My name is Patrick “Sensotix” Thonhauser and I play off-tank for Team Austria.
It’s amazing to represent my country for the second time. I see it as an honour if you don’t get cut from the team after your first appearance and you’re asked to wear the jersey again.
It means that the coaches and the other players actually believe in you and believe that you’re good enough to do it again.
Especially after last year’s performance – where we went 0-3 and we didn’t win a single map – it feels good to still be trusted to represent the nation.
We lost hard at the 2017 World Cup, but it was still a lot of fun. It actually made me even more motivated to improve; I’ve been grinding really hard for this year’s World Cup, and now we’re back to take revenge.
Last year, I had a lot of optimism. I thought we actually had a chance at winning it and would go in and wreck them all.
In reality, I didn’t know just how good our opponents were going to be, because before last year I had never played internationally – I didn’t have any point of reference.
I honestly thought we could just go there and win some games, and maybe get out of the Group Stage if we were lucky.
I was really hyped last year but this year I’m a bit more realistic because I know how strong the enemy teams can be. I’ve played against a lot of those players in scrims now, so I’m a little more realistic.
I’m still really hyped and looking forward to the experience, but now I see it more as more of an experience from which to learn and grow. I want to see what I can do better and what the team can do better.
This year, all of our players have much more experience than last year. Everyone on the team has played on an international team or has acquired some international experience.
Our mechanics have also improved a lot since, during last year’s World Cup, people didn’t really have the basics down. No one really did, I didn’t either.
This year, we know the fundamentals of the game and how the game has to be played. Our mechanics are a lot better and we have the experience, but we also have to remember that all the other teams will have improved over the course of the year.
We’re a stronger team than last year and the team is playing 100 times better than last year. I really want people to watch out for ecLipse, one of our support players. He’s a really mature fifteen-year-old and has a bright future ahead of him. I would love to see him succeed.
Personally, I’m definitely a lot calmer and collected. Last year, because I was so hyped, when I was played on stage my calls were really hectic; everything was very hectic.
I had like a really sudden change in how I play the game. Now I feel like I have more experience, I’m calmer and more relaxed.
Of course, I’m looking forward to playing against the Overwatch League players on Team Canada and Team USA. But, I’m also looking forward to facing Switzerland, as they’re also a German-speaking country and they’re close geographically. It’s like a showdown between two German-speaking nations.
I’m curious to find out how good Brazil really is because we don’t much about them – that’s going to be a good game.
Obviously, as Austria is a small country, everybody on the team has played with each other before, except for two of the players. We started scrimming in June, four to five times a week and over that time, we’ve improved a lot.
We’ve scrimmed against some really good European teams and some of the teams from the World Cup. It’s on and off – we’ve had some really good days where we won against good teams and some bad days where we didn’t perform well at all.
At the very least, we keep learning from our mistakes and we know what it is that we have to work on. If it all comes together, I think we’re ready to cause an upset.
Personally, I would love to find a Contenders team off the back of the World Cup and eventually make it into Overwatch League. It’s a big dream and my chances are really slim, but competing at a high level in Contenders is my goal. I’ll see where I can take it from there.
In Los Angeles, I want to show people we can win some games and have a good showing. I want to prove everyone wrong who doubted me and doubted Team Austria – that’s the biggest thing for me.
I just don’t want to disappoint my country.
Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment & Team Austria Overwatch