One of the most important matchups this coming weekend will be the final one of the Stage, the long-awaited rematch between the Guangzhou Charge and the Vancouver Titans. To the playoff-bound Titans, this match is simply to gain bragging rights over a 7-0 stage record and for map differential. Yet for the members of the Charge, this match means so much more. I had the wonderful opportunity to reach out to the Competitive Manager of the Guangzhou Charge, Ms. Brenda Suh, to discuss her role on the team, what this match means to the Charge, and so much more!
Starting off, you mentioned that you are the Competitive Manager for the Guangzhou Charge. What does that position usually entail from you?
I view my role’s primary function as keeping our organization in alignment. I work closely with our internal teams to evaluate where we can improve performance and develop systems to support our players and coaches. As an organization that’s new to esports, it’s really easy to get caught up in the rush of day to day activities and make reactive decisions. My job is to take a step back and make sure our decisions are still driving the overall vision of the organization.
How are you enjoying that position?
I consider myself really lucky to be part of this team and especially to be here in the early stages. The reason I came back to esports was because there is a real opportunity to do something different and focus on initiatives that I value strongly.
In my role, I get to blend my background in business with my passion for developing others and I get to do it while learning from a strong leadership that shares those ideals.
You used to work for the Seoul Dynasty in the first season before eventually finding a home with the Charge. What do you enjoy most about working with this particular group of players, coaches, and staff members?
We purposely built a very young roster because we plan to invest into our talent and I love that. I love that our leadership has long term goals and doesn’t just want quick wins, because I think that type of mindset trickles down into the culture of the team. Ethan and I want to challenge our team to not just be stronger competitors, but to be better communicators, better teammates, better leaders… and overall just better people. So far, everyone on this team is stepping up to that challenge and I couldn’t be more excited to see what we can accomplish this season.
In terms of the Charge’s upcoming rematch against the Vancouver Titans, not only is it the “Match of the Week” as stated by the desk, but it’s an extremely important matchup for the Charge because it will determine whether or not you make the Stage 1 Playoffs. What would it mean to you and to all your players if they won this upcoming game and locked in that playoff spot?
Coming into the Overwatch League as a new expansion team, we were sitting pretty low in all the preseason power rankings. So to be able to take down the Titans and secure that playoff spot would be huge for us. And if you factor in that Vancouver is undefeated, we have potential to be the first Chinese team to make it to a playoff game, or that our Meta Bellum core has a history playing the Runaway roster in Contenders… the story just writes itself right? We definitely won’t be short for reasons to celebrate the win.
Following up on that, how would it feel being recognized as the first team to give Vancouver a loss?
Being the first team to give Vancouver a loss would be extremely validating. On the competitive side, a rematch means we have a direct comparison to benchmark how well we’re able to adapt or how impactful our training has been. When it comes to recognition, beating the Titans would definitely help show the fans that we were underrated coming into this season and would boost team morale.
After losing to the Titans in a nail-biting five-map series in Week 2, what did you take away from that match that you’ve applied to your other matches this stage?
The team walked away from the loss wanting to work harder. I think we all felt like if we had just capitalized on one more opportunity or won one more team fight we could have had the win. On game day, our players know that every fight counts.
After your previous matchup and after seeing the way that the Chengdu Hunters took Vancouver to a fifth map this past week, what are you planning on doing differently coming into this week’s rematch?
I think fans watched the Chengdu game and became more excited for our rematch since Vancouver had a harder time against a non GOATs comp. But for us, it means Vancouver knows where they have to improve so we can’t expect it to be easy. We have to work hard and keep in mind that every fight counts.
Which players should we keep an eye on the most from each team if we are looking for the Charge to secure the win?
In this match up, teamwork and synergy on both sides is going to be what you should keep an eye on. If we want to take the win, we can’t rely on individual strength or gameplay.
What team are you most looking forward to playing against if you make it into the Stage 1 Playoffs?
My personal answer is New York [Excelsior]. Of course, we want to see how we fare against them, especially if we’ve taken down the Titans to get there.
Are the members of the Guangzhou Charge planning to do anything fun over the downtime between Stages 1 and 2?
We really want the team to take advantage of being in Southern California and go explore. There’s not a lot of places where you have the beach, mountains, and desert together in such a proximity. I’m sure we’ll have an adventure to one of them over the break.
[Thanks once again to Brenda for her time. Here’s to hoping the perfect storyline comes true when the Guangzhou Charge face off against the Vancouver Titans in the Match of the Week on Sunday at 4:30 PST. #FeelTheCharge]
“From Our Haus to Yours”