Of all the teams competing at the ESL Atlantic Showdown, the expectations are highest for Team EnVyUs. A competitive win streak of over 50 matches does that.
The team — five Europeans and one American, all now living and playing in NA — can let their recent results speak for themselves. Thankfully, they decided to chat with us anyway.
Ahead of the big throwdown at Gamescom, EnVyUs captain and flex player Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka told us a bit about his esports past, the team's view of the European competition, and whether their huge win streak has an impact on their in-game mentality.
Does your recent win streak weigh on you at all? Do you guys think about it whenever you drop a game?
INTERNETHULK: Not really. Thinking of what we achieved so far is pretty crazy, but yet hard to realize. There’s rarely a moment where I personally think of what I’ve achieved or what the streak is — I just look ahead and see how much I still want to achieve.
I guess living in the "now" while striving to be better in the future does not leave a lot of room to be satisfied with what you already have achieved.
Do you ever worry that you’ll start to take your dominance for granted, given your win streak?
We don't take anything for granted and work really hard to stay on top. Other than that we are not really worried. We know eventually we will lose a game or a tournament, but we try to not think about it and just focus on our game.
Right now in NA, most people would rank you on a level of your own, followed by C9 on their own level, and then everyone else. What are some of the factors separating you from the rest of the crowd?
I think we have a really good chemistry within the team and play really well together as a team. That might set us apart from the other teams.
As for C9, I think C9 and Fnatic are both closer to us than some people think. Our results speak for themselves, yet if you don't train as hard, you could still be looking to get upset by any Top 4 NA team.
How does communication work in-game? Once you’re out, how do you analyze your performance and handle criticism?
In-game we prepare our next fights all together, give quick feedback and trade information’s about ultimates etc. We dont have a designated shotcaller, but if I had to pick one it would be [Jonathan "HarryHook" Tejedor] who does a lot of calls for us in-game. We handle criticism pretty well and usually just talk about how we can improve and what we can do better.
For some games, competitive players seem to dislike frequent patches. How do you feel about Overwatch’s patch schedule so far?
So far I'm fine with it. The game itself forces players to adapt quickly, and I think teams that work hard and can adapt in-game as well as to upcoming patches have the edge. And I like it.
Have you encountered any challenges with so many Europe-based players on an NA roster? How is your organization supporting your efforts?
EnVyUs helped us relocate to America and is working hard to get us our visas for a permanent stay. Apart from that they are offering us the most amazing gaming conditions, with a gaming house that we used to live in, and now our own apartments and offices. Therefore we did not encounter a lot of challenges since we play on NA from NA.
What is your opinion on the state of the European Overwatch scene? Do you still scrim them sometimes?
We haven't scrimmed European teams other than Creation eSports and Rogue recently. Both seem shaky, but I believe Misfits and REUNITED to be stronger than both.
How important has your past esports experience been to your success in Overwatch?
My past esports experience has taught me a lot. I’ve been competing in esports for more than a decade now. The experience I gained, not just for my own gameplay, but also for how to interact within a team, definitely helped me succeed in Overwatch.
The biggest factor to my success is still hard work and dedication.
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is more of an "INTERNETMOONKNIGHT." You can find him on Twitter.