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Niko “ChroNoDotA” Raisanen has brought a new perspective to Australian Overwatch over the last six months. After making his debut with Kanga Esports in season two, he secured the season three title with the Sydney Drop Bears before being picked up by NA-based team Second Generation.
When Teetawat Teerasyotin couldn’t attend IEM Sydney, ChroNoDotA got the late call-up to play on LAN halfway across the world. ChroNoDotA talked with Dot Esports about joining his former team, playing in NA, and the finals at IEM Sydney.
Your call back to the Sydney Drop Bears was pretty swift. How long have you had to work yourself back into the team?
ChroNoDotA: I didn’t know I was playing until Tuesday night, and I got on a flight and landed Friday morning before our games on Saturday.
How did that schedule affect your preparation?
I mean, there’s some footage of me playing scrims with the team from Tuesday onwards, but Spilo, our head coach, did a really good job of debriefing me before my flight over. We actually caught the same flight out of LAX to Sydney, so we sat down with a notebook, busted out the strats, and that was that. Noxious, the assistant coach, also made a spreadsheet for me to look over.
Was it difficult to integrate back in even though you haven’t been off of the team for long?
It was really difficult. The game never stays the same, and even if you play the same comps, the ideas will always be changing. For example, there was a lot of bunker comps with Baptiste in NA, but in Australia, GOATS is still really popular, especially with Winston.
Moving back to NA after a couple of stints in Australia, how were things with Second Generation?
Well with Second Gen, I was only around for a few weeks but we only won one series against Phase 2. While it wasn’t the best results-wise, the way we played gave me a different perspective on the game.
Second Gen had a heavy emphasis on a reactive playstyle that waited for the enemies to make mistakes, while when I was with the Drop Bears in season three, we were a really aggressive team always looking to make plays. I guess this different playstyle made me more patient as a player, despite our poor results.
What was the biggest difference between playing in NA Contenders compared to Australia?
On average, the skill level of the NA scene is much higher. In Australia, there are only about three or four solid teams. But in NA, there’s way more top-quality teams.
What did you think of the Mavericks today?
They played very well in my opinion, a lot better than I expected actually. Nothing about their play really stood out—we really struggled against their bunker comps, but that was it. We had a few misplays on some maps where I went in expecting to get resources without checking and we got punished for it.
Up against Order in the final tomorrow, what do you think of your chances?
We are just focusing on coming into tomorrow and playing some good Overwatch. They are a strong team, but I think we can beat them.
The Drop Bears will take on Order in the Overwatch Contenders Australia grand final at 12:30pm AEST on Sunday.