A recent AMA featuring Atlanta Reign players and staff was all about taking fans behind the scenes of one of Overwatch League’s newest teams.
The AMA session focused more on the players’ personalities than the team’s strategies going into Season 2, as fan loyalty throughout Overwatch League’s first season relied heavily on the charisma and visibility of each team’s players.
The idea of the players and staff living together in Los Angeles can seem like something out of a sitcom. Head coach Brad “Sephy” Rajani discussed the living situation, complete with a team chef, personal trainer, a pool, beautiful views, and “OP bean bags.”
While there was mention of a giant practice room and the structured practice sessions that took place therein, fans were more interested in the team’s outings, which often act as team building activities for the squad outside of the pressures of the game.
“So far we’ve tried to plan in some awesome team bonding experiences,” Sephy said. “We’ve done Go-Karting, Korean BBQ and plan to do some more in the upcoming weeks.”
Ilya “NLaaeR” Koppalov’s relentless quacking driving Petja “Masaa” Kantanen crazy, and Daniel “Dafran” Francesca’s constant exclamations of “LET’S GO DUDE” were examples given how united the team had become since their formation a short time ago. Especially when teammates started yelling it in Korean as well.
“I was more skeptical of mixed language teams before OWL S1,” Sephy wrote. “I would say that the success of Philly, Boston, and also my own personal experience on Shock showed me that my fear was overblown.”
Going into Season 2, Atlanta Reign said they felt their biggest rival was NYXL. But fans were more concerned with the rivalries and dynamics within the team itself, with one fan asking, “Who’s the alpha male of the team?”
“ME,” Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo responded, before being immediately shut down with a “Press X to doubt” comment from teammate Masaa.
After eventually being crowned the true alpha of the squad, Blake “Gator” Scott gave some advice to fellow tank mains: “Lead your team. You need to trust your team, but also gain their trust. Come up with good game plans that can also help with target calling and ult-tracking, which is very useful.”
General gameplay advice was common through the AMA, but it was clear from the start that the team’s actual strategies were being kept secret. And while the discussion thread kept a jovial tone, the team’s coach didn’t mince words regarding how seriously his players were approaching their work.
“Each and every one of the guys I work with in the Overwatch League team doesn’t mess around. They give their all in practice and outside of practice,” he said.
The Atlanta Reign’s first Overwatch League match will come on February 15 versus Florida Mayhem.