Joshua "Tensa" Small is the Main Support for Overwatch Contenders team First Generation. The unsigned contenders squad may also be known to some as GOATs, the roster responsible for the creation of the infamous 3 tank-3 support composition that has dominated the recent competitive landscape.
David "mailorder" Hsu sat down with Tensa to deep dive GOATs, potential adjustments in the meta due to the new patch, and Tensa's unique hardware layouts for his hero pool.
Tensa, you tweeted that you could write 50+ pages on how to play GOATs. Do you have any quick thoughts you want to share now?
GOATs is a complex team comp that requires good coordination for it to succeed. There are many ways that you can approach playing the team comp since each hero enables each other. Every ability can stack on each other in various ways. By permutation with abilities and ults, you can have many different results.
I could explain how one ability could win a team fight, how one ult could win a team fight or how someone is positioned could win a team fight. There are a bunch of possibilities that the team comp is capable of.
You're one of the founding members of GOATs and the GOATs-composition. What are some differences in shotcalling with your current team compared to how GOATs used to be?
When I played on the GOATs team, we didn’t have any communication structure. We had no coach or anyone to tell us if what we were doing was right or wrong. Gator and I would usually bounce ideas from each other and make calls on the fly. I would be a strategist while Gator would micro and call engages.
On First Generation, the way I contribute is different since we have a communication structure we follow. All I can say for me is that I’m very glad that we have a staff that makes my life easier in the way I communicate for the team.
Since you came from competitive Overwatch on Xbox One, what is your hardware layout like now on PC?
Nothing has really changed recently in terms of my setup. I am currently using both an Xbox One controller and a mouse. On Mercy specifically, I use purely controller. All other heroes that I play I use Hybrid if I have settings on them. Hybrid is essentially playing with a controller on my left hand for movement, jumping, crouching and shift ability. My mouse is the normal right click, left click and scroll wheel as ult. I also have reload, melee and E on my thumb.
Based on your recent streams, you've been doing scrims on XB1. Is there still a scene for competitive OW on console? What are some of major differences?
There are still a good amount of players who try to compete to this day. There was a recent tournament announced where people have started to grind again. I’ve been doing streams of some of the best Xbox teams to showcase them. The differences range from mechanics, team synergy and playerbase. People use controllers so they’re limited to what they can and can’t do compared to mouse and keyboard.
Synergy doesn’t necessarily exist with teams because players don’t play outside of ranked ladder. Two entirely different environments to where there is unfamiliarity with how to practice as a team. Most players come from other FPS titles on console; very few stemmed from other games. I think this upcoming tournament on Jan. 20th would be a great place to showcase individual talent. Hopefully from all of this, we could identify who has the potential to carry that over to PC.
With McCree's Fan the Hammer coming back to power, will we see him played more?
So the introduction of McCree’s Fan the Hammer being powerful again will definitely spark some discussion. He is certainly a stronger hero, but not to the point where he would be ran more. Currently, GOATs is a great team comp and hitscan DPS isn’t the strongest option vs it. The 3-2-1 comp consisting of McCree, Winston, Dva, Brigitte, Zenyatta, Lucio was played to hard enable McCree and Zen. It was best suited vs Doomfist/Sombra comps.
I haven’t been playing on Live patch so I can’t really give a good opinion on it, but I don’t think we will be seeing more McCree.
How much impact will Bastion's ammo buff and weapon spread decrease buff have?
The buffs made him stronger in some areas, but that doesn’t hide the glaring weaknesses that Bastion has. Being immobile while in turret form makes him very easy to kill and play out of his strengths. He is in a position where teams could tinker around and see where he is effective, but I don’t think there will be much play time for Bastion.
You previously mentioned that Soldier: 76 needs a buff. Do you feel the last patch was a missed opportunity for him? What buff is needed?
This is an interesting topic for Soldier. None of the recent metas have favored him to be picked. Other DPS heroes do his job better and he doesn’t really excel at anything.
Meddling with numbers in terms of damage is always dangerous. I’m personally not sure on how they should handle this hero. I think his ultimate is in need of a rework, and maybe faster sprint or a lower cooldown on Helix. Any buffs for Soldier would be good as he isn’t in position to spiral out of control if other changes were to be introduced.
Will Brigitte's nerf see a reduction of GOATs-comp usage?
GOATs comp will most likely not see a reduction in play. Brig does less damage with her stun and can’t stun through barrier. Her ult is still very strong, her armor pack is still great, and her passive is still good. There are too many positives in Brig's kit for her to not be played because of how she interacts with other heroes. There needs to be more changes across the board for the meta to change.
Is there room for more innovative Symmetra play?
What ATL did on Hanamura was creative, I wouldn't doubt that there would be more innovation somewhere else. People didn’t originally think that GOATs would be this strong; look where we are now.