What's up guys and gals, CaptainPlanet here and I just returned from Agents Rising, a $10,000 prize pool Overwatch LAN presented by EsportsArena and sponsored by Dolby. I was lucky enough to compete in this tournament as Team Eggplant with friends I was able to cobble together -- eventually tying for 5th -- so major shoutouts are in order to my teammates: Carnage, TKQ, foobz, Rastsy, Sukinta, and Enryu. You can follow these awesome players at the links posted below and spam Eggplant emotes at them all day long, but that's not what I've returned to you to report today. Team Eggplant hit a major speedbump on our tourney run in the form of Cloud 9, who ran over our PUG Team with little effort on their way to being crowned champions of Agents Rising after a competitive Grand Final vs. Team Liquid. After their win, I was able to catch up with C9's Offensive Ringer, Lane "Surefour" Roberts, for a quick interview.

Surefour, for those who may not be aware,  is the closest thing in the Competitive Overwatch scene to a true "Star". C9 currently stands on top of the world in Gosugamers' Overwatch Rankings and along with his fellow fragger, Reaver,  Surefour is often the source of some of the most epic plays in the entire game. Indeed, Surefour's plays have been the subject of intense *cough* witchhunting *cough* scrutiny on Reddit, but these same plays earned him a $1000 bonus for winning Agents Rising's "most amazing play" on LAN. Accusations of cheating aside**, I can now say I've personally played against Surefour in a LAN situation and players like him really are just that skilled at Overwatch. Enough about that though, let's get to the questions:

PO: We're here at the EsportsArena Agents Rising Tournament with Cloud9's Surefour, who's just won the Tourney and the prize for best individual Play of the Game! Surefour, let's start out with a more involved question and then we'll move into some easier ones. When you and your team were still under the name "GoogleMe", what was it like balancing team practice, acquiring sponsors, vetting contract offers from organizations? What was a day in the life like for you guys? 

SF: Well, Reaver was still working and he had a night shift-type job, so we always had to wait until he got off and we would have to scrim late at night. Now, he's no longer working there now so we have a lot more time to scrim. We weren't really actively seeking out sponsors, we were more waiting to see who came to us first. We ended up getting with Cloud9 because Danan (Cloud9's General Manager for their Overwatch team) followed me on Twitter and I asked him if he was interested in a team and it went from there. 

PO: Building off that -- how has your day-to-day changed since joining Cloud9? 

SF: The routine stayed pretty much the same after we got sponsored. We just got more...basically more of a "now we have to win all the time" mentality. 

PO: The sick sponsor gear didn't help too much? 

SF: Oh the gear definitely helps. I mean we were comfortable with the stuff we had before, but we also adapted to our new sponsored gear pretty quickly as well -- I mean we've all been repping it and using it here. 

PO: The results certainly speak for themselves! Let's move in to some less "serious" topics now: if you could pick one Hero and one ability of that Hero to change, in an attempt to help Balance the Meta, what ability would you choose and how would you change it? 

"Personally for us, we don't really look at meta reports, we just kind of create our own meta"

SF: Well, I know a way to Balance the Meta by changing a Hero without changing an Ability.

PO: Interesting, tell me more...

SF: Just make D.Va be able to move faster while she's shooting!

PO: Now that's the kind of change I can get behind! D.Va's one of my favorite character all -- I'll count that one. Moving forward, you may know that I do Tournament-based Meta Reports for the Overwatch Community. With that in mind, do you think that Meta Reports help define the Meta, or do they overly shape the Meta or cause it to warp much faster than usual? 

SF: Personally for us, we don't really look at Meta Reports, we just kind of create our own Meta. But for people who are just starting to learn the game or just trying to get into the Tournament scene, it probably helps them a lot more. 

PO: Glad to hear I provide something useful! Last question, I understand this is your very first LAN. How are you enjoying it? 

SF: I'm actually way less nervous on LAN than I am online. 

PO: Really! Why is that?

SF: I think it's because I have more people watching me -- so if I make good plays it's even better.

PO: So you're totally in it for the glory?

SF: That's what I love, showcasing my skills!

That's exactly what Surefour and Cloud9 did on their way to winning the Grand Final of Agents Rising. I couldn't have asked for more of my first LAN experience, Agents Rising exceeded all expectations I had for the event. If this is only the beginning for Overwatch's Competitive Scene, I can't wait to see the how much Overwatch Esports grows in the coming year. 

Team Eggplant Social Media shoutouts:

(From top left)
Carnage: @carnmode

Rastsy: @Rastsy

Sukinta: @sukinta12

Enryu: @EnryuOW

CaptainPlanet: @CaptainPlanetOW

Foobz: @foobz








**Weak accusations at best. Check out this video by Envyus's Talespin demonstrating the buggy-ness of the Play of the Game system:

 Also, posting gifs instead of raw video footage of "evidence" is highly suspect, as gifs are easily edited. Check out my own "hack job" of a play of the game from the Agents Rising LAN here:

In this "Adultured" Gif, the Bastion "snaps" look kind of suspicious don't they? That's because I removed exactly 5 frames in specific locations, and it took me more time to download the Gif itself than it did to make these edits. Compare this to the actual, unchanged play below:

Pretty cool huh?