Liam "Mangachu" Campbell has been in the competitive Overwatch scene for a long time. From Contenders to World Cup, his name is known to many fans. However, he would not have a chance to play in the Overwatch League until last week.
Toronto Defiant gave Mangachu his big opportunity to show what he's capable of. After the Defiant's game against the Los Angeles Gladiators in Week 4, Mangachu spoke with Inven Global about his stress and pressure before Overwatch League, participating in this year's World Cup, and the rumored 2-2-2 role lock.
Thanks for joining me despite the loss tonight. First of all, how are you?
I'm doing good! It's been a long time coming. I might have been the last closed beta player that was involved in the competitive scene to make Overwatch League - I've been playing since Day 2 of closed beta, so I've definitely been part of the scene for a while.
How does it finally feel to be here in the Overwatch League?
Being part of the Overwatch League is a dream come true. I took some time to focus on myself. Mental health is super important because Overwatch League is a big jump from Contenders, to be honest. The amount of hours you put in, the stress, and the spotlight is definitely different. I wanted to be like 100% ready to take that step. The timing just worked out to be honest.
I was debating about retirement after the Contenders season. It was 50/50. I like playing the game but didn't have any offers with any teams. Then, someone made a tweet with a sign that said, "Mangachu for OWL". Literally, within 30 minutes of that tweet, I got the message.
Were there any nerves being on the stage for the first time?
I had experience in stages - I played in the World Cup and Contenders Finals. It was more of like, "Wow! This is it. I'm actually doing this now," kind of thing. I wouldn't say I was nervous - I was more like excited.
How did you know you were ready for the Overwatch League?
It was just a feeling. Before, it used to be a little bit anxious towards the idea of going to Overwatch League. My mental health was not in a good place throughout the majority of 2018.
Coming into Mayhem Academy, it was a fresh start for me. I wanted to focus on that season - both improving as a player and focusing I'm 100% ready. I went all in on gym and fitness. I've been talking to people about getting a therapist. Things have been improving.
I got to that point where I got the message and was 100% in.
Was there any hesitation about accepting the offer at first or was it a snap decision?
There was definitely some nerves going into it - middle of the season, roster was changing with Logix signing with the team as well. It would be a whole rebuilding phase.
I was excited to represent Toronto for sure. I wasn't sure if I was 100% ready for Overwatch League. I talked to my family and friends - they told me why I'm waiting and just do it.
Would you say mental health was your biggest hurdle before coming here?
Yeah, definitely. I never handled stress very well - it's never been a thing I'm super confident in but I've put in the work. Mayhem Academy did a great job in helping me grow. The support staff is amazing - Curryshot and reprize, who is now working for Valiant - best coaches I've worked with by far. The environment was perfect. I got to give a lot of credit to them for everything that's happening for me lately.
Where would you say the state of your mental health is right now?
It's good - it's not perfect.
I've talked to Trill about playing in Contenders. What did you learn from playing in Contenders?
One of the big things was communication and the mindset that you should have in scrims. Another issue for myself that I wouldn't really rank up high was my work ethic. I played the game a lot but I didn't focus on learning. When Logix joined XL2, he completely changed the way that I looked towards scrims. He was very demanding to have a productive scrim environment and put in 100% effort.
Before that, XL2 was a fun team. We were playing well because we were all good not because we were productive. Logix helped me change my mentality. Then, Mayhem Academy tripled it pretty much.
Would you say that Logix's experience from Overwatch League gave you a bigger perspective on how to improve?
Yeah, I think so. Logix is a very smart player and great teammate. He was able to help us all improve so much.
How does it feel to have him as a teammate now with Toronto?
I love it! I love playing with him! Like I said before, I give him a lot of credit for me. Being able to play with him again is going to be awesome.
You mention you got the call from Toronto to join them. Did you receive any other offers?
Not at all. That was the main reasons that I was considering to quit. After getting dropped from the Mayhem, I didn't expect to have a salary for the rest of the year. I was doing a lot of streaming and private coaching.
Did you have any backup plans in case you did quit Overwatch?
Just go to school majoring in Marketing. I would stick with esports even after quitting. I love this scene and the people in it. Everything about it is fantastic.
May I ask what games were you really into before Overwatch?
I was a Nintendo nerd when I was younger. The first PC game I played was World of Warcraft. I started playing late Vanilla, early TBC (The Burning Crusade). From there, I started playing Team Fortress 2. I was hooked on that game. I played it competitively for 6 to 8 years.
Around 2014-2015, I watched the Smash documentary and I got super hooked on that game. I played Melee for a bit then Project M, which is the Brawl mod to play more like Melee. That's been my main game Smash-wise for the past 4 years.
Did you idolize or look up to any esports players?
I'm a Luigi player in Smash so there were a bunch of top Luigi players. XYK was the main one that I looked up to a lot. He's a super chill guy and really good at the game.
Do you still keep up with the Smash scene to this day?
Before I joined Overwatch League, I was going to tournaments in SoCal for a while. I played online a lot during my free time. I love playing it still.
For the last two years, you've been playing in the World Cup. Do you have plans to play in it again this year?
I would love to play in the World Cup again this year. I might consider it to be my last year because I've been a part of it. World Cup should be a place to show your talent and the game has a lot of good talent. It's just that we're also top-heavy with Surefour, Agilities, and me on DPS. I think it's time to let other people get in the spotlight.
Is there anyone new that you would want to play with in this year's World Cup?
I think the roster is kind of perfect. There's Zholik who is a main support on GRUNTo Esports. I think he is a really good player.
Before wrapping up the interview, there's a lot of rumors of the 2-2-2 role lock coming in Stage 4. What heroes would you play if the rumors are true?
I would stick to projectile heroes. I'd probably have to pick up Sombra, but majority of the time, I would be 4-tricking heroes that I'm known for like Pharah, Hanzo, Junkrat, and Torb.
What kind of comps would you expect from the role lock meta?
A lot of double sniper or Widow/Pharah. Pharah is just a better Junkrat right now. The comps are going to be extremely map dependent. Other than that, just Pharah, Widow, Orisa, D.Va, Mercy, and Zen.
Do you think Brigitte will play a role in 2-2-2?
In bunker, no. I feel she doesn't sound good in 2-2-2. I feel like she would be good in maps where high ground is extremely valuable and it's in 2CP. She would be good in Horizon defense and Anubis defense. She can't consistently provide enough healing for her team, especially in bunker because of Orisa shield in the way. She would suck against double sniper and sucks against Pharah. Brig sucks against every hero in the 2-2-2 meta.
Good luck with your Overwatch League career heading forward. Are there any shoutout that you want to give?
Shoutouts to the fans. It's been a very long journey. I've got a lot of support. It's kind of crazy how much support I have. I didn't expect it but I really appreciate it.
Shoutouts to my family for supporting me the whole way. Lastly, shoutouts to my girlfriend.
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