightforward since our team coach was responsible for selecting the lineup. He was pretty straight with us from the start and told us that it was just going to be the current Gigantti Contenders roster combined with the Overwatch League players.
For the record, the Overwatch League players scrimmed against the Gigantti players during trials, just to see what would happen and the results were about even.
I believe that the DPS positions were locked from the very beginning. We were mainly deciding whether to send four Overwatch League players or four Contenders players for the other roles. We didn’t want to send two from Contenders and two from Overwatch League because it wouldn’t work with scrims, there wouldn’t have been enough time.
Our current World Cup roster all played on the old Gigantti team before Overwatch League, except for Taimou.
I really enjoyed playing on Gigantti. Our playstyle was really systematic and I think that’s what we’re going to bring to the group stages; we’re very level-headed.
Bringing Taimou in will mean we’re able to play some different comps. Even though Taimou and LiNkzr kind of share the same hero pool, there might be a time when we need both of them.
The first time we scrimmed together again, we weren’t playing with Davin. He was a big part of our success in Contenders Season 1 2017, so it did feel different playing with Taimou, but not in a bad way.
It’s difficult for us to practice with Davin right now because of the overlap with Contenders playoffs. We’ve rarely had enough time to scrim with Davin at all recently.
Even though most of us are old teammates, because we’ve all been on different teams – Fusion, Mayhem, Gladiators Outlaws, Dallas – everyone has a different idea of how things should work.
The goal is the same, but everyone has a different approach right now. In that sense, things have changed from what they used to be like on Gigantti in 2017.
My role on the team, specifically, has slightly changed from what it was on Gladiators, in terms of shot-calling and leadership, because we have players like Fragi and Zappis, and even Taimou, on the team doing that now.
There might be cases where I need to step up if something happens but, with the way things are going, there’s no need for me to fulfil that same leadership role that I take on in Gladiators.
We’re actually working harder than we did during the Overwatch League. I guess that’s to be expected though because some people were quite burnt out during the season and the schedule was really rough.
We’ve been scrimming for two weeks straight, with three blocks each day and then around two hours of watching VODs after that.
We’re trying to be prepared for everything, there’s not all that much scouting going on. There won’t be much information until you actually go in and get to play on the first day of the stage.
For our group stage, you can only really scout South Korea and maybe Russia, because I think Team Russia has a lot of Contenders players, so they’ll play in a similar way. I wouldn’t say we’re specifically preparing for any team. We’re just doing our own stuff and, if we’re doing our own stuff well, I’m pretty confident of winning in the group stage.
The metas have changed a lot since the 2016 and 2017 World Cups. I think it’s still possible – not unlikely, but not likely either – that South Korea wins again this year. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were taken out at any point during the finals at BlizzCon as well.
There’s a bit of pressure on the team when six of the players on the roster are from the Overwatch League.
People are probably expecting a lot of high-quality play from us even though we haven’t had that much time to prepare, compared to what the teams in the other group stages will have had. Overwatch League Finals were only a few weeks ago and it’s been tough preparing for all of the maps in the game for World Cup.
I would have a liked a bit more time between World Cup and the Overwatch League finals, maybe a few more weeks before our group stage in South Korea – but it’s not too bad.
However, more time would definitely increase the overall quality of competition of the group stage in South Korea, especially considering all of the maps that are in the map pool. We’ll likely have to sacrifice some maps to be better on others.
We just need to be well prepared and keep our heads on our shoulders. We’ll just play our own game and try not to worry too much about what the other teams are preparing.
Image Credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.