“I think if we lose, that’s not acceptable. If we fail in scrims, that’s not acceptable, right? We don’t take losing, in any circumstance, as an acceptable outcome.”
Overwatch League 2023's coach of the year is Jordan "Gunba" Graham! During the live event at Toronto's Mattamy Athletic Centre, he shared the strategy behind Florida Mayhem's success.
Gunba, Florida Mayhem, and Overwatch League 2023
When asked about his approach to coaching Florida Mayhem, Gunba emphasized the importance of tough love and never settling for mediocrity. Being realistic about each player's strengths and weaknesses is crucial as well.
"First of all — tough love. I think if we lose, that's not acceptable. If we fail in scrims, that's not acceptable, right? We don't take losing, in any circumstance, as an acceptable outcome," Gunba said. He added that the players deserve all the credit for dealing with his coaching style.
"I think the second thing that you see in our team's style that is a result of our coaching is that we're very pragmatic," Gunba continued. "I think a lot of teams this year saw that Sombra/Tracer was such a good composition — that so many teams were playing — and they played that composition knowing they could never win. That they could never be the best team.
"And so we make every decision with victory in mind, knowing that we have to win the league. And every composition we play, we have to be able to be the best at that composition."
Gunba on Florida Mayhem's versatility
Gunba also acknowledged the coaching staff's expertise and how a bit of luck helped with Florida Mayhem's success. He then praised the team's ability to learn different compositions because of frequent patches and opponent changes.
"I've been coaching for the entire duration of the league. I've been here since day one," Gunba said. "I coached the first Overwatch League match ever. So our coaching staff, including McGravy, who's a huge part of how we win so many games — they have a lot of experience. And so I had to teach them and you have these compositions, right?
"And secondly, it's been a bit of luck, right? If we can play Sombra/Tracer and win every match, we would do that, too. And as a result of the fact that we've been forced to adapt so many times, we've been forced to learn so many different compositions.
"Every patch, every match, every opponent has all paid off up until this point because now we can suddenly pull out all these different compositions and play them with the exact same roster. We didn't do any subs for most of the [matches]. So it's a bit of luck and a bit of experience, I think."
MER1T, teamwork, and more
During the interview, Gunba highlighted Choi "MER1T" Tae-min as an incredible hitscan player. His abilities give Florida Mayhem confidence going into every match. MER1T's own versatility in playing other heroes have also contributed to victories.
"I think going into every match knowing that we have to play the hitscan role [and] we're going to have the better player is such a load off our minds," Gunba said.
Overwatch League 2023's esports coach of the year then praised Caleb "McGravy" McGarvey again for what he does as an assistant coach. Meanwhile, general manager Albert "yeHHH" Yeh does what it takes to achieve victory, is great with the budget, and makes sure that everything is always on time.
That's all for now. Stick around on esports.gg for more Overwatch 2 news and updates!