Overwatch in Singapore
TOKIGAMES catches up with Team Singapore Community Lead, Nicholas ‘Caldoran’ Tay, on the state of Esports, competitive Overwatch and challenges in the eco-system.
At the beginning of August2019, Team Singapore revealed their final roster for the Overwatch World Cup, which is an annual international Overwatch esports tournament that pits the best players from around the world against one another.
Who is Nicholas ‘Caldoran’ Tay?
‘My name is Nicholas, also known by my alias Caldoran. I am the Community Lead for Team Singapore this year. In the local Overwatch community, I am known for being a community figure who sticks his nose into various things, such as hosting a Pickup Game (PUG) community, designing team logos and processing game statistics for tournaments. I first started playing Overwatch in the 2015 Closed Beta. Coming from competitive Team Fortress 2, having some involvement in competitive Overwatch was almost inevitable. I love class-based shooters, and I enjoy the rush from a good match where both teams are equally skilled and trying their best to win.’
To start things off, we asked Caldoran on what being Team Singapore’s Community Lead means to him, what it’s like to work with the Overwatch team, and the difficulties he has faced so far.
- As the Community Lead, my role is to connect Team Singapore to the local and global community, broadly speaking. That means handling the team’s social media platforms and promoting the players by highlighting their achievements and unique personalities. I also think it is important to provide constant updates to the community while being open, approachable, and transparent.
- I recently learned first-hand, the hardest part is being very careful with how I broadcast information about the team. Missing out crucial pieces of information can lead to misunderstandings, which easily spreads like wildfire in no time.
- I’m also still learning the ropes of handling the more corporate aspects of the role, such as sponsor activation. I’m lucky to have a very dedicated team of volunteers who have experience with such things helping us out.
On the topic of Team Singapore, we asked Caldoran on how the 2019 team matches up with the 2017 team, and if the Singapore team is planning to do anything special before the OWWC starts.
- I think that Team Singapore this year is confident and stronger than the 2017 team. Format changes have allowed for the clearer distribution of duties within the committee, and our players have benefited from an extensive time in Overwatch Contenders League, which did not exist in 2017. Our Coach Seetoh “JohnGalt” Jian Qing will also be a huge factor in our success, as he has gained invaluable experience serving as an Assistant Coach for the Los Angeles Gladiators in the Overwatch League.
- We are also looking to secure funds to produce a documentary, and we are developing a ton of other fun content involving our players, committee and volunteers. We hope everyone will develop a connection to Team Singapore and enjoy the content we create!
- Also, we have secured a long-term training LAN venue for our players, and plan to have practice matches there once or twice every week until November 2019. This will allow our players more time to mingle and bond in real life, while also getting them accustomed to the harsh and unfamiliar LAN environment that is the OWWC.
Team Singapore had tryouts earlier this year, and we asked Caldoran if he could provide us a behind-the-scenes look on how players were selected.
- While all three committee members officially have equal say in the player selections, we decided early on that JohnGalt should have the majority control and final say over the roster. This was to avoid unnecessary complications during the process, and we trusted JohnGalt’s judgment and impartiality.
- Teo “TCC” Chun Chieh, our General Manager, also gave good input and feedback during the process as he is a Coach for Contenders Australia team, while I gave minor inputs and suggestions from my experience personally interacting with the potential candidates.
- For the selection criteria, JohnGalt explained that players were selected not just based on their mechanical skill, but also their communication, teamwork and prior experience in high-level tournaments. The players were also evaluated on their ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations, as JohnGalt assigned them to a wide variety of Heroes and compositions.
Caldoran — ‘I personally believe that no matter the role, a willingness to work together with the team is crucial. No amount of mechanical skill is going to help us win against strong teams such as South Korea, USA or UK.’
We asked Caldoran to elaborate more on Team Singapore’s key competitors and how Team Singapore stacks up against the rest of the world.
- Our Southeast Asian neighbors, of course! We’re closely related to our brothers and sisters in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, who are also playing in the Overwatch World Cup this year.
- In terms of skill, I think we stand a genuine chance against other countries with little or no Overwatch League players. Given our players with Contenders League experience, it might just be enough to snag us a few surprising victories.
- While we are behind countries with better esports infrastructure and massive amounts of players in the Overwatch League, we are ready to work harder than everyone else to narrow the gap in skill and experience. While I cannot confidently say we can do something as incredible as beat South Korea, I do genuinely believe that we’ll at least give our competitors a tough time.
- I would count it as a great success to make it into the Playoffs this year, but I would already be very proud of Team Singapore if we make it into the Group Stages.
- I truly believe that it is the strongest team Singapore has ever had for the Overwatch World Cup, and that we picked the best players available. I also believe we have a strong Coach who will guide our players to victory, along with a crew of highly motivated volunteers who will help make every step of our journey as smooth as possible.
Lastly, we asked his opinion on One Esports launching a Dota 2 tournament in Singapore, and if there was a possibility in organizing an Overwatch tournament.
- I think One Esports is smart to cash in on the exponentially growing esports market in Singapore, which hasn’t been fully tapped on yet. Sponsoring something on such a large scale also shows their confidence in the direction they have taken.
- As for whether One Esports might consider Overwatch in the future, I think it depends on whether Blizzard is willing to negotiate its tournament licensing terms. At the end of the day, Blizzard’s focus will likely be on promoting and protecting the Overwatch League.
We would like to thank Caldoran for his insider information on the Overwatch competitive scene.
If you want more updates on Team Singapore, you can join their Discord (https://discord.gg/86TvjqB) and follow them on Twitter and/or Instagram @TeamSingaporeOW .