Interview with ESL UK Overwatch Finalists – Reason Gaming

ESL UK Premiership
GAMEGRIN:How’s it feel to be the first Overwatch finalists in this competition in the UK?

CHRISTFER:It’s good but also weird to say that. We’re “veterans” of the Overwatch scene, having played in every single UK tournament there’s been. It’s definitely good, especially the way ESL are supporting it. It took years for games like Counter Strike and League of Legends to get this level of support whereas we get it straightaway.

GAMEGRIN:What do you think makes Overwatch an exciting eSport to watch?

WACKO:I don’t think it is actually.

CHRISTFER:I’d say it isn’t that fun to watch at the moment actually. It’s really good to play – the number people playing it show that – but I think-

WACKO:The view base is dying quite a bit.

CHRISTFER:I think a lot of it is down to the game not having proper spectator modes. In League you have perfect spectator cameras and CS:GO have loads of features but Overwatch still has the basics. Unless you fully understand the game on a competitive level it just looks like chaos. I feel like a bronze player can watch the pro league and know what’s happening, though.


© Ravi Lakhini

GAMEGRIN:So what improvements do you think could be made to the competitive and pro side of the game?

CHRISTFER:A mini-map would be really good for the spectator camera. Obviously you don’t want that for the players.

SEV:There aren’t any stats at all, either, so you don’t know who is doing well in a game.

CHRISTFER:Blizzard have purposefully left out stats for a reason but I think in a competitive situation knowing those figures is useful. When people are doing MVPs for tournaments at the moment it’s entirely guesswork and based off of plays they made on-screen that can be remembered.

WACKO:It’s basically “who can press Q the fastest”.

SEV:I think if the game was less ultimate-focused it would be better for spectators, as well.

GAMEGRIN:You’re doing a great job of pre-empting my questions! Blizzard is increasing the charge times for ultimates, I imagine that’s something you’d be happy with?

CHRISTFER:I’ve got a strong suspicion that the update won’t actually go live. I think that what they said with the PTR was that a majority of it wouldn’t go live. I really hope it does go live, though.

SEV:I wouldn’t mind if they changed it drastically, like increase [charge times] by 50% or more. The game right now just revolves around waiting for ultimates.

GAMEGRIN:So what’s your usual team composition?

WACKO:It’s a bit all over the place at the minute.

CHRISTFER:There’s always a Reinhardt and there’s always an Ana. There’s always a Lucio and there’s always a Zayra. So you have two positions in which you can be flexible and nine times out of ten it’s a Reaper and then Mei is really common. The standard comp nowadays – and we don’t usually run it on our team – is Mei, Reaper, Reinhardt, Zayra, Lucio, Ana.


© Ravi Lakhini

GAMEGRIN:Do you think the necessity of some characters is something Blizzard need to address?

SEV:I think it can only be fixed by adding more heroes. Those heroes we mentioned are not necessarily overpowered in any way but the utility they provide is usually greater than that of the other characters.

CHRISTFER:Lucio and Reinhardt specifically, because there is no other hero in their class which is anywhere close to them. None of the other shields are anywhere as good as Reinhardt and Lucio’s healing is faster and better than the other supports.

SEV:For an FPS game, Lucio’s speed boost is so broken.

GAMEGRIN:Is there a hero you would prefer to see appear more often in pro matches?

SEV:Not Widowmaker, please. I can definitely tell you which heroes I don’t want to see anymore.

CHRISTFER:Honestly, the meta is okay now. I think if they nerf Ana you’ll see more Mercy, more Zenyatta and you’ll see less Reinhardt. People used to run Winston and Zayra but the Reinhardt / Ana combination blew that out of the water.

SEV:There are a lot of obvious nerfs if you ask me. I don’t understand why [Ana’s] grenade blocks healing entirely, it should be 50% blocked healing.

CHRISTFER:Nerf Ana and bring the ultimate changes in and I think the game will be in a really good state.

GAMEGRIN:Until they introduce the new character Sombra and break it again?

CHRISTFER:If she has invisibility… No one is going to enjoy that.

SEV:I don’t even think it’ll be good if she has invisibility because of the way the maps are. They’re much different to TF2 and have a lot more chokepoints.


© Ravi Lakhini

GAMEGRIN:Is there a type of hero you’d like them to introduce?

CHRISTFER:Maybe a DPS character that can be actively used to defend if you set them up right, like Junkrat.

SEV:I’d really like to see a melee hero.

WACKO:That’ll be Doomfist! One day…

GAMEGRIN:Which is your favourite map style in the game?

CHRISTFER:Definitely not attack / defence, no one enjoys that. Personally I prefer payload. [Considering] the team we run with I think we’re really good on king of the hill but as far as personal enjoyment goes it’s payload.

SEV:When I initially started playing the game I liked capture point but the maps are just too poorly designed for them to really be a viable game mode. If they add more points and make them three or five points to capture then that will be much better.


Reason Gaming went on to win the Premiership following a 3-1 win over MnM Gaming after losing the first map to the underdogs. GameGrin caught up with them as they celebrated the victory.


Reason Gaming celebrate their win

GAMEGRIN:Yesterday you seemed pretty confident about your chances. Were you slightly rattled when MnM Gaming took the first map of the five?

CHRISTFER:That round, Hollywood, was us being bad as opposed to them being good.

WACKO:We choked really hard.

CHRISTFER:Yeah, when we started losing at halftime on the Dorado map I was legitimately worried at that point. When they held us at the second point we really should have lost that game, it’s a very hard point to come back from.

WACKO:I still thought we were going to win.

TAMAS :They were a lot better than I thought they were going to be. On Dorado when we were defending we had to get at them but lost the first point really fast and used four ultimates. I was like “this is pretty much over” but we managed to come back. We kept up the communication but I wasn’t certain we were going to take it.

GAMEGRIN:How pleased were you that you finished the match on Gibraltar, which MnM has said is one of their strongest maps?

SEV:I think at that point they had given up – they seemed to just roll over and let us take it.

GAMEGRIN:You were confident in your ability to see it out then?

CHRISTFER:I think if it had gone to map five we would have been able to beat them on a king of the hill map. I wasn’t too worried even if they had beaten us on Gibraltar.

TOMZY:I also think we have more experienced players who have been to a lot of competitions and know what to do in these situations.

GAMEGRIN:Were you pleased that, in a pretty one-on-one fight composition-wise you came out on top?

TOMZY:As I said, we have more experienced players and that helps us understand the plays more.

WACKO:[laughs] Are you sure?

GAMEGRIN:So what’s next then, first the UK and then the world?

CHRISTFER:Technically this is both the beginning and the end for all of us as a six. We’re all doing our own thing.

TOMZY:We can probably talk more about that in the future.

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