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AMA: JAKE and ZP on casting life, season two, and the World Cup

Yesterday fans got some more insight on what it means to be a caster, as well as a player in the Overwatch League. In an AMA hosted by Andrew “ZP” Rush and Jacob “JAKE” Lyon on Reddit, fans were able to get a look behind the curtain and see how juggling being both a caster and a player is handled.

For those unfamiliar, Rush is a professional caster and analyst who has been involved in both the North American and international Overwatch scene since 2016. Whereas Lyon is a player for the Houston Outlaws, and has been travelling during the Overwatch World Cup – dipping his toes into the casting waters.

JustRecentlyl: For JAKE What’s the hardest part about being a caster? What’s the hardest about being a pro player? What transferred best between the two?

For ZP: How does casting with a pro player compare to casting with other color or even play-by-play casters? What has been your favorite tournament to cast over your entire Overwatch career? What was your favorite moment (and or series) you cast?

JAKE: Hardest part about casting for me is finding the most important stuff to say… I generally have too much to say so I end up talking too fast or failing to highlight the key plays that are most important. I really strive to discuss the most important 2-3 plays that make a fight go one way or another (whether that is ultimate economy, ability usage, or aim-heavy playmaking, etc.)

ZP: I’d say that casting with a pro player is probably one of the most motivating experiences I’ve had in terms of upping my game knowledge even more. I’ve always had high confidence in my ability to read the game and see what’s going on, but casting with Jake really helped illustrate that there’s even deeper levels of refinement to be had when it comes to game knowledge.

The full response from JAKE and ZP can be found here.

bpthegreat: ZP–which player during the OWWC group stages impressed you the most/you’d consider MVP for their team?

Jake–what is the biggest lesson you learned about casting, or the biggest improvement you made over the course of the group stages?

ZP: Guxue for Team China – And I’m not sure it’s close. His tank play was some of the most monstrous I’ve ever seen from someone in the position, and I firmly believe he’ll be Top 5 in the Overwatch League 2019 season.

JAKE: The best advice I got was just to relax and have more fun with the cast, once I got out of my own head a bit and just got into the action the cast seemed a lot more natural.

On the flip side of this AMA, JAKE was able to provide his thoughts on the upcoming season two of the Overwatch League. Providing thought’s on meta, and what role he may have to fill in the future for the Houston Outlaws.

thegrease: What position do you think you will fill in the upcoming OWL season for the Outlaws? Between you, Linkzr, Arhan, and now Danteh, the DPS role is jam packed. Do you see yourself as the projectile specialist, the flex DPS, or something else entirely?

JAKE: It’s too difficult to predict which roles the metagame will require in OWL Season 2019. There will probably be new heroes and new patches before then. I’m using the offseason to work on all my weakest heroes (even widow) so that I’ll be in a good position to bring value to the team wherever they need me.

That said… I really like playing DF.

Cryptographer: With a… Potentially more active… DPS lineup for season 2, there comes an opportunity to specialize more than the “Not widow or McCree player” as it felt like was your role a lot last year. Assuming you got to pick your role on Outlaws for Season 2, what would it be?

JAKE: I’ve been practicing a very large range of heroes in the offseason. Even Widow/McCree/etc. (characters I had never really tried to become good at before). It’s too hard to predict what the meta-game will be by the time OWL 2019 Season rolls around, I’m just looking to add depth and breadth to my hero pool generally. I do very much like Doomfist though… 🙂

Do you guy’s think maybe JAKE like’s Doomfist at all? We’re finding it hard to tell.

Towards the end of the Inaugural Season, there had been murmurs about the excessive play time and training time having a negative affect. With questions from those like crossfirex3x, asking if being a caster in the off season has hurt his play at all, we were able to get a little bit more insight from JAKE’s perspective.

JAKE: I don’t know if it’s really had any impact on my playing career. I feel really refreshed because every time I take a break (even just for 2 weeks to travel & cast) I come back with renewed fervor and play 12hrs a day while I’m home. If anything, it refocuses me on how much I still want to be the best, how much I still want to be the one on that stage rather than one of those behind it.

Finally, fans were able to ask a burning question, who stands the best chance of winning the OWWC?

RageIsReal: Which team in the World Cup do you think has the best chance of winning against South Korea and why?

ZP: I think it’s very, very close between USA and Finland in regards to potentially challenging South Korea. Both rosters are packed with high end OWL talent. Finland of course taking South Korea to the brink in Incheon, and Team USA looking dominant against a fairly stacked Canada roster in the Burbank stage. Any games between these 3 teams should be fantastic imo.

k3hvn: What are the chances of South Korea FINALLY being dethroned at Blizzcon after being so dominant in each World Cup?

ZP: I’m not sure I’d call South Korea so dominant in 2017. They were certainly the most powerful team, but they were also objectively two team fights away (on Eichenvald / Hanamura respectively) from losing to the USA.

I’d put the chances at about 40% that either USA or Finland could win.

JAKE: They are a really strong team, but there are a few teams at Blizzcon that should give them a real challenge.

Rush’s full response to this question, and more like it in the AMA can be found here.

The featured image for this post was provided by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

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