Hunter C. May 2, 2019
The Dallas Homestand Weekend was a success in the minds of many Overwatch League players who were grateful for the experience heading into next year’s plan to see each team play a full slate of home games.
Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty of the Houston Outlaws offered that the experience was a good one, but that the required travel arrangements cut into the team’s practice time, something that would have to be better sorted as the league moves into a full travel schedule.
“I think the only downside was that we have no time to practice,” Rawkus said. “We’re looking at two hours per day, and that’s like a major... that can’t happen in the future, in future home games. It has to be changed.”
Rawkus offered that teams be allowed equitable time for practice and play after time spent traveling. If the team spent three days on the road, he’d like to see that followed by three days of stable play in one location.
Los Angeles Valiant’s Indy “SPACE” Halpern expanded on Rawkus’ schedule concern, not only with regard to travel, but also when the team posted at an away location.
“The biggest things for me to adjust to have been sleep schedules and making sure I’m consistent with that, making sure I did the same things I do in L.A.,” SPACE said.
Seoul Dynasty’s Jinmo “Tobi” Yang thought the experience actually helped his team to prepare, giving them a different experience to consider and a sort of preview of next year’s plans.
“I feel like this experience will help us to kind of get an idea of how to prepare ourselves and what to expect from other away and home games,” Tobi said.
One common theme among all of the players was an appreciation for the lively crowd. SPACE was happy to see fans coming out in force, as was London Spitfire’s Joon-yeong "Profit" Park.
“There’s a lot of fans in Dallas for our team, and the arena’s very big. I feel like they gave us a lot of energy and we had a lot of fun,” Profit said.
But even raucous crowd support is something players will have to adjust to in 2020, as Paris Eternal’s Terence “SoOn” Tarlier acknowledged.
“When you have a crowd cheering for you, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It can give you excitement and you can play really good, or you can play really stressed and panic,” SoOn said.
No matter their opinions, every player in the Overwatch League will soon have to adjust to the reality of travel between arenas and rabid fan bases cheering on their home teams.