The Washington Justice turned more than a few heads when they signed Nikola “sleepy” Andrews this stage. A veteran of OWL 2018, sleepy brings a wealth of experience (and no shortage of skill) to a team that definitely needs it. We sat down with Sleepy to talk about his plans for the Justice, and his relationship with his old team now that he’s gone. Enjoy!
When did you know about your trade to Washington? When was it confirmed and conferred to you?
Thursday, the 18th – the day before our match vs the Valiant. Though I tried out on Tuesday, so I knew it was a possibility at that point in the week.
And what was your initial reaction to the news?
I was excited, nervous and sad at the same time. Sad because I love my team – the Shock. All of them are my good friends, and all of them are like family to me. I was excited because I finally get to play again, and that’s a huge opportunity for me. And I was nervous because I hadn’t scrimmed in like, two months. Getting back into it after not scrimming – I’m not saying it’s bad, but it’s definitely hard for me. Usually, you get time to adjust.
What are you going to miss the most about being on the Shock?
Definitely just all the players and coaches and stuff. They’re all really good friends, and
everyone’s super friendly. It’s a big family, and I’ll miss it.
As mentioned, coming into a match on short notice like this is probably a bit rough for anybody. But if you had to grade yourself on your performance so far, how do you think
you’ve done? How are you gelling with the crew so far?
In terms of team cohesion, I think there’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s a lot of room there. I think we did pretty well [in our game against the Valiant] given that there was literally less than a day of experience together. But there’s definitely still a lot of room to improve, for sure.
I interviewed Janus last stage and asked if the team had a “gel player” – someone like Mickie last season; a player who’s always keeping everybody together and on task and in good spirits. Janus said that Washington didn’t really have one at the time. Do you think you could be that person?
Oh yeah. One thing I really want to do is help lead this team to a much better record, and a generally happier mood overall. I’ve been there, right? I was on a team last year that didn’t do well in the first two stages – and we arguably didn’t do that well in the last two, either. So I know how it feels, and I’ve learned a lot from it. And I’m sure there are people here on Washington who feel exactly how I felt last year. I want to help them get past that more quickly, so we can grow into a better team. I want to bring everything I learned on Shock – which, was a lot, I learned so much – I want to bring everything I learned over there here. That goes for in-game experience, out of game experience – whatever I’ve got, I’ll bring it over here.
Who on the team has made the best first impression so far?
It’s hard to say, because I’ve known a lot of the players before. I knew Corey for a long time before the Overwatch League, for instance, and I’ve known of ArK and interacted with him several times before. I knew Janus was a really nice person. Honestly, I’ve only been here for a bit, so I’m not too familiar with anyone yet… I’d say that ArK and Corey have been really, really friendly with me. And the coaching staff are really nice, too.
Are you going to adopt ArK’s fingerless glove policy? Are we gonna see the whole squad do that?
Any messages to fans following you from the Shock, or that are sad to see you go? And do you have a message for the new fans you’re gaining now that you’ve joined Washington?
I’ve written up a Twitlonger on that – though I didn’t have a chance to write one the week of the trade, since it all happened so fast.
For my old fans on Shock, or just fans of Shock in general – I hope that they will continue to support not only me, but Shock as well, even if I’m not there. For the fans that are fans of me specifically, I hope that they’ll continue to support my friends, my old teammates and family. I wish them nothing but the best, and I hope all the fans will still support both of us. For the fans of Washington, I hope they welcome me in – I’m looking forward to the future.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Washington Justice.
Transcriptions courtesy of Darby Joyce