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Sitting down with Overwatch PIT EU winner Movistar Riders - Part 1: Origins

Overwatch Sascha “Yiska” Heinisch

The Movistar Riders are a passionate and ambitious bunch. After their impressive win at the Pit Championship, I wanted to learn more about their story from the source first-hand. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow for part 2, where we will cover their performance in the tournament they ended up winning.

Congratulations on your hard fought victory! How are you feeling today? I’ve heard you had extensive celebrations and I’d be damned if they weren’t deserved. When you signed up for the tournament, could have imagined you would be the one winning it?

Dante: Thanks man :). Honestly, I didn’t imagine us winning it. Of course I hoped for it and tried super hard to make it happen but I didn’t think we would win it. We all set it as our goal though and I’m happy we managed to do it in the end. 

Logix: Thank you very much! I’m feeling good, we’re currently on a 3-day break after the tournament cause the last two weeks have been quite intense for us. I think we all went into the tournament with the mindset that we could get a top 3 spot if not a win. The past 3 months we have always been a team that could hang with top-tier European teams in scrims but never managed to bring the same level of play to tournaments. I think I speak for everyone when saying that we’re happy we managed to show our level of play in the Overwatch Pit Championship.

Neptuno: Hi, thank you! I am personally feeling really happy today but at the same time, I want to keep my feet on the ground and still improve as a team and as a Lucio main. I have the feeling that we won the tournament while making so many mistakes. I am glad we performed really well but we still have room to improve, especially with this new patch. I would hate myself if we turn out to be a cinderella team that makes one good tournament and that’s all. Teams will work hard and we have to work even harder to keep competing at the highest level in Europe. Also we couldn't imagine winning it.

Actually, we made a survey between us about how we felt we could end this tournament and nobody answered we would win it. We were fine having made it to playoffs and we all thought we could get a top 3 if we performed at our best.

Kolsti: Hello o/. Thanks a lot!
We all felt it was possible, but it wouldn’t be an easy task. We put time and effort to improve as a team as much as we could in one month and so far I’m really pleased with what we achieved. The competition was really tough and I’m really happy and relieved that we managed to best all of these teams. Now we need to keep on going to prove that this win wasn’t a fluke and we deserve to be at the top!


The core of the team had some notable victories under mousesports, like this one against Slav Squad.

You are obviously a beautifully diverse mix of different Europeans. Where did you guys meet and how was the team formed? Presumably with none of you being native English speakers, what do the comms sound like? Do you have a designated shot caller if so, who is it and why?

Logix: Originally Cwoosh, Finnsi and I played for the old Mousesports roster which ended up falling apart after Dreamhack Winter back in December. We decided to remove our main tank and one of our supports because we couldn’t see a future with them. Back then I was talking to Dante after his team fell apart too, I found Dante interesting as a player and threw the idea at him if he was interested playing for us. Obviously the role he fulfilled at that time didn’t quite fit our team but he’s a skilled player and I had no doubt he could transition into a support, for a while I even considered going Ana and letting Dante DPS but he decided against it. He ended up trialling for us and quite quickly, I think, we agreed that if we gave him time, he would do a great job.

Our 2nd pickup was Kolsti, after trialling multiple tanks we felt like he was a good match for the team. Last but not least was the search for a Lucio player. No name popped to mind, so we decided to find one through the ladder without success. Our next train of thought was to get another skilled flexible player who is okay with playing Lucio for now but one day can also pick up other heroes. We came across Neptuno and asked him if he was interested at all, we were still in negotiations to extend our contracts with Mousesports and add these three players but to no success. Neptuno had gotten a way more appealing offer from Movistar Riders that mousesports was not willing to match, so we decided to go with that and that’s basically how we ended up where we are now.

All of us have had a long past in gaming and/or education to a point where everyone can speak English to more than just a basic level. One better than the other of course but by no means does it limit us in-game. We have a mix of people calling because it’s hard for one person to judge everything correctly and always make the right choice. Having multiple views on things can complicate things at times but it doesn’t happen often.

Neptuno: I hope Cwoosh can answer this since he is probably the one who made this team. This is basically the old Mousesports team (Finnsi, Cwoosh, Logix) and then we joined (Dante, Neptuno, Kolsti).
We speak English and we don`t have a real shot caller, even tho Dante or I can do that. At some point we thought it’s too much work for a single person to focus the entire match on shot calling. So basically we split the tasks of shot calling between the whole team, depending on on the situation we are in.
But generally, the guys leading the “game plan” are Dante and I, and then we have Kolsti and Cwoosh calling target focus in the middle of the fights. Logix speaks whenever he has something interesting to say and he calls a lot of information for us, so we can make a move or decision. And Finnsi, he doesn't speak much but he tracks enemy ultimates charge in a sick way and he calls some plays just like everyone else.

CWoosH: We started back in Mousesports with me, Finnsi and Logix. We decided to remove three players from that team and bring in Dante, Kolsti and Neptuno, we decided to leave Mousesports since we got a really good offer from Movistar Riders where we had the opportunity to move into a gaming house and take it to the next level. We don't have any “designated” caller but it's mainly Dante and Neptuno who calls the “pre-fight” stuff, what ultimates we’re using etc. Then it's me and Kolsti doing the focus target during the fights and Logix as Tracer is the one scouting and feeding info.

Kolsti: I just got picked by Cwoosh & Dante. I saw a lot of potential (knowing Logix & Dante mainly from watching their streams) in this team so that’s why I jumped ship even though my previous team “trashed” Movistar Riders. Even if English is not our native language we understand each other perfectly, and if an issue arises we can work it out outside of the game. I trust my captain (Neptuno) on most offensive calls, Dante on defensive calls and overall Logix/Cwoosh/I feed each others info on who to target so we’re on the same page.


Excellent pressure onto Sharyk, followed up with a vertical boop to deny the Earth shatter and finish out Route 66. Across the series Sharyk would have huge issues to get his ultimate to stick against the Riders.

What are your living situations like at the moment and how much practice do they allow for?

Neptuno: We live in a gaming house, two apartments (three individual rooms each), and our coach lives in the same building in a different apartment with the League of Legends manager. We have a “gaming room” which is basically one living room with seven computers and we work every day there. We wake up around 10:00 - 11:00 and we start working at 11:30 with some map talk, strats, soloQ; whatever our coach plans for us. Then we cook and eat and we start scrims around 16:00 until 00:00 with breaks between scrim blocks. This is all flexible, we just choose and talk how we want to scrim depending on which situation we are as a team.

Dante: Like Neptuno said we have somewhat of a schedule and especially the last few weeks around the tourney we put extra effort into preparing maps and stuff since we knew the map pools a few days beforehand. Because of this prep, I actually played less than I did at home since, with the preparation and all, stuff took a lot of time outside of playing the game. At home I would mostly play ranked from the morning till we had scrims and stream most of it but since we arrived in Madrid a month ago, I think I only streamed like three days or something. It helped our play as a team a lot though and I hope we keep doing it.


Neptuno showcases his excellent Lucio skills. With the changes to the hero, it was even more noticable during the Overwatch PIT.

Most pros agree that the Lucio changes turned the meta on its head but many thought it would make the game slower and would once again favour tanks. Noticeably you run a lot of highly mobile comps and still count on Lucio. Could you elaborate a little on your meta understanding and why you play the comps you do?

Logix: We didn’t really have an understanding off when the patch would be released exactly, which made it hard for us to prepare. If we know a patch is gonna hit just before a tournament, we scrim on PTR but during PIT we had no idea, so we played all of our scrims on live and just hoped for the best. When the patch hit live, we weren’t exactly clueless but agreed to not go crazy and stick to our own style. The day after the patch hit, we had 10 hours of scrims booked purely to find out what’s good and what worked for us, which for now ended up being our normal 3dps-dive. 

Dante: I personally prefer to play the 3dps-dive setup over the more tank heavy ones. And with the players we have in the team being very skilled DPS-players, it works better for us. I myself like it more since I feel I can play a way more active role than being a healbot Ana when we play 3dps-dive instead of 3 tanks or even 2-2-2. We didn’t have much time to explore other comps with the patch hitting mid-tourney, but the Lucio changes definitely strengthen a death ball setup. I feel whoever, that there are good answers against comps that just huddle up altogether and playing like that is risky if the opponents execute their anti-tank strats well. The only thing that annoys me in these comps is when DVA comes into play since Defense Matrix alone can shut down engage opportunities super hard.

Neptuno: We did not have time to start playing a different comp. The patch came out in the middle of the tournament and we worked so hard on our triple DPS comp before this.
When the patch came out, we tried 3 tank, 2-2-2 and it kinda worked but it was not the same as our triple DPS. So basically we said:“Let’s find a way to play our comp with this new Lucio” and we just figured out how to adapt our playstyle to the new Lucio in a couple of hours spamming the same comp.

Also we knew people would play more tanks but eUnited, Dignitas and us think that 3dps brings you a huge advantage on the map and positioning over tank comps. So If the enemy team plays packed because they want to get this new Lucio aura, they would literally give us all the space we want to take and that’s a huge advantage for the triple DPS comp.

But yeah, it feels weird with this new Lucio. I literally had to change my playstyle in every single map and how I used to position myself in 1-2 days. Also the new boop made me change my position against Winstons, since I cannot boop them from below anymore, and the new projectile’s speed is a huge change that you have to adapt. I think it benefits Lucios like me because I try to duel Tracers and Genjis so often and I focus targets with Zen discord orb. I am personally really happy with this new Lucio. You definitely can have a more impact than enemy’s Lucio if you are better in terms of skill and positioning. 

 

Come back tomorrow for part two, in which the team answers questions about their dark horse victory at Overwatch PIT.

Keep current with all the latest competitive news via @GosuOverwatch on Twitter.

QUICKPOLL

Can fully international teams work in Overwatch or is Movistar Riders the outlier?

Yes, they can work. There are many examples were it does.
Thank you for voting!
No, most teams have to communicate in their mother tongue.
Thank you for voting!
Sascha “Yiska” Heinisch
Formerly a writer in WoW Arena. Now heavily emotionally invested in Overwatch. Really just a wiggle. Twitter:@Yiskaout Contact mail: [email protected]m

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