New York Excelsior came out on top in the battle of the New England Overwatch League teams at Los Angeles Valiant’s Homestand Weekend, defeating Boston Uprising 3-1.
The match went as expected, with NYXL dominating the majority of the maps and team fights. But when the Boston Uprising attempted to deny NYXL the fourth and final map, Hae-seong “Libero” Kim had fans screaming as he wiped the Uprising with Doomfist in the final stretch.
With that victory out of the way, the Excelsior are already thinking of next season and 2020’s global tournaments. In a post-victory press conference interview, the NYXL opened up about what it will take to become playoff champions, possible changes to the team in 2020, and which teams to watch out for in the playoffs.
What is the practice structure going to look like for NYXL, factoring in the new travel time requirements in 2020?
Hyeonsang “Pavane” Yu, head coach: We’ll definitely have less time to practice next year, so we’ll have to find a more efficient way to go about practice.
What’s the plan for maintaining a proper work/life balance for the players?
Pavane: Having a conditioning coach will be very beneficial to maintaining that balance of work and rest. Working out, too. For any team, this will be helpful for next year.
How will the staff help the team deal with the added stress of travel?
Pavane: Something like a psychologist, for mental health, will help with all of the stress of traveling. The team has to get used to the time differences in each city, too.
NYXL as a team are known as being more defensive, but Flow3R is an incredibly aggressive DPS player. How do you mesh those two styles together?
Yeonoh “Flow3R” Hwang: I actually prefer to play defensively. Our coach also helped us a lot to play more aggressively as a team. That’s how I was able to shine today, thanks to the coaches.
How did the implementation of Flow3R in today’s lineup change the team’s dynamic? Is this a preview of what’s to come in the playoffs?
Pavane: We needed somebody to play Hanzo and Widowmaker. It was a little late in the stage, but we expected him to play well this week and to play well every week that follows. We don’t know what the meta will be in the playoffs, but considering his hero pool and aggressiveness, we feel he will be a really helpful addition to our team if the meta works out for him.
After a full stage of playing with 2-2-2 role lock, what is your opinion on this? Do you think it’s good for the league?
Taehong “MekO” Kim: It’s more fun for me. Ever since 2-2-2 role lock happened, there’s been a bigger variety of comps. Viewers can watch flashier heroes, like Widowmaker and Hanzo. Overall, it’s just more fun.
There’s going to be a new patch and a new hero, Sigma, in the playoffs. How do you see that playing out for your team?
Pavane: We have practiced a little bit on the playoff patch. But we still don’t know what the meta will be. We have no idea.
We haven’t had a really great Stage 4 performance, but we learned a lot. Based on what we learned, if we find a meta or style that works for us, we can win the championship.
What have you learned from last season’s playoffs, that you think you can improve on for this season?
Pavane: Last playoffs, as well as this stage when 2-2-2 happened, we struggled to find our playstyle. But based on what we’ve learned over the last two years, I think we will find a playstyle that works for us.
Besides yourselves, San Francisco Shock, and Vancouver Titans, is there any team that people should be watching out for in the playoffs?
Taesung “Anamo” Jung: Philadelphia Fusion. If it’s double sniper meta, they should have a lot of potential.