On the day I planned to interview David "nomy" Ramirez, the newest support hero Brigitte Lindholm was surprisingly announced, complete with all of her ability information and a PTR ready for testing. Naturally, this meant most of the topics I had planned on discussing were invalidated -- all everyone around the arena was talking about was Brigitte's potential competitive viability.
So I began our conversation asking just that. I was curious if nomy saw potential in the hero and whether or not a Tank player might be interested in putting down the Tesla Cannon in favor of a flail.
Have you had a chance to dive into Brigitte's kit? How do you think she will impact the meta?
Yeah, I played with her a bit today. Being a Reinhardt player, it looks really fun and satisfying to use her projectile flail. Her kit is pretty much all crowd control. I think, primarily, she is going to fit well with tanks and on maps where tanks are already strong, like King's Row for example.
She is going to make tanks better. The problem with tanks is they get surrounded and flanked, but she has the ability to zone a flanker and heal your team at the same team. That is really good. She provides armor as well which is really effective against characters like Tracer and Winston. Her ultimate seems really, really good but we need to see how fast she charges it against dive comps.
Melee characters like Reinhardt, D.Va, and Zarya struggle a lot to get ultimates against dive comps so, we will see. But, she looks really fun -- really enjoyable to play.
We already have people sounding off that she will be very good against flankers. Do you think this will finally be a meta where Tracer isn't a dominant auto pick?
Even if she is really strong against Tracer, Tracer is an infinite skill cap character. If a Tracer dodges Brigitte's stun, it's over. However, there is a one-shot combo against Tracer so, if you land the stun, she is dead. Still, she can dodge the stun: that is why Tracer is so good.
She is so reliable in every situation because of her infinite skill cap. Still, let's say a Tracer sees a Zenyatta and Brigitte is on his team. The Tracer will have to be more cautious about engaging because now she can get punished for it. Especially with the armor -- giving armor toZenyattaa is really good, in my opinion. You also have her right click shield; you can mini-shield the Zenyatta!
It's all really interesting, we will have to wait and see.
"Dive is still going to be really strong and good coordination is still important, but the fact that she provides armor is insane."
Do you think tank players will start playing Brigitte or will support players be better suited?
Yes, Tank players will. For example, when I play ladder and I get teamed with a player that only plays tanks and I have to flex to something else, the role I flex to the least is DPS. So I flex Zenyatta or Ana. However, If the map is really tank heavy, I think playing Brigitte instead would be really, really good.
I will have to see how she feels pairing her with a main tank D.Va or a Winston. Her healing is good, it's a good burst heal, but it is not long or sustainable. So, maybe, you want to pair Brigitte with An Ana or a Moira to make a really annoying, strong core of characters. I will be playing her a lot more because she is more tanky and melee oriented -- I love her.
There has been a popular clip floating around showing Brigitte striking Winston out of the air the moment he leaps. Do you think this ability to ground highly vertical heroes is one of her biggest strengths?
Oh definitely, Just imagine playing Winston and trying to play around that ability -- It's going to be annoying. You need to make sure you are blind jumping all the time because, if Brigitte sees you jumping, she is going to be ready to knock you down. Even if she misses the punch, she can just wait for Winston to land, shove you back and it's over -- she just killed your cooldown.
Even if she misses that, she still has her stun.
Dive is still going to be really strong and good coordination is still important, but the fact that she provides armor is insane. Dive relies a lot on tempo kills -- everyone dives in, someone dies, Genji get's a dash reset, and then you win. But armor helps survive that burst damage.
So would you agree with Jeff Kaplan's statement that she will change the meta?
I think she has the potential to make dive characters less strong. Right now, you can play dive on pretty much every map. However, all the utility she brings is just really good against that. She can protect a backline character very well and, if the dive is not able to kill a backline character, it basically means your dive will be weaker and less effective.
So she has the potential to change the meta. Teams are always going to excel with dive compositions, but this character makes it more difficult to see success all the time with it.
What do you think is the most important skill a Tank player needs to have?
Decision making is really important. It's difficult to always know exactly when to leap, where to land, when to use your cooldowns properly: you have to be thinking of these things all the time. When you are playing Winston, you need to be aware of how long you can stay somewhere. One mistake just costs you your life and it is so intense on how difficult it is to play Winston.
"I know people can be shy, but just make sure you talk a little bit -- it will help you with your Tank play."
Reinhardt is more about shield management and communication as well as telling your team when to go back and when to go in. It's about calling out when you have Earthshatter or when the enemy Reinhardt has Earthshatter. [Winston and Reinhardt require] two different traits, but the most important thing is decision making.
What are the three most common things an amateur tank player probably struggles with?
A really big mistake is going in by your self. Sometimes, even when you go in deep, you need to at least make sure you are fighting within your team's sightlines. If you are playing with Zenyatta for example, you need to make sure he can still heal you and shoot orbs. Making sure you fight within your team's line of sight is so important.
The second is being a team player. Tanks cannot rely on solo play and they need to be communicating with their team as much as they can. Let's say you are playing Winston and, on your team, you also have a Genji. Before the fight starts, if you see Genji has blade, you can say -- "hey Genji, I'll jump for you and draw aggro, then you kill them with your blade".
It's that type of communication that is good. I know people can be shy, but just make sure you talk a little bit -- it will help you with your Tank play.
The third thing -- the game is dependent on maps and characters. There are maps that will tailor to certain tanks a lot more. It's not to say Reinhardt isn't good on every map in the game, but you will be able to be more effective playing the right tank at the right moment.
For example, if you are playing Numbani first point, Reinhardt is not good there. Why? Because there is too much high ground and too much elevation. They can just dodge you all the time. It's better to play a tank with some mobility, like Winston. Making sure you know which tank to play at the specific moments is crucial.
There is a popular phrase around the Overwatch League: people say 'It's a marathon, not a sprint', implying there are still tons of matches ahead of you. What are some things you do as a player to avoid fatigue in the Overwatch League and stay frosty?
Right now, unfortunately, I am getting really frustrated because we are not winning. It feels like ... the improvement is there, you know? We have been improving and it feels consistent, but I am getting upset with my self because we are not able to get the wins that we want. There have been games in the past where... we feel like the win is ours. In our head, we are like 'this is our win' and then we get stomped -- it doesn't make any sense.
In order for me to stay frosty all the time, I personally try to have fun. Having fun is really important, like having a laugh or two. Of course, while not deviating very much from the task at hand, it's good to take a break from the game every now and then.
Going to the gym, have a nice meal, sleeping well, talking to someone -- that type of stuff. Even though Overwatch is my passion, you're not going to win all the time. Winning is amazing but, when you lose, you have to find a way to snap back. Focusing on different things will make you come back to the game with a fresh mind.
I think there are a lot of teams that feel that way; that their loses don't make any sense to them sometimes. Fans are having a hard time as well predicting which teams will win. Why do you think that is? How come you can go into a game so confidently but still get stomped?
One thing that happens a lot is, we practice against a lot of the teams outside of the stage, right? Through our records, we have really good performances against them. So we feel really confident when we are playing in scrims and we get the wins -- it just feels good.
Unfortunately, we go onto the stage and we have that mindset that our percentage of winning is really high. When you go on stage and it doesn't happen, it hits you even harder.
You are going into the game with this mindset of success. Like, we beat them already, so let's prove to everyone we can do it again. And it doesn't happen... it gets to you.
Do you think it weighs on you more because, on stage, you are reminded of how important it is to win? Maybe, in scrimms, it feels less important?
For me personally, it isn't like that. I don't think about the fans at all -- I'm just focused on the game. I am seeing my game, seeing my monitor, seeing my teammates by my side, that is pretty much the only thing I am thinking about. I am not thinking about like, what the fans are saying or what the people in the crowd are saying -- I'm just thinking about the game.
But that is just me personally.
What do you think about teams adding new players and the frequency of roster changes as a response to a teams poor record? Do you think this is a viable way to improve a team or more of a band-aid solution? In other words -- what do you think it takes for a team to improve?
I think adding new players definitely brings a fresh of breath air. Even though, mentally, even if the new player isn't better than you, your teammates may feel like maybe this new player can be the difference and turn things around. It's refreshing and it definitely helps.
But, improving overall revolves around playing together, having fun, and making sure you learn as much as possible and improve as fast as possible; that is really important. Still, roster changes are good and I see no problem with that.
If you could create the ideal player to join Shock, what would they be like? What do you shock needs the most right now.
Mmmm... that is a really difficult question. The perfect player for us...
Someone that is really consistent. Someone that helps ease the environment when things are not going well. That is what we need. Like, if we just lost a map and it was like this:
*nomy indicates the smallest amount possible with fingers*
This perfect player would step up and ease the tension. Though it has to be natural, it can't be forced. When you have someone trying to do that, and you know that person isn't really like that, it just feels forced. It has to be natural and that would help.
That is very interesting.
Yeah, because on stage, things get really antsy sometimes. Having someone that can go -- "OK, the next one is going to be better, it's cool". That would be helpful.
Any last words for your fans?
I just want to say thank you for all of the support we get at SF Shock. I am sorry that we haven't been able to perform as we should, as we know we can perform. Bu,t we are going to do our best to make sure that we improve as much as we can and learn from each other as much as we can.
If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. Here are all of my social media's for you to reach me at.
All photos inside the Blizzard Arena stadium taken by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment and subsequently released by Blizzard for publication.
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