This week we met Damien “HyP” Souville, Overwatch League support for the Paris Eternal team. Especially, he looks back on his past experience with the European champions Eagle Gaming and his ambitions with his new team, which is entirely made up with European players.
KYKLOS: Hi Hyp! How are you doing?
HYP: Hi! I’m fine, thank you very much and you?
K: Great thanksl! For those who don’t know you yet, can you please introduce yourself?
H: My name is Damien, I’m 22 years old, and I’m a pro player on Overwatch as Flex Support for the Paris Eternal team.
K: Can you tell us more about your background before playing for Paris?
H: I started on Shootmania at the time. I was already playing with SoOn, AKM, Unkoe, Winz or Leaf (all Overwatch professional players today, some of them in the French team). After having obtained some good results on the game I stopped the competition. I started at Overwatch’s release with some Shootmania’s friends. After a few weeks I joined Gamers Origin (GO). And afterwards, it all started when I signed my first professional contract. I stayed at GO for a year. Then I went back to Eagle Gaming where I stayed for a little less than a year. And now I’m in Paris.
K: Can you tell us more about what it means to be a pro player on Overwatch?
H: It’s a lot of sacrifices, a lot of trainings, but this is the law of competition, it doesn’t only apply to Overwatch. We question ourselves a lot, we think a lot about the game to make sure we know it perfectly. It’s a very fast game but it requires a lot of thoughts. So we play at least six hours a day. Then we take a moment to look at our own session to right our mistakes.
K: Precisely, does this review part always take you so long? I know that Daemon, your future coach in Paris, is actually a lot into this kind of self-assessment, so are you ready to get into this work habit?
H: It depends. At Eagle we practice very little period of it. We only did it when we felt we really needed it. Our training went so well that we didn’t necessarily play much, but when we played we were strongly focused. Our level wasn’t perfect, but we had so many good results that we wanted to avoid getting caught up in VOD review, questioning everything when what we were doing was working. We were only doing it to improve in 2CP (one of Overwatch’s competitive game modes, ed.). On the other hand, at Paris, I work much more on video to try to get better. The meta will also evolve, and I still have a lot of work to do on composition dive for example, or even on mastering some champions like Ana.
I don’t mind doing a lot of VOD reviews. Sometimes it’s even more useful than playing because you lack perspective when you play. I just don’t like it when you get into fierce debates about things that don’t include myself or about almost insignificant details.
K: So before playing for Paris you were at Eagle Gaming. What is your assessment of this experience?
H: In fact, I get a lot of positive things out of it. Of course, we had our problems. At first it was not easy to manage a group of 12 people. But in the end, we never stopped evolving, improving at Eagle. What saddens me the most is that a player like Baud, who is an excellent teammate, a lovely person in private, and especially an excellent player, had hardly played all the season and therefore has not had any visibility. My main regret at Eagle is that we had very talented players on the bench. Otherwise the rest was a great adventure. I have learned a lot.
K: How was your recruitment process at Paris?
H: I did several trials, and what helped me was that I knew Daemon well, and the French people who manage the structure. They know who I am too, how I work. Of course the European Championship title helped a lot, but it’s not enough since we are only two former Eagle to be now in Overwatch League, Nico and I. So you have to stand out, be in the best European teams, make a difference.
And once in trial, you have to show that you are mechanically insane and able to make a difference in the Overwatch League. I have the feeling that what OWL recruiters are looking for are clutch players, while I think team-centric players are more useful. Overwatch is evolving in the direction of teamwork in my opinion. A team of six people playing together will win against a team of six individuals, however strong they may be.
K: Isn’t there also the consideration of the player’s psychology? By that, I mean that we will also look for players who can live alltogether on a daily basis and who can easily integrate into a group. For example, at Eagle, many players were very strong at their posts, yet there are few in OWL.
H: I think that at Eagle we had an OTP image, that is, the players knew how to play only one champion. We play tank because we don’t know how to play the rest, to be simple. But people didn’t realize how good we were at Eagle Gaming. OWL analysts said it, the French team said it too, Eagle Gaming was the best team in the world in terms of tank composition. But I think people weren’t interested in us, especially in America, because they thought we were only playing the GOAT composition and they supposedly knew how to counter it.
K: It’s all the more surprising because it’s widely believed that if Eagle Gaming had gone to the World Cup, the team would have beaten Korea and won the Worlds.
H: I am convinced that we would have beaten Korea. Except in case of choke because of the pressure, of course. But look at the UK, who beat the USA against all expectations by playing tank, and who really catches Korea in the semi-finals. It really means that, at that time, it was the tank/GOAT composition that was meta, and as we had worked hard, we were ahead on this kind of composition and we could have beaten anyone.
K: What are your ambitions for the Paris Eternal project?
H: As a team, I think reaching the playoffs would be really huge. We have the roster and the staff to do it honestly. And individually, I want to be a good teammate, I want to bring everything I can to the team and eventually shine in the games.
K: Speaking individually, joining the French team would be a pleasing adventure to you?
H: Yes, absolutely! I hope I will have the chance to experience this one day. There are some excellent supports, including Unkoe. Then I also know that it’s a pretty exhausting rythm. The Overwatch League season is very intense, especially if you go to the playoffs, you have to forget your holidays and time with your family to go back to trainings with the national team which is quite challenging. But I’d still be happy and proud to be part of the French team. It remains a huge media exposure and an important event.
K: You are a professional player, so esport is your job. The esport scene on Overwatch has been structured quite solidly, with a league and franchise system similar to the NBA especially. Do you think that’s enough to make esport on Overwatch sustainable?
H: I think it will depend on Blizzard’s choices. But I still expect Overwatch to shine for a while. Blizzard is doing things right, they are very involved in the discipline. Even if it’s hard to predict the future in esport.
K: A little bit of the Fortnite phenomenon in short….
H: That’s the idea. After all, Fortnite is a bit paradoxical, it’s competition but for the general audience. It attracts casual gamers. On the other hand, Overwatch is made for those who have been passionate about video games for a while and who really get to the heart of the matter.
K: A word has been invented to describe the direction Fortnite is taking in its competitions, it is “esportainment”.
H: Yes, I’ve heard about it, it’s competition but for the show.
K: Perfectly right, I’m done with my questions. Do you have anything to add?
H: Well, thank you KYKLOS for the interview. Thank you for the spotlight over Overwatch, Paris Esport Club or just me. A big thank you to all the supporters who support us and will support us throughout the season.
K: Good luck for this season !
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