EnVyUs Lui: "We can beat the Koreans, and definitely beat Rogue"
Team EnVyUs has long been one of the most prominent teams in Overwatch, often boasting some of the best players in the world. The European powerhouse frequently challenged for, or took championships. So when the team announced that captain Dennis “Internethulk” Hawelka would be stepping off the roster, it caused a stir in the community.
Just a few days later, EnVyUs announced two new players for the roster, one of which was Lui “Lui” Olivares, brought on to play DPS. The young talent was returning from a hiatus from professional play, and has begun generating a lot of hype. We saw Lui’s debut with EnVyUs recently in the Overwatch Rumble, where he played a solid Soldier 76 as the team took a promising second considering their lack of practice.
Now just weeks after his debut, Lui (who you can follow Lui on his Twitter and Twitch) will travel with the rest of EnVyUs to South Korea to compete in OGN’s Overwatch APEX league. Before he left we were able to catch up with the player and chat about the shoes he has to fill, Tracer, and why he owes Anthony “Harbleu” Ballo for his drive.
Most people first know you from playing on Colorado Clutch in the Agent's Rising tournament just a couple of days after Overwatch came out, and then with H2K for a while. And of course now the big news is that you are with EnVyUs. What was the process like getting picked up by EnVyUs?
Lui: Before I joined EnVyUs I was told by Dennis [Internethulk] that I was supposed to play with them at MLG Vegas because they couldn’t figure out issues with Mickie’s visa. So I was supposed to play with for them at that time.
After that didn’t work out, before season two of APEX started I had dinner with Montecristo, because he lives in Denver. And he said hey, let’s talk about getting you on a sub spot with EnVyUs before season two. Unfortunately it was on too short notice so I was not able to go with them to Korea for season two.
And then season three came around and KyKy, the coach for EnVyUs, said he had heard that Montecristo had said I should be a sub for them. So they said they would trial me for a bit, and take me as a sub to Korea.
They started playing with me and realized they were doing a lot better with me as a player than Internerhulk. So after Internethulk’s contract expired and he left to Rogue they asked me if I wanted to be their sixth man. I said sure, as it was an amazing opportunity. We put HarryHook on Lucio and I ended up playing DPS; and I’m the Tracer, Soldier, and Genji player now.
Were you nervous stepping into the spot formerly held by Internethulk? He’s someone who is well known and respected, so were you nervous about replacing him on EnVyUs?
Lui: Yeah. I was really, really nervous. Everyone on EnVy are very popular and well respected people. And then me, someone who is pretty much a nobody unless you were watching me in beta. And then I was gone from the scene for eight to nine months.
I never had the best reputation either. Everyone knows I can be a little toxic in ranked, but everyone is a little toxic in ranked. There are people who have very strong opinions about me, but I wanted to prove that I can show that I can fit on this EnVyUs roster and that I’ve changed as a person. It is really nerve-wracking to try and prove that I deserve the spot and show that EnVyUs is as strong, if not stronger, with me on the roster.
WATCH: Lui goes nuts on Soldier: 76 against Selfless in the Overwatch Rumble.
You mentioned that you took a break from competitive Overwatch. How heavily do you think that has affected you?
Lui: I haven’t been around a team environment a lot. That’s a big thing. I’m not used to coordinating. A lot of my comms are like “Soldier left” or “Tracer right.” Because I haven’t been in the scene for a long time, and I don’t know the map callouts.
I’ve been around a ranked environment with a bunch of people who are always upset, or throwing, or trolling. So I’m around that negative environment. And when I transition to a team environment and when things go wrong I have that immediate snap in my head to be negative.
But now that I’m on a team I’m trying to stray away from that mindset I have from playing ranked this whole time and set my mindset to be a better teammate and player with all of EnVyUs.
That’s really good to hear. I think that’s a very positive mindset to have. Unfortunately your first tournament with EnVyUs you didn’t win, and you took second place to Rogue at the Overwatch Rumble. But you guys didn’t have much practice, and apparently you had just had your wisdom teeth removed? Did that event go as expected for you?
Lui: For the most part yes. Putting Harryhook back on Lucio was tricky, as he hasn’t played Lucio, in probably a few months.
Meanwhile I’m really high on painkillers from getting my wisdom teeth out. It’s really difficult to play with them out, you’re zoning out and half the comms you hear are delayed in your head.
It was actually funny, the day they asked me to play in the tournament was the day Internethulk left. So I was literally put on the spot the day of the tournament. Obviously I didn’t expect this, and it was out of the blue.
I said I guess I’ll do it. Wisdom teeth out, on painkillers the next day, let’s do it! And I ended up playing for EnVyUs. The first round against Rogue didn’t go so well. But then the second round went a lot better.
You were definitely more competitive against Rogue the second time around. But that tournament was the first time you ever played together. So how was practice been since then? Has your communication improved?
Lui: Yeah our communication is definitely getting better. I’ve been told that my ability to focus targets, planning, and tracking ultimates have gotten a lot better since joining the team. Even though I’m not directly responsible for tracking ultimates, who has what, and checking in on people in a team environment if someone starts talking everyone wants to participate.
That’s just how a team environment works. If someone is being negative then everyone starts being negative. So when I stepped in I started I started talking a lot more and everyone on the team wanted to start talking a lot more. I feel like that’s what I brought to EnVyUs as a player.
During the Overwatch Rumble it seemed that everyone’s hero pools were still in flux. But now you seem to know what everyone's’ roles are. Has EnVyUs started to figure out their identity?
Lui: Yeah, we’ve figured it out. We run really weird comps. Like you saw in the Overwatch Rumble we are running Orisia, which a lot of people don’t even run on Sanctum. Even though on Sanctum it can be really, really good. It doesn’t work quite as well because it isn’t as closed in.
But we run really strange comps, but that is what our identity is. EnVyUs is a team that has always been known for being good at running triple tank. So if we run a triple DPS comp we are going to run a slower triple-DPS comp like McCree, Soldier, Tracer.
You sound confident. This is a meta where many say you can play any style you want. Do you think EnVyUs is fitting in?
Lui: I think we’re fitting in. We are doing really well against a lot of teams right now, especially teams that run dive. We basically run our own version of counter dive with triple-DPS. Like on Illios we sometimes run Widowmaker, McCree, Tracer.
You might say why are we playing Widow? Well for one, Taimou is insane at Widowmaker. But think about it like this, you have Tracer doing her own thing. Mickie is usually the Tracer because Taimou is a better Widowmaker than I am. And I used to be known for my McCree, so I’m playing McCree. So when they start diving me, we use speed boost backwards and the enemy Winston and Lucio have wasted their jump and speed. So guess what? Taimou is uncontested and gets to shoot wherever he wants.
So we find a middleground between everyone’s playstyle. And I can play Genji for the team, and we do run Genji on a few maps. It’s very few, but maps that have close space and Cocco has room to just jump in and those are the maps where we can play Genji. So we can play Genji, but we just prefer a different play style that isn’t dive-orientated and is more about giving someone room.
Another big piece of news is that EnVyUs is going to Korea for the third time, and your first time. Are you excited to go Korea now?
Lui: Yeah, it’s definitely one of the best opportunities you can get in Overwatch right now. Obviously I’m pretty nervous because I’ve never left the country before. I’m still relatively young, I’m just 17. So going out with a bunch of people I’ve never really been around before is both awesome and scary at the same time.
Besides excitement, are you confident going into APEX?
Lui: I’m pretty confident going into APEX. I feel like I can be one of the better DPS players right now. I don’t think the DPS players in Korea will be a big issue. Koreans are really good players, but their best weapon is their teamwork. And I think on EnVyUs once we get our coordination to be the best it can be we can beat the Koreans, and definitely beat Rogue.
That’s a bold claim. You must think you will make it out of your group?
Lui: I’m confident we will make it out.
So how far do you think you will go in the tournament?
Lui: To be honest I’m not entirely sure. I’ve never played against a Korean team before. I don’t know how well North American teams match against Korean teams. People say “oh Selfless beat Meta Athena” but that was on North American servers where Meta Athena had 160 ping. That really isn’t fair.
Korean’s don’t have some godlike aim. But I do still think they have better aim than North American players. But it is not like you look at a Korean player’s aim and their aim is like Faker’s skillshot accuracy in League where it is so much better.
Your first match in groups will be against Meta Athena. Their DPS player Ha “Sayaplayer” Jeong Woo had some fantastic performances on Tracer and Widowmaker earlier this season, how do you think EnVyUs will deal with that?
Lui: It’s definitely going to be a hard matchup against Sayaplayer, he is probably one of the best Tracer players in the game right now. But I’m confident I can keep Sayaplayer from doing what he wants to do. I’ve been adapting a defensive kind of Tracer instead of a flank-heavy style of Tracer. I’ve been trying to more support Taimou or Cocco if they are being focused. I think I will be able to keep Sayaplayer in check.
If you had to predict now, who do you think will win this season of APEX?
Lui: Probably the scariest teams are RunAway, Luantic-Hai, and Meta Athena. In my opinion those are the scariest teams to look out for right now.
I find it really interesting you say RunAway. In their last match they lost 0-3 to Afreeca Blue. So do you think they can turn their season around?
Lui: I think they can. RunAway wasn’t doing very well at the beginning of season two, and then they went all the way to the grand finals. RunAway is one of those teams that you cannot underestimate. As soon as you underestimate them, they will come back.
Alright fair enough. One of the questions that has been going through a lot of people’s minds is that Tracer is too strong. Do you think she needs to be nerfed in some way?
Lui: I do think Tracer is a little overpowered. But the issue is that if you nerf her she can fall out of the meta immediately. She is one of those heroes that if you tweak her, there is a big chance she will just be gone. If you decrease her bullet damage by two, the gap between killing a Lucio and not killing a Lucio increases significantly.
And when compared to heroes like Solider or McCree who already have so much burst, if you nerf Tracer’s damage she will just be a weaker version. Look at Soldier. They buffed his damage by three and it made him viable. If you take damage from Tracer she might not be viable.
So her strength is just from her damage? Or is it a combination of her damage and mobility?
Lui: I think it is more of a combination. Tracer at mid-range is not the best. If you try and fight at mid-range you won’t do much damage and probably will lose every fight. Her strength is to be able to get up close, do a bunch of damage, and get out at the same time.
Her mobility is what makes dive really strong. You can put pressure and someone has to focus you, but you’re already blinking out. So they are wasting bullets and time on you. And then your ally comes in and cleans up the kill. Tracer has both a lot of damage and mobility that let her be so strong.
Genji is one hero that many say Koreans are better at than the West. Are you planning to go learn Genji from them?
Lui: I’m going to go on the Korean ladder and play so much Genji. I definitely learn from watching the Korean players. I usually watch Whoru and how he plays Genji. Even if I can’t play that way, by watching the Korean Genjis I can understand what they will do and whenever I play against them I can anticipate and counter them even if I’m not playing Genji. By studying a hero playstyle, it can usually make you better at your hero, just by understanding the other hero.
How do you think the Tracer versus Genji matchup plays out?
Lui: I think Tracer should win it 80 percent of the time.
Because of Recall?
Lui: Yeah because Recall is way too strong in the duel. Basically Tracer can stay in range of Genji where he can’t deal damage, but she can deal a lot of damage. At mid-range against Genji, if he wastes his dash Tracer just wins. If you make Genji waste reflect, you win. The only time Genji beats Tracer is if the Tracer isn’t looking, or if he gets a well timed right-click dash combo.
Or if Tracer has already used Recall?
Lui: Or if Tracer has used recall. But even then if the Tracer is smart enough and uses her blink to dodge the dash from Genji she can still win the duel.
That duel is more common because dive compositions are so common. But it’s actually hard to have one versus one because everything is so dive focused. You very rarely actually end up dueling. The only time you do that is when you play against a slower meta like triple tank or two-two-two.
Do you have any shoutouts or people you would like to thank?
Lui: Obviously I would like to thank my parents who support me to do this. I never had the best opportunity to go to school, as I was forced to drop out early. So I found comfort in playing games, and I really wanted to be a competitive player.
I want to give a shoutout to Harbleu. Because I used to be a fan of Harbleu in Team Fortress 2 and I always wanted to be this person who would crush him every time. He was my motivation to get better and climb the ranks to beat him over and over. He gave me that motivation to be a better player and I’m here now. I won’t lie, wanting to beat him gave me the most motivation to get better at Overwatch.
I would also definitely like to thank Montecristo of course for giving me the opportunity to talk to EnVyUs about the sub spot that eventually lead to now. I owe that guy a lot for recommending me to the team.
Anything you want to say to your fans as you head into APEX?
Lui: I probably don’t have a lot of fans right now. But anybody who does support me, I really appreciate it. I love everyone who has been supporting me all the way. And the people who know I can be a good guy when I’m not being toxic. I’m definitely working on it. That’s going to be my focus in Korea. To be a better person, teammate, and Genji.