Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni plays support for the Los Angeles Gladiators, as well as Team Finland. I was able to snag an interview with the Overwatch Leagues favorite fowl, and ask him about the Gladiators, the Overwatch World Cup, and the upcoming season for the Overwatch League.
How did the name “BigGoose” come about?
My last name, if you change only one letter, it becomes “big goose” in Finnish. One day my friends called me “big goose” and I was like “what are you talking about?” About five minutes later I finally realized what they meant, and the name stuck.
What made you get into Overwatch as opposed to other games?
I didn’t really have a need to play Overwatch. I thought it was fun at the beginning when I played with my friends. Then I didn’t really have any other games to play, so I just kept grinding Overwatch. I think it is still fun, but not as fun as it used to be. I played with my friends who I usually played with, but they gradually stopped playing, and I realized that I was really good. So I made my own team.
How did playing with your teammates from RIP and Team Giganti help with the synergy of the Finnish National Team?
We all know each other, so we know what we are like. The synergy has dropped some, because of breaks in play and a completely different meta. But everyone knows each other, and it is easier to work with each other because of that.
How does that affect how you play against your teammates in the Overwatch League?
It doesn’t really affect me, I just focus on my own game. It’s always nice to go against your old teammates, it is kinda like a small rivalry there, and you want to beat them.
What is your favorite part of being on the LA Gladiators?
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite part. This is a hard question. I really like being here. I like the organization a lot, and I like the players a lot too. It is really hard to say a favorite part. Probably my teammates. I think they are my favorite part of the Gladiators.
What excites you most going forward into Season 2?
I think all the roster changes, along with the new talent coming up. Also the new teams, it is going to be interesting how everything comes up.
With the addition of eight new teams, do you think any rivalries will blossom, like you guys and the Valiant?
It’s hard to say. It might be more of a regional thing. Also when old teammates go against each other, and that will play into the rivalry. It will naturally come up, you can’t really say if there will be any new ones.
How does your partnership with Shaz help you on the OWL and National Level?
I think we just do things the same way, which is really nice. We always know what the other is thinking. We think about the same things. I think that is what brings the synergy between the both of us. It is hard to put into words.
What are your thoughts on the current meta?
It is kinda interesting. There could be some tweaks to make the game better. Maybe some tunes on- I’m not sure. Doomfist and Sombra are really played right now. It is hard to say why they are so good. It is probably because of Bridgette stuff, and Sombra hacks being so good. But at the same time, if you were to nerf Doomfist or Sombra, especially Sombra, Hammond would be OP and stuff like that. I think if there were to be changes, you would have to buff other heroes rather than nerf the existing ones.
What is the general atmosphere like on a team like the LA Gladiators?
Pretty chill. One good thing is that people know how to not bring their work home I guess? People will play competitive and do their own stuff, but I don’t think people stress about it too much. Everyone is relaxed around each other, at least I am.
What are your expectations for the Overwatch World Cup?
Seeding wise, probably top 2. We expect Grand Finals. We still have a lot of stuff to work on. I think with the amount of work we are going to be putting in for now is really going to improve us and I think it is top 2 worthy.
You guys are up against Team China first, how do you think that match is going to go?
It is hard to say. I think China is the dark horse or the wild card of the tournament. China is the only thing we don’t know much about. They could really throw a curveball into the mix.
We are about one month away from Blizzcon. Are you happy with that, or do you wish it was sooner?
The timing is fine. I was more upset about the first group timing. We barely had about two weeks to practice for our Incheon qualifiers. We have to prepare for all the maps so, it was very tough for all of us. We ended up not even playing half of the maps so, you kind of waste work if you don’t have a limit for map pool, and have a very short amount of time to prepare for them, the quality of the maps for teams is a bit worse than it could be. But you simply don’t have enough time.
What does a typical day look like for you during the OWL season?
Usually you wake up around 10:00 AM, do your workouts, and then the scrims start around 12. There are three blocks for scrims; 12:00-2:00, 3:00-5:00, and 6:00-8:00. Sometimes you have VODS too. Either you watch them on a break, or watch them after 2:00. That is how a typical day is scheduled. After the season progressed, we realized we had to cut some blocks and VOD sessions, so that no one would get burnt out. I think it was tough for some people to have this schedule. There was not much time to relax during the season.
How important is communication is in a game like Overwatch?
I think communication is the most important thing in Overwatch. Let’s say someone is average on mechanics on an OWL level, but is very good at communication. I would rather have them than someone who is mechanically skilled, but average at communication.
Do you have any messages for the LA Gladiators fans before the season starts?
Thank you for all the support for Season 1. Hopefully we can bring better results for Season 2, whenever that is [laughs]. We will see you in Season 2.
Follow me on Twitter @awheatondude I would love to hear your thoughts.
Featured Image Courtesy of Game Informer
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