Pummy: “I’m looking forward to what might be the most competitive playoffs Overwatch Contenders has seen in years.”

Volamel 2023-05-20 06:22:33

If Trick Room's Anupam "Pummy" Terkonda isn't on your radar, you're missing out. Breaking out during the 2023 Pro-Am, Pummy assisted Trick Room in their legendary victory over the San Francisco Shock and have been taking the Overwatch Contenders world by storm. The young ace sat down with Esports Heaven to chat about his journey coming full circle with the Overwatch World Cup, playoff predictions, and more!     From the Pro-Am stage now to the World Cup stage, Pummy, talk to us a little about what this year has been like for you? Did you ever think you'd come this far? In terms of my Overwatch career, the last year has been an incredible journey.  Just 12 months ago, I was preparing for Open Division in an attempt to finally break into the Overwatch tier-two scene. After coming in first place, my team G-Force still had to play in Contender’s 2022 Summer A-Sides Qualifier.  What made this different from any other path from Open Division to Contenders was that Open Division took place on Overwatch 1, and then just 31 days later our qualifications took place on Overwatch 2. My only goal while competing in Overwatch was to showcase the best version of myself, in whatever form that may be. I believe I have been fulfilling that goal, but I never let the results indicate the progression of my goal. If true to myself, I know whether or not I’m giving my best effort. What brings me a sense of accomplishment recently is being able to see improvement throughout my Overwatch career. In the last 8 months of Contenders, I’ve played in three Round Robins.  The first one was in September 2022, my team finished 2-9 (-16).  After relegation and requalifying through Open Division with a newly built team, we were able to finish the next Round Robin 4-6 (-3). This earned us entry into the Contenders playoffs, but in last place.  Just this past week, Trick Room was able to finish 9-2 (+19), giving us the 3rd seed in the upcoming playoffs bracket.   That said, you will be representing Team India at this year's Overwatch World Cup, something that sounds like it holds a pretty big place in your heart. What does it mean to you to be able to compete at the World Cup? Could you share what that first experience was in 2018, what was that moment that started your competitive journey? I vividly remember the impact Overwatch World Cup 2018 had on me. As a fan of Blizzard games, since I was 11, I tuned into Blizzcon to stay updated with the games I loved. At the time, I was a casual Overwatch player, peaking around low grandmasters. The World Cup was fantastic because it gave people with no existing affiliation to organizations or players a team to rally behind and storylines to follow. Fast forward five years, and I feel a lot of pressure as I am now representing the most populous country in the world. However, I remind myself that the thousands of hours of practice I've put into this have led to this opportunity to showcase my talent on this level. I am determined to give the upcoming qualification 100%, as this has the opportunity to tie my Overwatch journey full circle. I've got to ask; what's your early read on the newest patch? Is that something you feel like Trick Room is going to be able to handle once it hits Contenders? As mentioned earlier, I originally qualified for Contenders on a Wrecking Ball one-trick team, G-Force. However, the following two Contenders seasons were played on the original Junkerqueen, with 100hp shout for everyone.  This made it difficult for Ball to be effective, and it showed in our results. Although Junkerqueen scares me a bit, I feel prepared to excel in any meta thrown our way.  Early on in Pro-Am Qualifiers, we were known as "the" rush team in North America. Because the next Contenders cycle is quite far away, I think it is unlikely to see any pro play on the current patch. Nonetheless, if the newest patch does hit Contenders, I am confident that Trick Room will be able to handle it. With Contenders playoffs coming in quickly, talk to us about those early losses. Dropping your opener versus Redbird Esports and WISP, both in 5, what do you think happened to cause those slip-ups?  During week one of the Round Robin, we faced our toughest opponents.  We found success with faster-paced compositions that included Lucio and Sombra. However, we struggled when the tempo was slowed down due to the map geometry, which resulted in our losses against Redbird Esports and WISP, both in 5 maps.  Although these losses were disappointing, they helped us maintain our morale and showed us that we had the potential to be the best even in defeat. What do you think the big takeaways were from each game? With how much distance you guys have to those losses, do you think those lessons were applied as you rounded out the group stage?  Looking back, we realized that these matches showcased a variety of compositions on both sides and while we had a general idea of what teams wanted to play, we were caught off guard by the dps substitution Redbirds made and the variety of backline comps shown by Wisp. It was a valuable lesson for us to learn that understanding our opponents is key in a meta as open as this one. Fortunately, after week one, we had access to all replays from every match, which helped us with our preparation and gave us more time to refine what we wanted to focus on.  Although matches got easier following the two losses, we were just as determined to recognize the importance and possibility of good seeding following the 2-2 week. Last time we spoke, we talked about how much the tournaments are a meta gamble and how it's about 'heating up at the right time', how are we feeling about Trick Rooms' chances in this meta? How confident are you guys coming into the playoffs? As for Trick Room's chances in this meta, we are feeling pretty good. Contenders is on the same patch as Overwatch League currently, and as a casual fan, you can see that the meta is still developing months after its inception. With all tanks except for Orisa, Roadhog, and to a lesser degree Zarya being viable, each team can play to their strengths.  Our focus in the weeks leading up to bracket play is to keep up with the evolving meta and make sure we're prepared for anything our opponents can show us.  We're confident that our team's versatility and willingness to play to our strengths will give us the best chance to come out on top. Your first-round opponents are O3 Splash and you are on the same side of the bracket as Saints, a team you already dispatched a few weeks back. Any messages to your opponents and is this going to be an easy stride into the semi-finals?  Our first-round opponents are O3 Splash, and while we have confidence in our ability to come out on top, we know that anything can happen in a tournament like this.  We respect our opponents and are not underestimating their abilities, but we have been working hard to prepare for any challenges they may present.  As for our previous match against Saints, we are proud of our performance but are approaching every match with the same level of focus and preparation.  I’m looking forward to what might be the most competitive playoffs Overwatch Contenders has seen in years.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment

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