Olivia R. August 26, 2019
Los Angeles Valiant's Homestand Weekend at The Novo in downtown Los Angeles is just a sneak peak of what's to come in Overwatch League 2020, according to general manager Michael Schwartz. The future home base of the Valiant once the league goes global next year, Schwartz noted that this weekend was the team's chance to showcase their personality.
"We have a wholesome brand," he told reporters including WIN.gg in a press conference before the Homestand Weekend matches began. "We have a great team culture. We show that competitively on stage. They're great friends outside of the game. We engage with our fans, and have a solid base with that. This event represents that."
Schwartz, who is in charge of signing players, admitted that the Los Angeles Valiant purposely search for players that fit in with their currently wholesome image. While skill obviously plays a part, their mindset is also a major component.
Los Angeles roster changes, past, present, and future
Schwartz stated that the team will be keeping their core roster, but he will be looking at free agents and roster changes during the offseason, just in case any of the available players mesh with the current roster.
"We look for those wholesome leadership qualities. Some players might fit better on a team like the NYXL, who want to be undefeated. Who push the narrative of being the best team," Schwartz said.
The Los Angeles Valiant were notorious for their roster and staff changes throughout Season 2, which seemed to often play a part in their shortcomings in Stage 1 and Stage 2. Scwartz noted that promoting former assistant coach Mike “Packing10” Szklanny to the head coach position had brought some stablity back to the team. He also said that adding tank main Russell "FCTFCTN" Campbell was a "great fit" that finally put all the pieces together.
"We have to look at how roster choices impact the team in this current meta, and also create depth for a future meta. With 2-2-2, KSF can flex on everything. Agilities is back in the lineup. We're finding our footing in the meta," Schwartz said.
The Los Angeles Valiant are one of the last remaining teams with a mixed roster, and Schwartz stated that they plan to keep it that way. With players from Europe, Korea, and America, the team's goal is to have an "enticing support structure" and "take from any region."
Los Angeles Valiant look forward to 2020
Even though the Homestand Weekend had yet to begin, Schwartz was already excited about next year's global schedule. To ensure that the team succeeds in that new structure, the GM noted that he's already reached out to the teams hosting homestands to coordinate scrims with them directly.
"We're making sure to take a collaborative approach for everyone's best interest. We are making sure they have facilities we can utilize, so we can both get those hours to scrim appropriately. We want to make sure we're ahead of the game when it comes to Visas as well. I triple check that now, to make sure everyone is ready to go," Schwartz said.
Of course, the competition is the most important aspect of the worldwide travel in 2020. But Schwartz can't help but be excited about visiting London.
"I've never been," he admitted. "I've always wanted to go there. I played Runescape a lot as a kid, so it sort of stuck with me."