[This interview was first published on July 20, 2019 but has been re-released due to its continued relevance]
Coming off the heels of one of Overwatch’s busiest weeks, The Game Haus was able to catch up with Atlanta’s flex support extraordinaire, Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman. From the 2019 ATL Homestead to how he handles trash talk, Dogman dishes out a lot of wisdom in this interview.
First of all, we have to talk about the OWL 2020 news that broke this week. What is your reaction to it and to what degree were you and the other players able to give feedback?
I’m excited for 2020, I hope I can manage to stick around until next year because homestands are always amazing. Everything planned is exactly what I personally wanted out of next year, so I’m glad it’s becoming a reality. OWL players are always able to give feedback through the right channels. Even for this, we were able to let the OWL staff know what we wanted and express our ideas.
What information can you give Atlanta fans about what they can expect from the Reign next season?
I can’t say anything just yet about our venues/homestands, but I will say you can expect me to be as hype as ever at these events. This year’s homestand was like nothing else in my life, and I know it’s equally as exciting to be a fan or spectator at these events.
The Reign are also fresh off of the 2019 ATL Homestand. One of my favorite parts of watching that was seeing you run out of the tunnel and down the stairs. You genuinely looked like you were loving every second of it. How surreal was the weekend, as a whole?
The walkout, the crowd, the stage, everything had its own part and it all played out perfectly. It was honestly such a great event and I’m so happy and lucky to be a part of such a great organization that ran the event. Being the home favorite is something I underestimated. it’s definitely a crazy experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Side note: During our walk out, you can kind of see each of our personalities with each different player. FRD was especially funny because he walked out like a dad with his shirt tucked in and just high fived everyone.
What was your favorite part about visiting Atlanta?
My favorite part of Atlanta was definitely the people that came out to support us. They made this entire thing extra special. Even at the after-party people wanted pictures and to say hi. It feels extraordinary to have so many people care that much. You don’t know what a fan is until you’ve been around them. Online, it’s all just a bunch of numbers, but when you see them in person, it’s different.
When do you all expect to make your next trip back?
Hopefully, we’ll make it back by late 2019. But worse comes to worse, we’ll go back to Atlanta in 2020.
Kind of shifting gears, I want to talk about trash talk. Why is talking trash and being more vocal than others important to you? Or is it just naturally who you are?
Being myself is definitely the most important thing to me. I always play best when I’m at my most confident and that includes trash talking. It’s better to get out my excitement that way, rather than allowing myself to get too worked up.
One of the unfortunate realities about trash-talking is that it can make you subject to harsher criticism. Players like ZachaREEE and JAKE are examples of this. How do you handle the criticism?
In the beginning, I don’t think I was fully aware of how to deal with criticism. Now, it’s mainly about focusing on the controllable things and talking with my coaches and teammates. I used to be a consumer of drama and other esports events, so I know how it is on that side as well. It’s definitely its own challenge but I feel better suited to deal with it now.
Recently, Jayne, a coach for the Fuel, walked away from social media, in part, because of how harsh people were being towards him and the players. With this in mind, what do you have to say to OWL fans who submit this sort of harsh feedback and what, if any, words do you have for Jayne?
I mean in my opinion you can’t really change a growing fan base, they’re going to be how they want to be. There’s no sense in taking what they say to heart anymore. Unless it’s nice fans that actually care, most of the time they’re going to try and rock you off your horse.
It sucks to see that Jayne’s gotten off social media, but also it’s totally understandable. To a certain degree, I already do the same. Reddit, Twitter, Instagram even. I limit myself with each of these apps already. Most fans understand that the player/coach or person on social media won’t read their comment, so they interact like no one will read it besides other users on the platform
A big thank you to Dogman and the Atlanta Reign organization for taking the time to interview before Stage 4. Best of luck closing out the season!
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Featured Image Courtesy of Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
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