The New York Excelsior have been aggressively fighting for a spot in the Stage 3 playoffs.
In the first week of Stage 3, the veteran Overwatch League team scored a win over the Houston Outlaws and then steamrolled Season 1 champions London Spitfire. The 4-0 win perfectly highlighted the NYXL’s mastery of the current meta, and has given their loyal fans hope that they will be returning to form.
WIN.gg spoke with Hae-seong “Libero” Kim about his team’s winning strategies against the Spitfire in an exclusive post-match interview.
How are you feeling about your win over the London Spitfire?
It’s been a while since we played them. Winning 4-0 felt pretty good. And we tried a new comp, which went really well.
Yes, I noticed the Sombra addition. Why did you guys decide to go with that GOATS variation?
If the Sombra player is really experienced, we feel that it’s better than regular GOATS right now. In general, abilities are very important in Overwatch. She can hack somebody and make them not able to use that ability. That’s very big. And in GOATS, the teams are bunched together. It’s easier to EMP as well.
Why do you think your team was able to take the four maps so easily?
Two days ago, that was the first time we ever ran Sombra GOATS on stage. It was hard for London to predict. They didn’t have enough time to prepare for Sombra GOATS.
Even though you guys dominated overall, there was a moment during your attack in Hollywood when the London Spitfire got a team kill with just a few seconds left on the clock. Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang switched to Ana. What was the reasoning behind this change, which ultimately won you the map?
At that point, JJonak didn’t have Zen’s Transcendence. It was the last fight, and he wouldn’t have that anyway, so it was better to use Ana. Her ult is better in that situation.
Was there any part in the match that stood out to you?
When London C9ed in Ilios’ Lighthouse.
What play were you personally most proud of?
The very first map, Ilios, in Wells. I killed [Ji Hyeok “Birdring” Kim’s] Tracer. That was a highlight for me.
What is your usual playstyle with Brigitte?
Whichever teammate is in the most important location, I try to help them as much as possible.
You are a DPS main. When did you start playing Brigitte instead?
Around October of last year. That was when GOATS was starting.
Were you able to carry over any of your skills from playing DPS?
The awareness I have as a DPS player helped with Brigitte.
Your team stuck to GOATS and Sombra GOATS exclusively. How do you feel about the current meta?
Playing GOATS is very important in winning this year’s championship. We’re just focusing on mastering GOATS so we can win this year. That’s all we’re thinking about.
Why do you think your team is so good at GOATS meta?
Our coaches are able to give us feedback on what we need to fix. And we have great communication as a team. We have a lot more experience communicating with each other than other teams.
How were you feeling about your standing at the end of Stage 2?
We weren’t completely happy with those results. But during Stage 2, we learned that we can make changes to become more successful. As a team, we saw that the coaches were having us try different things. And the players were able to fix some things with our communication, to make it better.
What is your goal for Stage 3?
Winning the Stage 3 finals.
Which teams are you excited to face in Stage 3?
Possibly meeting Vancouver in Stage 3 playoffs. We lost to them in Stage 2.
Is there anything you wanted to say to your fans?
We had a rooftop viewing party in New York today. I’m really happy we won today, to show them a good match. Right now, we’re not favored to win the championship. Our fan’s expectations may be lowered. But I hope you look forward to seeing us play. And I’m really excited about moving to New York next year.
What are you looking forward to in New York City?
I like taking pictures a lot. Of good food. The scenery. There are great places to take pictures out there. And it will be easier to meet our fans.