Last night the Los Angeles Valiant kept their playoff hopes alive with a 4-0 victory over the Shanghai Dragons. We caught up with SoOn after the match to talk about Stage One, the playoffs, and looking forward.
You closed out Stage One with the 4-0 that your team needed to stay in the running for the playoffs, how are you feeling right now?
I feel confident over all, it’s finally finished. We [needed to] do 4-0 to maybe finish third on the Stage One [standings]. So it’s really important, we were not sure if we could [win] 4-0.
If you do make the Stage One playoffs, you’ll be the only team that won’t have to play a game Saturday before the matches, do you think that would give you an advantage?
Some small advantage, but for us, we’re the only team who’s not practicing here. So we have more than one hour of travel to come here. So it’s [the] same for me.
What was your team’s strategy tonight against Shanghai?
I think we just play what we do every day on scrims. We scrim a lot [with] Shanghai, we know what they do.
What were the keys to your success in this match, you in particular were really popping off in the match?
It’s like walking. You should play every day. You should be motivated. You should motivate your team, your teammates. Most important, stay consistent. If you say “Oh, I’m good so it’s ok I can take a day off now.” No, it’s not like that.
When you’re in the middle of the match, how does your team handle shot calling?
Mainly the shot caller is Fate because he’s the main tank. But sometimes it’s Unkoe because he spots someone that’s more important. For example maybe Fate says “Monkey” but Unkoe can only see Dva and he’ll say “Dva.” The main shot caller is Fate, but everyone on the team shot calls sometimes too.
How does your team decide to make hero switches? Both planned like on Junkertown (they switched from Pirate Ship to Dive after Point A) and unplanned.
It’s rare because most of the team, we know what we want to do. For example – New York, if they do a surprise strategy, it’s mainly Fate who’s deciding what to do. If we switch or not. But most of the time we don’t need Fate to say switch because we are briefed [by the coaches] before each map. So it’s rare for Fate to say switch. Other than maps like Junkertown, where we play the Bastion. If it doesn’t work, it’s Fate who decides if we keep the comp or if we switch.
Do you have any advice for aspiring players who look up to you?
Like every job, you need to get good tools. Good monitor, good computer, good mouse, etc. You need to [play a lot]. Not too much if you’re young, you need to do study and go to school. Try and play in competitions. If you want to play Open Division go for it. If you’re good in a tournament some people will see you and say “Oh, you’re good.” You’ll start getting picked up by better and better teams.
What are your thoughts on the balance and map pool changes for Stage Two?
It’s good for the team. For me, Junkrat is still powerful. The nerf is really small. At the moment Junkrat is so strong in the meta. The Mercy nerf is still good because nobody can resurrect now. It’ll probably be Ana/Zenyatta or something like that. As for people who are saying “It will be four tanks,” for me, it will still be dive if your team is well coordinated. It’s easy to destroy a tank meta.
What is your match preparation like?
If we play late for example we played two games in a row at 8pm. I wake up late, so that I’m not tired during the match. I do some comp, and then I’m ready. I always watch when we play and try and coordinate myself to not be tired.
How does your team come up with strategies?
We work together as players and analysts. Most of the time the analysts give some strategy and we try to see if it’s good in scrims. That’s it.
What are the biggest things you’ve learned or anything that’s really suprised you about being in Overwatch League so far?
Overwatch League is a dream. You don’t need to care about where to live, or what to eat, or [when] to scrim. Everything is so easy with Overwatch league. It’s so professional. You want to scrim, there are a lot of team’s available. You want to eat? Blizzard Arena already gives you food. Everything is good for the player to focus a lot on the game. When the game is your passion, it’s really good.
Do you have anything you want to say to your fans and the fans of the Valiant?
Huge thanks to the fans. It’s really good when you’re representing the Valiant and a lot of people are cheering for you. So thanks a lot and we’ll do better and better every day.