Overwatch Blue flex player, Macyn, sat down with us to talk with us about his thoughts on the ESL Overwatch Open Division format, competition both here and abroad, as well as how the future is looking for MGC Blue. Read on to get some intriguing insights on the current state of Overwatch.
Who are you and what is your role in Masterminds Blue?
I’m Macyn, ex-hitscan and now Flex player for Masterminds Blue.
I have more of a supportive role on the team in terms of in and out of game. Never really considered myself to be a hyper-carry, I just try to keep the mood up and try (but mostly fail) to keep things on track. I also like to think I’m the guy who takes (and gives) a lot of the smack-talk just so the other boys don’t have to deal with any external pressures – except for Knellery, but that’s fair because he ints 24/7.
How do you feel about the Open Division and its format?
Honestly, Open Div has been a bit of a mess this first season (and looking the same for next). The map pool was the first thing to catch a lot of the community off guard – seemingly random maps have been snagged out of the pool so most teams have stopped scrimming them.
The choices on maps is strange as well with only two Escort maps in the pool (Gibraltar & Dorado) but two Escort maps needed to be played across the full best of 7. Kind of strange to have no choice in what the second map is. They definitely should have made it a consistent amount of maps across all game modes. Also, what’s up with Nepal being the tiebreaker but not in the map pool? That’s ridiculous.
ESL’s matchup system for Swiss is also seemingly broken. With a team like The Project having a ridiculously easy run, coming second but having a Buchholz rating as low as the team in 17th place. Whereas most other teams in the top 8 had to really fight for their spots.
Don’t even get me started on random seeding into the Finals. What’s the point of a 7-8 round Best of 7 Swiss stage if you’re going to completely dismiss the supposed accurate seeding that Swiss + Buchholz is supposed to bring?
The other thing is – what is this Open Division even leading to? Most people in the community saw it as a gateway for somewhat of a bigger tournament/league in our region but they’ve just gone and announced another Open Div season with the exact same prizes/rules – with a roster lock date weeks before the finals of season one even ends. Surely, they’re not expecting top teams to re-commit to 7-8 weeks of best of 7’s for a max prize of $300 Bnet balance, it’s not even real money…
With what we’ve currently got in the works over the next couple of weeks – I believe we’ll have a real chance of knocking off what people expect to be the top twi teams in the finals (Ath & 4Legs). We just came off a big loss to 4legs and had a nail-biter against Athletico a few weeks back. But I can see us making it to the Grand Final and going for the upset win.
Looking forward to proving everybody wrong like four of us did with WillWeed at CG a few months back.
How is the team dynamic?
So, within the last few days we’ve had a roster change with Birdy taken off the active roster, this decision was reached mutually and I believe Birdy will be looking to move in to another team (If any teams looking for a leading Lucio, hit him up). With that we’ll most likely have Jdoggies coming in as a temporary player for the ESL finals. This is a big change for us, we’ll have to have some role-swaps going on, but we’re hopeful we can pull together and get the win.
After ESL we’ll most likely be trialling free agents across multiple roles to see what fits the team best. The core five of us are sticking together though so don’t be expecting anything too heavy.
Also, a quick shout out to Birdy, he put in plenty of work while he was with us, especially with him having to dedicate himself to both MGC Blue and the World Cup team. We wish him luck in whatever he moves onto next and hope to see him back competing in the scene in the future when life clears up a little!
In terms of how we’re working together, everybody’s coming into the positive and working on their new in-game partners/groups. Looking forward to seeing how it works out.
Who lightens the mood of the team the most during long scrim hours?
Honestly think it depends day to day. I like to think I’m the guy that can keep the mood up, but even I can get slogged during long scrim hours – I’m more of an on the big day + on LAN hype guy.
The great thing about this team, is we’re all mates outside of the game – we’ll play different games with each other and people are willing to sit around and just chat whether it’s a recap of a scrim block or just spouting crap.
With upcoming changes to the team and Jdoggies stepping in as a temp player – I can see the young kid being the one to keep the mood up as he’s prone to say some dumb shit every 15 minutes + his everybody’s punching bag.
With the introduction of Doomfist, how does he currently fit in with your team and the meta?
So Doomfist is a strange one in our team. We’ve been trying him out here and there, but can never really put him in a spot where we see him having more value than another hero.
We know he’s good and it might just be due to a lack of experience on him, but older styles are just sticking better. Think we might see more play out of him in the upcoming finals once we see some international play on him and maybe get a feel for how he should be run.
He’s a very annoying hero with a skillset that is crazy in the hands of a good player, so I can see him having a lot of play time in the near future with big playmaking projectile/flex players.
What are your thoughts on the Overwatch competitive scene both here and abroad?
Overwatch’s future is looking bright worldwide – with more news being released weekly about the Overwatch League it’s hard to not be getting on the hype train. I think everybody is a little bit sceptical with Blizzard’s past ventures into esports being a good reason for that. But with big names in both traditional sports and esports getting invested this early, it’s hard to not think something big is going on.
I would have loved to see a more natural grass-roots progression of Overwatch, but I feel like that’s me living in the past. I feel like now is the time and we need to go big and we need to (hopefully) do it right.
I’m keen to see what the future holds and I hope Blizzard can pull it off.
Domestically though, the slow rollout of the Overwatch League is seemingly hitting us pretty hard. It’s causing what seems to be a stalemate in our community. It’s hard to drive new players/teams to want to push and be the best, if there’s no major tournaments/leagues for them to watch and aspire to become.
Hopefully, Open Division leads to something more than a crappy prize for a 7-8-week league and we see some sort of properly structured league for the top teams come into play soon enough. Even something like the OPL for League. Just some way for Australian players to see themselves going pro, that isn’t ‘play good enough to be scouted by blank’.
On that note, the OPC and World Cup has been a great push forward for the respect for our region, we’ve put ourselves on the map as a region that can’t be dismissed and that can only be a good thing for the future of Oceanic Overwatch.