GZC HOTBA on OWL 2020: "Next season will be a lot harder, with a much tighter schedule."

Guangzhou Charge's first Overwatch League season has come to an end. The Chinese franchise finished off the regular season with a strong 6-1 Stage 4, putting the team in 9th place with a 15-13 record. Charge has made the post-season cutoff and will start its Playoff run in the play-in round.

Choi "HOTBA" Hong-joon joined Inven Global's Nick Geracie for a quick chat about sweeping the NYXL, playing in Stage 3's Atlanta homestand, and the future of Overwatch League.

▲ photo by Robert Paul


I'm joined by HOTBA from Guangzhou Charge. First, I'd like to ask about your team's gameplan that led to the 4-0 victory over NYXL?

For Lijiang Tower, we mixed Zariya into our Reapered-Mei GOATS comp like we did against the Philadelphia Fusion. That was a key part in our plan.

You are the second team to ever sweep NYXL after Chengdu Hunters did so earlier in Stage 4. Are there stylistic similarities between your teams that NYXL struggle against?

Chengdu is a really aggressive team, but we're more half/half. We are aggressive, but we're a bit more defensive than the Hunters. We have a different style in that we are more balanced.

At the end of last stage, Charge competed in Atlanta, Georgia for the second OWL homestand. What was it like playing there compared to Blizzard Arena?

I have the experience of playing in last year's Grand Finals as part of Philadelphia Fusion, so playing at the homestand did not make me nervous. Still, compared to Blizzard Arena, there was a lot more fans, so it was more exciting and fun.

▲ photo by Ben Pursell

Did playing in the homestand make you look forward to home games in Guangzhou next season?

I'm excited for next season's home games. After season 1 of OWL, I thought season 2 would be easier because we have 28 games in the season instead of 40. However, it was still really tiring, and I think it's because of the home/away dynamic. Next season will be a lot harder, with a much tighter schedule. 

There will be a lot more logistics to coordinate, but playing in front of a home crowd can be very exciting and invigorating. How important do you think a home field advantage is in Overwatch League?

The 'home crowd buff' definitely exists. I trust and believe with the power of our fans cheering for us, the performance level of our players will increase even more from our level in season 2.

The Grand Finals this season will be in Philadelphia. As a former member of the Fusion, if Charge was to make the Finals, what would it be like for you to play there?

I went to Philadelphia before, and I loved the city, it's great. However, for this Final, Fusion will not be there.

Is there anything that you want to say to fans of Guangzhou Charge ahead of Playoffs?

First of all, I want fans to know that facing the underdog is scary for the other teams. I want fans and other people to say that Guangzhou is a strong team.

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