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The New York Excelsior is undoubtedly the most dominant team in the Overwatch League since its inception. Last season, they excelled for most of the year until Stage, but towards the end of the year, started to get exposed. Teams were finally figuring NYXL out, but they still managed to make it to the Stage 4 Finals before losing its throne to the Los Angeles Valiant.
In the season playoffs, NYXL was the favorite going into their match against the Philadelphia Fusion. Like the Stage 4 finals, they came up short again and could not qualify for the grand finals in New York.
Their hunger to win has grown since then, learning from their mistakes last season. The NYXL is off to a hot start this season, albeit beating the Boston Uprising and Washington Justice. Their first test this season was against the team who beat them in the Stage 4 finals, the LA Valiant.
NYXL came away victorious in a close match. After their victory, NYXL’s DPS player Hae-seong”Libero” Kim talked to Inven Global about the meta, why they are dominant in the Overwatch League, and what challenges they would face moving forward.
Congrats on the win. It was a very intense match between NYXL and the Valiant. How did you guys manage to pick up the win?
We were down like 1-2 at one point, but then we didn’t lose our focus. We didn’t get tilted or anything, we were still hyped up. I believe that was the reason we won.
GOATS has been around for a while now. Compared to other metas previously, has this meta affected the team’s dynamic?
It feels different than before GOATS, like how good the teams are. Whoever practiced GOATS longer during the offseason has more firepower. Communication is really important when playing GOATS. Teams that have great communication will definitely show in the standings.
A lot of great DPS players such as yourself have to flex to other roles in this stage. What have you worked on to adapt to the meta?
I watched recordings of my scrims to see what I can improve on. Then, I use what I learned on stage.
What’s one thing the team struggled last season that you worked on during the offseason?
I think communication was something we worked on in the offseason. We are now communicating more in game. Obviously, it’s important in this meta and it’s showing in our results so far.
So far this season, we’ve been seeing Nenne and Anamo play on stage. What contributed to the decision of playing with Nenne and Anamo instead of Saebyeolbe, Pine, Fl0w3R, or Ark?
I believe our substitute players are really good and everyone is trying really hard this season. Everyone deserves time to play on stage. Sometimes, it’s hard though, because of the meta.
A lot of the games these past two weeks have gone to five games. Why do you think we’ve been seeing a lot of matches going the distance?
The skill differential between all the teams has been getting smaller. Teams that weren’t doing well before are catching up, and that’s the main factor in this trend. In this meta, one mistake can probably cause you to lose the game.
You guys are undefeated so far this season. Why do you think NYXL has been so dominant in the Overwatch League?
We started practicing earlier than other teams. Another reason is that we always get feedback from coaches. For those reasons, I think we are starting off to a good start this season.
🙌 Clean finish by NYXL, and matched with a celebration at home 🙌#EverUpward #OWL2019 #5DeadlyVenoms pic.twitter.com/mc8oZIEvpk— 5 Deadly Venoms Crew (@NYXL_Venoms) February 23, 2019
What do you think are the biggest challenges for NYXL this season?
We have our problems and I’m sure other teams have problems as well. The one thing we should do better as time goes on is to analyze and watch how other teams play. Even if we solve those problems, it’s not going to mean success for us. We will continue to work hard regardless.
Lastly, thanks for the interview. I’m looking forward to seeing how NYXL will do this season. Is there anything you want to say to the fans?
First of all, thank you for cheering for us. There was a viewing party in New York. Every time we see our fans get together to watch the games, we notice and are happy about it. We are going to win the championship this season. Look forward to that.