Shock has been working on communication composure. What falls through the cracks when you don't have that composure?
It's the perfect question. This is exactly what I'm talking about. On stage, just overall planning. It'll take forever, and by the time we do get the plan out, if we're overcoming and being too hype, by that time the fight's already happening, and then it's like, "Oh wait, we don't have a plan going into this fight." Like damn. And then the second thing is enemy ults. We won't talk about what ults they have, so we don't know how to approach the fight, because you have to approach every fight differently, or have some sense of idea on what they're coming in with. Just mainly those things, like planning and ult checking, so we worked on it pretty well. Today we were really good about it, I think we just got outplayed today on two maps, but it definitely should have gone to map 5. I think we threw away the second map, which was Lijang. I think Lijang was ours, we just messed up. One small mistake, we probably could have won it. And then it would have gone to another KOTH, and I think just historically Korean teams aren't the best at KOTH.
Your dad was a pro hockey player, did he ever give you advice on competition?
So I actually talked to my parents about it. He wasn't actually pro, he was semi pro in Europe in Slovakia, but he was friends with a bunch of professional hockey players as well because they all grew up together. I just wanted to clear that up, just because I don't want people Googling it and being all like, "Wait a minute, who's your dad?" So yeah, he was semi pro. I think who I am, at least the confidence aspect, is definitely from him. So I think it's helped me in that way. He doesn't really have to give me advice on how to play, but you know what I mean. I just got the swagger from him.
Why did you once almost quit video games?
I was at this point in my life where the game I was playing, I wasn't getting money for it. I would get money for it when I went to international tournaments, but there was only one or two international tournaments a year, and even then the game was dominated by China. It was CrossFire. So China would win everything, the best I placed was like second place. And I was just like, "Damn, this is rough. I probably should focus more on school than this." And then Overwatch came out and I was like, "Alright, I'll give it one last try. I'll try to go pro in this game. I think it will be big because I know Blizzard." I mean everybody knows Blizzard, they pump ridiculous amounts of money into their games. So here I am, right? It was worth, and I'm not going back to school. Screw that.
You say you play a lot of Runescape because it doesn't mess with your aim. What games do?
Counter Strike would mess with your aim. It's just different mechanics. I feel like the sensitivities in every game are different, different models of heroes, different like that, just a totally different game. I don't think you should play other games. I think PUBG can mess with your aim. If you're playing any other FPS game other than Overwatch, it is going to mess up your aim. It might not be that crazy, but maybe that one time that it would've mattered to hit like a crazy shot and you were playing other games, maybe that's why, you know? You're like, "Damn, I usually hit those" or something, and you didn't that one day. So I just think that anything that has a different feel is going to mess up your aim.
Hockey was your first love. What translates the most from that to competitive gaming?
Confidence, mainly. Confidence and work ethic, I think. I'm a hard worker. I always play and practice outside of the game.
How does confidence come into hockey?
I don't know what it is, but I'm pretty sure a lot of hockey players are very confident people. Maybe just because it's a sport, you know that kind of jockiness, I guess you could say. That just comes along with confidence and a little bit of swagger.
And that helps in Overwatch as well?
Yeah, I mean being confident in Overwatch, or just gaming in general, is very important. That's how you make sick plays. You're confident, you're going to pop off, so you do it. And then having confidence also helps your team's morale as well, because you could go into a game—I'll give the Boston game as an example. Boston was doing really well. A lot of teams thought that Boston was going to roll us in the first stage, but no matter what, I was really confident that we were going to win. I'm confident we're going to win every game, you know? Even if we don't, it's just good. Your team sees that, and then they act upon that as well. They pick up on that confidence and it brushes off on them, and then maybe if they didn't think they could win before they're like, "Maybe we can win!" You know what I mean? So I think that's why confidence is good.
You went to your first international LAN when you were around 15 or 16. Were you as nervous as some of your teammates were for OWL?
It's hard to say. I don't think I was nervous my first LAN. I did so well at the LAN that I couldn't even maybe tell that I was nervous. And then I think the LAN after that I was more nervous than the first one ever. It was weird. So it was kind of different for me. But I think that all the teammates that I have now that were nervous, I'm pretty sure they're over it. Like Danteh was pretty nervous in preseason, and then just gradually he's playing so much better, just like he does in scrims. And today he popped off tremendously, he had sick bombs, a bunch of kills, he was dueling Munchkin, a lot winning battles against him. Nervousness is just a thing that goes away in time, you know? And we knew that our teammates are young, they're going to be nervous, but it's about the long run right?
You had the most LAN experience on your team going in. Was there any advice you gave to them?
I told them just play like you're at home. That's it, that's all you have to act, this is nothing. We're going to be playing here for 50 games, so who cares if you do bad in a couple of them? It's bound to happen, you're going to have games where you don't play well. Just don't let it get to you, and then you'll be fine.
Who were the most surprising #babybayChallenge takers?
We had like three baby pictures submitted, and I was just like, "What? That's crazy!" Babies actually doing this? Obviously they don't know what they're doing, but that's so cute, that's adorable. I think those for sure. And then Shaq, I mean of course that was insane. Jimmy Rollins, just like that, the celebrities. And it actually spread to all the big streamers too, like Ninja. I don't think Shroud—did Shroud do it? Not sure if Shroud did it. Summit did it. All the popular streamers I look up to, I mean who doesn't look up to these guys? So it's crazy. GoldGlove did it, it's crazy. But I think everybody really, because it's a good cause.
Didn't someone say they would frame the Shaq picture if he did it?
Dhak was the one, so I'm waiting on that.
Hypothetical: the next hero is built to counter dive meta. What skills should that hero have?
Probably a CC ability, something that could stop them, or maybe some type of shield maybe? Like you can shield your teammates for a certain amount of time, but it goes to multiple people. Or maybe you give them a little bit of shield just for like 5 seconds, and then it goes away.
Like a Zarya?
No no no. I'm thinking more of, you know how characters—OK, like Zarya, you know how her health has normal health, and then has the shield health? So imagine a character that had an ability where you pressed it, and then it gave everybody on the team a temporary shield. Just a shield like Zarya, or Zenyatta has shield health as well. So just a little bit, it doesn't have to be crazy. I could just be 50 or 60. And then after five seconds it goes away completely. That might be enough to stop a dive. So that's a really cool idea, I think.
I'm actually genius.
Your team always says you're the best scrim partners.
Yeah, we play so well in scrims.
I don't know. It could just be a mixture of the pressure onstage and us really wanting to do well. I think it could be that. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but on stage, sometimes we panic and stuff like that, as a team, not just like anybody specific. But we'll try to—maybe we'll get overly hyped sometimes, you know what I mean? So it's really trying to control that balance of being hype, because being hype is good, but not being too hype to where it affects your team and your thinking on what kind of strategies you want to do.
Why is King's Row the Dust2 of Overwatch?
I just feel like Dust2 for Counter Strike is one of the most popular maps, right? Everybody knows it, everybody plays it, and I feel like King's Row is that map for Overwatch. Everybody knows King's Row. Everybody plays King's Row, everybody loves King's Row, you know what I mean? I don't think anybody hates King's Row—maybe our team now, because we're not that great on it.
Why do people love it so much?
I don't know what it is about it. I guess it's just—I don't even know why people love it. It's just a good map, I don't know how else to explain it. It's just good.