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Dallas Fuel: The Perils Of Over Coaching

Dallas Fuel coaches

Glass will break under enough pressure. Seeing something so beautiful slowly crack, fall apart and eventually shatter is heartbreaking. The Dallas Fuel started Season 2 of the Overwatch League as a new team, eager to take on the best and make it to season playoffs. However, the teams that have been pressured in the past and know each other the most have seen success this season. But having a great coaching staff will make up for the lack of dynamic, right?

Elegant but Impractical

Dallas Fuel coaches
Image Courtesy of Jayne

What worked for the team in the first half of the season is now blowing up in their face. The current coaching staff on the Dallas Fuel roster consists of Aaron “Aero” Atkins, Justin “Jayne” Conroy, Min-Gyu “Vol’Jin” Kang, Louis “Tikatee” Lebel-Wong and Julien “daemoN” Ducros. A lot of names, right? This was done with the intention of having a specialized coach for every position. It worked in the beginning of the season, but the flaws were shown in later games.

Visibly Cracking

Dallas Fuel coaches
2019-04-28 – Overwatch League 2019 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The team was brand new at the beginning of the season, with the exceptions of Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson and Minseok “OGE” Son. This meant that there were no previous systems in place during games to help the players make decisions and do things that wasn’t set up by the coaches. With the players relying on the coaching for matches, all the opponents have to do is something Dallas couldn’t practice for. This became apparent in the Chengdu matches.

The coaches that previously helped the team beat Philly, Seoul and Shanghai was left struggling against Vancouver, Gladiators and the Hunters. The chemistry of the Titans and Gladiators dominated over the practice from Dallas’ coaches. The unpredictability of Chengdu left the players not knowing what to play or how to play in game. Whereas other rosters are able to make calls in game for swaps or strategies, the Fuel only have the coaches in the dugout to tell them what to do. This clip from Jonathan “Reinforce” Larson’s stream words it perfectly.

Fragmented and Shoving Pieces Together

Dallas Fuel coaches
2019-04-13 – Overwatch League 2019 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Dallas Fuel roster is akin to a puzzle, all the pieces fit together (Main tank, Off Tank, Hitscan DPS, Projectile DPS, Main Support, Flex Support), but all the pieces are from different puzzles. All of the players on the team are very talented individually, but they don’t work together as a team. One or two players can’t be subbed out to fix the problems and blowing up the roster again will set them back at square one.

Perhaps the team is playing the long game, where the players build connections over time and learn about each other as more than a teammate. If there isn’t already one, an in-game leader needs to be picked up and the coaches need to make their players not entirely rely on them.

Shatter or Melt?

The staff and players on the Dallas Fuel have a long way to go before being considered a top tier team. If they can pull themselves together for the rest of the season and pull off some miracles against teams they should lose to, they might make playoffs. Even if the team makes playoffs, changes should still be made. Should the organization shatter the team and start again, or melt it back together and try again?


Need More?

What do you think of the Dallas Fuel this season? Tell Ethan what you think @Hearin_Voices 

Featured image courtesy of Overwatch League

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