Interview, Overwatch

Caledonian Chargers: Cementing Their Glory

After seizing their spot in the grand finals from YEET in dominant fashion, Glasgow Caledonian look to challenge Underwatch once again for the top spot. Despite a… considerably shakier performance in the Winter split, Chargers dominated the Spring, narrowly losing to York in the finals. I spoke to Heart, Nōtan, Echoic. Cameron, Ben (also known as b9njmn or Elusivity) and Padorian to see how they find their position at the top and how they look to challenge Underwatch once again.

It was a mercy killing. YEET were dying and we put them down. They kinda fell apart

Heart

I began by asking how they found the Grand Semi-Finals. GCU found themselves facing YEET once again in a rematch from their victory in the Spring. Cameron didn’t mince his word in expressing YEET’s troubled performance. “YEET were just kinda a burning ship, to be honest, kinda put them out of their misery.”

Prior to the match, there was word that YEET’s previous main tank, Callum, wouldn’t be playing and the team were more than confident going in. “We went for pizza the week before and we were memeing that we’ve already made finals because YEET were just kinda yikes y’know.”

I think we should be Titans. I actually think we’re better, we just got rolled by a random comp. They pulled out some cheesy s*** and we didn’t know what to do

Cameron

In regards, to GCU’s Spring final match with Underwatch, many had compared it to the Overwatch League’s Stage 1 final, with Underwatch representing the favourites Titans and GCU the aggressive upstarts who took them to a really close game in Shock. Heart disagreed with the comparison. “I think we were the better team, we just inted on the day.”

Halfway through the match, Underwatch pulled out an explosive goats variant utilising a Wrecking Ball and Tracer. Nōtan broke their reaction down. “We’d never seen it before. We panicked and then like broke down and started acting dumb.”

At NUEL Finals we’re just gonna stomp on them completely and 3-0 them to be honest

Cameron

While the team is confident going into the finals, they do recognise that King Of The Hill (KOTH) has been their greatest weakness as Ben elaborated. “All of the maps that they won against us were all KOTH maps. If we can get a strong KOTH map that we’re pretty good on, we can show up on the first map then we’ll probably take the whole series pretty cleanly.”

Beyond just maps though, Nōtan does think that the key to victory will be in their teamwork and synergy. “Obviously they’re higher tier players, we just need to play like a better team. They can pop off individually but if we work as a unit, as we have been, and just refine that, then we’ll be good.”

We have the best GOATS in the whole tournament for sure

padorian

Reflecting on the current meta, Cameron believes that GOATS’prevalence has really helped the team to be able to shine. “There’s mechanical skill also involved, but I think more about team play and the little intricacies you do like how you ult manage. I feel like teams like York and YEET are at a disadvantage because they’re all really high-level players all running around trying to frag. Whenever we played York or YEET GOATS vs GOATS we always won, it was clean.”

GCU also think that they’ll be in a better place going into the Grand Finals mentally. “They’re going to be going into the Grand Finals for everything, having won everything, that’s a lot of pressure. We went from like like 56th in Winter to here so nobody thinks we’re going to win.”

What flavour of GOATS do you want is the question

padorian

Since Overwatch League teams started playing on the current patch, we’ve seen a lot more variation in compositions from bunker comps to some teams even utilising Torbjörn and Symmetra. While Baptiste won’t be enabled, I wondered what GCU thought of that level of experimentality. “If they try and run like triple DPS, we’ll just run Monkey-Moira and it counters it and eventually they’ll switch to goats. Bunker is kinda strong. Its only good with Baptiste but even with Baptiste it’s the same thing again. You just play Monkey-Moira and you’re just gonna win.”

Similar to what many in the pro scene have said, Nōtan doesn’t think GOATS will be going anywhere anytime soon without a role lock. “Until they force 2-2-2, GOATS and comps like it are still going to dominate. It’s just the team play and the cooldown management is superior to any other comp at the moment.”

Teams always pull out weird s*** against us because they know that they can’t just out-GOATS us

Heart

Going into the Spring playoffs, while all the teams respected GCU, some of the teams also had the mentality of “they can only run GOATS” and “Cameron’s the hard carry.” Nōtan wasn’t really phased by the bm. “(they might say) ‘we just won with goats, therefore, trash team,’ because of people’s limited understanding of the game and they think that it’s not enough skill. But if we were given the time to practice other comps and if we got better at the game then we could probably still at least make finals on other comps and other metas.”

Heart further elaborated on the point. “The way I like to think of it is that Cameron’s like the brain of the team and we’re like body. And no matter how smart the brain is, you can take Michael Jordan’s brain and put it in Stephen Hawking’s body but he’s not going to win any NBA championships.”

We’ll be thinking of our friends in Glasgow and in Cambridge while we are in the Blizzard Arena

ben

Over a hundred teams played in the Spring Campus Clash and even after 5 weeks of games, an element of luck in seeding can be involved in which teams make it to the top. Like in my interview with Underwatch, I asked if they had any honourable mentions for other teams in the tournament.

They immediately voiced…a fair amount of distaste for both Cambridge and Glasgow’s teams. That said, they did have words of commendation for the University of Leicester’s team :french_bread:. “French Bread were decent. They could’ve made it a lot further in the bracket if they didn’t happen to get put against us so early, it was unfortunate. French Bread were good.”

Even if teams next season still underestimate us, they’re just all garbage to be honest, like everyone’s garbage except for us, so we’ll just keep rolling them

Cameron

Despite being seen by most as the underdogs, GCU are confident that they are the best and that they will win. Both Grand Final teams have contrasting personalities, playstyles and philosophies and it’s sure to be a match worth watching. We wish Caledonian Chargers the best of luck on the big stage of the Grand Finals and look forward to another nail-biter of a match between them and Underwatch.

You can watch the Grand Finals of the Overwatch Campus Clash IRL at NUEL Live on the 4th May at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London. Tickets are available now, or if you prefer to watch from home, it’ll be streamed to twitch.tv/thenuel.

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