Kungarna’s Dogman on competitive drive, Overwatch World Cup, and NRG drama
Kungara’s support ace, Dusttin "Dogman" Bowerman stopped by the offices today to chat about his predictions on the Overwatch World Cup, some interesting roster changes coming soon to Kungarna, Overwatch Contenders, and some odd NRG drama.
Heya, how's it going Dogman?
Hola Amigo! It’s going well, just got off some scrims. Going to get a haircut after this so that’ll be fun, hahaha.
Something that I thought par for the course, was that all the fun and juicy news breaks in the middle of the night. So, not that long ago we had the announcements on Cloud 9 taking up a London spot for the upcoming Overwatch League. What were your thoughts leading into this?
I don’t know. I know what they’re doing right now is all over the place. I will say that the players don’t even know what is going on right now. I don’t know if they know now. At least after, a week after Contenders Season 0 which was what early July? I got word that the players didn’t know what was going on really. The org obviously knows what they’re doing. I think they’ve skewed away from telling anything to the players I guess? I don’t know, I’m not sure. It’s still very up in the air.
That is one of the things I’ve heard tossed around a lot, is that what is going on right now is very “weird.” That is the one constant that I’ve been hearing a lot.
Yea, I can tell you this: it’s not going to be a UK or EU team representing London, probably. Unless they get subs or something. That’s probably not going to happen.
Now I know you just got done with scrims for the day and you probably haven’t had the time to check out the new Deathmatch game mode on the PTR, but what are your overall thoughts? Good? Bad? Indeferiant?
I like it, I like it. A couple more options would be interesting. I would love a CS: GO type Deathmatch server. It’d help you get your flicks down and what not, it’d be a huge benefit over playing the practice range for hours, ahahaha. I don’t know, not to go off on a tangent, but I recently switched mice not too long ago and it’s been pretty impactful on me. I used to use a SteelSeries Sensei and I tried the EC2A recently. Those mice, in particular, are much heavier, so I feel like I’d have to warm up to them more. Now, I’m using the Logitech Gpro just so that I can jump into things a bit more quick with a lighter mouse. But to better answer your question, yes I think Deathmatch is great. For me, it’s more fun. I can’t say that we needed it, but I think it’s a great addition.
I can speak on behalf of the professional players, but I think the Deathmatch warm ups definitely will help. Well, at least I would assume. Now, you did mention something that peaked my interest about the mice, I know people have preferences and what not but do you personally feel like you need a specific mouse to perform well?
Yea, for me personally, I’ve only used a few brands of mice. I’ve used the Sensei, the Imperator, the Gpro, and then I went to the EC2A, and then I went back to the Gpro. But overall I think it depends on your role you have. Playing hitscan heroes like McCree, no so much Soldier, but McCree in general because he is his own sort of beast, heavier mice, and mice that you can really get a quick flick. Sort of like the EC2A. Like, I played Zenyatta with the EC2A and I had some troubles.
Yea, that's been something that always was super interesting to me when it comes to peripherals. Do you happen to use mouse acceleration?
Noo, I don’t fuck with mouse acceleration, hahaha. I not even sure that many pros do mess with that. I pretty sure most people don’t. I don’t know anyone that does, I don’t think. Most people turn that off by default and unless you’ve been like accidentally using it your whole life then I think people tend to stick with no mouse acceleration.
It was something that Thorin had brought up in a video once, and I figured I’d ask and thought it could be pretty interesting to get some pros takes on that stuff, but in other news, we’ve got the Overwatch World Cup. What are some of your predictions going into the groups?
Alright let’s see, we’ve got Group H. Which has: the UK, Belgium, Germany, and Israel. It’s really hard to give anyone a fair shake, I haven’t scrimed any of those teams, to be honest with you. For me in particular, it’s super hard for me to predict the World Cup without seeing Day 1. We’ve haven’t seen these teams before, I mean maybe we’ve seen German and the UK in some Twitch stream or some scrims or what not, but at least off of what we know, Israel is actually a team. They’ve all competed together and realistically, we could easily put them high up there. I’d say they probably get first in their group.
Besides that, I know Belgium has a couple of players from FaZe. Germany has some alright players, funny enough we we’re actually supposed to scrimmage them, but we had to cancel last minute due to some stuff. And I’d probably put the United Kingdom in second, I think Boombox is a pretty decent Zenyatta. I don’t know, I feel like this group is a bit more weak compared to Group G, to be honest. I think it’ll be close and it’ll definitely be an interesting group, but if Israel destroys Germany day one then I don’t think there will be much competition. Could just end up being Israel rolling everyone in their group.
Interesting, interesting. Now let’s talk Group G. I mean obviously, this is the pride and joy group, housing: the United States, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Brazil. So talk to me about what happens in this group? Does the US make it out?
I don’t know. It’s actually confusing as hell, because realistically, it’s hard to admit, but we scrimed them pretty regularly and we still do pretty often. It’s been up and down with them we would be them certain days, but they’ve been odd. I mean they have been doing quite well against Canada, they pretty much spanked them majority of the time. Recently, however, they’ve kind of fallen off, so I’m not sure. It’s hard to say for sure, who gets first in these group, but I’ll just say the US takes it. Obviously, I want the boys in red, white, and blue to win!
Now, when we look at the US team, who do you think is going to be the X-factor here? I’ve heard people say Sinatraa, I’ve heard JAKE, I’ve heard the tank line. Who, in your opinion, will the team kind of lean on to pivot off of when the times get tough?
Yea, I’d have to agree with everyone, it’s pretty much Sinatraa. If anything, I think JAKE is a weaker link to that squad. I think in general, he’s a pretty commanding guy, I ran with them once back in their old team, -bird noises-. With him, it’s his way or the highway. He’s definitely an IGL for his team and he’s like 100% if you don’t play my way, then I can’t understand your view, pretty much.
I think that can hold him back a little bit, because sometimes that can lead him to a bit of tunnel vision, not only on the strategies but also on his play. At least when we played against him he tends to get a bit overly aggressive, both in his team (Luminosity Gaming Evil) and on team USA and it kind of costs them sometimes. However, I still think he’s a decent player and I think, as a whole, the team is relatively strong.
Leading straight from that, how do you think team USA pair up with their opponents in team Taiwan? Can they topple the Flash Wolves?
I am pretty sure they’ve got some crazy win record around them, but anyways, yea they seem strong. I feel like it should be a close game between the Flash Wolves and team USA, but maybe that’s being a bit too optimistic for the US. I want them to take first, but it’s going to be rough. I’ve never personally watch Flash Wolves, so it’s hard for me to give a fair opinion on them, to be honest.
How do you think team USA shakes up with team Brazil? Now, that is a whole team that was sent to the World Cup and they have participated in some of the Overwatch Monthly Melee’s back in the day. Do you think they’ve got what it takes? Does Brazil come in as a hidden underdog here?
Yea, I think they have a potential to upset. I don’t know if they can beat the US, but they have a chance. It might take them a few more international LANs before they can compete though. We’ll have to wait and see on Brazil.
Now, what are your thoughts on New Zealand? Can they edge out the competition and take the group?
What? No, they have Cantus, he’s that Mercy one-trick that got rank one...no, no, I’m kidding! I mean they could pull something off, but it’s a touch group. I think in general, they’re like on the level of Austria or like a Singapore maybe? So I don’t expect much out of them, I have them coming out at fourth.
Right on, I’m still hopeful for the boys in blue to pull something through. Now, something that I thought was interesting when I was doing my research through the Twittersphere was the notion that you “are a very big fan of Korean-style bowl cuts.” Could you explain what’s up with that? Are you still getting a bowl cut if you make it into Overwatch League?
Ahahaha, that is super funny you mention that because I just was talking with Verbo from Immortals. I asked him to ask some of his Korean players for the dimensions for the style of haircut that their players wear. Because I actually need a haircut before I head down to the Overwatch World Cup tomorrow. I need to go to Great Clips and get myself a Korean bowl cut. I know I said I would get the bowl cut if I made OWL, but why wait? I need all the power I can get now, haha.
Speaking of Korean players, someone you were quite vocal on Twitter about was team South Korea’s DPS player, Saebyeolbe. Could to you a bit about why you kind of marked him as a player to watch out for?
I think it could be a bit overhyped on my part, but something about him is just interesting. Not only is his Tracer play, compared to every other Tracer that I’ve seen in Korea. Maybe not in terms of his Pulse Bombs, but in terms of his tracking. Whenever you watch the guy, he just seems like a North American player, in terms of aim, even as like an EU player as well. His Tracer plays his nutty as hell. When I re-stream APEX and do my sort of live review of what's going on and the camera pans to him when LW Blue has finished capping a point or whatever, he’s always blowing on his hands! I call him like “Cyborg-byeolbe” or something. He’s overclocked his hands to perform at the highest level, ahahaha. He’s just cheating, it’s not fair. He’s got cheats in his hands!
Now, I know we are a few days out, but talk to me about Overwatch Contenders. What kind of preparation are you guys doing? What are your expectations? What can we expect out of team Kungarna?
There is a slight roster change, I can’t specify now, but there will be at least one new player in. That's about it pretty much, we’re just playing as much as we can and preparing by scrimmaging against teams in and out of Contenders. That's pretty much it. Most of the teams that are out of Contenders are pretty much dead or on hiatus or streaming. Everyone’s just waiting for whatever, you know? Obviously, Team Liquid isn’t around anymore and everyone is convinced that NRG is going to buy the slot. So, who knows.
I mean if you want to talk about that, what was your thoughts on that issue? Did you as a player, take issue that Team Liquid is able to sell the spot? Should it just fall to the next best teams? What do you think?
I think in other games, the organization sells the spot or they keep the spot and they pick up a new roster or whatever, and I think that's totally fair. The counterargument is, I don’t want to say weak, but it’s a little “loose.” It’s just not really feasible. I think EnVision and LGE have a right to be upset, but when an org owns the spot there isn’t much they can do. The rules are still kind of all over the place, and that’s fair I suppose, it’s the first big tournament so, it is what it is. I think that sort of stuff was definitely in the rules, but it was still so up in the air, because I know that we're looking into that sort of stuff is an unsponsored team. I think Team Liquid being able to sell the spot is fine, especially if it goes to NRG. We just get to roll them more. Ya know, give’em a whooping, ahaha.
That leads quite nicely into who you all see as rivals. Now, it seems like the stuff with Cloud 9 is water under the bridge, but from what you just said, it seems like things are heating up between Kungarna and NRG. What is going on there? Why the beef?
I think with NRG, that comes with a lot of frustration. At least with their old management, I know it’s been in the rotation and what not, but it’s been a little “complex.” I guess I can go ahead and say it, but they’ve even tried to poach some of my teammates. And it’s been recently really annoying because it’s like ‘well why don’t you just sign the entire roster?’ I mean they have a shit core anyways, right? They might as well pick us all up. It’s just a lot of frustrations on that front, obviously, they’ve been mismanaged with the roster. Personally, I would love to see them sign a new roster, and just watch them get destroyed by us when they could've had just all of Kungarna.
Something that has to be said, is that you all at Kungarna are some passionate folk. You are proud of what you’ve done and you aren't afraid to speak up about it. Does the push back against the trash talking fuel you at all?
I don’t think I’m as hindered by it. MykL and Babybay are definitely fuel by that kind of stuff, definitely MykL. Personally, for me, I just get emotionally detached and I turn my brain off. I leave MykL and Babybay to get pump and act as hype men. I try to keep an even level through the game. Is the game going bad, I try to keep playing my highest level. Is the game going good, I still try to keep playing the same game. The team is definitely emotional, but for me, it doesn’t vary as much.
Let’s talk balance changes before we wrap up. We’ve got double Junkrat mines, buffs to Orissa's barrier, and Widowmaker changes. What are your thoughts before you leave for your haircut?
I think it’ll be interesting to see how Orissa’s changes pan out, the Junkrat changes seem a little weird. There potentially could be a new metagame where Junkrat is decent again coming up soon, but my thoughts on meta’s have always been that they come and go. I try to just play what I can and play to the best of my ability.
Now, I end all of my interviews the same way; I want to ask the reason why? Why do you playing Overwatch all day every day? What stole you away from other FPS games to this one?
The entire purpose of me playing Overwatch has nothing to do with Overwatch. I live and breathe competition. I don’t care what game it is. I don’t care if it’s Overwatch, I don’t care if it’s Doom, Quake, CS; GO. I don’t really care for the game itself, I mean I was trying to go pro in Doom. And I remember telling people ‘no, no Doom esports is the next big thing’ and obviously that didn’t work out and I just jumped ship to Overwatch. I don’t play the game because it’s fun, it’s all about the competition.
Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLG’s of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment and @DogmanOW on Twitter and Youtube.