In the second official installment of Diamonds in the Rough, I got to sit down with WeHaveOrg and Team UK player, Daiya. Here, we get an insider take at what it looks like to be a player working their way through the ranks of Overwatch, one step at a time, with their eyes set on the Overwatch League.
Hint: It involves grinding A LOT of competitive play, folks.
Hey, Daiya! Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me and chat. For those who may not know much about you, would you mind giving some background on your life growing up before Overwatch? What were some games you played before and what kind of got you into Overwatch starting out?
I’ve always played games growing up. My dad had a PS1 as early as I can remember and that’s kind of how I got into games. I remember I got my own laptop when I was 11 and the first game I got really into was The Orange Box, which included games like Portal and Half-Life. Other games, like Team Fortress 2, are games I spent a lot of time on when they first came out. I only played Team Fortress 2 partially back then, so it didn’t hold up as actual experience. Actual competitive experience came through games like League of Legends where I got to Platinum 3. I also put about 700-800 hundred hours into CS:GO, where I got to about Legendary Eagle Master. That had more correlation to my current Overwatch experience because it was a pretty aim-intensive FPS.
I also come from a rhythm gaming background, playing the very popular game “osu!” from 2012 to 2015. I also played more obscure Japanese rhythm games such as Beatmania IIDX and Lunatic Rave 2.
I know TF2 and CS:GO are games that are usually in Overwatch players’ repertoire, so it’s cool to hear about those as well as the other games you mentioned. With that background in mind, what led you to Overwatch and when did you first find the game?
I don’t remember playing the beta, I don’t think. I started playing in Season 1 when all my friends were into the game. We were all hyped from the launch and were just playing for fun. The first character I ever really got into playing was Genji and that was back when he was stupidly broken. He had the eight-second blade, he could one-shot you, the triple jump, all that stuff. So yeah, it was pretty fun, obviously!
My first competitive season was Season 2. That’s when I started feeling comfortable enough with the game to play ranked. I often filled back then, since I didn’t have a strong sense of what hero I wanted to play. I usually ended up playing hitscan heroes.
I know you’re a Zenyatta main right now, or at least play a lot of Zenyatta, but you started with Genji and maybe some of those other hitscan heroes. How did you find your way to mastering Zenyatta and what was that process like?
In Season 2 I often filled, and that ended up with me on support most of the time, playing Ana. I also played a lot of Reaper in that season because of the Beyblade meta that was prevalent at the time. I really enjoyed playing Ana because I felt very impactful as a support hero and able to make plays and outplay other players, which I really enjoyed. So, I just kept playing Ana until she fell out of the meta. By then I was pretty much a flex support player so I just started grinding my Zenyatta and Mercy, who were the best supports from Season 6 to 11, and I really found my calling on Zenyatta since I achieved new SR peaks and progressed in the Path to Pro considerably, thanks to my Zen skills.
You mentioned that you began grinding on ranked even beginning as early as Season 2, all the way to the current season. Can you talk a little bit about what that ranked grind was like? Maybe some highs and lows in your experience?
Sure, so Season 7 was the season I put so much into this game and when I really started trying hard. I clocked about 1200 competitive matches in Season 7 and that’s when I hit my then peak of 4502. I put so many hours into the game focusing on improving. If you don’t have the right mentality, it can be very detrimental and you can also build some bad habits. You need to try and play ranked properly. Not overly aggressive and cocky, just because you might get away with certain plays in ranked. You’ll get punished for it in scrims if you try and pull those kinds of plays. Just make sure to focus on yourself, not your teammates. It’s not a nice feeling when you have no control over the situation, but there’s not much else you can do about it.
Since Season 7, I’ve consistently finished above 4400. This season, in Season 12, I hit a new career high of 4562, which was rank 19 in EU, solo queuing. I was really proud of that because it can be hard to solo queue as a support. Support is fundamentally a role where you have to enable your teammates. You’ll have games where your teammates aren’t quite up to the task, even though you’re doing all you can, and that’s okay. You just have to do your best to do your job right and, if you do that, you have a better chance to win.
Season 7 seemed like it was a big season for you in your Overwatch career. Not only was this a season you poured a lot into, but it’s also the first season you were a part of an organized team if I’m not mistaken. Who was this first team and how did it help launch your career?
Season 7 was when I started becoming better than I ever was. That’s when I started playing for my first actual team, a team called Honor Esports. We played in Season 1 of 2018 in Open Division and we went 7-3. These losses came to people who inevitably went on to Trials, I believe. So, that was my first serious team. From there, I ended up joining Lovely Dwarves, where we made a decent run in Season 2.
Check back in the next few days for the conclusion of my interview with Daiya. In part two, we talk more about WeHaveOrg, Daiya’s experience with Team UK, and much more.
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Featured Image Courtesy of @DaiyaOW
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