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Hidan: “My goal is, of course, to join the Overwatch League next year. I’m nowhere close to giving up. This is in my blood and I deserve it.”

Volamel 2018-12-18 05:13:46
  Editor’s note: this interview was conducted on December 14th, prior to HSL Esports’ game against Team Gigantti Not many Overwatch players can say they’ve been playing the game as long as HSL Esports’ star Zenyatta specialist, Mikaël "Hidan" Da Silva. The esports veteran has been competing in multiple titles since 2010 and has won multiple championships with teams like Lumonisty Gaming, Misfits, and has now found himself with HSL Esports. The Overwatch Contenders hopeful stopped by Esports Heaven to chat about his upcoming match against Team Gigantti, his past in esports, and his short stint in North America.
First, I want to touch on a bit of your history, seeing how you’ve been playing since the beta of Overwatch. As someone who’s seen and played through all different kinds of metagames, what is your take on the distaste for the heavy tank metagame that we’ve been in for so long? First off, I would like to say hello to all the Esport Heaven readers. I hope that you'll find this interview interesting and insightful. I would also like to thank Esport Heaven for giving me the opportunity to do the interview with them. Concerning the GOATs meta, I like the fact that it is completely based on team play. It requires good communication, synergy, and discipline. And of course this is the strongest composition now, so you are forced to learn it and play it. It can be boring to watch, but that’s what we get when Blizzard releases a hero like Brigitte. Tank compositions existed already in the past, but you were able to play something else. For example, the Dreamhack Winter 2017 when we won playing a dive composition with 3 DPS heroes when every other team was playing three to four tank compositions. I won't lie, it's been pretty nice to be stuck on Zenyatta so I can constantly click heads. Aside from that, I have always preferred a more high skill cap meta like dive or double sniper. You’ve spent a good amount of 2018 playing in North America for Skyfoxes, formerly known as Karasuno, and Renegades. What was the thought process looking toward North American teams rather than play in Europe? Around the beginning of 2018, I decided to play in the North American scene because there were more opportunities concerning organizations in that region. Most of the organizations in Europe stopped investing in Overwatch for different reasons, such as visibility. Most of them couldn't afford a slot in Overwatch League and didn’t take any interest in investing in the Tier 2 scene. It was a good experience despite the 180ms latency. Now, this is ancient history for most Overwatch fans, but way back in the autumn of 2016 you and Misfits some amazing success during the Overwatch Open and Dreamhack Winter. Let me ask you this: what has kept you practicing this game since 2015? What about Overwatch has kept you around? I started playing Overwatch on October 27th, 2015, the date of the release of the closed beta, and since then I haven’t stop playing it. I came from Team Fortress 2 which I played competitively since 2010, so naturally, Overwatch seemed like the best opportunity for me to continue my dream of playing competitively. I kept practicing because I always want to be the best at my role, and I have continued working hard to this day with that goal in mind. HSL Esports grabbed Eagle Gaming’s Contenders slot after the team disbanded. Now looking back, you guys finished as the 5th seed during Trials. Have you or your team used this opportunity as motivation to prove people wrong and prove that you are deserving of Overwatch Contenders? Of course, I believe we deserve to be in Contenders. In Contenders trials, we had a bad start concerning some issues with our main tank role. Ascoft, our main support player, was forced to play main tank with a ringer on main support. We also failed our two last matches of Trials against Bazooka Puppies and Tea & Biscuits. Both had close final scores of 2-3. Also, during Trials, I was living in Texas with my girlfriend, so I had to [practice] and play our matches with 140 ping. Since I started this Contenders season I am back in Europe so I can play at full capacity and show everyone what I am capable of with decent ping. What exactly went wrong in your most recent match with Young and Beautiful? You guys dropped Route 66 after a pretty dominant performance in the prior maps. Could you extrapolate on what exactly went wrong? We adapted too late in terms of our positioning, and we also lacked some discipline in regards to ultimate rotation. Young & Beautiful did play very well this map, so GGs to them. We already reviewed this performance with the team and have since figured out how to approach this map for the next time. Looking ahead to your week five match against Team Gigantti, what are some key takeaways that the readers could pay attention to? What are some minor things that support players can do in this metagame that people should be on the lookout for? The winner of this match will be the most disciplined team and the one who will make the least mistakes. I think this will be a very close, interesting and intense match, so make sure to come to watch. Support players need to be very disciplined about their positioning and ultimate rotation. One bad use of a Sound Barrier or a Transcendence can lead to getting snowballed very easily. The things I can focus on to make the difference are my damage input during the fights and maintaining good target calling. As a veteran member of the French Overwatch community, I’ve got to ask you for your opinion on the Paris Eternal. What’s your opinion on the roster so far? Where do you think they’ll place in Overwatch League Season 2? I'm excited to see a full European roster competing in the Overwatch League. Several players are my friends, so I am very happy for them. I can't really say where they will place next season because a brand new roster does present challenges in terms of building synergy, but I certainly wish them the best! Last but not least, I wanted to grab some of your own personal goals in Overwatch and outside of the game as well. Where would you like to be in Overwatch by the end of 2019? As someone who’s been playing for so long, are there any other opportunities that look interesting to you? My goal is, of course, to join the Overwatch League next year. I'm nowhere close to giving up. This is in my blood and I deserve it. I'll keep working hard and get picked up by an Overwatch League team because of my talent and my dedication, not because of contacts. Thank you very much to Volamel for considering me for this interview. If you or any of the readers have any more questions or are interested in following me along my journey, you can follow me on Twitter and Twitch at @Hidan_OW. Take care, everyone! #Deglingue
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

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