LA Valiant's Shax: "I'm not a D.Va main so I didn't feel any pressure to perform well as her."

The Los Angeles Valiant went from a winless Stage 1 to the Stage 3 playoffs. They had a tough opponent against the Hangzhou Spark where they won against all odds. A huge contributor for the Valiant's win is Johannes "Shax" Nielsen. Shax spoke with Inven Global about the game-winning D.Va play and thoughts on his first playoff game.

Photo by Robert Paul

Let's talk about the game-winning play where you ate GodsB's grav to win the game. How were you able to pull that off? What was your mindset heading into that play?

As a team before the fight started, we were pre-planning and discussing whether we should engage and eat the grav. We decided on it and you all saw the results. To be honest, there was no pressure in pulling that off. I'm not a D.Va main so I didn't feel any pressure to perform well as her. 

This year was the first of many for you in your career from your first year in the Overwatch League to your first playoff game tonight. Was there any pressure heading into the stage playoffs for you?

There's always some sort of pressure heading into the playoffs because you want to get to the finals and win. I also had the pressure to show that I belong and deserve to be here.

How did you mentally prepare for your first playoff game?

I just listen to music on the way here. I try to relax as much as possible because if I feel too nervous, it will show during the game. 

May I ask what kind of music you listen to? 

Sure, I currently listen to J Cole and that sort of stuff.

How did this game against Hangzhou differ from a regular season game?

I didn't feel any different. Then again, I'm not much of an emotional person to begin with. When tonight's game started, I definitely picked up the intensity, especially in the last map. 

In the last map, we were just trying to keep each other as calm as possible. FCTFCTN and Custa were mainly the ones keeping us calm. We knew going to Havana, we had a good chance because it is one of our best maps.

Photo by Robert Paul

Your next match is tough against the Shock, who are the Stage 2 champions. How do you prepare for that match in such a short amount of time?

Shock is obviously one of the best teams in the league. I just think coming into the match, I personally should not be intimidated by them. Every team has some sort of fear but they are good. We should respect them - we can't play passively. We need to play our game to win against them.

How confident are you to beat the Shock tomorrow?

I feel like we are pretty confident. Everyone on our team feels like we can beat any team in the league. 

Is there one specific player you need to focus on?

If Shock plays Baptiste GOATS, I think Rascal could be a game changer because his Baptiste is insane. I don't know how he's so good at that hero but he hits every shot. 

I think we have to shut down Super as well. We have to negate him.

Any words you have for the Shock? 

I don't really have anything to say to them. Can't wait to play them.

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