Written by Volamel
The post-BlizzCon 2018 coverage continues forward as Esports Heaven was able to sit down with British Hurricane’s team manager, Ysabel "Noukky" Müller following the upset between Team UK and Team USA at the 2018 Overwatch World Cup. Noukky and I chat about the team’s successful performance in the Contenders Trials, the Angry Cup, and the success of Team UK and what it means to the European region.
Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted after the match between Team USA and Team UK on Friday afternoon.
We are here at BlizzCon 2018, with what should be the happiest Team Mother in the world, Noukky, from the British Hurricane! Two players from your organization and one former player, Kyb, Fusions, and MikeyA, just put on an amazing performance. How does it feel to have nearly three players find that level of success coming from the British Hurricane?
It makes me feel pretty proud. I’ve known Kyb since Open Beta, I used to play with him on my first team and now he’s winning World Cup for his country. It’s really, really good! Fusions I’ve known since some of the earlier seasons too and he always stood out to me as a player the never got picked up but, [like] a diamond in the rough we managed to build him up and make him a successful player. I’m really happy he’s performing so well on LAN.
That’s awesome, because Europe, as a region, doesn’t get a lot of spotlight. Going into the British Hurricane, you guys have just dominated Trials. You guys were very successful. As a member of the support staff for the team, is there any goal that you have for the team? Is winning the only acceptable outcome?
Winning as the “only acceptable outcome” is pretty relative because the ultimate goal for every player and for us as staff is to enable the players to chase their dreams and to get into the Overwatch League. Since that is their biggest goal we’ve tried to set them up for success.
Seeing how we are at BlizzCon, the mecca of Blizzard news, has there been anything that has piqued your interest in any of the other Blizzard titles? Don’t worry, we will get to Ashe.
I want to play Classic World of Warcraft! I’m going to quit my job as team manager to become a PVP player in Classic World of Warcraft! … no, I’m not, but I know that some of my guys are pretty excited for it and I’m pretty excited [about] it. I’m also pretty excited for WarCraft 3 [Reforged] because it’s one of the earliest games I played online and it’s just good memories. It’s just a [very] nostalgic BlizzCon.
Now, when it came to Overwatch we obviously had the announcement of Hero 29, Ashe. Any thoughts on her? Do you think she is going to shake up the metagame in Europe? Do you think we’ll see more Ashe?
If I am interpreting her [abilities] right, the dynamite looks a lot like Torbjorn’s new ability. So it might do extra damage to armor, because of the whole “flame theme” Torbjorn has, too. So I think she’ll see play time in Europe and she might be the reason to finally get Europe off GOATs.
You heard it here first - Ashe might be the GOATs killer. In all seriousness, when it comes to the future of the Hurricane, the team will be competing in the upcoming Angry Cup put on by Angry Titans. Are there any expectations coming into this event? Any teams you’ll be looking forward to playing?
Goals and expectations definitely. We really want to have a good [performance], but we are trying to use it as preparation for Overwatch Contenders more or less. It’s not something we want to chase too vigorously and tire out the players before Contenders starts, but I think we have a pretty good shot and we’re looking forward to seeing Angry Titans. They are one of the teams we did not get to practice against all too much and they just came back to scrimming because they took a break after Season 2 so we’re looking forward to seeing what they have in store now.
When we look at European Contenders and some of the players that have been drafted, do you think people are going to be paying Europe, as a region, much more attention than before after what happened with Team UK?
I think so, yeah. I think Paris did a great job of representing Europe with their team. There are players there that can definitely shake up the Overwatch League a fair bit. And as Philadelphia has shown us—granted Paris is only European—there is so much talent in other regions that people tend to overlook quite frequently. So I hope people pay closer attention to the region and not just stamp us as the “oh, they just play tanks and GOATs” region.
You mention GOATs which has been a European staple. It has been a very stylistic choice that Europe has used that North America has not used as much or has not found as much success with. There is one team or region that has been praised for their tank play has obviously been Team France. Now we’re sat outside the venue at the moment during the match, so we don’t know exactly what is going on between Team France and Team Canada, but how do you see Frances chances in advancing into the semifinals?
The dominance from GOATs comes from how they are exclusively playing it or how they are playing it primarily. And the big gap between the European GOATs and the North American GOATs is that [Europe] tries to master it. But, as I said, I don’t want that to represent Europe because Europe is so much more diverse than just tanks and just GOATs and maybe a Mei here and there. So it would be nice to see France be a little more diverse in their match against Canada.
But it’s really two different styles clashing against one another. xQc is known as a really good Winston and Agilities for his Genji so I think Canada will take more of the Dive approach. And since France has Benbest in their front line and he’s a leader personality in their frontline as Reinhardt they’re going to try and run GOATs more. If Canada can surround France and crack the backline a tiny bit, I think they have a good chance at beating France.
**Tridd from the table next to us: “Do you want to know the current score? It’s Canada 2-0.”
Unlucky. I resign, hahaha!
If you can, could you give us some names from European Contenders that we should be paying attention to? Is there anyone that we should really be paying more attention to?
Let me think. I’m trying to think of people.
One of the guys that the European casters really liked was naGGa, I think he has potential. I think he could step up in Contenders itself. He could be picked up by a team in Contenders with a strong coaching staff. He seems to be very workable.
Then one of the guys from We Has Org from Season 2 that I’ve had a look at was Jofi. He is also a really talented individual when it comes to his hero, because he’s a Lucio main support, but he’s a diamond in the rough who needs to be coached a tiny bit.
Of course, I want to advertise my players! Kyb and Fusions are really, really strong and deserve to go up a tiny bit. I think people are really sleeping on Kyb because he’s is one of the most flexible players in European Contenders right now. He literally plays close to 10 heroes for us -- 11 maybe. People probably think bock1 is too old, but people really sleep on him. He is not too old for Overwatch League. He wants to be there.
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 to follow his thoughts you can follow him at @Volamel.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.