In the third and final installment of our interview series with the Shock’s André “IDDQD” Dahlström, we discussed whether or not Season 1 lived up to the hype, what needs to change, and the burden all players face.
Alright, here’s a big one. Structurally – not in terms of your team or gameplay – has the Overwatch League lived up to your expectations? What could the League improve on in Season 2?
I think, for the most part, all the players are happy with Season 1. I think one thing we gamers are really picky about, though, are our computers. If we have access to all these rooms and what not, we need to make sure these PCs have zero issues. We have to make sure they run perfectly, we have to make sure that they are the benchmark for everything else we do.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. The computers have been running semi-optimally in a way, and even after a lot of complaining, they haven’t really changed them at all. I mean, they could have made a change, and I wouldn’t have necessarily known since I’m not here all the time, but if they did, it’s still bad after that change.
Let’s put it this way – the computers on stage work flawlessly. They’re the best PCs I’ve ever seen. But the ones we practice with are nowhere near that level. You can tell on those that there’s sloppiness, there’s some differences – when I went up on stage, I was like, “Oh, ok! This is different, this is nice!” It took a second to get used to, you know? I think, beyond that, the rest has been pretty good.
Do you have any concerns regarding the intensity of the schedule?
Oooh, like burning out? I’ve heard a lot of players talk about being on the brink of burning out. I feel like two intensive games, and this really intensive training we’re doing – not only is it too much Overwatch for us, but it’s too much Overwatch to watch! If anything, I think the schedule should be a bit wider, and take a bit longer to get through the season. Personally, I’m nowhere near burning out, seeing as I’ve barely played at all, but I’ve heard others say they’re on the brink of just total exhaustion. For them, it’s just too much. I’d say make the schedule a little bit more enjoyable for the professionals.
And I’ve even heard from fans, too, like I was saying – it’s just too much to watch. It’s not only confusing for the viewers to have to keep track of it all, but also it’s just grueling for the players to have to deal with.
Do you think having more teams might help, if each team plays fewer games over the course of a longer season, perhaps?
IDDQD: I’m scared that it will make it worse. It’ll be even more Overwatch. Just because there are six new teams taking up airtime doesn’t mean Crusty is going to give us off-days, right? That just means we’re going to be practicing harder, have more scrim blocks, more teams to face. And it’ll be even easier to fill those blocks. So for the players, no, I think it’ll be even more exhausting. And if they don’t change the schedule, it’ll be even more Overwatch for the public to have to sit through.
Coach Crusty: Yeah, that’s going to be really hard for us. The schedule is always the hardest part. Every week, we have two matches, but we don’t always have time to prepare. As a coach, I can’t even sleep half the time. Every match, we need to have new strategies for the enemy team. Every team has a different style, and players need to change their style for every match. Not to mention players might tilt during a scrim, and we need to handle that. And that’s not to mention any other things, personal life, a girlfriend, stuff like that. It makes the players really tilted, and can risk a burnout. I really think they need to change the system. As a coach, it’s like I have no life. I might die soon going on like this.
IDDQD: If he says that, then they definitely need to change it. I can only imagine what it’s like for everyone else. But even if they do something small like give us a bye week during a stage, that would only mean that we spend that week training harder to try and gain an advantage. If you take a break, why should your enemy? They’ll use that time to catch up with you. Adding a week like that would just be another week of work for the players – it doesn’t change anything for us, really.
With this series concluded, The Game Haus would like to extend all the gratitude in the world to the San Francisco Shock, IDDQD, and Coach Crusty for their amazing responses and for taking the time to sit down with us. The future in San Francisco looks bright with these two leading the charge!
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