On day 3 of Overwatch League Stage 1 Week 1, I had the chance to talk to Andrej “Babybay” Francisty from San Francisco Shock. SFS lost the first match in OWL against LA Valient, but won against Shanghai Dragons just before the interview took place.
Barroi: Let’s start of light, how does it feel to be in Overwatch League?
Babybay: It feels amazing. I played a lot of games competitively since I was 15, I’m 22 now. This is not that old, compared to many great Overwatch League players, but this is the game I am going to stick with for sure and it just feels great that I’m in here, because it’s all I have been working for. I am very grateful.
Now that this all started, is there already a team you consider a rival?
Babybay: Just historically for me, it has to be LA Valiant. In my whole career I only lost to them. When it comes to Immortals, I’m like “god damn it this team!” I just want to beat them. And they have some different players now, but it’s still the same team, I just want to beat them.
If I remember correctly your last match with Kungarna was also against Immortals and you lost 3-1.
Babybay: Yeah, this this team man! I have beaten them once maybe and that’s it.
Now, that you actually won a match against Shanghai and got some crowd cheers for you, does this atmosphere carry over to you as players, at all?
Babybay: It drives me even harder, I love to play in front of a huge crowd, especially a crowd like we had today. It’s amazing, shoutout to all the fans. People are chanting my name, it’s awesome it really makes me want to pop off.
Let’s talk a bit about your team, do you have a dedicated shot-caller, is there a master puppeteer, who tells everyone what to do?
Babybay: Oh, it used to be like that. I did a lot of that in the past, but then I felt like people weren’t able to do what they wanted to do, so we made a change. I still create a lot of strats and set-ups, but when it comes to shot-calling everyone pitches in in their own way. I and dhaK are probably still the most vocal players on the team, but everybody is talking a lot more now, so it’s not like everyone is listening to one guy. If people have an idea they are allowed to do what they want.
How does Harsha come into all of that?
Babybay: How he has been helping us, is he is doing analytical things: will find out enemy team comps, what comps we want to run, how a team will play a certain comp and how we can counter that. He will teach us in game how to set up and always gives good analysis.
You played a lot of heroes in both of your games: Widow, Tracer, Genji, even Zarya, just to name some. Is this something you like to do?
Babybay: I like doing that, even though it is not the easiest thing to do. I enjoy playing the flex-DPS. In the current state of the game I feel like you need a player that can do that. Fleta does it and there are a bunch of players that play Genji, Tracer, Pharah.
I actually think it is quite unique to play hitscan and projectile.
Babybay: Yeah, it is kinda hard. Especially because Tracer is one of the hardest heroes in the game, even harder than Genji. Simply because your decision making has to be the best. If you want to play Tracer against a good team, you have to have some of the best decision making in the world. My Tracer play is not there yet in regards to game sense, but my aim is really good so it compensates in a way.
If you could switch to main-DPS where you just play a simple hero, which hero would it be? Is that even something you would like to do?
Babybay: Not really, I think you can’t just play one hero in this game, you have to play different things and adapt. Or maybe I guess you could just play Genji. If I had to choose one, I would probably choose Genji, honestly. The one tricks that are the best are just Genjis or Tracers.
Recently there was a lot of talk about DPS players not being that impactful. Players said it’s more about the Flex-Supports and Tanks. What is your philosophy regarding all of that?
Babybay: I think that tanks carry! Tanks enable the rest of the team, they are the difference between if you have a lot of space compared to the other DPS or if you peel for your backline so your supports don’t die. I think this meta, or just dive in general, is about who has the best tanks and that’s probably why the Korean teams have a big advantage right now, because they are so in sync. They know what they are doing at all times. I think Monkey and D.Va have the most important roles in this meta and the rest are just enabled by them. You can have Shadowburn and Carpe, but if your tanks aren’t creating any room for them, you are not going to do anything. If you have the best Zenyatta in the game, but you don’t peel for him, he is just going to die. It’s the most stressful role in the game.
Speaking of peeling for teammates, Overwatch is known as a game that is all about team coordination and communication. Is there a specific way you try to improve that in your team?
Babybay: You have to watch VoDs. You have to watch your demos, there are times when you are like “why is this guy living, how did he survive through this dive”. You just have to watch it over, that’s the only way. You are not going to know what your problem is unless you watch it over and figure it out from there. It’s a lot easier to figure out what is wrong if you look at it from a viewpoint above your head, than being in the moment.
In the game, do you have something where someone in your team tells you what’s going on behind your back?
Babybay: So in the game, even if we are getting destroyed in scrims we just try to keep going through the whole scrimblock. And then if we have anything we want to say, we are trying to say this afterward. Because if you are trying to say stuff during the game, people might take it the wrong way. In this game you can’t keep talking about the past or else you are going to get stuck and won’t know what to do for the next fight. We try to keep it cool, calm and after the game is over, we watch the tape and talk about “what can we improve here?”