Olivia R. August 4, 2019
The Florida Mayhem surprised fans and analysts alike when they dominated the London Spitfire, taking all four maps in the series.
This win puts Mayhem at a 3-21 record. When compared to Spitfire, who now sit at a 15-10, it's quite clear why this win was a huge shock to the Overwatch League community. After Mayhem took Lijiang 2-0, and then all but destroyed Spitfire on Volskaya, caster Brennon "Bren" Hook aired his frustrations, since he'd predicted Spitfire may take Season 2 in the Finals.
"This is the most embarasing moment in the Overwatch League," he said of the Season 1 champion's performance. "They're playing like a Stage 1 Washington Justice. They couldn't even formulate how they wanted to attack."
To fans, it appeared that the Spitfire weren't prepared for Mayhem at all. In fact, they seemed they had underestimated them. Florida's aggression and mechanical skills had thrown Spitfire off.
WIN.gg spoke with Mayhem's DPS main Jung-woo "Sayaplayer" Ha about this monumental win, and what it means to represent Florida.
Not many people expected you to win today. How were you feeling going into the match?
Sayaplayer: Actually, I thought it would be very hard. But we were focused as a team. I’m very happy that we were able to smash it.
What do you think helped you so easily defeat the Spitfire?
On Thursday, against Washington, we learned a lot from that experience. Today’s warm-up was Washington. They run a comp that’s similar to London’s. That helped.
At the same time, we focus on our feedback very hard, especially for this match. That’s what helped us take the win.
How did you feel about getting Player of the Match? [On Widowmaker, Sayaplayer had 10,997 hero damage, 23 final blows, 33 eliminations, and 17 scoped critical hit kills.]
I’m very happy. I’m very honored. I’m motivated to practice even harder than I have done. I want to give more and more.
Right at the beginning of Volskaya, you won a Widowmaker duel against Birdring. How were you feeling at that point?
One thing I was thinking about was my team winning. I promised that I would never lose this duel. So I wasn’t nervous. I was feeling very confident that I would never lose that 1v1.
You were also doing great with Reaper. Why do you think that hero was doing so well against Spitfire?
We actually did not have much time to prepare a Reaper comp. But we gathered as a team and were able to form a good comp and plan. I was able to stomp them with the environment that my team gave me. They were being very supportive.
Running Reaper is similar to 3-3, as strong as GOATS, depending on the map. Sometimes it doesn’t have any counters.
Was there anything you were most proud of in the match today?
In the past games, sometimes I felt I would lose focus. This match, I felt I was fully focused all the way through.
Is there a team you’re looking forward to playing next?
I can’t really pick one team in particular that I want to play against. I just want to prepare. We’re the one that has to prepare and challenge the team. Whoever we play against, we want to make sure we take the win.
You guys have been eliminated from competing in the playoffs. What is your team’s focus in Stage 4?
It’s very sad. There’s nothing we can do. But at the moment, we want to still work as a team and collaborate with each other. We want to work very hard to show a good performance for our fans.
Which heroes are you hoping to play more in Stage 4?
I feel greedy, but I want to play some flex DPS if possible. I’m not sure if they’ll let me play them, but I’d like to play Pharah or Genji.
How does it feel to represent Florida?
We’ve had a very rough season. We were showing some good performances, but we also had losing streaks for quite a long time. I felt very sorry for our fans who may be disappointed by the losses. But today we took the win, and I’m very proud. I will work very hard to show more performances like that while representing the Florida Mayhem.
At the start of Season 2, Mayhem was going through a lot of changes and later wasn’t doing too well in the standings. Did you feel a lot of pressure then?
Since last year, there were a lot of roster changes. I was the only player who stayed since last season. That was a lot of pressure.
Our owner and president told me that he’s very excited and happy to work with me in Season 2. I was very happy when I heard that, although I felt a lot of pressure, too.
After having the new Korean roster in Stage 3, communication isn’t a problem anymore for us. That was another pressure, because I felt we should be performing very well. So I was sad for quite some time.
Do you feel your team has improved since all the new players were signed? What changes have you seen throughout the past two stages?
We definitely had a lot of improvements. For example, we have a lot of players with good individual mechanical skills. At the same time, our communication has improved so much. There were some times where we were not able to have good feedback sessions, due to lack of coaching staff. We were very short on people. But after the new coaching staff came in, we feel focused again.
We feel like we’re getting back to work and we are on the right track.
What is your favorite part about being a part of the Overwatch League?
This isn’t a position that just anybody can have, being up on the Blizzard Arena stage. I’m very proud and I feel honored. I’m also very glad that I can play Overwatch in front of an audience with a passion for the game. This is something I love doing. I’m very glad to show my skill in front of an audience.
It’s a very good experience, and has a lot of life lessons.