A player that has shown so much potential in Contenders and the World Cup has finally arrived in the Overwatch League. Ashley "Trill" Powell proved to the Dallas Fuel that he can help the team steer in a winning direction.
After his game against the Hangzhou Spark in Week 3, Trill spoke to Inven Global about his debut, fitting in with the team, his family, and a possible run at this year's World Cup.
How do you feel to finally play at the Overwatch League?
I definitely felt more nervous than I would, to be honest. I do feel really good to finally be here and play on stage. This is something I want to keep doing.
How did you deal with nerves being on the stage for the first time?
My nerves were because it's my first match and all. It definitely died down a bit towards halftime.
Your name is familiar to those who paid attention to Contenders and World Cup. What are things that you learned from Contenders and World Cup that you carried into Overwatch League?
I learned that playing in OWL is infinitely harder. I feel like Contenders and World Cup isn't as full-on as OWL is — just playing on stage feels super different than what I've experienced before.
In terms of teams and how they played — playing in Contenders felt a lot more like running at people. In OWL, it just feels like that there's so much strategy going on. It's a lot harder to deal with.
Was there anything you learned from veterans you've played with like Custa and Crimzo?
During World Cup, I looked up to Custa a lot like how hard he worked. It made me realize how hard I need to work to be in OWL. Seeing him work super hard with our coach Gunba, who's an OWL coach as well. Mainly, it's learning how hard you need to work to get here.
Crimzo is more of a clown. He's so goofy and a good friend of mine.
How motivated were you to play in Overwatch League after being in Contenders for so long?
I practiced a lot and played with different teams. When I went to Envy, I tried like super hard. I watched a lot of VODs. Pretty much tried hard to improve my skills.
A bit of advice I would give to aspiring players is to watch a lot of VODs. I know a lot of Australians that have mechanical skill but a lot of them that do not have the brain for it, which is like super important and matters a lot in team games.
Watching your favorite players like we have the Overwatch replay now will help out a lot.
What players did you observe and scout before coming to Overwatch League?
For example, like today I watched the Spark's VODs and see what they did. I watched my own stuff like from scrims, see if there's any mistakes that I did, and what I can change. Basically, just the top main tanks like Super, Mano — who is super consistent, and Bumper.
How did you adapt to transitioning into the Dallas Fuel's environment?
In the first day, playing with them was definitely rough. It was a different environment and I had to get used to everyone's voices. I had to change my playstyle too.
In Envy, we just played around me and I went all in. That's the style that we went with.
In OWL, it's very different. We get punished for doing stuff like that. I'm easing into it a lot better now. I've only had like 3 days of practice with the team.
Who helped you get along with the rest of the team?
Pretty much all the coaches. OGE has been helping me as well. Everyone's been super supportive and they're not hard on me or anything. If I mess up, they become supportive for example.
Was there any feedback from anyone that just stuck with you?
The only thing I can think of right now is how to deal with splitting things. Nothing else in particular that I can think of at the moment.
Was there a specific moment when you felt welcomed into the team?
I'm mostly doing my own thing. I think I fit in pretty easy — everyone was super friendly.
I think I would like to one day check out something cool with the team. I haven't checked out anything since I flew in on the 7th of this month.
I didn't know you basically just got here. Was it difficult to say goodbye back home?
Honestly, no. I was prepared for it and this is what I've always wanted to do. It wasn't hard to leave everything behind.
Does your family miss having you around?
My mom misses me the most. She loves to be attached sometimes. I think Asians are just like that.
If you don't mind me asking since you mentioned your mom is Asian, what is your ethnicity?
I'm Australian and Filipino.
Do you often keep in contact with your mom?
Not really *laughs*. I keep her up to date and stuff. I think she's probably worried about me, but I'm not sure honestly.
What does she think of your accomplishments so far?
She's super proud of me. At first, she wasn't supportive — my dad was more supportive. Now, she's like really happy and supportive.
Let's talk more about team synergy. You're in a solid tank line with NotE and OGE. What role do you think you fill with this team?
Probably more of a communication role. OGE's first language isn't English so it's harder for him to communicate a lot of things. I know he wants to talk more — it's a bit harder for him.
What are key attributes that make you good with communication?
Just calling what I do like who I target in teamfights. I have a lot of confidence in my play as well, and that helps.
Is there anything that you want to currently improve on?
Pretty much adapting to teams in the Overwatch League. Also, I'd like to work on my calling — I can do more with it like making a call from what I see in front of me. If they're doing a certain thing, it happens fast in my brain.
This year's World Cup is coming up. Do you want to play again for Team Australia?
I want to play this year for sure. If I do, this year will probably be the last year I participate in the World Cup. I'm not sure what teams were versing so I can't say how confident I am yet. If we go against South Korea, it would be kind of rough.
Is there anyone in particular that you want to team with?
Probably the Australian friends that I have like this guy named Unter. He's a main support player and I think he's such a good player.
Thank you for the interview. Best of luck to your esports career heading forward. Do you have any shoutouts for anyone?
Shoutouts to my family for supporting me. Shoutouts to the coaches and Dallas Fuel players. They've been super friendly and supportive of me. I'm all new to this stuff. It's nice to get all that. Also to all the Dallas Fuel fans, appreciate the support.