With the conclusion of the 2018 Overwatch World Cup stage held in Bangkok, Thailand, the public now knows what China is capable of. Their star-studded roster includes veterans of the scene as well as bright young upstarts -- one of which has quietly been biding his time behind the scenes. We saw a glimpse of what Cai "Krystal" Shilong can do during the Overwatch World Cup, but we are in for a treat when he is fully let loose internationally.
Post Bangkok, the Chinese National team is looking to take it easy going into BlizzCon. “As of now, there is no plan for follow-up practice,” Krystal said, but he did give a nod to the South Korean team, who he is most excited to face at BlizzCon.
While he seemed to enjoy himself at the event, Krystal mentioned that he was fairly apathetic towards his performance during the World Cup. If this was only a 5 out of 10 performance from him, BlizzCon is sure to be an amazing show. However, Krystal was surprised to see how strong Team Denmark was. But his praise was mainly focused on Team Denmark’s hitscan specialist, Johannes "Shax" Nielsen, going so far as to say that his accuracy was “scary.”
Now that the World Cup dust has settled and with BlizzCon only months away, Krystal sat down with Inven Global to discuss his thoughts on the future of Chinese Overwatch in relation to Overwatch League Season 2.
Note: This interview was conducted on the 21st of September, before the conclusion of the NetEase Esports X Tournament.
Translation by: @r1pnikki
You and T1w Esports advanced out of the qualification for the NetEase Esports X Tournament (NeXT) with a dominant record and will be playing LinGan e-Sports during the offline semifinal. How do you expect to do against LinGan e-Sports? T1w Esports has historically done very well against them, do you think you will continue that streak?
The difference between LinGan e-Sports and us is currently extremely huge, as can be seen from the previous performance in LanStory Cup. I feel that we would win very easily.
On the other side of the bracket, LGD Gaming will play against RunAway. How do you think a match between T1w Esports and RunAway would go? How close do you think China and South Korea are in skill?
If T1w Esports and Runaway qualify for [the] finals, I feel that we would win. We are very strong on this metagame. I feel that the difference between China and South Korea is mostly more of an issue of the average standard between the two countries. South Korea can have ten teams that can reach very high standards, while China can maybe only have one.
Being able to see all of the Contenders regions globally, the community has begun to recognize some stylistic differences. What makes Chinese Overwatch different compared to other regions? What makes Chinese Overwatch better or worse?
I feel that out of all the regions, China is the only one which has teams with varied standards of skill level. The standard of teams that are behind and struggling to catch up are insufficient, if this continues, the difference between the standards will grow bigger and bigger, which is a huge disadvantage to China’s Overwatch Contenders.
From your perspective, how excited were you when you heard the announcement that three new Chinese teams were being added to the Overwatch League? Do you think that will increase the interest in the Overwatch League in China?
When I heard the announcement I was very excited. [With] China [having] another three teams in the League, there can be more Chinese people shining in an international league in the future. I feel that it will increase the interest in the Overwatch League in China.
There has been discussion surrounding the importance of Overwatch Contenders and the Overwatch World Cup. From a player’s perspective, do you feel the need to put on an amazing performance during the Overwatch World Cup to show the Overwatch League that you deserve a spot?
I feel that no matter the moment, putting in all your effort in playing well each match is required for any player. What Overwatch League teams need to consider may possibly be not only your performance on the team but also their performance outside their team. So I feel that you cannot solely use one’s previous performance to decide if they can join the league, I hope that I can show more of what I can do to convince every team that wants me!
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Joseph "Volamel" Franco is a guest reporter for Inven Global. He has followed esports since the MLGs of 2006 and has since transitioned from viewer to journalist. He writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. He can be found on Twitter.
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