Overwatch League Media Day was held in Irvine, California on January 9th. Players, as well as coaches from all franchises, came to join and share their visions and ambitions.
Following is the interview with the Houston Outlaws.
The Houston Outlaws will be playing against the Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior in week 1. What is your take on these two teams? Which team makes you more tense out of these two?
Coolmatt: For Philadelphia, I think we’re going in really confident because they just got here, so their practice is really disjointed. They haven’t had time to built synergy yet [or] had time to play together, so we’re pretty confident going into Philadelphia; we’re going to prepare for it still. But for New York, that’s the one we really have to worry about.
The Outlaws lost twice back in the preseason, but many Overwatch fans agree that your performance was outstanding and you had a powerful aggressive play style. Is there anything you regret about the games you played in the preseason?
Rawkus: Yeah, Ilios; we forgot to sub in players. We subbed in the wrong players on one of our maps against Seoul.
Coolmatt: We had a minor management mistake (laugh); it was a simple mistake.
Rawkus: So, we gave them a freebie; they got to win for free. We had no Lucio on Ilios.
Coolmatt: For us, our payloads are really strong. What we’re at weak at is adapting to curveballs, so against Fuel I think that we were dominating them on payload, but we lost on comp to curveballs. If we can adapt better on the fly then I think we could take them on 100% better.
Jake was just amazing- from the OWWC to the OWL preseason. His Junkrat was amazing in Eichenwalde, in the match against Dallas; are there any rules you have for when to pick Junkrat, or any tips on playing him?
Others: [Pick him] when you want to win (laugh).
Jake: I think Junkrat is really powerful right now, but also weak to some things. There is an interesting matchup with Junkrat where, when both teams play Junkrat, if you’re better, then you can destroy the whole game, because you can destroy his ultimate so easily.
Since Junkrat can destroy the enemy Junkrat’s ultimate, if you constantly do that, you really destroy; you do way way more than the enemy Junkrat. You add a huge advantage to your team. Because, if you’re getting kills with your ultimate and you’re denying [the enemy Junkrat’s] ultimate, that almost always wins fights. So if you’re confident in the 1v1 matchup, you can have a really really huge swing effect on the game, even more than when they don’t play Junkrat and you play Junkrat.
Junkrat counters Junkrat (laugh).
The Outlaws don’t have any Korean players on the team, but do have two Korean coaches, HyeonWoo and Tairong. How is the relationship between the coaches and players?
Flame: They just got here, but it feel like they’ve been here the whole time?
Others: Yeah, yeah.
Flame: It’s weird because the two of them have been doing work back home, and they only just got here last week, but they’ve been in discord and messaging us the whole time. I think it’s weird because I didn’t know what to expect; I had met Tairong ‘unofficially’ a few times, but when he came here it was like he was already a part of the team. He has a very unique personality that I think is very serious and but also very... clowny? But that’s also the team’s mentality too, so he fits in super well and I think it’s a really nice mix.
He even said it himself; he wanted to coach an NA team. He wants to prove that the west is good, and make sure that people realize that North American overwatch can be just as strong as people think Korean Overwatch is. That’s his mission, and it translates really well.
You get to coach in a foreign team as a Korean coach; from a coach’s perspective, what is your take on the communication between players?
Tairong: The communication is even better than we expected. Obviously, the Eastern and Western cultures are different, and there are times where there isn't any synergy because of the different values of West and East.
What I felt after the few first scrims was that the Western teams have so much potential. It's just that they didn't have any chances to capitalize on it. Many people say Korean teams will dominate Overwatch, but everyone keeps getting better all over the world; we can't predict if Korean teams or Western teams will win. We are just keeping an open mind to all possibilities. As I mentioned on my Twitter, beginnings are a pathway to endless possibilities. No one knows what will happen in the end.
Any last words before the upcoming match?
LiNkzr: I’m kind of excited to play against Korean Widows and Genjis, because their play style is completely different from what I’ve experienced. So I’m excited to see how I match up against them in an actual game, like at competitive levels.
Rawkus: I’m really excited to play against Korean Tracers; they play way differently from other Tracers. Bunny for sure; I want to play against Bunny more. He’s really good.
Flame: One of the things I’m excited for is seeing how much reach we can get outside of just NA. We have a pretty big European and North American following, but we’re lacking Korean players. But I definitely want to see if we can get some Korean fans at the end of the day; that’s definitely on the agenda.
That’s one of the things that I think is going to be hard for us, but it’s also something that we want to do, because we have Tairong(coach). Tairong is really well-known and knows a lot of people. But we want to start connecting with other regions that aren’t ones that we represent; If we go to Seoul for some reason, we don’t want [the fans to say] “oh my god get them out of here” ya know? We want them to be like “oh shit, my favorite team is coming!” That’s something that I think is really cool and we need to do.