We sat down with Gladiators main support Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni after a decisive win over the Seoul Dynasty on Friday. He discussed his role on the team, his coordination with key players like Fissure and Hydration, and his goals for playoffs and the off-season. Read on!
So it’s been a crazy season for you guys- for everyone, really. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken away from the experience this past six months?
I think I’ve done a lot to become a better teammate. I fit in well with the rest of my team overall, and I feel like everyone’s settled in by this point. We mix well together.
Discussing how teams have gelled together this season has been a big point for everyone lately- in terms of in-game strategy, especially. What’s your in-game role within the team?
Mainly I just ult track, and keep reminding people of that throughout the match. I keep people level-headed and try not to let anyone get too into the game, to the point where it would be a detriment to the team. Especially in a big fight, once things start getting chaotic, I start to call a lot more. With Mercy, especially when you’re ulting, you have such a good perspective of the whole fight. You can see around the whole map pretty well, and if it’s a slow fight where no one’s dying or anything, you can usually keep an eye out for someone on the flank, call it out, and have the tanks handle it. When it comes to making a plan or big things like that, it’s usually Fissure making the call, but the rest is me- we’re maybe 60/40, 70/30, it depends. When we have an ult combo planned, though, it’s up to the certain individuals involved to make the calls to make it happen
Hydration’s Doomfist was causing quite a buzz today. What about your job changes when he’s on those niche picks?
For me, all Hydration running heroes like Doomfist means is that I need to damage boost all his abilities as they land, hope something dies, and then heal him as he tries to escape. That way I can maximize his burst damage potential while keeping him in the fight. A Mercy is always trying to min/max everything.
Do you think we’re in a good Mercy meta right now? Could things be better?
I think Mercy might just be a little bit over-tuned? It would just be really hard to balance the character without removing rez- it’s just really powerful, and good for removing mistakes. Right now, I think the meta is fine, personally- I kind of like it, whereas with Stage 1, my Mercy was pretty bad. I didn’t enjoy playing her that much then, but in Stage 2, 3, and 4, I learned to like her a lot, since she wasn’t a must-pick anymore. Not to mention I’ve just learned a lot more about her in that time, too.
Do you know if the Season playoffs will run on the current live patch?
I have no idea yet if it’s going to be this patch or not. If it’s this patch, some things might change a bit depending on the map pool, but if it’s on the live patch, I think you would see a lot less Pharah, and a lot more double sniper.
Stage playoffs are right around the corner… who are you most looking forward to facing, potentially?
Let’s see… I don’t really care. Another Battle for LA would be nice, kind of. All the teams in the Stage playoffs are really good, so I’m not particularly looking forward to having to play any of them, but another Battle for LA would be cool because the environment the people create is amazing.
Right after that, season playoffs are starting. Are you guys going to take any time off, or will it be all grind, all the time?
I’m pretty sure we’ll be getting some time off- maybe a week or so, I think. It’s three or four weeks until the playoffs actually start, I think, so you really need a good rest between now and then. After that you can fully focus on the playoffs.
Got any off-season plans after playoffs finish up?
I don’t think we have anything as a team that we know of yet, but there might be something. At least for me, I’m going to be doing World Cup tryouts for Finland next week, so we’ll see how that turns out. Generally in the off-season I’ll just want to be working on that the most. Otherwise, we’ll see.
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