Overwatch

Paris Eternal's Féfé: "Actually, daemoN let us have a lot of freedom when he was head coach. We were able to do this. But now, it's a new fresh start."

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The Paris Eternal needed to spice things up heading into Stage 2 following a 3-4 record in Stage 1. Julien "daemoN" Ducros stepped down from the team as a result of their Stage 1 record. Stepping in to fill his shoes is Félix "Féfé" Münch, who was the Player Development Coach for the team.

Féfé made a huge impression in the first game of Stage 2 against the Guangzhou Charge, where the Eternal swept the Charge to get their first win. After their win, Féfé spoke with Inven Global about his coaching philosophies, what changed for the Eternal heading into Stage 2, and his plans moving forward for the team.


Photo by Robert Paul

 


I want to talk about Stage 1 for a bit. What are the strengths and weaknesses that you saw from the team? Was there something you wanted to fix but couldn't say?

During Stage 1, actually, we figured out that we had a problem to be consistent and to adapt to what the enemy team was playing -- not just the composition but the way they were playing. We had a problem to adapt in game. We knew whatever strat we had to do and how to play every comp. Every matchup, when they were playing differently, even if it was the same comp, we were struggling in game.

For Stage 2, we wanted to involve more of the players, strategy-wise. We wanted to talk about what composition we want to play, how we want to play, and what positions we need. We wanted to make them talk together to understand wants and needs at this position or objective, even how to kill the opponents.

In Stage 1, it was more of the coaching staff telling them what to do and how to do it. Stage 2 is more about how the players will be able to adapt to every situation so they are more involved strategy-wise.


Does one of the players speak out for everyone?

In Stage 1, Kruise would talk and be the shot caller, BenBest as well. In Stage 2, we just want everyone to participate. We don't want one person speaking out for everyone. So, everyone is really involved and speaking during VOD review. We even have a player day for VOD review since they want to choose what roles they want to see and what maps they want to talk about. Every player has to find the map or vote what they want to see and talk about. They have to explain why they want to talk about these certain situations.

So, in this stage, everyone has to take some responsibilities and show some leadership. We don't have one player like in Stage 1 -- we have the whole team participating in it.


Photo by Robert Paul



Do you think it benefited team synergy as a whole?

I think, yes. But, it's a long process of something complicated we want to do. It's going to be a rebuilding stage for us. We want to process long term and make the players be able to adapt and to understand how the meta plays. As a result, synergize better in the long term. Maybe sometimes it will work like tonight, maybe sometimes it won't work, but we will focus on this process in order to have something more consistent in the long term.


Do you feel the players are more comfortable with playing at the arena and each other than they were in Stage 1? If so, do you think it is due to how you're coaching?

No, it's not related to me. I think it's related to our choices to make compositions close to our team identity. In Stage 1, Seita and I were coming from Europe and we're playing a lot of tanks. It made sense to play tanks and try to master it. But actually, our players are more DPS-oriented.

daemoN didn't build this team around the tank comp, he wanted to have a team that's able to play different playstyles. We have a really good DPS player, so for Stage 2, we try to play a lot of different stuff. We want to do things that play to our strengths instead of the comp being good.


 



After you were promoted to head coach, what kind of coaching philosophies are you going to bring to the Paris Eternal?

I think I bring structure -- I really want everybody to be more involved on a daily basis. This is to communicate as the same way as we do on stage like with the same intensity, even if it is over-communicating in practice but with too much energy. After, we [the coaching staff] would have to regulate. But still, I really want everyone to feel stronger after we practice.

Actually, daemoN let us have a lot of freedom when he was head coach. We were able to do this. But now, it's a new fresh start. We want to make new rules and everyone is on board with it.

We didn't have any barriers or struggles implementing changes into the team. It happened fast, even if we talked about it with daemoN himself. It was some things that happened and we had to adapt really fast and if we wanted to implement new stuff, we had to do that really fast as well because we were like two weeks away from Stage 2. It was a new patch and a lot of new things to learn. I think it was an emergency situation, and we tried our best to give them guidelines and goals to focus on.


Photo by Robert Paul



You mentioned that you and the team had only two weeks to prepare. Other teams that were involved with the Stage 1 playoffs had only a week. So what did you go over to prepare for Stage 2?

First, we tried every player. On the new patch, we theorycrafted a lot about what comps will be good. On some maps, we thought about if we had to play comps that were good in the previous stage. Or, do we strategize something new?

The first week was more like trying every player to see if it fits with the strategy we wanted to do. After, it was more like, trying to adapt the strategy to what the enemy was playing. It was a lot of testing. The last 4 or 5 days, it was like, we have something and we want to make it work.

From what I've seen this week, a lot of teams still play GOATS. I think monkey GOATS will be a thing instead of Reinhardt. I'm pretty sure that little-by-little, we will see different new stuff appear. Teams will try stuff and for sure, the patch nerfed the GOATS comp, so there is a lot of good DPS players in the Overwatch League. I'm pretty sure those players will find a way to counter it.


I actually noticed in this game against the Charge, we saw 
SoOn back on the Widow, for example. Are we going to see more of the DPS players actually playing DPS from your team?

Like I said, we just want to play to our strengths and SoOn's Widow is one of them. So yeah, maybe we'll play more of this playstyle. It will be more dependent on our opponent as well. We want to beat what they will play. Week after week, depending on what we see in scrims, we have to see what works. We'll try as much as possible to play to our team's strengths.


I also wanted to mention that we saw ShaDowBurn back on the stage with Bastion and Pharah. We also saw players we did not see in Stage 1 like Danye, LhCloudy, and Greyy. What was the reason behind giving them playing time?

We just tried players. It's not like we switched players because we felt like someone underperformed during Stage 1. It's not actually the case. They performed well from what we saw and what we asked. It was more like, the comp we wanted to play and for this week, we wanted to try something with all the players.

At the end of this game against this kind of composition, we expect them to play with one of those guys. But, we really wanted to give a shot to everyone and to maybe do a lot of rotations, if necessary.

It's hard to say if we'll put players like BenBest or HyP back in the lineup -- we're doing tests and if it looks positive, then we'll go for it.

For example, if we go against Chengdu, they sometimes like to play out of the ordinary. So, we can switch some players because we think we have to play other heroes like Moira or Ana.


Photo by Stewart Volland



Last stage you guys didn't make stage playoffs. For the Paris fans out there, how do you reassure them that Paris will make Stage 2 playoffs?

Actually, we won't because my philosophy is like we are not working in order to win. We are working because we want to implement this process and we think it is good in the long term. I can't say if we're going to make playoffs. The only thing I can say is we are working out in order to make our process work. Hopefully, we will make playoffs because of it. For now, it's just a new stage. We just get one win and nothing is done yet. We have a lot of work moving forward.


Thanks for sharing your coaching philosophies with me tonight. Do you have anything to say to the fans?

Thanks for the support. It's always good to see a new stage. It's motivated everyone -- players and staff. We will do our best.


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