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Interview with melty eSport Club's KabaL [Overwatch]

Since the Overwatch Beta has gone offline for now, I had the chance to sit down with Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori from melty eSport Club.

His team is one of the leading ones in Overwatch so far, having won multiple tournaments, most recently the GD Studio EU Last Stand Tournament. Keep on reading if you want to find out more about KabaL and his team.

Guillaume "KabaL" Ettori

Now that the Beta is on a christmas break of its own, what are you and the team doing? Are you afraid that your skill will decay over the period of one month?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: We will take a little break and go back to our previous games: TF2, CS:GO, Unreal Tournament. Maybe some Rainbow 6. The "Overwatch skill" will decay but it's the same for everybody so it's no problem at all . We will probably watch some VOD's too.


Once the game gets released and official tournaments will be held, are there any plans for Melty to move into a gaming house?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: There are no plans for a dedicated gaming house but Melty has a big area of 80m² with 12 very good PCs, 2 boxes for streaming, a big saloon and a sports room. So if we need to bootcamp before a big tournament, we can move there for one or two weeks.


Do the players in your team each fill a unique role aka tank, support, damage dealer or do you all just play whichever heroes you enjoy and fit the situation?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: We have unique roles and flex roles. For example, i play support (Lucio if possible). Baud plays support and defense, Moonl plays tank (Reinhard if possible), Nico/Degun plays offensive and Kryw plays offensive/offtank.


Do you have a shotcaller in the game? 

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: I'm the main shotcaller but my mates can shotcall as well.

You have played, and won, quite a few tournaments by now. As someone who has faced various teams from both Europe and North America, who would you say are the top 4 teams right now and why?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: Hubris are currently the best team because first they are very strong and they are doing three things great: they know when to switch heroes, they never hesitate to play more than one of the same hero at a time because it counters the opposite team (double Winston, double Reaper, five D.Va, etc...) and they always run the holy trinity of Reinhardt/Lucio/Mercy, the three best heroes right now.

We played them once in the "ESL Overwatch Invitational Atlantic" tournament. We lost 2-1, two games on EU Server, one game on NA Server. Hubris did choose the three maps (none of our two best) and it was very close.

NotEnigma and Melty both as #2/#3.

We played them once in the "GosuGamers Overwatch Weelky NA #2" tournament. We lost 2-1 with three games on NA Server. It was very close as well, we made a lot of mistakes and we played with 180 ms ping. I think we are at the same level right now if we would play them on LAN.

Eccentric gaming and Fnatic both as #4/#5.

I can't determine which team is better. They have to play against each other first for me to give an opinion on it. :p

Honorable mention: Hulkstatic Mix. They are doing great but their lineup is not fixed right now.


Do you feel a difference in ping when playing in NA and if so, are you at a disadvantage when playing against american teams?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: We played once on NA with the "GosuGamers Overwatch Weelky NA #2" with 180ms. Because of some lag compensation, for hitscan, I would say it's like playing with 100ms in CounterStrike. For projectiles, it's more difficult. For moving, it's hard, I can't WallRide easily with Lucio.

And for receiving damage, 180ms is a big disadvantage. You receive the damage AFTER it actually hit you so it's hard to play with low life.


Do you think Overwatch has the potential to become a great esports title?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: It is actually the next FPS on the market to become a great esports title. A good esports title should be interesting to watch and to cast: Like in a MOBA, times where teams use their ultimates are very important. And because it's not symmetric objectives, it's like CS:GO, with attackers and defenders: there are times for preparing and times for attacking. The action is focused generally on a single choke point. So it's easy to follow and to cast. It's not a fast paced game where actions never stop like in a Capture The Flag or Team Death Match where it's very hard to cast and very boring to watch.

And this is a Blizzard game: Quality is here.

Typical spectator mode view

In order to be enjoyable for viewers to watch, do you think there need to be more changes to the spectator mode than just the 3rd person Observer view we do have at the moment?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: We really need more information: Health bar, Kill Feed, % of ultimate, a minimap like in LoL, possibility to switch to 3rd/1st person, possibility to click on the minimap on a predefined free cam spot.


Since there will be a lot of new people coming to the game hopefully in January, can you name three tips for them to have an easier time when they first dive into the world of Overwatch?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: My tips are for competitive players because as a casual player there is no need to be prepared ^^
1) Play some Unreal Tournament and Team Fortress 2 games.
2) Watch competitive VOD's.
3) Try to find a team right now. It's better to play with 5 other people than alone.

 

As of right now, do you think there are any overpowered heroes or is it well-balanced? A lot of the more inexperienced players frequently complain about Genji for example.

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: Inexperienced players will complain about Pharah, Genji, Bastion and Torbjorn.
Experienced players complain about Mercy. Mercy's resurrection is imba right now: no cast time and all resurrected players come back with 100% health.
I would like a 2 second cast like before and a % of life for resurrected players that depends on how many players have been resurrected:
* 100% if one
* 90% if two
* 80% if three
* 70% if four
* 60% if five.

 

Lucio, a support hero in Overwatch as well as KabaL's favorite hero to play

Can you tell us about your favorite hero and map and why you prefer those over the others?:)

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: Lucio and King's row.
Lucio because he's an offensive support, he is very fast, can wall ride and has a knockback.

King's row because it's the best intro song for me, the mix capture/payload and the design of the map.

Blizzard announced that there will be a ranked system. Will you mainly play SoloQ Ranking or get together with your team and grind it out together?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: I think we will continue to practise against good teams when we are all together. Otherwise, it's better to play ranked than FFA of course 😉

What are the biggest differences between Overwatch and the more classical FPS games that most of you guys played before?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: UItimates and the ability to switch heroes are the biggest differences compared to the classical FPS.

A lot of people complain about the price of the game, saying 40 Euro is a lot considering the little replay value the game has to offer at the moment. Do you agree with this, as someone who has played the game extensively so far?

Guillaume 'KabaL' Ettori: A casual player will play tons of different games (approx 20 hours per game). 40 euros for 20 hours is not expensive for me.
A competitive player will play 2000+ hours on just a single game. 40 euros for 2000+ hours is not expensive for me, too :p.
About the "little replay value" argument that is: Just 21 heroes and 8 maps and two modes.
They don't understand that the replay value is the players themself. All games are different because of the players. It's like a football game. We don't say "omg football has no replay value, it's always the same rules and the same stadium".
So no, I don't agree :p

I would like to thank Melty and Bouygues Telecom for their support. Thanks ESL, GosuGamers, 2GD and all the tournament casters (they know who they are).
I hope every one will be able to play Overwatch at the end of January. See you later!

If you wish to follow KabaL's journey into Overwatch you can do so here:

We would like to thank KabaL for his time and wish him and his team the best of luck in their future journey!

Image credits: overwatch.blizzpro.com, gosugamers.net, melty.fr

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