McGravy On Someone’s Role Within The Mayhem And The Midseason Meta
From a breakout star alongside EnVision Esports to coaching one of the biggest success stories of the year, Caleb "McGravy" McGarvey's near five-year career in Overwatch has been mostly successful. And 2022 has not been any different. Challenging as it seemed from the outside in, he and the Florida Mayhem staff built a lean but mean roster for the fifth instalment of the Overwatch League, and with their recent form and record - things seem to only be trending up.
McGravy spoke to GGRecon about how his transition from player to coach has been, his role within the coaching staff, and he reveals some insights on one of Mayhem's brightest rookies.
As a player with a lot of history in the space, sitting in the coach's chair has to be an interesting dynamic shift. What would you say was the most difficult lesson you had to learn from stepping outside of a player's mind and into a coach's mind? How have you enjoyed the experience thus far? *
"I think the hardest thing for myself and for other players turned coaches is learning that the current players don't really care for your past experiences. It's hard to sit down with a player and say 'oh well I did this in season 3…'."
"You have to learn how to separate your thoughts and experiences as an older player and turn it into something more concrete for the players. For me, coaching is more rewarding in its own kind of way, but it's easily more stressful because once your players load into the server it's completely out of our hands."
"I've been able to take some of my strengths as a player (leadership, game theory) and transition into coaching pretty seamlessly. Every day is a challenge though, and I've just been doing my best to earn the respect [of] my players."
One of the more obscure things the public has a hard time understanding is the role of the coaching staff. With [Young-seo "KariV" Park] joining the front office, could you help clarify the roles you all have? Could you help the public understand some of your own personal responsibilities on the team?
"Our roles have been pretty defined since day one of creating the roster. [Jordan "Gunba" Graham] is the head coach so of course, he takes the lead on most things in-game and out."
"I am kind of the second in command, if Gunba were ever to take a day off, he's a workaholic so [that's] never going to happen, I would step up and lead the team. I also help a lot with [Jeong-wan "SOMEONE" Ham] cause that's the role I'm most familiar with."
"[Dae-won "Dae1" Woo] is the Korean mouthpiece for our players, I think most of them speak pretty good English but for the times they have struggles he helps translate pretty efficiently."
"KariV works pretty heavily with our support players and has been doing a great job with it. He also is another coach that helps a lot with talking to our Korean players and getting them to talk about things they wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable telling an English-speaking coach or player."
The Midseason Madness metagame has certainly been a big talking point as of late. Do you believe that one style, between Doomfist, Wrecking Ball and the Sigma, competition will end up becoming the defacto style to run?
"I've always felt that Doomfist is probably one of the few tanks that can match up against any other tank and win. Not every team has a Doomfist player though, so I think you'll end up seeing most teams playing Sigma. Not that I think Sigma is the definite best tank but just because it's one of the tanks that absolutely dominated the last two to three years of Overwatch 1 and everyone is familiar with him."
"Wrecking Ball is good into the teams that like playing double flex [like Baptiste and Zenyatta] but I think it will slowly get phased out of the meta."
Staying with the metagame for the moment, does the Mayhem feel confident in being able to adapt across the season with new heroes and new patches being added?
"I think the general consensus around our player moves has been negative, but I think our moves have really allowed us to be able to play anything. We've been able to jump into double flex pretty quickly with [Rupal "Rupal" Zaman]. We have really put our faith into Someone being one of the few tanks in the game with true flexibility. We've absolutely pushed our resources to the limit and I think our ability to adapt and change things shows that."
To open the Midseason Madness the Mayhem narrowly lost to the London Spitfire. Could you walk us through that 2-3 loss? Compositionally and strategically everything seemed above board, was this just a form issue on the day or were you guys caught off guard at all?
"I think we had a pretty good idea of what London was gonna play and where. Credit to London and their coaching staff because they played to their strengths very well and had a great game plan. I think we just had an extreme conviction about what we were playing and lacked the foresight to prepare our players to make the right swaps into what London was playing, especially in the first two maps."
One question that has risen the eyebrow of the public has been the choice to substitute [Ki-hyo "Xzi" Jung] in your recent match against the Toronto Defiant. Could you elaborate on that move, and should we expect to see more of him?
"It's pretty straightforward from our perspective. When we let go of Mirror and brought in Xzi, we were looking to have him focus primarily on being a hard hitscan, [Jin-woo "Kilo" Jung] and [Tae-min "MER1T" Choi] would be good comparisons."
"[Seung-hun "Checkmate" Baek] would be our flex and [Isaiah "Hydron" Rodriguez] would fill a sort of Hitscan Flex (Tracer, Sombra, Sojourn etc.). I think Xzi's strengths are more suited towards primarily escort maps and that's why you've seen him play on Dorado and Circuit Royale."
One of the biggest bright spots this season has been Someone's rise to popularity. Could you speak to how it's been like working with Someone, his recruitment process, and his role within the team?
"Someone is probably the easiest player I've ever worked with."
"Absolutely willing to listen to any sort of feedback and always goes at 100% in scrims and matches. Really great personality and he makes the game fun for our team and the community as well. Someone wasn't really on our radar that much going into running trials, but during our blocks we had tanks role swap on the last map of their tryouts, and he busted out probably the best Zarya we had seen."
"We knew we had something special after that block, and we had to have him. We've really been pushing Someone to be a leader within our team, so he does a lot of the ultimate tracking and game planning."
Lastly, what would you say success looks like to you this season? Are your eyes fixated on the championship or do you and the staff have a different definition?
"The cliche answer would be to say win it all."
"I think we try to stay grounded in reality, our team is almost entirely built with rookie players, so a successful season for us would be to make it to all of the tournaments and be competitive. For me, I truly believe our team can put it together as our team gains more experience, and we can start competing for deep tournament runs."