Jay “sinatraa” Won, one of the five nominees for the Overwatch League’s 2019 MVP, has played in every Stage Finals this year. With the Season Playoffs rapidly approaching, he and his San Francisco Shock teammates are ready to compete for the opportunity to play in one more Final. Sinatraa shared his thoughts on adding a new hero to the mix for playoffs, this year’s new losers’ bracket addition, and some of his hopes and fears for geolocation with Hotspawn.
Hotspawn: With Season Playoffs around the corner, how do you prepare for a new hero to be in the meta?
Sinatraa: It’s hard to tell where Sigma will be good in the meta, maybe against snipers because you can block a whole lane for your team by cutting off their snipers. I honestly don’t like that there’s a meta change right when playoffs start. Weird teams can just win out of nowhere. It’ll be hard, but I think we’re really good at adjusting to any meta because we have such a diverse roster with all of our DPS and tanks. I think we can adjust pretty well.
Similarly, how did you react to 2-2-2 coming so late in the season, especially when Shock had dominated in the GOATS meta?
In the beginning when it was only GOATS for the first two stages, having 2-2-2 then would’ve probably been good. But at the end of Stage 3, we saw a lot of teams that were playing random stuff, not GOATS, and were winning a lot. Like Shanghai, they won against us and they didn’t play GOATS at all. So the meta was shifting more, and it was pretty bad timing to go to 2-2-2, but it’s still fine because 2-2-2 brings a lot of diversity. You see a lot of comps being played and all these highlight reels for DPS players popping off, that’s been really good.
The Chosen One. @sinatraa's poise, leadership, and raw mechanical skill have catapulted him and the @SFShock into stardom, and now he's a T-Mobile #OWLMVP finalist. #OWL2019 pic.twitter.com/tis9fxj52D
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) August 14, 2019
Do you think there need to be changes to create more balance?
Back then, when we didn’t have 2-2-2, you could play literally anything. You could have quad-tank be overpowered, and then triple-tank triple-support was overpowered so it was hard to balance. What are you going to do, nerf the tanks and really hard-buff DPS? But now since it’s 2-2-2, you have to pick those heroes, so you know which one in those categories is way too OP. So Mei, for example, she’s pretty broken and I’m sure she’ll get nerfed very soon. And Orisa is perma-played all the time, you can narrow them down way easier.
Season Playoffs this year has a losers’ bracket. Do you like that change, do you think it helps?
Yes. I love that change, actually, because say you’re the best team in the game and the meta changes in playoffs, which it will. And if you can’t adapt that fast, but you’re rank 1 in the standings, you might lose the first match and then you’re out of the season. That’s ridiculous in my opinion. Adding a losers’ bracket will give teams way more cushion to do better in the playoffs instead of losing one game and then that’s your season.
If you ultimately make it all the way to Philadelphia and win the whole season –
Knock on wood! [laughs]
Knock on wood, I don’t want to curse you! What would you do to celebrate?
First thing I would do is take a trip, take a vacation and go shopping with my girlfriend, probably. That would be good, probably that.
How has your experience at the Blizzard Arena been over the past two years? Will it be bittersweet to leave after your final playoff match?
It’s been fun, it’s been a little different though because every time I go into the Blizzard Arena, there’s been fans cheering for different teams all the time. It’s not like everyone is cheering for a single one, unless it was for Shanghai or something like that. So it was nice, but I remember when we went to San Francisco to play in our Cali Cup against Valiant, and that was super fun. Literally the whole crowd is cheering for you and everyone is on your side, I’m very excited for that.
Do away crowds booing you impact you at all?
It’s not the booing that impacts, it’s when everytime they win a team fight, or if they get a pick or two, and the whole crowd is just cheering for them. That’s what was hard about playing Shanghai last year when they were on their losing streak. Whenever they got one kill or anything, the whole crowd – you could literally hear them all screaming. It’s hard in that aspect.
"My personal goal is just to be known as a good player in the League. That's all." – @Sinatraa
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) June 30, 2019
With geolocation next year, what else are you worried about or are looking forward to?
The only thing I’d be worried about for me is the traveling. I really hate airplanes [laughs]. I really hate flying, and just traveling in general is kind of annoying, so only that. But once you finally get to those places, like if we go to Paris or Korea, that will be really fun. The getting there… yeah. I’m very good friends with everyone on our team, everyone is friends. So if we go to South Korea, the Koreans on our team will just show us everything, because we show them a lot of stuff in America.
What’s been the best part about sharing American culture with your teammates?
I’ll just say that eating pizza with your hands is pretty normal here, but Viol2t especially would just eat everything with chopsticks. Like he’d eat pizza with chopsticks, or get a Big Mac from McDonalds and then he would deconstruct it with chopsticks and eat it like that, even have an ice cream cake… I post all of those pictures on Instagram, so I have proof [laughs]!
Sinatraa and the San Francisco Shock will face off against the Atlanta Reign on Friday, September 6.