Team Canada has secured a spot at the Overwatch World Cup Finals. A 4-1 second place finish will send them to Blizzcon 2018 at the beginning of November.
Team Canada came out of the gate looking like the strongest team in the Overwatch World Cup Los Angeles Group Stage. Team USA emerged as the other favorite, and the group very quickly shaped up to be a two-horse race. With both teams at 4-0, the group stage culminated in a final showdown between Team USA and Team Canada.
Despite falling short in the final game, Team Canada was extremely dominant throughout the group stage. Amongst the many bright spots of Team Canada’s roster has been the competitive play of Main Tank Felix “XQC” Lengyel. XQC has re-adjusted to competitive play at a rampant rate, looking every bit of the OWWC MVP he was last year.
After making quick work of Team Norway in Day 2 of the group stage — 4-0, just like their first two victims — XQC and I caught up on his recent life and looked towards his future.
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Ent.
I’m here with XQC. Team Canada is absolutely destroying the competition, how do you feel about your play individually?
Better than I expected. I feel like I’m doing well with being more patient. That’s normally what I’m bad at, so it’s going pretty well. I haven’t gotten much real good competition, so it’s kind of hard to prove myself or be confident. But we’ll see what the next matchup brings.
What’s been the toughest thing about adjusting back to competitive team play?
Mostly being patient and relying on information through the comms of my off-tank and Surefour when he scouts ahead on Sombra. Relaying the comms properly and peeling back and playing with the team is what takes me a couple days to adjust.
I need to find the balance between making my own calls and listening to other calls and properly relying on the comms. It always takes me a day or two to properly adjust to that.
When I spoke with Agilities yesterday, he mentioned the respective roles of Bani and Surefour in Team Canada’s communication. Are there specific calls that you make for the team?
My job most of the time is calling counter-dive whenever I think the opponent is going to dive us. Also, whenever I think there’s a weakness in the enemy’s defenses, I call out low HP targets and go for an all out-engage style.
I like the reactive style, too. I think it’s pretty fun, but in terms of comms, I’m kind of reactive regardless of which way we’re playing.
You’ve played with most of your teammates on Team Canada in last year’s World Cup. How has experience in the Overwatch League helped you and your teammates grow?
I think having a dedicated Off-Tank is really nice. NotE specializes in Off-Tank, and he’s very good at the game and very calm on stage. He has energy, but he’s comfortable.
Also, Agilities has improved in so many ways. People may have not noticed in the Overwatch League, but he was a very hot and cold player. He would either pop off or feed really hard. Last year, he had the most deaths on Team Canada by a longshot. As someone who dies a lot myself, I found that kind of surprising.
He’s such a young player, and he’s put so much work into all aspects of the game that he’s molding himself to a diverse kind of playstyle. He’s really good now, and he’s been performing a lot.
In your experience, what are the main differences between streaming lifestyle and competitive team lifestyle?
When you have a stream, it’s a give and take. You sacrifice all the time, so I know whenever I have to practice that the stream will suffer. People will watch me less if I’m on stream less. Also, when I am on, my energy will be down a bit, so I may be less entertaining or creative. Scrims take a lot of time and energy, so everything is a trade off and it’s important to think about all of them.
After a while, it’s easy to get past the trade-offs and just forget the stream on days where I’m playing competitively. At the end of the day, I’d like a balance, but it’s always hard to gauge precisely with all of the different scheduling of stuff.
With your bouncing back between the two, has your community gotten used to your free-spirited nature?
Yeah, doing a lot of random stuff targets a certain audience and a different, diversified following. I don’t feel bad for doing IRL stuff; I don’t feel bad for doing other games; I don’t feel bad about doing anything.
My followers are pretty used to it — loud noises, meme chat — a bunch of different stuff happens on my stream. I know if I introduce something new, they’re not going to freak out.
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Ent.
XQC, thank you so much for the interview. Your last answer leads to my final question perfectly: What’s next for you after Team Canada?
Well, my plan before was to have some sort of meme Contenders team. However, the caliber of the players being imported, as well as the domestic talent, is probably too high.
I want to do try to do something competitive, but not practice that much. We would practice certain stuff to make sure we would have the fundamentals down, and still compete which would be a lot of fun with the stream. We could stream our competitive matches if we all streamed at the same time, so that’d be really cool.
Other than that, I mentioned in another interview that I might tryout for some Overwatch League teams for fun. Tryouts are a lot of fun; you always meet new players and forge new friendships and alliances. It’s really competitive and really fun because everyone is trying so hard to prove themselves and improve their chances of landing a spot on the team.
I might end up doing that, but aside from that, I don’t really have anything planned. I’m not really a “plan” guy.
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