GOATs? Contenders PAC? Korean overload?
Coaching is no mean feat and it’s an even more arduous task when it involves young and driven young adults. We managed to get hold of Headhawk, headcoach of Thai-based Overwatch Contenders team Xavier Esports who discussed about his players, coaching and views of the current Overwatch Contenders scene.
Questions by Intan ‘Megikari’ Suria
Replies were submitted in Thai and translated into English.
Q: The current team you’re coaching, Xavier Esports, have quite a number of youngsters between the age of 15 & 16 (THK, Pathipan, QueEn, Olivier). How challenging is it for you to coach them, with them mostly still in school?
Age is not a problem. The most important aspect is self discipline. If the player have this, anything is possible. The hardest part of coaching is instilling this value. Everyone have the desire to win so what is left is to focus and practice as much as we can.
Q: You also coached Team Thailand for the Overwatch World Cup this year. Is there any significant difference coaching a World Cup team and a Contenders team?
The difference between the World Cup and the Contenders is mostly down to the team composition. The biggest issue with the World Cup team is more of team comps and compatibility since it is made up of players from different teams, each with different play styles and philosophies.
Xavier Esport is my Contenders team. I spent a long time with this team so I know how to play everyone. (With Xavier) I know what best comp to play, and the players believe in and are more willing to listen.
Q: Going into Contenders Season 3, do you have a different strategies when facing different teams or just stick with one strategy throughout the whole season?
Most of the time, we may run GOATs Comp, which consist of 3 supports and 3 tanks. Personally, I think this (GOATs) comp is a good approach in this meta, but it does not mean that other heroes are not viable. We have already proved in the Season 3 contenders where use the GOATs strat when needed. As a coach myself, I will be analysing the team and our opponents, using it on specific maps.
Q: The Tier 2/Tier 3 scene will always be online effectively starting from 2019. There have been much discussion around this especially with many teams from the Pacific are based in Korea. Trill had a 330 ping while playing for Trials back in November. Team Young & Beautiful had to drop 1 series due to internet issues; Does this new regulation concern you that Xavier at one point could face the same problem? Or have you face the same problem before?
Playing out of Thailand, whenever have to go to a server other than the SEA, we face the issues of up to 80-120 ping, which is a very serious problem when competing online. While some Korean teams are playing at about 30-40 Ping, we have to play in the 80+ Ping. I prefer offline setups, just like at the World Cup. It provides an even playing ground, which significantly improve our chances.
Q: Lastly, there has been a concern from the community that there are too many Korean based team in the Pacific division when they have their own Contenders Korea which they could compete in. Blizzard has announced that starting in 2019, there will be soft-region locking; What do you think about the soft-region locking rules & how will it affect Pacific Contenders?
I think the soft-region locking is a very good approach. I really want the soft-lock to work with the Open Division because there needs to be a separation between Contenders Pacific Zone from Contenders Korea. There are too many Korean players in Contenders Pacific and because of this, the PAC zone players have a hard time developing and standing out. Since network speed and stability is one of the main issues here, perhaps we can make it an offline tournament where everyone plays on equal conditions.
At point of writing, Xavier Esports is competing in Overwatch Contenders Season 3: Pacific division are currently second in their group having won all four of their group matches so far.