Written by Volamel
The Florida Mayhem is on the brink of a renaissance and their academy team, Mayhem Academy, is no different. Head coach, Marvin "Promise" Schröder, is preparing the team for the upcoming season of Overwatch Contenders Season 3. While the roster still needs the finishing touches applied, the team just welcomed aboard former Florida Mayhem flex tanks, Tim "Manneten" Bylund. Coach Promise took some time out of his hectic BlizzCon schedule to speak with me about his long-term plan for the academy team as well as his thoughts on the Overwatch World Cup placings.
First, what are your plans for BlizzCon? Anything you’ve really wanted to check out or see this weekend?
I mainly wanted to attend BlizzCon to spend more time with my team, as well meeting a lot of people in the scene, that I only knew from online previously. Overwatch World Cup was also a big priority.
Seeing how Mayhem Academy placed 5-8th last season do you have any goals for the team regarding the upcoming season? Do you have any personal goals that you’d like to see met?
A lot of teams go into Overwatch Contenders with the sole purpose of winning. I personally don't mind the placing of my team because I want my players to develop into Overwatch League talent. In my time in European Contenders, my main goal was to get playoffs to stay in Contenders and develop the players I'm working with to the best of my ability. I think we have a really strong roster coming into Season 3 so we will obviously aim for the highest placing possible while keeping individual development in mind.
When it comes to building a team, what would you say are the three most important things you look for when scouting new talent? Is there anything that you specifically look for in individual players?
The three most important things are Mechanics, Communication and Attitude. If you get all three of them in one player, that is absolutely phenomenal. When scouting for new talent, I always try to find two of the three above mentioned qualities in a player. In the current meta, I have been looking for flexible players that have a wider hero pool and are able to adapt to different scenarios. We are long past the time of players being able to say: "Hey I'm a projectile DPS, I only play Pharah, Junkrat, Genji and Hanzo"
With the recent news of Overwatch Contenders North America being split into two divisions, how do you expect the division change the scene? Is this a change that you enjoy, why or why not?
The changes can be beneficial or less beneficial depending [on] what [the] region's perspective [is]. Looking at the overarching picture of the changes, I like them overall. Splitting Contenders North America into two regions makes sense due to the amount of Academy teams that will play at some point.
In regards to the Overwatch World Cup, who did you have advancing out of the quarterfinals? Did any of the teams really stand out to you as favorites with South Korea apparently having trouble in practice?
My prediction for the quarterfinals was: UK, South Korea, Finland, and France
I was not that surprised by the win of UK over the USA, although I would have expected it to go to map five. I know a lot of the players on the UK roster and I think they are all extremely talented, I hope people will stop sleeping on them especially Kyb. His comms are extremely good and his flexibility in terms of hero pool is so valuable. After how well France played in the Group Stages, I expected them to be more competitive but Canada just played really well. China's style seemed to be perfectly tailored for Finland, [but I] didn't expect them to win in such dominant fashion.
From the start to the finish, the Overwatch World Cup has been showcasing talent that previously did not have the proper spotlight. That said, was there anyone that impressed you this year?
Since we are talking from start to the finish, the one [player] that impressed me the most was definitely by far Trill. Coming from a minor region, putting Team Australia on his back, he has definitely shown top performances and I'm kind of surprised he hasn't been signed by one of the many other Academy Teams. I sincerely hope to see him signed very soon.
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.