Overwatch World Cup serves many purposes. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate individual ecosystems and nations as well as gifting players opportunities to showcase their talent for the thousands of people watching from home. Many players left the Paris stage of the 2018 Overwatch World Cup with a higher standing in the public eye, but one player stood out amongst the crowd. Italian Flex tank, Edmondo "DragonEddy" Cerini, sat down with EsportsHeaven to discuss some of his favorite moments from the event and what lies in the future for his team as well as the European region at large._____I know you talked about this on broadcast, but I feel like you didn’t share everything that went behind your handle. Could you go more in-depth on how you got the name “DragonEddy”?I chose this nickname when I was 12, so sometimes I regret it, but I still stick to it because more and more people are getting to know me as “DragonEddy” and I got attached to it as well.Eddy comes from my name, Edmondo, and that’s how everyone calls me. Dragon comes from the fact that when I was a little kid, my Mom, who is Chinese, used to show me traditional Chinese objects, like folding fans or ancient paintings with dragons, and she explained to me how the dragon was and still is the best zodiac symbol in the ancient Chinese history for many different reasons. They are associated with strength and harmony, so when I was a kid I really liked all the stories around them and that’s where my nickname comes from.We’ve got to tackle the Overwatch World Cup. Talk to me about your set against Poland and try and remember back to Control Center. It’s 99% to 73% and Team Italy is approaching with a good ultimate advantage. Leading into the fight, what was the atmosphere like in the team and what was it like to finally close that game out?I remember that at the end of the previous fight we were still very agitated, but Bimbz and I were really chill, calming everyone down and saying that we would have easily retaken with our Bomb-Grav combo. I told Heartbeat to not worry about throwing the Grav because they didn’t have any D.Va trying to eat it, so it was an easy throw. After the combo, we got a pick and then we just cleaned up the point. I remember that at the end of that last fight everyone was getting so hyped, some were already cheering, but we were super focused, we wanted to finally end the match and take our win. After the last kill, “Victory” came up on the screen and I remember everyone giving their “ggs” and then finally standing up, screaming and hugging everyone else. That win felt really good!Team Italy put up one solid fight but didn’t manage to qualify for BlizzCon. If you could go back to any match during the World Cup and change something, what match would you go back an alter?Overall I’m satisfied with my performance at the world cup, but there’s one mistake that I still regret. We were playing against France on Temple of Anubis and we were about to full hold it on the first point. The fight right before they won, I had my D.va Bomb. We were 5 vs 6 and my mech got down to 100 hp, so I thought that we still might have lost that; so I used my ult to get a re-mech and not die, but right after Heartbeat and someone else, I don’t remember who got three picks on France and the fight was won even before my bomb exploded. I knew NiCO had his blade up, but I thought Nisa would have charged his ult in time for the next time, he was 70% or something. I had a déjà vu at that moment: I remembered the previous game with team Netherlands on Temple of Anubis, where Vizility had his blade on and I knew it and I prepared myself with my D.va bomb to counter it. The next and last fight, in fact, Vizility goes in with Dragon Blade, I do a really good bomb, I kill him, save the fight, and full hold Anubis. With team France instead, I didn’t have my bomb to counter their blade. Last fight NiCO comes in with his blade and takes 3-4 easy kills on us and takes the first point. I remember I regret that a lot, but after I realized that considering the situation it was not a big mistake of mine, I could not have known that the fight where I threw my bomb we would have got so many picks.What did it feel like to represent your entire country on stage with more than 20,000 people at home watching you play? Do you have any fun fan interactions that really inspired you? Did you feel any added pressure knowing how this could affect your career?This was my first experience and LAN in front of such a big and cheering crowd and I was super excited to play for my country! Usually, a lot of players perform worse in LAN due to pressure and the big audience, but I instead performed 100% better! I’m so hyped by the crowd and the atmosphere that I really get the best out of me!Every time a round ended, I just looked up and saw the huge crowd shouting and I remember perfectly those seven or eight Italian fans who came all the way to Paris to cheer for us and, oh my god, they were so few, but they were cheering and shouting more than anyone else! Italian fans are truly amazing! I remember they had the biggest flag in the audience!And about the fact that this big event was about to affect my future and career, I felt pressure of course, but in a positive meaning because that made me perform even better knowing that there were many Overwatch League scouts watching me and doing the interview with Malik and seeing my name on the first day of the stage as MVP was absolutely amazing!With your performance during World Cup, you’ve drawn quite the buzz around you. In your opinion, how important is the World Cup to the Overwatch ecosystem? Many people are comparing it to Overwatch Contenders -- would you agree with that?World Cup is a very big important and symbolic event. A lot of people who wouldn’t normally watch Overwatch tournaments tune into the World Cup’s stream just to cheer for their national team! A lot of Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders scouts watch this event to find new talents, so it’s a really big opportunity for those not so known players. For example, after the World Cup, I got contacted by so many people, fans, interviewers and managers from Overwatch League teams!As someone who has been grinding the Overwatch ladder for the past year, what do you think needs to happen to better facilitate players continuing to pursue the Path to Pro model?I think the Tier 2/3 scene, especially in Europe, needs more Overwatch League academies and organizations willing to invest in the game and to invest in new talents that are Overwatch League worthy. I think that Samsung with their “Morning Stars” project is one of those good organizations that has invested and is still investing a lot in Overwatch. But to make companies invest into the game, the viewership and interest in the game is at the basis, so maybe the should take care of that first, trying to make the game more enjoyable and watchable and advertising the game and tournaments outside the League. It’s still a very hard and complicated question to answer and I don’t really know the answer.I did want to touch on Contenders Trials last season for your team Samsung Morning Stars Blue. Could you explain more in-depth what went wrong for the team when it came to Trials? It felt like the momentum from Open Division didn’t really carry over, was there a specific reason why that is?I think that the meta change influenced us a lot. In the OD we were kind of an OTP team, we were running our composition and we were super strong with it, we beat a lot of strong teams over and over and we learned how to counter every other comp. Everyone was very confident with his own pick and me especially, I felt great playing Zarya!On the Trials patch though things changed, even if not in a big way. The meta was kinda different, some were already playing the GOATs that we know that was pretty stronger than our composition and we hadn’t really practiced that or dive and we didn’t have time to. So, after the first loss, everyone shut down. A lot of guys were demotivated and we didn’t manage to stand up again.One of your Open Division rivals whom you beat to lock in second place was One.PoinT, who did quite well in Overwatch Contenders Season 2. If given a direct slot into the Contenders scene, how well do you think Samsung Blue would have done? Would you have made playoffs? Are you looking forward to playing against One.PoinT in the future?As said before, one of the team we were beating on the OD patch was actually One.PoinT, but it was when we were running our OTP comp; people started learning how to counter it and either way we would have not been able to play it on the Contenders patch, so honestly I don’t think we would have gone far back then. The loss in Trials made us stronger though, we started practicing and getting better at other meta comps and now we all feel ready!Now, looking forward, what are your plans for next season of Overwatch Contenders? Do you have any specific goals in mind that you are chasing? Do you have any team goals that you're comfortable with sharing?We’ve been seeing some roster changes and there are big news incoming about that and about Contenders that I can’t tell yet. My team goal is getting more and more synergy with my teammates and going as far as possible in the next season reaching at least top 8 and my personal goals are to show up in the season of Overwatch Contenders and to make my name more and more popular. I finally want to reach that Overwatch spot and I will!_____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.