The heavy favorite, San Francisco Shock, and underdogs, Atlanta Reign, fought back and forth in one of the best series to date in the Overwatch League. The series came down to the wire where the Reign topped the Shock to advance in the next round. Andrej "babybay" Francisty stepped up in the second half of the series, helping the Reign in the victory, and shocked the world. babybay spoke with Inven Global about the match against the Shock and his thoughts about playing against NYXL.
That was one of the most exciting matches ever in Overwatch League. In terms of all the games you've played in your career, where would you rank this?
This beats everything because of the history between me and the Shock. I'm so cool with all of them and the fact that they are able to mold me into the player I am now then end up beating them. It's a good feeling. It's insane. Words cannot describe it.
Can you tell me how you feel right now?
Just insane, dude. After we won, I was literally like screaming and shaking. I didn't even know how we won. I think they had a bad C9 but that goes to show, when there's a ton of pressure, people make mistakes. We made a bunch of mistakes when there was pressure in King's Row, even Gibraltar. In general, when it's that high of a level of gameplay, just one thing can lose you the entire series, dude. It happened to them.
Also, this is pretty funny is that last time we matched up against them, we lost to them because of a C9. It's crazy how the universe works. It was in the GOATS meta back in Stage 3 on Gibraltar, and we were up in the fight big time.
This whole thing is still shocking to me. How did you guys beat San Francisco?
We're on a tight win streak now. We're at a 9-win streak going in and the meta changed to Reaper/Doom. We've been working on our fundamentals. There's a lot of maps we needed to work on. Instead of trying to find out individual map strategies, we worked on the fundamentals of the new GOATS, which is Reaper/Doom.
They were pretty easy to read on what they wanted to play so we were able to mix in some Bastion strats to cheese them. I'm sure next time they play, maybe they'll swap players or something so they're more flexible to deal with those Bastion comps. We beat them today because we read them like a book.
What do you think were the Shock's weaknesses?
I think it was just that. They couldn't deal with our Bastion comps. They didn't have the right people in with the hero pools. You have Architect who can literally play every hero in the game. When you see a Bastion on defense or something, you can go spam comps like Pharah/Hanzo to get past that first point, then worry about the second point later. I'm sure they'll make changes.
Also, Striker played his heart out today. That kid is really good. He is really good. It was scary to play against him. I had to adapt and try to keep up with him even. He was playing him mind off that series. His Reaper ults were the best in that entire series. He definitely beat me in Reaper ults for sure.
I think my team was overall better today, but it could've gone either way. Honestly, if they didn't C9 then they probably would've won. It was a great series overall.
Do you believe that the momentum you guys had in Stage 4 played a factor in your confidence heading into this match?
100%. Even from the last two games in our homestand in Stage 3. When we were at our homestand, everybody looked up at the crowd, saw how many people were there supporting just us, and hearing Pokpo say, "Oh my god, I'm nervous."
That puts all the franchising and the whole reason why we're doing this into perspective. It's like we're doing this for all the fans. This is what it means. We wanted to pop off for them. We took the energy that they gave us and still running with it.
Knowing that, what does this win mean to you guys moving forward?
It means a lot to everybody in our team because everybody is saying Shock is going to win this season. This is just huge. It's really giving us the confidence to win the Overwatch League.
You know what's even crazier? It's that we're an expansion team. Not even just an expansion team, I joined the team in Stage 2. That's when the team got together.
In reality, we became a TEAM when we went to the homestand games. After those homestand games, everything clicked. From that point on is when I consider we were a team like a real team with teamwork. Just to see how much we've accomplished in a short amount of time together is just insane. This shows like next year I think we're going to make finals again.
How much time did you guys devote to prepare for this meta?
It was literally that entire week, in reference to Brad's tweet. We had two blocks in the old meta so we weren't garbage at it. We really prepared and it was a good choice clearly. Let's say we didn't make top 6, we would've had to play three days later on this current patch.
That sounded rough and either way, we had to beat these teams. We didn't want to go all-in on getting top 6 and practice then. We had a head start and it was a smart choice.
Heading into this match against the Shock, what was the general gameplan?
It was literally doing what we've been doing. We didn't go in there trying to counter their plays. We made adaptations halfway through. Just small things - not going to go into detail. We came in there with confidence because we've played well in practice and exploited their weaknesses. They did it to us too. It was just so close.
Was there one player that you needed to focus on?
Striker. He was very sneaky and elusive. That's that Tracer player coming out, right? He knows when to go in. He knows his timings. For us, we had to watch him. He had very clutch Reaper ults to win them a fight. For a lot of the time, it was the last fight.
What was hard about stopping Striker?
He has very good game knowledge and knows when he should do it. He has a good read of the game and understands when to go in for the ult. There's a lot of things that can negate the ult like Sigma or booping him away. He thinks about all this in a very quick amount of time to make a decision.
For yourself, what was one thing you needed to focus on heading into playoffs?
My mentality, pretty much. This game is a grind. You have to not burn out. I was focused on having a good mentality, coming in, and not bringing my team down. It gets to you, man.
I totally agree with you, especially with the next match against New York. Speaking of New York, what are your thoughts about playing against NYXL?
It's going to be a tough game. I think it's not going to be as hard as this one. Mainly because this series was down to the wire. I mean they're going to come out hungry because we've beaten them twice already. I'll tell you what, when we beat a team, we usually don't lose to them again.
Is there any player in particular that you need to focus?
Saebyeolbe. He's insane like Striker. He knows his timings and one of the best flanker Tracers last season. It's a very similar style now with Reaper. He's going to be a huge person to deal with.
How do you beat NYXL then?
I can't say. We are just going to play our game, dude. Whatever strategy changes we make, we'll make in the game.
One last thing for you, is there anything you want to say to all the Reign fans who were watching tonight?
Thank you guys so much. Without you guys, we would not be here, at all. It's because of you guys, for real. Trust me when I say that. The mentality of the whole team just switched when we saw you all in our homestand.
Follow me on Twitter @itsjustchris for more coverage on Overwatch League and various games.
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