Dusttin Bowerman goes by the title Dogman, and he performs a imply Zenyatta for the Atlanta Reign, one in every of Overwatch League’s higher groups this season that sadly did not make the finals. In his second yr within the league, Dogman has seen the aggressive occasions shift from being held in entrance of roaring followers in an enviornment to the hum of an air conditioner in his condominium. Regardless of a unique strategy to matches, the league continues to seek out success and ship spectacular reveals of participant talent, however there are a selection of drawbacks.
First off, how do you get began in Overwatch League?
Proper out of highschool I began enjoying Overwatch. I used to be about 18 on the time, and I used to be attempting to do some faculty to remain at residence with my mother and father. Ultimately I moved out and tried to make [Overwatch] a full-time factor inside a yr. I acquired picked up by the Atlanta Reign academy group. After a fairly good season in Contenders, I acquired referred to as as much as the Overwatch League group.
You bought a style of being on the stage to expertise the true imaginative and prescient of the league, and now the surprising blow of the pandemic. Are you able to discuss to me concerning the second the place you realized all the things was going to alter?
I sort of realized it on the Washington homestand. That was the final homestand earlier than they have been all shut down. It was the place COVID-19 was getting extra discover, and folks have been paying extra consideration to it. Quite a lot of the followers that often would have been [in the arena] weren’t there. They have been like, “I don’t need to go there and get this virus that’s fairly lethal.” That occasion was missing by way of attendance. It was there the place I spotted that audiences may not exist as we moved ahead.
What was the communication behind the scenes between your teammates and folks from the league?
Folks in the beginning have been glad. They have been like, “Oh, we don’t must journey. It’s good that we don’t must go wherever.” However the league additionally advised us we wouldn’t do homestands anymore. It was fairly direct communication. After some time, a few of our gamers have been like, “I want we have been touring once more to our occasions.” Assembly followers makes it extra distinctive and a extra fulfilling expertise.
The transition caused a number of questions of whether or not a league like this could possibly be performed from a distance, given the web being an unpredictable beast.
Nobody knew what was occurring. We have been all like, “How are we going to play these video games? Are they going to cancel the league completely?” For multiplayer video games, it’s rather a lot simpler to arrange the competitors than different sports activities because it’s on-line and digital anyway.
What checks and balances have been put in place to ensure the competitors was even and truthful?
The league has an individual who reveals up like 30 minutes earlier than a sport to verify your pc. They’ve a digital machine they usually take management of your pc to verify your information. On prime of that, in the course of the week it’s a must to obtain a brand new replace for a construct of the sport. I think about the replace makes it more durable to cheat. It additionally removes bugs and stuff like that. They’ve a number of precautions in place to ensure we don’t have something open on our pc that we shouldn’t, and doing what they will to make it a good sport.
Everybody has to have the identical ping, proper? How are they dealing with that given the space between the groups?
The ping is a troublesome a part of it. Initially, everybody [from the Atlanta Reign] was within the condominium advanced that we reside at in Atlanta, however we picked up a couple of gamers who don’t need to journey resulting from COVID-19. They don’t need to transfer given the season is just a few months longer. Our new pickup, LR1S, he lives in Korea so he’s on excessive ping.
Has the upper ping created points?
Yeah. After all. In any online game it sucks to be enjoying on excessive ping as a result of it makes it like all the things is a delayed response. It’s very arduous to compete on that. You may get used to it.
Do you modify your ways for that?
You’ll be able to’t change what it’s. Me and him are competing for the beginning spot. I’m on low ping and he’s on excessive ping, so it makes it just a little simpler for me.
You mentioned you might be within the group condominium. What sort of security protocols does the league have in place -for -players?
We are able to exit, however Atlanta is fairly lax with what it’s a must to do. We do must put on masks after we are out. Folks in Atlanta haven’t been good about it. There are nonetheless lots of people who sadly stroll round with out masks.
Discuss to me concerning the totally different movement for the league? The tournaments in explicit.
I like the brand new construction. Name of Obligation League additionally has a event each week and I believe that’s an excellent format. The tournaments add extra stress and stakes each week. I believe that’s an excellent format to do weekly. Do away with the necessity to play matches each week for the season and simply do a event. That’s a enjoyable and fantastic concept.
And what’s your tackle the state of Overwatch general?
Genji was just a little overtuned, however they nerfed him. There are some characters that all the time want altering. At this level, you possibly can’t actually fault [Blizzard].
Overwatch League’s Grand Finals kicks off on October eight with Seoul Dynasty taking over San Francisco Shock and Philadelphia Fusion in opposition to Shanghai Dragons.