Interview, Overwatch

Cambridge: The Path to Pro

Like the last split, the University of Cambridge has returned with 2 teams for this Campus Clash: Cambridge Cavalry and Cambridget. Both teams are currently sitting at a 7 point score with Cavalry only narrowly missing a spot in last week’s Playoffs. I caught up with Chamber Jr., captain of Cavalry, and Arcturus (Selen), captain of Cambridget, to see how the pro scene has affected their teams and their style of play.

We had to build up synergy while playing matches rather than having it form before hand so that might have hurt us a bit

Chamber Jr.

This week, Cambridget had a strong showing, securing both wins bringing them up to par with Cavalry in points. Arcturus put the team’s success down to the refinement of their 3-3 composition. “I feel that we played better than we’d ever played before this most recent week. The first one was close, they took first map. We didn’t play any goats first map, switched to goats and won the rest of the match, then played goats through the next game and had momentum and won that.”

Cavalry on the other hand unfortunately didn’t play due to player complications after just missing the playoffs as Chamber explained. “We practised a lot and after we didn’t make it to playoffs a lot of our team kinda got burnt out and lost morale. Added on to the work that they set back to practice, they decided that it wasn’t worth playing that week.”

We lost a couple of players from last terms Cambridge cavalry so like chamber and one other went up to play in Cambridge cavalry. I think its more a case that Cambridge split into two teams.

Arcturus

A couple players left Cavalry in the off season. I wondered what it was like for Chamber not only coming into a new team but replacing Skyaxe as the new captain. “A lot of us were running around trying to find people to fill in the shoes of the people who left and I kind of ended up taking the role as captain and trying to organise directly for the team.” After becoming captain, Chamber implemented changes based on his experiences from Cambridget in the Winter. “Last term in Cambridget we almost exclusively played goats but Cambridge cavalry played mostly dive. It was quite tough trying to change and adapt playstyles between the players that we hadn’t really played with before to get our coordination together.”

Similarly, Arcturus had stepped up to become the new captain of the second team. With the change in leadership and new players joining team, I asked if Cambridget faced similar complications. “The new players have really helped, it hasn’t been too hard taking the captaincy because a lot of us had played together before. 5 of us were from last year’s Cambridget plus four of us in an Open Division team, there was enough synergy there. I think we had an easier time than Cambridge Cavalry did.” There was a much bigger disparity in scores between the two teams last split and Arcturus does believe that Open Division played a big part in the team’s improvement. “Cambridget probably got a fair bit better over the off season because there’s like a core of 4 players who are in an open division team, so we did play open division over the break.” 

The pro scene’s adoption of goats played a significant role in Chamber’s decision to push for Cavalry to orient away from dive. “Because goats had been so dominant in Contenders and Overwatch League, that was one of the big reasons why I tried to adapt Cambridge Cavalry into goats.” That said, things don’t always go as planned. When we played against a good goats team we usually got stomped very hard because their coordination would just end up outplaying our playstyle so that’s why a lot of our interesting matches have been when we switched to dive midway through.”

Yeah, we haven’t really practised with the Torb ever.

Chamber Jr.

Drawing on from this, I wanted to bounce some of the more irregular comps seen in the Overwatch League off of the two to see their thoughts and if they’d ever try running them in games.

I began the double sniper, Wrecking Ball composition used by the Chengdu Hunters:
Arcturus – We just don’t have the high rank sniper players to do that.
Chamber Jr. – We have had mixed success with it.We didn’t play it for very long because after a while, I think the enemy team caught on to our playstyle and started beating us again.

Next, the Genji goats ran by the Vancouver Titans:
Arcturus – Once we switched from dive to goats but had that nano-blade. We don’t want to switch off the nano-blade so we end up with goats with Genji.
Chamber Jr. – I think having a Genji can lead to a faster snowball if you get your first pick but other than that I don’t thinks its better than normal goats unless you have the blade .

And finally, the famous Torbjorn ran by the Atlanta Reign:
Arcturus – Nano has tried to get me to do that, every single time on Ilios Well. We did do it once…the Torb died instantly. I think you need a Dafran level Torb for that to work.
Chamber Jr. – Yeah, we didn’t try.

It’s kinda kept me playing overwatch to be honest, reinvigorated my love for the game.

Arcturus

With players like Boombox now playing in the highest levels of competition having participated in the NUEL’s tournaments. I wondered what the two thought of the Campus Clash’s potential as a feeding ground for pro teams. Chamber agreed with the sentiment “Ranked isn’t as competitive as we’d like it to be and it (The Campus Clash) is much more fun and it shows your skill much more when you’re playing in a team of  people who are all dedicated to working together and playing to win.” Arcturus went even further. “I do think it’s the best introduction to full 6v6 overwatch you could possibly get. I couldn’t really find the courage or the effort to look for like an open division team over the summer but now that I’m here it’s introduced me to playing 6v6 Overwatch.”

Whether it be through adapting their strategies or even playing in the tier 3 scene, the influence the pro scene has on collegiate Overwatch cannot be understated. We wish Cambridge the best of luck in the coming weeks and look forward to week 7’s games.

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