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A blasé-ing Good Time: An interview with Boston’s Flex Extraordinaire

Boston Uprising vs Washington Justice

Every part of a team is important when it comes to success. The Boston Uprising are no different, and when it comes down to it, the players that take a quieter role often do some of the hardest work in game. In the case of Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang, there’s a lot that goes into his Brigitte play, despite the memes and laughs that can be had around it.

Luckily, I got to sit down with blasé during the break to pick his brain about the current and upcoming stages in the Overwatch League. Additionally, we also got to chat about GOATs as a meta, where he thinks his play style could go if things change and how the current state of the game affects these decisions.

In a blasé of glory: A Conversation with Jeffrey Tsang

blase interview

Photo courtesy of the Overwatch League.

“To begin, I really just wanted to start asking about how you felt between Stages 1 and 2, how you think you performed and any changes that took place that stood out? How can this affect you going into Stage 3?”

Stages 1 and 2 were pretty much identical to each other, besides the NotE trade. We’re still trying to playing GOATs, still on Brig. [laughs] We’re trying to play more DPS comps, but we can only play that on certain maps. Not a whole lot of changes between stages 1 and 2, to be honest.

“So, since you’re still playing Brig and a lot of GOATs, does that affect how you feel about the actual state of the game? Do you think, going into Stage 3, it’ll still be more of the same? A lot of people thought that Stage 2 was going to be the death of GOATs and it very clearly wasn’t. [laughs] So, do you think that Stage 3 is going to be more of the same?”

Well, the game definitely right now feels pretty stale. It’s just GOATs, GOATs, GOATs. If Stage 3 is still GOATs, I can guarantee you that the finals are gonna be Vancouver vs Shock again, no doubt. And stage 4, honestly. Those teams are just way ahead of every other team on GOATs. Being good at GOATs is like a different beast — Shock are really determined to win, they always try no matter what. I have a lot of respect for that. Vancouver, on the other hand, are just really good because of the synergy they’ve built over the last year just playing GOATs in Contenders, and now. Every other team is just behind them.

“Yeah, I feel that. I think it’s still gonna be a lot of GOATs, I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon with how strong it is. Last year, it was all Dive, this year it’ll be all GOATs until the next big thing comes around.”

Yeah, unless there’s really big game changes within the next 2 weeks before Stage 3, it’ll probably just be GOATs, too.

blase interview
2019-04-12 – Overwatch League 2019 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

“That makes sense. So, back in Stage 2, I wanted to pick your mind about how it feels to be on the first team that completed three reverse sweeps in a row. I was wondering how can you really keep your cool in a high pressure situation like that and still maintain — y’know, being down 2 at the half and going back on stage, being positive, and then pulling off a big reverse sweep? How does that feel, how can you keep calm?”

There’s this feeling when you’re down 0-2 against a certain team, where it’s this feeling of “okay, we’re literally losing to ourselves right now”. And at the halftime we just talk it out, our coaches talk to us. Like, ‘okay, we need to fix these problems on the fly’. Everyone knows they can win, everyone keeps their cool, no one is tilted. Everyone is just really determined to win at the half. It’s like ‘this is so easy, guys, c’mon. We’re just beating ourselves right now’. And then we just turn it around.

“It’s good that no one gets tilted, as well. I imagine that would be a really stressful environment to be in — if everyone’s already sort of down on themselves, it’s good to keep a positive mindset.”

Yeah, no one is tilted, usually.

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2019-05-05 – Overwatch League 2019 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

“That’s great! I wanted to also ask about the last game in the Stage against Washington, because we got reverse swept by the Justice. This is a team that’s sort of on the rise with all the roster changes they’ve been making. So, I wanted to ask you what you think can be learned from that game, and what can be tweaked out. And, also, was it fun playing against Corey? Because I know you and Corey are good friends, so I wanted to know if you two were just trying to have fun while also playing the game.”

[ laughs ] Yeah, definitely, we were trying to have fun at some points of the game. I think we weren’t playing up to our potential. Sometimes we have an issue, like — say we’re playing Glads. We’ll play up at the Glads level, and then we play DC, and we’ll play down at DC’s level. And not to bash on DC, because DC has been getting a lot better since they found their new players, in scrims they’ve been playing really well, is what I’ve heard.

“That makes sense. Especially since no one really expected Boston to pull over a win against the Gladiators, it makes sense that, depending on who you’re playing against, you would sort of try to match the energy.”

Yeah, the energy just wasn’t there for the DC game. Everyone was trying their heart out against the Glads, so against DC, some players will be not as energetic and not nervous because they know that DC is a “bad opponent”. I think it’s more of a consistency issue — the dream is to be as good as Shock, where they try hard no matter what, every game. They want the win.

“Oh, absolutely. And you can see it in their faces whenever they get on stage, too. I think a positive mindset has a lot to do with it. So, looking forward to Stage 3, there are two teams that you face twice — you are playing Paris twice and you are playing Philadelphia twice. So, how do you feel going into both of those matchups twice? Do you think it’s going to be easier or harder than facing seven different teams, or do you think you’ll get into a rhythm and be able to take on these two teams twice, and do it successfully?”

Playing a team twice is — we’re playing Paris twice and Philly twice in the same stage? I think that’s a first for me, because I’ve seen teams play the same team twice in one stage. I guess the second game would be a better quality, over all, because the other team should learn from it, the one that loses. Against Paris and Philly — I think Paris is an okay team, it really depends on the meta for Stage 3. If I’m going off GOATs, I think we should beat Paris, and we should beat Philly. If it’s just strictly GOATs.

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2019-05-03 – Overwatch League 2019 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

“That makes sense, I think you can do it, too. This is a question that also came to me through your Discord. I saw someone else ask it, and I thought it was something I wanted to follow up on. Someone asked if you and Colourhex had any conversations about switching around — if you were to play Zarya and he were to play Brig. Do you think that’s something that you’d want to do, do you think it could work effectively? Or do you think it should stay the way it is?”

We’ve talked about it before, but it’s not up to us, it’s up to our coaching staff. We were down to do either, but we also thought it could be too late since it’s already near the end of Stage 2. We’ve already learned so much about our individual heroes that we might as well stay at this point. If Stage 3 isn’t GOATs, maybe something will change. I’m hoping Stage 3 isn’t GOATs, so.

“That’s fair, I think something has to change at some point.”

I’m sure Blizzard has realized that — I think that happened last season, too, where Moth Meta was a thing for like, 2 stages. And they changed it up.

“Yeah, I think that’s what they tried to do with all the recent updates where they tried to nerf all the heroes in GOATs, but it didn’t really do anything.”

Yeah, the thing is that they’re nerfing around the problem, and they’re beating around the bush. The primary problem in my opinion is AoE healing, like Brig. Brig especially. I wouldn’t say Baptiste right now, but Brig for now is the main problem in GOATs and the reason that GOATs is working so well.

“That makes the most sense. On your stream, you are pretty vocal with your shot calling — you tend to be high key in voice chat. I know on stage Fusions is usually the shot caller, that’s what everyone talks about. I just wanted to know what sort of role do you have in shot calling — do you shot call alongside him, or do you do your own very specific things that you put into voice chat that makes the team work together?”

I usually comm how I want to use my rally, how I want to set up Bash/Shatters. General stuff, sometimes. I comm a lot outside of our team — say, when I was in Legions I commed a lot. But with this team there’s a lot more vocal players like Fusions, who comms a lot too, so I tend to comm less than I usually do, because I don’t want to dip into their roles. Especially since it’s GOATs meta, your Rein should be the one talking the most. I tend to talk less, but I talk about my own strategies and how I want to use my own ult, how I want to set up plays, etc.

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Courtesy of Stewart Volland For Blizzard Entertainment.

“With the announcement of geolocation next year, are you looking forward to it? Are you excited to be coming to Boston, to live here permanently? How are you feeling about that? How does that future look with geolocation to you?”

I’m pretty excited about it, to be honest. I like traveling, or at least I don’t mind it. I know some players, depending on where we’re going, might be really tiring. Like, if you’re playing Seoul Dynasty, and you have to travel to Seoul from Boston. But, I don’t know, I actually prefer living in the East Coast, like Boston. It’s a pretty cool city. To be honest, I don’t like living in LA.

“Oh! [laughs] I didn’t know that at all. One last question, sort of a fun way to end things — is there any hero that you haven’t played yet on stage that you’d like to play? Anybody at all? Because, lately, the team collectively played 15 heroes on one map, so I don’t know who we haven’t seen yet.”

Obviously, I’d like to play Doom more, but a hero I haven’t played. [pauses] Probably just like, any DPS. I’ve been literally playing Brig, so. [laughs] Yeah, I’ve played Pharah, Hog, Tracer, Doom, Junkrat, Ball, Hanzo, Torb — yeah, I’d say more Tracer. More Doom, McCree, Solider. Any hero that takes mechanics.

“Anybody that’s not Brig. [laughs] Which makes complete sense, because I feel bad for all of these DPS players. We don’t really get to see all the stuff that you guys got signed for and all the stuff you’re good at because you’re stuck in Brig jail.”

Not only that, but, Brig players get super put under the radar. Say like, you’re setting up a Bash/Shatter, and then the casters are like “Oh, man! Their Rein hit the shatter when they caught the shield down!”. And, actually, I haven’t seen any Brig stats ever been shown, any Brig plays shown on the Overwatch League. Like, Brig is really underappreciated.

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2019-04-04 – Overwatch League 2019 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve seen any of them, either. I think the only Brig player that I’ve heard anyone predominantly talk about is Haksal.”

But, you know, you’re winning. On any GOATs team, as long as you’re winning, your stats will always look good. That’s how GOATs works.

“Do you think you’re one of the better Brig’s in the League?”

I feel like I am, I feel like I’m up there. But, Brig is hard to calculate, I guess. You have to really watch each Brig players POV to see what they’re doing, what they’re min/maxing. How they use their ult, how they set up lays, are they booping at the right times, are they racking Inspire. The thing about Brig is that it revolves around small plays instead of, like, a Graviton Surge for Zarya, or like fragging. Brig relies on really small plays like booping a Rein when he’s trying to pin you in a Grav. Stunning a Rein when he’s about to Shatter, stunning flankers, really small things. So it’s hard to see.

Currently, the Overwatch League is on a break between Stages 2 and 3. Make sure to catch blasé in action when the League returns on June 7th, where the Boston Uprising will face off against the London Spitfire.


Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

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