Eternal Mobugi On The Meta Triangle, Midseason Madness, And More
Sidelined from the Kickoff Clash playoffs, the Paris Eternal look to bounce back ahead of the Midseason Madness. Assistant coach Jee-hoon "Mobugi" Yoo spoke to GGRecon about the Eternal’s growth over the season, why Doomfist returned to prominence during the Overwatch League Kickoff Clash playoffs, and his experience joining a western roster after climbing the amateur ranks in South Korea.
Obviously, the Kickoff Clash did not end as you anticipated, but going to game five with the Houston Outlaws showcases a lot of growth for the Eternal. What kind of mindset is the Eternal coming into the Midseason Madness with? Are there any goals you and the team have laid out?
Sure, we’ve set goals for the players especially. We’ve discussed a lot with the players.
In Overwatch 1, there were two tanks so you could choose a different kind of composition due to the synergy the tanks would have. But right now the problem is we’re struggling [because] we have to change our styles. We can’t do really epic things right now. Like two shields or like Roadhog and D.Va, they’re very interesting compositions and we’re good at it, but the problem is in Overwatch 2, there is only one tank. Since only one tank exists, you cannot make those kinds of cheese comps work or counter through a creative style.
So we should focus on a basic style, but we are not used to it. We are used to more creative things and aggressive stuff. We are very used to [that] but right now we just practice a lot more basic stuff. It doesn’t mean players don’t know the basic stuff, but they should always keep to the basic stuff more than Overwatch 1 right now. That’s why we struggle, I guess.
And also from the first week, what we constantly want from the first week changed. Everyone wants to change when they are having tough times, but it isn’t that easy. For the change, rather than increasing the amount of practice time and scrimming, we tried to match our thought, we tried to keep discussing it, and tried to make one team.
My goal is always to reach towards the cup matches with all of my teammates.
Speaking of creativity, you mentioned prior to the interview that you’ve been looking at a lot of VODs from the Kickoff Clash. Is there something interesting that you’ve seen from the tanks in the Kickoff Clash that is surprising?
Especially in Kickoff Clash, Orisa [has surprised me]. I’ve tried to use Orisa a lot for counter-dive, you know? Right now, Orisa can get a lot of easy space. When she uses her skills in an efficient way, it’s really good to get a lot of space. So we can play with that space and get a lot of advantages from it. So I just think about [Orisa] a lot!
And it was also good to see, maybe a week ago or two weeks ago, I saw San Francisco Shock use Bastion to release the choke on Circuit Royal and I saw a lot of creative things. I took a lot of ideas from it and I tell [Dae-han "JMAC" Choi] 'next time we can use blah, blah blah.'
If you were to compare yourself and JMAC, are you more creative whereas JMAC is more fundamental and basic? How would you describe the differences you two have?
To be honest, I always stress about basic stuff first. Coaches should need both kinds of stuff, right? Coaches know the fundamental stuff but also need creative things. For me, it’s important for me to make [the players] play basic stuff, and then after we can go creative.
That’s going to be the best way to coach, I think.
Looking at the Houston match for a moment, things seemed to go very well for the Eternal in the Zarya mirror on Colosseo and Route 66 but once Danteh came in on the Doomfist, the match seemed to slip away. What were some of the feedback you and JMAC gave to the team during that match? Was there anything you would have liked to do differently?
I thought that when they switched in Danteh, they were going to use Doomfist, right? So I said to our team that we are on the right track because the first and second maps results were really good against Houston and Houston is one of the good teams."
I said, ‘just believe in yourselves, you guys. We’re on the right track. Don’t think about the past mistake, whatever they are.’
For Doomfist, [he’s] going to try to break our formation. I said to the players ‘always think of the formation’ because the goal of Doomfist is to try to break our formation, especially between our backline and frontline. So I just stressed about formation stuff.
The two prevailing styles of compositions both in North America and in Asia seem to be centred around Winston and Zarya with Reinhardt being picked far less. Do you think Reinhardt is good?
To be honest, I used Rush in Korean Contenders. I used a lot of those high sustain compositions like Rush, like Lucio/Baptiste, so I still believe that it’s going to be really good to use right now.
"The problem is I can feel the lack of D.Va."
But I believe it can be useful. It can be good enough to use.
You mentioned feeling the lack of D.Va, do you think that there are heroes that can be used in her place?
That’s the reason why I like flexible characters like Mei and Tracer. These days there is a lot of Genji right now but the problem is, Genji is not that flexible—but it can be flexible—but not compared to others like Tracer and Mei. I’d really like to use flexible characters a lot and I think heroes like Mei and Tracer are going to be the answer right now.
I’ve spoken to some people in the league and they said that Zarya was very popular in the pre-season. Coming into the season, did you anticipate Zarya being as strong as she seems?
Coaches also try out to join the league, right?
During the Paris tryouts, we were asked to like make a composition on our own. And even from then, I thought the Zarya comp would be strong. I’m the only one who used the Zarya, Doomfist and Sombra composition when Doomfist was still a DPS. So I used things like Zarya, Doomfist, and Reaper. I just used the Zarya composition a lot and I dominated all the tryouts.
So I think Zarya is going to be good. When the patches came out during the pre-season, Zarya got a lot of nerfs, so we changed to Rush and Rush dominated the Zarya composition. I think [Ilari "Vestola" Vestola] is struggling with Zarya these days, but he is good mechanically.
The problem is players don’t like to play heroes that are uncomfortable. He’s not bad. That doesn’t mean he is bad. It just means it is going to take time. He just isn’t comfortable yet, that was the problem. So we used a lot of Sigma and D.Va composition in the pre-season.
You said that the Reinhardt Rush does good into Zarya. Do you think there is a rock-paper-scissors meta right now? Where Reinhardt beats Zarya but Zarya beats Winston and so on. Like a triangle meta?
Kind of like a triangle, you could say that because I agree with your opinion. The problem is that each composition has a lack of something important or a weakness. Like the Rush composition, I mentioned I can feel the lack of D.Va, it means we need to be careful of the enemy Soldier: 76 plays a wide-angle or when the Winston dives us and we need to peel the backline. In that moment I can feel the lack of D.Va right now.
And also in Winston compositions when he dives, he needs [help], right? The problem is when we fight against the Zarya, our backline could get scared when we fight against the Reaper and the Zarya with high energy. That can be a problem.
Each composition has a weakness right now, so the goal becomes how do you overcome those weaknesses on every composition.
Zarya and Reaper both seem to be quite a dangerous counter for more Winston based teams. Do you think there are any adaptations the Winston teams can do to increase their odds of playing into the Zarya/Reaper composition?
For the Winston composition, there are two kinds of styles to fight the Zarya composition right now. The first is to dive into the enemy backline, especially Ana to cut the sustain. Really simple, just dive it and then the backline goes to pressure the Reaper and the Zarya. The problem is it depends on the map, but that could be very dangerous. High energy Zarya is very scary.
Like San Francisco Shock, they are playing the Winston composition kind of slow when they fight against the Zarya composition. That shows the differences of mobility right now. Zarya is a bit slow compared to Winston, so they get a lot of value from their mobility and try to pressure the enemy Zarya to make her bubble. And then after when they get value, then they dive.
Or, just switch compositions. Maybe trying Reaper and Moira. If you improve the sustain when you dive, then you can pressure the enemy backline and Zarya also.
One of the more unorthodox picks at the moment, some of which [Gil-seong "Glister" Lim] has also played, has been Sombra. What do you think of Sombra in her current state? Do you think she performs well against the Doomfist/Genji compositions we’ve been seeing?
Against Doomfist, yes, but I don’t think so with fast dive compositions with Genji.
Sombra is good at counter-dive but not that good on really fast dives. So I think Sombra is in an ambiguous situation right now because she can have a strong point. With only one tank right now, she can reach the enemy backline very easily compared to other DPS and also she can get a lot of value from scouting with her stealth.
But I can also feel that weakness of Sombra. We can study Sombra right now but I think she needs some time or a buff.
Throughout the Kickoff Clash playoffs, we saw a sudden resurgence of Doomfist. With Washington, San Francisco, and Houston playing bringing him back, do you have any insight as to why he seems to be returning?
Before Doomfist would struggle versus Ana because of her skill cooldowns. But teams are bringing him back because Doomfist is effective against Winston/Reaper/Moira types of compositions. Because teams running Moira have to position close with one another so Doomfist can break their positionings well with his skill cooldown.
The Doomfist is really weak to Ana right now and Ana is really one of the meta heroes right now. It’s really hard to play Doomfist into a good Ana like [Jin-seo "Shu" Kim] and [Se-jin "FiNN" Oh]. There are a lot of good Ana players.
Doomfist is going to work really well with the Moira composition. Doomfist is really good at hard dive with Moira.
I think Overwatch 2 came out three months ago, so I think teams are more used to Doomfist now too. But players have to get high value from Doomfist. The problem is that it is really hard to compare to Winston, you know? Winston’s mechanics are a bit more simple [when compared] to Doomfist. Winston just jumps in and bubbles and try to make space. Doomfist always needs to hit the skill shot and try to hit his [Hand Cannon] shots. It is really tricky.
With Midseason Madness starting soon, you guys also have to prepare for a new beta patch as well. Do you have any insights as to how the metagame could switch or do you think the league will still be mostly the same?
I really like poke composition also, but it depends on the patch. I heard that the patch should be soon so right now only Soldier got nerfed and Zenyatta got buffed.
"But there are no nerfs to tanks or Lucio right now."
In Overwatch 2, Lucio’s value is really, really high. So I think hard dive compositions are going to be popular but it depends on the patch.
But I think we can study poke composition also. Because Paris is really good at poke composition. Like a Zenyatta composition and also because Vestola’s D.Va and Sigma is really good.
Lastly, what has your experience been like coming to a western team? Has the transition been good? Was there anything you didn’t anticipate? Do you have any funny stories to share from the team?
I can understand English pretty much, but I’m not native to speaking it like [Emir "Kaan" Okumus] and [Daniël "Daan" Scheltema]. So sometimes I have to just ask about [things] because also there is a different culture about it too. So sometimes I have to explain my intent.
I’m very friendly with all the players, but especially Daan. He’s a really hard worker and wants to be trained. So we discuss a lot and I give him feedback a lot—and because of that cultural differences sometimes there are arguments but then [Kyoung Ey "AVALLA" Kim] comes out and she [helps me explain myself].
I mean those are some of the first stories.
[Cameron "wub" Johnson] is a rookie and he joined during the first stage and he’s going to get a lot of burden from it, but I want to thank Wub. He’s going to get a lot of pressure from the matches and he’s overcome that kind of pressure. He’s trying to do well for his debut.
[Wub] knows how to run the team. Not just in-game but also outside of the game. He’s like our leader.
"So I just want to thank him and all of the players. I know we are having a tough time but I know we can climb together."
We should just look at the future.