On January 9th, the Overwatch League Media Day was held in Irvine, California. Not only related parties of the Overwatch League, but players also participated in the event and showed their determination of the upcoming league.
“We’ll do our best as we represent New York, and we won’t forget the love from Korean fans,” said New York Excelsior, showing their determination of the league and appreciation to the fans.
Q. The name is New York Excelsior. Do you know the meaning of “Excelsior”?
ArK: “Higher and higher”, as far as I know. I heard that it is used as a slogan that has the similar indication to “I Seoul” in South Korea. Although it’s not used that often, I was told that it still symbolizes New York.
Q. Teams with Koreans particularly receive much attention in the league. The New York team seems to receive more as there are players in the team who brought victory in the Overwatch World Cup. What do you think about this?
Saebyeolbe: We have three guys who used to be in the national team, so I can see the reason why we are getting much attention. I think that we definitely need to show it as a result.
Mano: We are doing our best to show good results in order to not disgrace the fame of World Cup victory. Everyone is doing their best and I’m sure we will make good results.
Q. Janus couldn’t participate in the last APEX League season because of the injury. How are you now?
Janus: So far so good. Though I rested for awhile because of pneumothorax, I have no problem now after the surgery.
Q. You lost against Seoul Dynasty in the preseason. What do you think was the reason for defeat?
ArK: We had a strategic issue due to JJoNak not being able to participate for his age. I think that we’ll show a better performance with everything we have in the regular season.
Q. Speaking of which, JJoNak doesn’t really have many league experiences. This may possibly become his weakness in the early stage of the league. What do you think about this?
JJoNak: I’m sure it’ll be fine in that sense. I believe that I won’t become nervous if I play with teammates just like how we have always been doing.
Janus: I don’t think that JJoNak will become nervous with his personalities (laugh).
Q. The Seoul team picked the New York team as their rival during the interview which was held in this morning. Which team do you consider a rival from the team’s perspective, and what is your objective?
ArK: I suppose that the rival team would be different for each team member. Generally speaking, our opinion is not so different to that of the Seoul team, and we consider either the Seoul or London team as our rival. The objective is obviously the victory, and the probability of that from my perspective is 80 to 90%.
Q. New York has its own symbolism in the US. Excelsior is the representative Overwatch team of New York, and you must be getting an extraordinary attention in that sense.
Janus: We are surely a bit stressed in that sense as we represent New York. However, there are many people who expect as much from us, and they also cheer for us. Further, I believe that the support we receive is better than other teams. Foods are great, and they take action right away even whenever we complain about small matters. That’s why we are determined to do really well rather than being pressured and stressed out.
Q. The team of 8 members is living in the US for almost 6 months, and it seems that you may encounter a roster problem, for example, when one member becomes sick, due to the smaller number of players compared to other teams. Aren’t you concerned of nostalgia and fellowship because of a prolonged life in the US?
Pine: You can almost make a contact wherever you are, so we didn’t really become nostalgic. We rather felt slightly freer after we left from our parents. Everybody knows how it feels (laugh). We can still talk via a social media whenever we want, and phones are much better nowadays, so we are not really concerned about nostalgia.
ArK: In addition to that, we have a wonderful coach who takes care of these matters. I believe that’s what helps us focus on practices even more. The same logic applies to managing our condition; if we continuously take good care of ourselves, I believe that we’ll surely make a better result without a difficulty.
Q. Who is the best member that adjusted to the life in the US?
ArK: I speak English on a considerable level so I personally don’t have a problem here. MekO seems to settle in quite well among members. He is the one who goes out most frequently.
Q. Saebyeolbe is known for an outstanding reaction to fans. There are also many foreign fans cheering for him because of that, and do you have some kind of fan services for foreign fans by any chance?
Saebyeolbe: Nothing special is prepared so far. Although I didn’t get much reaction back from fans in Korea, fans in the US did exactly the same reaction back to me. I really liked it a lot (laugh).
Q. The New York team has a somewhat interesting composition with Saebyeolbe and Libero as DPS, JJoNak and ArK as support, and Pine as a flexible DPS. We’d like to know Pine’s secret of handling DPS and support heroes like a top-notch professional.
Pine: You first need to understand the game well, as well as heroes. I think that I’ve been better at those than others.
Q. Are there any fans who recognize you when you travel between Korea and US?
Saebyeolbe: I needed to visit Korea one time before, and foreign fans somehow recognized me. There was a guy who asked, “Are you SBB?” I felt really good that time.
Q. Lastly, please show your determination of the Overwatch League and share words for fans who cheer for you in Korea.
Saebyeolbe: As we represent the city of New York, the renowned city in the world, we’ll do our best to show a good result. Also, we’ve been able to achieve thus far thanks to our Korean fans. We won’t forget you guys and put much better efforts.