During OGN Overwatch APEX’s second season, Team EnVyUs’ success erred to the game’s meta. And unlike in season one—where EnVyUs took first place—hero trends impacted by a late January patch put EnVyUs at a disadvantage.
It wasn’t necessarily a surprise, then, when EnVyUs was kicked out of the Overwatch APEX in March by South Korean team KongDoo Uncia.
As a whole, EnVyUs just didn’t have the flexibility to adjust to the Korean style of Overwatch, especially on this patch. But that’s not something the team is willing to let happen again—and that’s why they’ve picked up a full-time coach, former Cloud9 player Kyle “kyky” Souder, to help implement these changes.
Souder traveled with EnVyUs to Korea during the second season of the Overwatch APEX as a trial coach. While their results were disappointing, the experience was “invaluable,” Souder told Dot Esports. “It was a bumpy road in terms of results, but we all learned and gained a lot as a team during the experience.”
Back in the United States, EnVyUs is working on expanding each player’s hero pool. “The main adjustment we need to make […] is to have it make more sense in general who is playing which set of heroes,” Souder added. “As for how we do this, everyone will just have to wait and see.”
This isn’t include major role swaps, like putting tank player Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod primarily on DPS. “There isn’t much truth to that right now,” Souder said of the switch. But there will have to be some sort of restructuring, as the team doesn’t have a high-level projectile Overwatch player. Both Timo “Taimou” Kettunen and Jonathan “HarryHook” Tejedor specialize in hit-scan heroes like McCree or Soldier: 76. Someone will have to learn to play projectile—but the team is even considering a seventh player, HarryHook said in an interview with a Spanish esports site.
“The structure of EnVyUs is still a work in progress,” Souder said. “I would say the combined experience between our players and staff is far greater than every other team out there, which will give us an edge and allow us to remain the ‘team to beat’ for a very long time.”
Souder himself is one of the few high level professional players who’s made the switch to coaching, and he thinks that’s an asset to EnVyUs. He knows what it’s like to compete at a high level in Overwatch, which translates to a level of respect “as a figure of knowledge,” Souder said, as well as making it easier to connect with the players.
EnVyUs’ first tournament appearance since returning from Korea will be at the Rivalcade Overwatch Rumble, set to kick off on April 22. With a North American focus, the Overwatch Rumble won’t pit EnVyUs against any top tier Korean teams, but they will have to worry about their opponents. Rogue, Cloud9, Selfless Gaming, Immortals, Splyce, Luminosity Gaming Evil, and compLexity have all been invited, with eight more spots open for qualifying teams.