Oxygen Supremacy’s Halo coach: "Regardless of who we were going to face, we just knew we were going to beat them"
After defeating Str8 Rippin at DreamHack Atlanta on July 22, Oxygen Supremacy became the first amateur team in North American history to survive a relegation tournament.
After months of dedication and a desire to succeed, Ryan “RyaNoob” Geddes, Troy “DasTroyed” Dusman, Cody “ContrA” Szczodrowski, and Kyle “Nemassist” Kubina are now in the HCS Pro League. This accomplishment has Oxygen Supremacy supporters excited for the future, but simultaneously disappointed a lot of Str8 Rippin fans.
Dot Esports recently talked to Oxygen Supremacy’s Halo coach, Josh “Mash” Mashlan, and professional player Nemassist to learn how they felt after the relegation tournament and what their plans are for the future as a pro league team.
What went through your minds when you guys secured a pro league spot through relegation, knowing that you are the first team in North American history to do this?
Nemassist: I was definitely relieved. This has been our goal for months now—it's been my goal since I started competing years ago. I was relieved that we finally made it happen.
Mash: Troy, Ryan, and myself have been together since January, and once we beat EG in Vegas, pretty much everyone thought that we should be in the pro league. After months of people hammering it, we’re relieved that we made it.
Was it difficult for you to mentally prepare to defeat Str8 Rippin, knowing that a lot of fans would be disappointed if they were kicked out of the pro league?
Nemassist: Not for me, we just have to look out for ourselves. We can’t be worrying about who other people want to be in the pro league.
Mash: I don’t think we had any kind of mental issues. Going into it, we were 100 percent confident that we were going to make it. Regardless of who we were going to face, we just knew we were going to beat them.
Were you shocked after you defeated Str8 4-0?
Nemassist: Not really shocked, I was a bit amazed at how easy it was, but I think that mainly comes out of that first game. Us clutching up and coming back from an 80-point deficit must have been very hard on them. It took all their momentum and gave it to us, and I think that's mainly why this series was so easy.
Mash: I’m pretty much on the same road as Kyle, I don't think there was any shock. Coming back after that first game, we knew that we weren't losing the series. The Str8 team even looked like they were defeated after the first series.
You went on to defeat Evil Geniuses 3-2 in round one of the championship bracket. Did you come into that series with a lot of confidence after sweeping Str8?
Nemassist: That series was really weird because it was literally 10 minutes after we just beat Str8 to make the pro league, so our minds weren't really in the tournament—we were so excited to finally be in the pro league. We definitely had confidence coming off of the win against Str8. We were just able to have fun and not stress much about the match, which helped us a lot.
After defeating EG, you lost 3-0 to Team EnVyUs in the second round of the championship bracket. Were you frustrated in your loss, considering that you had a lot of practice against this squad in the Millennial Esports boot camp?
Nemassist: There was a little bit of frustration. I don’t think it was that bad though, because our main goal coming into this event was to make the pro league, and after we did that, it was a little hard to keep focus and give 100 percent in the rest of the tournament. I think we were a little out of it in that series. We had a couple of long days, a lot of stress to make the pro league, and after we made it, it was just hard to focus in the rest of the tournament.
Your loss to EnVyUs sent you guys down to the loser bracket, where you lost to eRa. Your team had a good start to the series, so what do you guys think happened that allowed eRa to come out on top?
Mash: The same thing that happened to us in the EG match is the same thing that happened to us in the nV match. We were super relaxed and I don't think people realize that we are the first team in North American history to do what we did, and on top of that, the brand that we knocked out was a big deal. Ryan cried after it, so the rest of the tournament was just consolation and we weren't super focused on it.
With quite some time until the fall season of the pro league starts, are you going to take a small break from competition, or are you going to continue practicing hard throughout this break?
Mash: I know roster lock is Aug. 10, and some of the teams haven't started practicing at all yet. I think everyone is going to take at least a week before anyone gets back into the swing of things.
Nemassist: We’re definitely going to take a little bit of a break just to de-stress after this long season. After that, its definitely right back to the grind, practicing every day.
Have there been any talks at all about potential roster changes to this team?
Nemassist: No, we haven't talked about any of that. I think the plans are to carry the momentum with this squad into the pro league and keep working and practicing on what we need to improve.
Oxygen Supremacy fans are eager to see how their favorite team will perform when the fall season of the HCS Pro League begins on Aug 23.