An exclusive post-TakeOver 2 Interview with Rogue aKm
First off, congrats on winning TakeOver 2. As a two-time winner of the event, is the feeling of winning the tournament now different from how it was back then?
Thank you! It is definitely different since the first edition was only European teams, while this one had the best teams from both NA and EU (only EnVyUS was missing). It felt better than the first edition because we were able to prove that we’re one of the better, if not the best, team in the West.
This tournament was the most recent look at how the top European teams stack up. After competing for so long in North America and Korea, do you feel the region is in a good place competitively?
Europe has been the best region for a while, but I feel like it has changed now, simply because of the lack of online tournaments/LANs the last few months. Lots of players and teams moved to NA, just because there are more tournaments. It’s hard for teams to stay motivated, when there’s no tournament around the corner. They probably feel like they have no goals, no reason to scrim, and lose motivation. That’s at least how I would feel. I hope it will change in the future because Europe has probably the best talents out there, but they can’t show it.
After bootcamping in Korea, what do you feel is the biggest difference between Western teams and Eastern teams right now? On the same topic, Envy has mentioned they are having trouble finding scrims in Korea. Is this a common problem with Western teams?
I would say the biggest difference there is between Western and Eastern teams is Eastern teams have way better coordination, teamplay, and analysis of the game because of their great coaching staff.
We’ve never had any problems with finding scrims. When you’re one of the best team out there, people WANT to scrim you to improve, so it’s very easy to find some.
The newest additions to Rogue are Nico and SoOn. What is the most difficult part about integrating new members into an established team?
The hardest part is to have good synergy between the main roster and the new additions. It was easy for us, as we are all French, and we already knew each other from different games. Having a good synergy in real life definitely helps us to have a good synergy ingame. And I think it shows in our gameplay.
Now, let’s talk about your road through TakeOver. The group stage went smoothly for you guys, only dropping two games in four sets. The two games you lost were against Eunited and Cyclowns. Both teams are more comfortable running dive compositions. What do you feel is the hardest part of playing against dive compositions? Looking specifically at these two teams, what do you feel are their strongest aspects?
Playing dive against dive, I personally think it’s all about who’s going to be aggressive first. Who’s going to have the most synchronized dive to be able to oneshot targets instantly and take over the fight. The hardest part of playing against a dive composition is you can get punished very fast and easily for any of your mistakes. In this way, you’re not allowed to make mistakes, or else you’ll get punished and lose the fight.
Eunited and Cyclowns are opposites I would say. Eunited has very good players individually and mechanically, but they lack coordination. Cyclowns have weaker individual players than Eunited, but they definitely make up for it with their teamplay and coordination.
Exploring the other group, highlights include strong performances from Movistar Riders and Cloud 9. Movistar Riders has been a rising team in the EU scene. What are your impressions of them after seeing them at TakeTV? Moving to Cloud 9, do you feel their recent changes (specifically adding Kaiser, Xepher, and Bishop) are the new model teams should follow (adding Koreans)? Do you have any insight on what Bishop/Korean players can bring to Western teams?
I was underestimating Movistar Riders a bit, but they proved me wrong. They’re a great team that is going to get better in the future. They have very good individual players.
Koreans are great at everything they do. Every game they play, they dominate. Cloud9 has been improving a lot since adding Koreans. I don’t know if every team should do that because it would be admitting that Koreans are already taking over, we’re too weak to be able to compete with them, haha.
Moving forward to the playoffs, Rogue was unstoppable. Especially during a tournament setting in very hot rooms, how do you guys maintain focus and composure?
Experience, I would say. We’ve been competing for many years, so we know how to stay focused. Our goal is to win, and we’ll do whatever we need to do so.
What is the one team in the tournament you guys were most worried about facing?
We weren’t really worried about facing anyone; we were ready. I’m guessing we kind of wanted to face Movistar Riders, as they were considered the best European team, but Cloud9 got the better of them in a very close series.
Looking ahead to Blizzcon, Alphacast and the French committee have basically confirmed France will be sending Rogue to the Overwatch World Cup. Does this tournament mean anything more to you guys besides just another tournament?
It feels special. Being able to represent France is like a huge honor. It means more, as we’re not only representing Rogue, but we’re representing the whole country of France. We don’t want to disappoint them, so we’ll do everything we can to win the whole thing.
On a more serious note, Q3 is the estimated timeframe for the OWL. With the limited public news available, what is your opinion on how Blizzard has handled the situation so far? What do you think can be improved in the months leading up the league? Are you guys worried about being included?
I’ll be honest: I don’t think OWL will be ready by Q3. I don’t have much news about what is happening, or how it will happen. I would hope they could give more information to the players at least. But it’s Blizzard, they’re known to do great things, and they’ll eventually end up doing something amazing.
Thank you so much for the answers!
Thank you for the interview!
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