Team EnVyUs: "We definitely have a target on our back"
Team Hubris was the best team in the first phase of Overwatch beta. Now they're signed with a new eSports organization, EnVyUs, with a strong history in competitive first person shooters. Will former Hubris, now EnVyUs, continue their domination of the competitive Overwatch scene? We ask them about their new organization and what lies ahead:
What attracted you to the EnVyUs Organization?
Ras: There are several reasons as to why we decided on EnVyUs, and it starts with their management. When Hastro first spoke with us, it was immediately clear that we would be right at home. He makes it known that Envy is a team and not a sponsor. While some other large organizations have a hierarchy that makes it difficult to get into contact with higher-ups, Hastro makes himself super available to his players. Before we committed to signing with Envy, Hastro would hang out in Mumble and play games with us. He’s a very down-to-earth guy and we couldn’t ask for a better manager.
We also share Envy’s vision of results-driven success. There are plenty of teams out there that are hyper focused on content creation, and while that is important in this day and age, it can get in the way of your performance. So, it was important that we went with a team that emphasizes in-game performance. It also helps that Envy has a proven track record of success. Their CSGO team, for example, is a top 3 team in the world and produced a number of championships last year in a highly competitive environment, and their other teams are some of the best in their respective titles, as well. We admire that prestige and look to carry the torch in Overwatch.
How will signing with EnVyUs influence your team’s eSports future?
Ras: Signing with EnVyUs will have a huge influence on our team’s esports future. Envy is a big brand in esports and it is the first time any of us have signed with an organization of this size. Our team was certainly committed to winning in the first phase of closed beta as Hubris, but we were playing as our own brand and so it was of course a little less serious than it is now. Chump and I were working full time while playing under Hubris which as a consequence limited practice time and motivation.
Now with Envy taking care of us, we can focus all of our efforts on the game itself. Also, having Stoop will make us able to practice and dedicate ourselves at a higher level and more consistently.
You have made one roster change, swapping in Stoop for Chump, can you explain the rationale behind the move?
"the team felt that Stoop was the better fit"
Ras: Let me preface this by saying that since Chump took a chance on me back in 2008 in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, just about every game that I’ve competed in has been with him. He is an extremely gifted player and it was always obvious to me that, despite the wide spectrum of FPS games I have competed in, playing with him would give me the best chance of success.
Long story short, the team felt that Stoop was the better fit in the role that we needed him to play. Chump is more suited to a pure fragging role, and we felt we were too heavy on fraggers. That isn’t to take anything away from Stoop, who I think possesses the full package.
Stoop, can you tell is a little bit about your history outside of Overwatch and how you became a part of the team?
Stoop: I've been playing FPS and other multiplayer games on and off for about 14 years. I looked for as many free-to-play FPS games I could get my hands on. I also played a lot of MMOs and MOBAs for a while (LoL in Season 2 for 2 years at high MMR).
Some of the FPS games I played casually: SMNC, Hawken, CS:GO, Combat Arms, and TF2. Some of the games I played competitively: Soldier Front, Crossfire, America's Army, and most recently Loadout, Nosgoth, Dirty Bomb, and of course Overwatch.
"I never tried becoming a top competitive player"
Up until those last few recent games I never tried becoming a top competitive player, but for whatever reason I decided to try and consistently improve my performance for competitive play in Loadout and ended up playing on some of the top teams.
I then moved on to play Nosgoth where I met Team Hubris consisting of Talespin, Coolmatt69, ras and chump. I improved quickly and earned a spot on the 2nd best team in the game: The Stealthy Green Toupees. I played with them for a while until uNborn and I got picked up by Talespin and Coolmatt69 due to ras and chump being too busy to play in tournaments and we formed Team At. We ended up winning almost every single tournament from then on.
Since then, I played Dirty Bomb competitively with Hubris as well as many other games casually while we patiently waited for Overwatch. Unfortunately, by the time I got into beta, they had filled all the spots. Once I got in I played as much as I could and spectated most of their scrims, filling in when I got the chance and providing feedback. I tried to improve in the few scrims I played with my limited playtime and even filled in during the finals of one of their tournaments. According to both the new and old members of the team, I performed very well and had good comms and awareness as a tank.
Several of you have a background in Firefall; what skills and tactics translate from Firefall to Overwatch?
"Firefall prepared us uniquely for Overwatch like no other game could."
Coolmatt69: Firefall and Overwatch are remarkably similar. Both games feature heavy ability and ultimate usage, healing, and require a high amount of teamwork. In this way, Firefall prepared us uniquely for Overwatch like no other game could.
How are your roles within the team defined? Do you feel as players you’ve gravitated towards certain roles and heroes?
Minstrel: We have two main fraggers, two supports, one main tank and one flex player. I have always liked support type classes that are also capable of fragging so I was interested in Lucio or Zenyatta prior to the game being available.
Talespin: Matt and I play the fragger roles and we make sure we’re comfortable with every hero we may need to use, but I tend to favor projectile heroes like Pharah whereas Matt prefers sniper heroes like Widowmaker. Those are probably the two extreme cases where one player would definitely play that hero over the other but we are both prepared to play everything.
Esper: I tend toward heroes that can swing fights with mechanical plays and pre-emptive reads on the opponent. All of the current supports fit that description, though Mercy is my favorite to play because of the mobility on her Guardian Angel ability. Despite our current role assignments, we're aware that Overwatch will be growing and changing as the dev team tweaks the existing heroes and kits. We'll be ready to shift our team compositions around as the competitive landscape changes.
What non-meta heroes do you think will see more play in the next season of Overwatch?
Minstrel: It depends on the balance changes that are made but I feel like more heroes are viable than those primarily seen in the current competitive landscape. Currently the ‘tier list’ is largely determined by the power level of various ultimates, so if Blizzard changes them to be closer together we might see more play on characters like Soldier 76 and Junkrat.
Esper: From the support perspective, I'd love to see Zenyatta and Symmetra gain additional prominence in the upcoming beta. They've already been used to great effect, situationally, but have yet to reach the main-stay heights of Mercy or Lucio due to being more risky and less mobile. It's too early to write anything off, and I know we'll be seeing some fresh tactics across the board when Overwatch returns.
What do you think is your team’s strongest map, why?
Talespin: I feel as though we are pretty strong on all of the payload maps outside of King’s Row since we haven’t really found a strategy that works for us yet but I’m confident we’ll figure that map out shortly. We are a little less practiced on the pure capture point maps as well since they weren’t really played in most of the tournaments and the beta ended pretty quickly. If I had to choose one map, it seems like we usually use our first map pick on Watchpoint: Gibraltar but that’s probably since we’ve practiced that map slightly more than others and it feels the most comfortable.
What is your weakest or least favorite map?
Minstrel: Leaving aside stuff like Anubis our worst map is King’s Row, probably due to the tight nature of the middle of the map which makes it harder to avoid spam and ultimates.
NotEnigma, so far, is one of the only teams that have shown they can compete with you. What makes them different from the other teams you’ve faced?
Talespin: It might have to do with them coming from Team Fortress 2 which is one of the more similar games plus I believe some of the NotEnigma members have played together for a long time so there is definitely some teamwork synergy already developed. They’re all solid players and we scrimmed them a good amount early on so both of us learned a lot about the game from each other with such high quality practice.
"No one has reached a plateau yet."
Esper: NotEnigma does a good job of innovating and trying to bring team compositions that will catch us off guard. Playing against top teams, in general, has caused us to tighten up loose ends on our communications, hero selections, and map-specific strategies.
It's exciting to see the growth of everyone involved in the competitive scene right now, both as individuals and teams; no one has reached a plateau yet.
Who are your favorite players NOT on the EnVyUs roster?
Coolmatt69: My personal favorite player is Bandit from 2arcgaming.
Ras: oPlaiD deserves special recognition I think for being an overall chill guy whom I’ve gotten to know during the game’s downtime while also being one of our toughest competitors during closed beta phase 1. I wish him luck wherever he ends up.
Stoop: I think my favorite player is Mangachu, I remember watching his stream when I first started playing TF2 and his troll personality being very entertaining. I believe he’s currently on a team and trying to become a permanent professional Overwatch player, wish him and his team the best of luck.
Talespin: Anyone who scrims us and streams their PoV. I watch a lot of VODs.
"Melty has two great support players, Baud and KabaL, who seem to be consistently experimenting and looking forward for new techniques."
Esper: I always enjoy playing against Enigma, Mesrawr, and Seagull as a front-line combo. It's hard to survive as Mercy when they're hunting you from sneaky angles. Melty has two great support players, Baud and KabaL, who seem to be consistently experimenting and looking forward for new techniques.
While Overwatch is on break, are you theorycrafting about compositions? What are you doing to stay sharp as a team even though you can’t play Overwatch?
Talespin: Of course we’ve thought about new compositions or map specific strategies to try out but there’s only so much effort you can put into that without being able to play the game and knowing there’s probably going to be a lot of balance changes when Overwatch comes back online. For the most part we’ve just been enjoying the break and occasionally playing some casual games.
You won six tournaments in the Overwatch phase 1 beta, and are currently our GosuRankings #1 team: How do you feel about being the team to beat?
"The moment you stop respecting the competition or slacking in your efforts to improve is the moment at which you're most susceptible to suffering an upset defeat."
Talespin: Honestly, with a new game like this I was kind of looking forward to being the dark horse team for a while since we are relatively unknown in the FPS scene at the moment, but that was short lived. We definitely have a target on our back but we are completely fine with that. This is just the beginning for competitive Overwatch so we aren’t complacent or banking on previous achievements in any way. We look forward to the increase in player base and the competition that comes with it.
Esper: I'm elated that we hit an early stride in tournaments, but we know that it'll be uphill from here as people begin distilling the strategies down to their core and optimizing. The moment you stop respecting the competition or slacking in your efforts to improve is the moment at which you're most susceptible to suffering an upset defeat. Teams have been giving us some great fights and learning opportunities, win or lose, and I can’t wait to see all the familiar faces when the game comes back online.
What can we expect from EnVyUs OW this coming season?
Talespin: We’ll probably take a week or so to relearn the game and any new changes that were implemented then start scrimming and entering tournaments. Things are going to be moving quickly since there are already tournaments announced for the following weekend but it’s also important to make sure you understand all the balance changes and the new meta. The sooner that happens the sooner you can start focusing on strategy and improving teamwork.
Esper: It'll be a lot of hard work as we scrim with the upcoming changes and find our footing again. We intend to be more focused and organized than any time prior. Oh, and "Battle Mercy," if the situation calls for it. It always calls for it!
Any last shoutouts?
Shoutout to Hastro for putting his faith into us so early in the game’s life. Thank you to all of our sponsors, @MonsterGaming, @elgatogaming, @ASTROGaming, @ScufGaming, @DXRacer, and @AlphaDraft for making all of this possible. Thank you to Blizzard and the Overwatch team for crafting such a worthwhile experience.
You can follow the members of EnVyUs on twitter:
For more competitive Overwatch news, follow us on @GosuOverwatch