Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman has quickly become a fan favorite player for the Atlanta Reign – he’s passionate, charismatic, and not a bad Zenyatta, either. Such a mix suits him well in Atlanta, where his fellow misfits, oddities, and head-clickers have found great success in the first three weeks of OWL 2019. After a particularly dominant showing against an otherwise-highly touted Paris Eternal last week, we sat down with the dog man with the dog plans to talk about his experience so far, and his plans for the future. Enjoy!
Starting off, how are you feeling? What’s been going through your head after a game like that last one against Paris?
I’m surprised we did as well as we did versus them, I guess? Coming into the match, we knew they would be a good team, so we just assumed the worst, I guess, for the match. I guess we just read them pretty well. There were a couple of comps that we didn’t read very well, but overall… it’s just crazy that it went so well for us, I guess. And it was a 4-0, too!
So how’d you do it? If you were figuring that this game was going to be tough, only to go on stage and sweep them… what sort of prep and execution went into that?
Probably the fact that their playstyle was really passive; I think that was the biggest factor. They had a couple moments where some of them looked a little lost. I think it was probably a mixture of them maybe playing very poorly that day, and then also us playing very well – both of those were pretty big factors in that match for sure. A good game for us, and a not so great game for them.
So you weren’t directly involved in it… but I have to know about that Dafran play. What on earth..?
It’s practice! We practiced it. It was totally random, though – Dafran wanted to do it, so we decided to do it [chuckles].
And is that just how things go in A-town? Dafran wants to play Torb or go for crazy gravs, so you guys roll with it?
No, the Torb thing was planned – we did go over that! We thought it was good. This definitely involved less thought beforehand… Well, it was probably a mixture of being good, but also definitely being more, uh… meme-y, let’s say.
So that was a decision in the moment?
Exactly. Dafran was just like, “Dude, let’s go [Dogman laughs] over on this elevator…” and they didn’t see it – Finnsi didn’t see it coming!
There’s lots of pressure and lots of action here in the Overwatch League – how are you staying sane right now?
On stage? The thing that’s helped the most was probably our first game against Florida, I think. I played like garbage [that game], and I think overall it wasn’t a good game for me, but we still 4-0’d. So I think that was a good opener to being in the Overwatch League. And because I played so bad in that game, I figured, “I’ve already been through all the worst, right?” So after that, I’ve been fine doing crazy stuff like hyping up the crowd and stuff like that.
So, you’ve got three games left here: The Gladiators, the Hunters, and the Outlaws. What are your thoughts on those next three? What are you going to have to do to make sure you go 3-0 through the rest of the stage?
We’re just going to have to keep practicing hard, I think. We have the Gladiators next, right? That game will be very tough. I think they’re one of the top teams right now, so it’ll probably be one of the harder games this stage. I thought this Paris game would probably be the hardest of this stage, but it’s always the next one after that that’s super hard. Hopefully we win out, and keep it close [for a playoff run] – we’re 3-1 right now, so I think it’s after four that you’re locked in for playoffs, right?
[Both interviewer and interviewee try to figure out the specifics of the stage playoff seeding system, which goes poorly.]
Yeah, so we definitely need to get at least the Gladiators win, I think. That win is going to be crucial. Even in our match against Paris – after we were up 3-0, we were saying, “You know, we need to get this fourth map. The pressure’s not off. We still want that map differential.” I think we have a +9 map differential now? It’s pretty good to have that, I’d say.
What is your favorite non-Overwatch downtime activity?
I think right now, it’s probably working out, for sure. I think [Week 3] specifically was pretty stressful, so instead of dealing with it with something else – like drinking soda or something like that – I just went to the gym and got all my energy out there, so I couldn’t feel too stressed or anything. After I do that, I go to the hot tub and then take a shower. That’s about it!
I’m legally obligated to ask: bowl cut when?
[Exasperated] When I grow enough hair! I can’t – I don’t have any hair right here – I tried on Saturday! That was the first look at an attempt – the beginning of the bowl cut!
Now that you’re here in the Overwatch League and surrounded by fellow pros and staff and everything, are we going to see a return of Ultimate Advantage?
[Related: The Definitive Overwatch Podcast Guide, ft. Ult Advantage, HOTPOT, and more]
I was actually thinking about setting up a couch at our house – I wanted to do something where we get a bunch of people together and then we just chill and chat, like Ultimate Advantage, but live in person. Hopefully we can make that happen, but no promises, I guess. Probably during the break? Maybe I’ll get some of the regulars like Jake or Jayne… I don’t know if Jayne’s too busy but usually, those guys are pretty good to have on. So, there’s a large possibility!
Who would you say are your biggest supporters overall? Like your parents – do they even understand what’s going on?
Yeah, they do, actually! They watch every game now, which is surprising, because … I don’t know. Before… it’s just surprising that they like it and like watching it, for sure. Right now, they’re both pretty busy, but they’re definitely some of my biggest supporters. I think my number one supporters are definitely the fans that follow me and the people I talk to in the fanbase itself, because I like to talk to them. And that’s about it – I think those guys are some of my top supporters. My fans and my family, for sure.
Any last-minute shout-outs to those friends, fans, and family? Better yet, any trash talk to give out before the games next week?
No, no spice! I was baited into some spiciness in the last last interview I did. I don’t know if they actually put it in the video, but they showed a thing where Kruise was like “Oh, in Week 2 we were playing at 60% capacity” or whatever. “Next week, if we play at full force, it’ll be a good game [against Atlanta].” So I said, “What percentage of our brains do we use? Ten percent? If we put forth 11%, [laughs] then we’ll beat Paris.”
Really though, I want to shout out the fans, and myself, to be honest. The Atlanta Reign fans and our staff are really awesome. We have some of the best fans – like 700 people signed a jersey and sent it to us! We’re going to frame that up in the team house. Shoutout to them. And be sure to follow me on all my socials… I spam on Instagram now! [laughs]
[Thanks to Dogman for sitting down with us! You’ll hear more from him in an upcoming feature… for now, good luck to him and the Atlanta Reign in their season! #LetItReign]
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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment