Carson "CarCar" First is a support player for Second Wind, who recently qualified for NA Contenders, taking 1st place in the Group Stage with wins over Skyfoxes, Phase 2, and GOATS. They also took 3rd place at BEAT Invitational, having an early taste of Contenders with matches against Last Night's Leftovers and Toronto Esports.
I asked CarCar about his thoughts on qualification and what the road ahead looks like, as well as his opinion on the quality of the current support meta and whether or not recent patch changes will shake things up.
I was personally really proud of my team when we were finished with the tournament. Finishing 3rd place seemed like a really big accomplishment to me and showcased just how strong the new Second Wind roster was compared to the old one.
We fell short against LNL, losing 3-1, but I could really feel the team's energy as we won Dorado. It really felt rewarding. Unfortunately, we also didn’t get the results we wanted vs. Toronto Esports. I think since a lot of our team is young (myself included), nerves can get the best of us, especially on stream.
Considering your team's first place finish on the Group Stage, what are your feelings with Contenders qualification? Is it going to be harder from here?
I think our 1st place finish in the Group Stage looks really good and shows that we are the top Trials team that qualified for Contenders this season. Being the #1 seed from Trials, you wanna compete against these signed teams like NRG and Toronto and perform just as well if not better, whether you're a paid player or not.
Moving forward, I can only hope to break the skill gap between Trials teams that qualified for Contenders and Academy teams. It would be amazing if we could win out and not get relegated back to Trials, like how a lot of non-academy teams do. LNL is a perfect example. Seeing how my good friends Hawk and SugarFree pushed forward with LNL feels really good.
Whether it will be harder in the future? Most likely. We got a hint of the skill level we'll be competing against in Contenders from LNL, Toronto, and NRG. There will obviously be better teams. but with tryouts still being ran for Academy rosters, we’re not entirely sure of the other Contenders teams.
What's it like playing support in the current meta? Is it the most diverse it's been?
Playing support in this meta is probably the most enjoyable experience I’ve had in a while. Initially when I started playing competitively last year, I remember only playing Lucio, which was alright. Then, came Mercy meta when I was on Kungarna, which was the least amount of fun I had playing this game. Logging on to just play Mercy for 4 hours every day was very exhausting.
However, in this meta, there is so much flexibility for the support picks. A lot of times on defense, I play Ana and pair it with a Zen, or occasionally, I get to run Mercy with our Pharah comps. Once in a blue moon, I get to play Brigitte on one map. Besides that, I’m on Lucio so I really enjoy playing this meta as a main support because I’m not just playing one character for 4 hours everyday for scrims.
"If your Ana isn't hitting their sleeps, Lucio/Moira is a good counter to
Doomfist because you have Lucio amp and Moira's shift ability."
How do you feel about last week's PTR buffs to Mercy? Will it improve her pick rate?
Mercy only received a buff on her Valkyrie ultimate, but her ult isn't what makes her a weak pick in this meta. Her healing per second is very unreliable; 50 hp/s is really awful to run as a main healer. I think her pick rate will remain the same and we will only see her with Pharah comps and double sniper (very rarely).
Does Brigitte still need to be nerfed/adjusted?
Regarding Brigette, she obviously needs a huge change. The problem with her is she always gets value in a fight. Her ult will always be guaranteed value; its nearly impossible to kill her in Rally when she is swinging and getting AOE heals.
Aside from that, her "E" (Repair Pack) cooldown instantly regenerates a squishy's HP. I think they could approach nerfing her by giving her Repair Pack ability a slight travel time, so it's not an instant heal. Even though Blizzard nerfed her shield, the shield health is not what makers her powerful. It's her cooldowns and abilities.
Even though the meta is diverse, Doomfist seems to be a challenge regardless of which support you play. Which support heroes deal with him the best?
Playing into Doomfist, it's all about survivability in your backline vs him. You can run Lucio/Ana but it heavily relies on your Ana's ability to hit sleeps off cooldown or having your Lucio recognizing the rollout quickly. It's really difficult to peel for a Doomfist with an Ana as the other support because as soon as your Ana gets hit with uppercut, there's essentially no peeling because she's stunned for two seconds. You can obviously position farther away from your team and distance yourself from the other team's frontline, but you never know with the Reddit rollouts on that hero.
Any advice for Support players in Solo Queue that can't rely on teammates to peel?
If you don't have teammates to peel for you, it puts you in a really difficult position as a flex support. If your Ana isn't hitting their sleeps, Lucio/Moira is a good counter to Doomfist because you have Lucio amp and Moira's shift ability.
Do you feel Doomfist's falloff damage nerf is appropriate? Or should it be nerfed/adjusted further?
Doomfist's falloff damage nerf dosen't really affect him a lot. It's not his damage that makes him overpowered but his movement abilities. He can roll into a fight, snag a kill on a squishy, then roll back out in a matter of five seconds. His right click (Rocket Punch) really needs to get nerfed. Being able to get a guaranteed kill every four seconds on a squishy; it should not belong in a game. Especially in a meta where four of the characters on your team [have] 200 HP.
Have any thoughts on Reaper, Roadhog, and Symmetra who also received buffs on the last PTR patch?
Reaper has always never been picked and I don't think that will change at all, even with his buffs. It's possible he might be ran with GOATS into another GOATS comp as a counter but I highly, highly doubt it.
The problem with Roadhog is that he's a walking ult charge, he can't contest high ground, and [he] does no damage. These buffs don't really address his weaknesses at all. Rather than buff his weaknesses, these changes just make his hook more consistent and reliable. However, he might possibly be a more encouraging pick with Orisa comps because the hook/pull combo will be more reliable. But besides that, he still will be rarely picked.
Symmetra will always be a joke in scrims. To see her in real competitive play, she needs yet another rework. Her primary firerate buff on PTR won't change that.