Put Ourselves On The Map

Sandro Zahner
To be able to represent Switzerland at the World Cup means so much to me because I look at it as a chance to show other regions that Swiss esports exists.

Compared to other regions, esports is not that big in Switzerland. We don’t have much infrastructure for it and it’s not a public thing. Investing time in esports means I lose a lot of financial security. It’s high risk especially if you want to try and make it internationally.

We’re trying to give our best all the time and compete with other regions with the resources that we have, even though we don’t have that much right now.

All of the players in the Swiss region know each other really well from LANs and tournaments. I was one of the first players in the Overwatch competitive scene, which is how I made my name here.

I started playing Overwatch in the open beta. About two or three months after it released, I started looking for a team since playing solo wasn’t really my thing. I played with an organisation call SPGeSports, attended some LANs and it was there that I formed my first impressions of the Swiss esports scene.

I played with SPGeSports for one and a half years. That entire time, we were one of the top three Swiss teams. I’ve played since then and never really stopped.

We had trials for the World Cup team over the course of about one or two months; everyone had an equal chance to prove themselves. The final decision was made based on the players’ reputations and the quality of the scrims they’d played in.

It was hard to tell whether I would make the roster. I wouldn’t say I’m the best flex DPS in Switzerland on every single hero in the role, but I definitely have a lot of experience, having played in competitive teams for a long time.

Our roster is kind of special because we’re one of the only rosters in the World Cup who have two main tanks.

Helv, one of our main tanks, is a very young player. He’s 16 years old and one of the best tank players in Switzerland. He also has a really high peak in ranked, around 4.5K. For his age, it’s impressive to see how far he’s made it already.

Our other main tank is Mimi7, we played together on SPGeSsports. He joined about three or four months after we created the original roster and stayed with us for almost a year. His two best tank picks are Reinhardt and Winston.

Our flex support player, R3M1X, plays Lucio and Mercy, that kind of hero. He’s Mimi7’s brother and joined SPG at the same time as Mimi7 – they’ve always been together in the Swiss esports scene.

They do everything together and you can’t say you want one of them alone, because they’ll be like “No, I’m only joining if he can come as well.” They come as a package and form a really strong duo.

Then on DPS, we have myself, playing flex DPS, and Luux playing hitscan DPS. In my opinion, he is the best hitscan DPS we have in Switzerland.

He played with me in SPGeSsports from the beginning. Before Overwatch, he played CS:GO, so he’s always been a hitscan player – really low sens, plays McCree and Widowmaker, and has lots of experience with positioning and aiming.

Kiba is our off-tank player, and he plays mostly D.Va, sometimes Zarya when we need it. He was also playing in one of the three best Overwatch teams in Switzerland, Lausanne Esports.

For our main support, we have sk0rpi0n. Compared to the others, he joined the Swiss esports scene a bit later but he’s always been a really strong player in ranked. He’s known for his aggressive Ana playstyle.

We’re putting as much time as we can into scrims to prepare for the World Cup because we want to give everyone a good show. As Swiss players, we don’t have many opportunities or resources in our esports careers, so we want to make the best of this tournament.

We’re rewatching our scrim VODS and trying to build some strategies and improve our performances as much as we can.

Scrims are going well, but at first, we had to find a good basis. Everyone had to find their role in the team, which was a bit time consuming at first, but now we’re pretty confident in the roles that we’re playing.

I’m not nervous about the upcoming group stage in Los Angeles, I would say I’m more excited to be there and meet the players and play against them. It’s always been a dream of mine to compete at such a big event and meet the players I’ve watched play online.

I feel a lot of pressure but, as a team, we’re trying to be measured, we’re not like “oh my god, we’ve been playing for three or four months together, we can stomp them!” They obviously have more experience and most of them are Overwatch League players.

They know exactly what they’re doing and they do it for a living. They can invest much more time into this game than we can.

We’re going into the OWWC with the mindset that we would like to win, but most of all we just want to give our best. All of us are really aware of the heights we can and can’t reach, we just want to perform as well as we can.

Every day, I wake up and want to give my absolute best doing the things that I love. 

Image Credit: SPGeSports & Team Switzerland

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