At the conclusion of the inaugural season of Overwatch Contenders 2018, the newly formed Australian roster under Legacy Esports had propelled themselves all the way to the quarter finals where they first met the Sydney Drop Bears. Months later, whilst having narrowly qualified for the playoffs once again, Legacy Esports found themselves in an awkward position this past week, unable to even so much as compete against Season One victors in the Drop Bears, let alone exact revenge.

The Legacy roster has seen a multitude of changes throughout the year in regards to not only the active lineup, but also the coaching staff behind the scenes. In the midst of a tumultuous period, we caught up with team captain Isabella Chan (‘Straawbella’) to discuss the many difficulties faced thus far, as well as to get her take on the state of competitive Overwatch in Australia.

Legacy is a team that has been marred by a number of core adjustments lately. Being the team captain, do you feel as though the most appropriate changes were made and that the roster is in the best place possible heading into the Season Two playoffs?

Since the very beginning of the season, we knew that we were going to face issues with our roster. I’d have to say that there really was no room for the ‘correct’ adjustments to be made. Especially considering that I am now filling the off-tank role for the playoffs and that we need Saphira to substitute in on support, no this is definitely not the way that we wanted to enter the playoffs.

However, we knew that there was a chance of these changes coming to pass and we can only try our best to scrape through this season. When you think about it though, fifth place isn’t all too bad when you haven’t had a permanent roster all season and making it to fourth would ask the question ‘what if?’

You mentioned the swap to off-tank, just how much high-level experience, if any, have you had in that role previously?

Our main substitute happens to be a support player and we were left without an off-tank as a result. I haven’t had any previous team experience on the role but since changes were made, I put my own foot forward to fill in for what the team needs right now.

People were concerned about the last minute change in our match against Tainted Minds. I was more than happy to walk away with a 3-1, or even 3-2 victory, yet we still came out with a 4-0 which exceeded even our own expectations given the situation.

Well it certainly seemed to have paid off in that matchup but moving ahead, unfortunate technical difficulties saw the team forfeit a match this week against the Sydney Drop Bears. Could you elaborate on that situation from your perspective?

Unfortunately, Dench’s computer is currently in for repair. Last we heard, he is likely not to get it back for another week. We already have our substitute in, so Dench will have to look for other ways to be able to play if his computer is not fixed by game day.

We’ve taken a lot of hits this season but we’re not backing down.

Given the circumstance at hand, how exactly has the team been preparing for the upcoming playoffs? Have players been dedicating more time to reviewing earlier matches for instance?

We have been looking into our playoff match as best as possible but again, with one sub, one off-role, and one player without a PC, we can only do so much in these next two weeks.

Currently third in Group A despite the internal complications, what is the mentality like heading into the playoffs given all that has transpired throughout Season Two?

Honestly, ending in fourth place overall would feel like a clear first place for us with what we’ve been through this season. Coming in fifth also does no damage. At the very beginning of the season, the team began to even question if we’d come within the top eight. It’s a slight setback on our goals, but we’re looking towards a much better showing in Season Three to make this all worthwhile.

Speaking to the third season, are there any fundamental changes that you’re looking to make in regards to just how the team operates?

For Season Three, we are looking towards a fresh start. We previously had a better system in place throughout Season One but honestly, the most important step is to first have a full roster, then we can focus on scheduling around that.

Shifting focus a little, what was your initial reaction when you heard that the Contenders finals would be held in the Rod Laver Arena at the Melbourne Esports Open?

It was pretty exciting to find out about the event. I saw the post on Twitter and I’m sure that it motivated every player in the local scene. It would be great to play on that stage one day and I know that every season will just get bigger and bigger.

Looking at the broader scale of competitive Overwatch in Australia, given the recent announcement of the Melbourne Esports Open as well as rumours of a potential Australian Overwatch League team, what are your thoughts on the current state of the local scene?

It would be awesome to have an Australian Overwatch League team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the team is imported, just like we saw with major rosters throughout the first season. Some of our players really do have the ability to compete with the very best though, so I’m curious to see how it would turn out.

Contenders is great, but after contenders there really isn’t much right now. Hopefully the Overwatch League will be a viable path down the line. Having a major LAN event each season is definitely good though, it gives everyone a clear goal to work towards.

Straawbella and the rest of the Legacy Esports roster have their sights set on their upcoming playoff match to round out the second season of Australian Contenders. Show your support and tune in to all of the playoff action over the coming weeks on Twitch and if you’re attending the Melbourne Esports Open on Saturday September 1st, be sure to cheer for the Contenders teams on the grandest stage yet.

Photos credit: Legacy Esports & Blizzard Australia/New Zealand