For our final interview from Stage 4, Week 5, The Game Haus sat down with legendary DPS star André “IDDQD” Dahlström and Head Coach Dae-hee “Crusty” Park from the San Francisco Shock. This interview was so long and so amazing that we’ve split it into three parts! Parts 2 and 3 will be releasing each day after this one, so be sure to stay locked on The Game Haus to get your Overwatch fix!
So it’s been a crazy season for the Shock, and you definitely have a unique perspective on that. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken away from Season 1?
Be patient. Honestly, I think I speak for a lot of players who maybe haven’t seen as much playtime as they would have liked. It’s important to shift your mindset from “I want to play, I want to play,” because you can be a valuable asset on the sidelines as well. I sort of came to accept that maybe this is not my time. Eventually, it will be, but I shouldn’t be counting on it too much- I should be trying to excel at every single position I’m in, whether that’s as an active player, on the bench, or even as someone that helps people outside of our games. Throughout Season 1, I would constantly offer hitscan support and help everyone who wanted to get better- even BABYBAY. You could even say that some of his success as a playmaker this season, you know- I helped him with that.
And honestly, I don’t really mind being out of the spotlight, either. Prior to the Overwatch League, I was arguably one of the most well-known people in the scene, and people used to call me the “seasoned veteran”- and they still do. So I honestly don’t care whether I’m in front of the camera at this point or not. I think the hardest part was coming to that acceptance that this season was perhaps not my time, thanks to some unforeseen circumstances earlier on in the season. Nothing bad, it’s just sometimes someone will excel at a hero faster than I’m able to, or the meta favors someone else. In those cases, they’d rather go with the safe pick, rather than the wild pick- but I thought, you know, that could be me. It wasn’t, though, so I think the hardest part was just accepting that.
Are you going to maintain that mentality in Season 2, or are you going to push harder to make it “your time” and get on stage more?
So the situation with the Shock is interesting because of our coaching swap. I think the biggest quirk with our former coach was that I didn’t get any practice time. I felt at the time that the coach swap really needed to happen, and that it was really healthy for the team as a whole. It wasn’t until Crusty came in-
At this point, Coach Crusty had joined us in the interview room, and IDDQD motions to him as he continues.
It wasn’t until Coach Crusty entered the picture that I was able to show what I possessed, or what I was capable of, as a hitscan specialist- or whatever you want to call me. Prior to Crusty coming in, we weren’t even looking at trying to get me practice time. As soon as he did, though, that changed pretty quickly. I think he’d have more to say on that than me at this point, no?
Coach Crusty: For me, I regret that IDDQD was benched for as long as he was. His mechanics and gameplay are insane, but the problem was always experience. I wanted to use him this stage, but there was never time- the Overwatch League is very fast, and the time between matches is so short. That’s why I think we couldn’t. Every match we would give him scrim time, though, because I wanted to use him more and more. One month- three and a half weeks, really- just wasn’t enough to get him ready. That’s why we were only able to use him for this last match.
IDDQD: It’s like I said to him earlier, Crusty, before you walked in- If you had been a part of this team since day one, I would have seen way more play time. 100% guaranteed. Not to mention I’d probably be twice as good as I am right now. The amount of progress I’ve been able to make in just a month’s time has been unreal. There are so many things he’s taught me, and so many things I’ve learned about being a better teammate in general.
Being on the bench for nearly seven months doesn’t really help you with anything, y’know? Sitting at home and not being with the team at all doesn’t really help either. Crusty is way more present. He’s always there making sure everyone feels included, everyone has a job to do. He makes sure that everyone is doing what they need to be doing, that you practice, that you conduct yourself as a professional player, and that you’re friends with all your teammates. Crusty made me feel included- everything became fun again, rather than just sitting at home not doing anything. If you’re benched and you don’t even get to practice, you kinda get a bit depressed.
So it’s safe to say your day-to-day has changed quite a bit since Crusty came to the team?
Oh yeah! For the whole team, not just me.
So going into Season 2, I think it’s safe to assume that the Shock will be a team to watch. Are you confident that your team can take it all? And if so, who will stand in your way?
Honestly, I think if we listen to Crusty, we’ll make it! I think he said it best- we have all the potential, we have raw talent, we have all the pieces we need- we just need to put them together. Currently Crusty’s working on that phenomenally. I think, seeing the progress we’ve made after the overhaul- I think if he’s given another six months to work with us, I think we’re going to be the top team in the League.
But which teams will be closest to you? Who might give you the most trouble?
Coach Crusty: It’s really hard to tell, honestly.
IDDQD: I think the Dynasty will do what they can to get there in Season 2. They’re not happy with the way things have gone. Mayhem could use some changes to get to be a really good team, but they have some of the puzzle pieces like we do. They have Sayaplayer, who’s incredible, and Logix, who’s very underrated in my opinion, who’s always been really good on stage. There are a lot of teams, really, that are just missing a couple little pieces. If they manage to get them, they’ll be ok.
Stay tuned for Part Two with IDDQD and Crusty tomorrow here at The Game Haus!!
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