San Francisco Shock’s Moth on having a healthy team environment, his start in gaming and more
One of the newer additions to the San Francisco Shock has been support player, Grant "moth" Espe. His acquisition from Toronto Esports late in Stage 2 was a breath of a rejuvenating air for the Shock and they’ve been better for it since he has been added to the team. Moth has played support for roughly a year and his meteoric rise from the unknown to playing on the biggest stage in Overwatch has been a treat to watch. He sat down to chat about his entry into Overwatch as well as how important it is to keep a healthy team atmosphere.
Disclaimer: the interview was conducted March 18th during the latter half of Stage 2.
Hey Grant, could you walk me through exactly how you got into gaming?
I've been playing video games casually for as long as I can remember. my parents bought my older brother and I a Gameboy Color when I was 4 or 5. I built a PC when I was 14 and got into CS:GO when I was 18.
When did gaming become something you thought you could pursue as a career?
When the Overwatch League tryouts started around August 2017, I got to see how I compared to top tier main supports. I didn't get an offer and almost no one knew who I was, but I knew I was close to the top, so I started grinding for Overwatch Contenders.
You’ve played for a few teams across your career, but what would you say is the biggest difference between the teams that you first played for and the team you play for now, the San Fransisco Shock?
The level of coordination and mechanical skill is far higher on Shock than the first teams I played for since I worked my way up from the bottom of the amateur scene.
What would you say is the most important skill a good teammate can have and why?
The ability to think on their feet and act without hesitating. Overwatch throws new things at you every day so you need to adapt quickly.
In your debut match, you were played over dhaK, who is noted as being a large vocal presence on the team. Would you say that you bring a similar set of skills to the team?
Yes, super and I are probably the most vocal players right now. I try to track ultimates and do most of the macro calling.
What do you think the strongest skill the San Fransisco Shock possess as a team?
As a team, we are able to stay very calm and positive on match days, even when things aren't going our way.
In your eyes how important is it to have a healthy team atmosphere in the Overwatch League?
If people don't get along, you won't perform well on stage. Having an unhealthy team atmosphere in a game like Overwatch puts you at a serious disadvantage; there needs to be a high level of trust between all six players.
Taking a look back at some of your old teams and your history, it’s taken roughly a year for you to reach the top of your game, which is relatively short. What does it feel like finally reaching the top? Do you still have that same hunger that you did at the beginning of 2017?
It feels incredible to make it. I never stopped grinding scrims since I joined [team] Doot Doot in late 2016 and right now, I'm more motivated than ever.
What would you say happened or what could have been improved taking a look back at your match with the London Spitfire?
London always had better positioning and denied us any space we tried to take. Profit was oppressive for our backline to play against.
With that last question in mind, with your dominant win over the Houston Outlaws, would you say that issue was corrected and led to your victory?
The Houston match was the day after the match with London, we didn't really have time to make any major adjustments.
Within this last year, is there anything you’d do differently? Any paths you wish you took and didn’t have the chance to?
I don't think so. Overall I'm very happy with the route I took to make it to the Overwatch League. I played on some great teams and made a lot of friends along the way.
Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLGs 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 OGN