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Esports Overwatch

Kariv from the LA Valiant: We didn’t play our best


After fighting back from down 2-0 at half, the LA Valiant pushed the London Spitfire to a tense game five. The Spitfire were able to hold on for victory, and took the first of a best of three, 3-1. I was lucky enough to sit down with Young-seo “Kariv” Park after the match. Upon entering the room with highlights playing, Kariv and his translator sat down. Kariv stared at the monitor, solemnly reflecting on the match.

Watching the match, there was a definitive shift in your team’s style of play from the first half, to the second half. What happened during half-time that allowed you guys to come out feeling renewed?

At half-time we went backstage, we kind of re-centered ourselves. We spoke with coaching staff, each other, and realized we weren’t playing as great as we could. We used that motivation to bounce back and push the match as far as we could.

You’ve played many different roles all season. During this match you played all three different roles. What are your thoughts on your role and hero selection constantly shifting with new teammates and metas?

The way I play, I’ll squeeze and fit into wherever the team needs me to be. I change myself and my tendencies accordingly for the strategies that the coaches want us to use. If I wasn’t good enough with these heroes or roles, the coaches would place someone else in to play them. That, or the coaches would change the strategy to use me accordingly. I believe the practice I do on these heroes allows me to play at a proficient enough level to help the team succeed.

Custa was bullied throughout your match against the Spitfire. With him being a leader, it hurts when he’s down. How do you think the Spitfire were able to do so?
Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

I think that with the one-healer compositions, it’s really hard to properly protect the Mercy from going down. Even as a Zenyatta, it’s hard to hit fast moving targets to protect her. With the one-healer comps, everyone knows to go for that one healer. So when Custa looks vulnerable or the other team sees any opening, it’s hard to collapse and back him up properly.

With how tonight played out, do you envision your team switching anything up, or focusing on different compositions?

We’re going to focus more on what our team plays. We know what we’re good at and what we can run, and we have to get back to that. Tonight I feel that the team under-performed from what we normally do, and that on Friday you’ll see us playing more at our best.

If you guys make it to the Grand Finals, would you rather play the Philadelphia Fusion or NYXL?

New York.

Any particular reason?

Against New York, we’ve had success recently, and I believe that we match up really well against them. I think we’ll be more comfortable facing them.

I spoke with Sado and NamedHwi earlier. Namedhwi said he’d rather face the Valiant. He fears the momentum that Korean teams can build. Thoughts on his comments?

If it happens we play them, it’ll be a tough matchup. Either way, we still have to wait and see.

More on the Grand Finals, are you excited to be potentially playing away from the Blizzard Arena, and visiting New York?

If we make it, I’m very much looking forward to it. The amount of people is going to be a big difference from here, and it would be a great experience to be a part of. Also, to even make it to the Grand Finals would be a great thing to do, even if it wasn’t in New York. I hope we do make it to the Grand Finals.

Well thank you very much for your time Kariv, and good luck Friday!

Thank you!

That was flex-healer Kariv after the Valiant’s 3-1 loss to the London Spitfire. They’ll play Friday and hope to force a third match and make it onto the Grand Finals in New York next week. Check back to The Game Haus tomorrow for an exclusive interview with Philadelphia Fusion main tank Sado and coach NamedHwi.

Featured image courtesy of Los Angeles Valiant

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