Meet Singapore’s Nicholas ‘Caldoran‘ Tay. He’s the Community Lead for Team Singapore’s Overwatch Committee. Along with him is his committee, Seetoh ‘JohnGalt‘ Jian Qing as Coach and Teo ‘TCC‘ Chun Chieh as General Manager. The three of them were recently voted to be the Committee in order to select the players for Team Singapore in anticipation of the Overwatch World Cup 2019 (OWC). We spoke to Caldoran about the OWC and more.
I most often find myself administrating and leading communities in the games I play – In Overwatch’s case, I am the community leader for What’s Team Fortress PUGs, where I host Custom Games for 12 players to simulate competitive matches.
Additionally, I dip my feet into various fields, such as logo design, team logistics management, statistical analysis and even some casual coaching.
Caldoran shared with me that he campaigned with these two because he fully believed that they were the best for the roles.
Jian Qing, or JohnGalt, is easily the most successful Coach we’ve had in the Singapore scene. He shot to the big leagues when he signed with the Overwatch League team, LA Gladiators, as an Assistant Coach. He has gained tremendous amounts of experience from working with them, and there is no one more qualified than him to train and coach Team Singapore.
Chun Chieh, or TCC, is also a successful Coach and has worked with numerous teams and organisations, both local and overseas. Most notably, he is currently the Coach for the Australian Contenders team Mindfreak. His suitability for the role of General Manager lies in the fact that he has experience managing the logistics and rosters of some of the teams he has worked with, such as Kanga Esports. I believe that he is meticulously organised and driven enough to ensure that all of our financial, logistical and scheduling needs will be fully taken care of.
We are extremely excited to work and cooperate with each other to bring Team Singapore to Blizzcon in the most spectacular fashion possible.
Looking for players
Caldoran and his committee are currently looking for players to tryout for the team. You can apply here by 20th June.
In order to select the best players available in Singapore, we will be hosting a series of online tryouts for them to showcase their ability and prove their worth.
To ensure transparency in the selection process, the tryouts will be openly streamed on Twitch. Every candidate will also need to go through the full tryout process – Regardless of previous accomplishments, there will be no free passes given to anyone.
Tryouts will be held on 22nd and 23rd June. If necessary, there will be additional tryouts held on the subsequent weekends.
What Kind of Players?
If you’re curious if you fit the bill, Caldoran shared on the kind of players the committee was looking for.
We are looking for players who have recent experience in the past year playing in Contenders or Contenders Trials (the official regional Tier 2 standard) or have reached at least 4100 SR on the ranked ladder, which would put them in the top 1% of the entire global player base.
There are also additional aspects of the players apart from raw performance we will consider from our observations during the tryouts, such as their ability to cooperate in a team, communication skills and openness to learning from their mistakes when pointed out.
We feel that these are the minimum standards to ensure that the players are, with intensive coaching and guided practice, ready to play on the world stage.
What are the tryouts like?
During the tryouts, players will be placed into predetermined teams that allow them to showcase their skills on Heroes or roles they are most proficient in. They will then play against each other with a competitive ruleset enforced.
The Committee, especially the Coach, will be watching the tryouts closely to assess every player’s performance in-game. In addition, they will also be assessed on their ability to adapt to the unfamiliar environment, communication skills and attitude as a player.
After the tryouts have concluded, the Coach will deliberate over all the candidates and fairly assess their performance and merit. Their previous experience in high-level tournaments and inputs from the rest of the Committee will also be taken into consideration. From there, the top 12 players will be submitted to Blizzard for approval, after which the top 7 will be selected to represent Singapore.
Searching for Volunteers
The committee is also currently looking for a team of volunteers to help them out as they prepare for the biggest tournament of their lives.
With the amount of work that needs to be done, such as graphic design, acquiring sponsors and assisting with coaching, we cannot feasibly do it by ourselves, at least not to the level of quality we demand.
We currently already have a very driven and talented volunteer team working directly with us, but we’d always appreciate more hands. If anyone would like to volunteer their time to help us out, it is a great chance to gain esports-related experience and showcase your talents and skills! Feel free to reach out to us to apply.
Not the first OWC
Prior to this year, each country’s eligibility to play in the World Cup relied on the average SR of its top players. While Singapore’s average was high enough in 2016 and 2017, we unfortunately did not make the cut in 2018.
This year, the system has changed to allow for any country to participate if they receive enough endorsements from the community and have enough candidates to fill the three Committee positions.
Four months of Intensive Practice
Upon selection, the team will have only around four months on practice. Caldoran shared that training would be scheduled weekly and the frequency would be bumped up as the date nears.
They will also have regular reviews of their performance from recorded practice matches with the Coach. Mistakes made on the individual or team level will be identified and improved upon.
We are currently also analyzing the feasibility and cost-benefit of further enrichment initiatives, such as LAN practice sessions and even overseas bootcamps to countries like Korea.
Naturally the prospect of going to a Korean bootcamp might sound enticing to some. But I’m sure it is not all fun and games if they even manage to secure a Korean Bootcamp there.
Singapore has not done well in the previous OWCs and the current Committee is looking to change that.
Learning from the experiences of the 2016 and 2017 committees and teams, we have decided to focus on the following goals: Transparency in the selection process, establishing a genuine sense of connection with the community and making the community proud of Team Singapore no matter what happens.
While there is currently a significant gap in skill between Singapore and the strongest countries in the World Cup due to their greater experience in things like the Overwatch League, we believe that the Singaporean and global community love an underdog story and watching our players truly giving their best to make our country proud.
We will take the months leading up to the World Cup very seriously with the regular, intensive training and review sessions. While other countries will also be working hard, we will work harder than them to narrow the gap in skill and experience.
A lot of Mercy
Caldoran enjoys healing, much to the delight of all Genji mains out in the wild.
My favourite Hero is Mercy, because I love her visual design and her high-mobility, support-oriented gameplay. I also enjoy the other healers like Lucio, Moira, Baptiste and Brigitte.
A Master Himself
Caldoran’s highest rank was Master at a whopping 3887 SR in Season 7. He still maintains his Master rank every season and had some thoughts to share about the meta.
While there have been many complaints about the current meta (GOATS or 3-3), I personally don’t mind it as much as many in the player base. From observing the community over the past three years, people tend to get bored of any meta that has ever been established and demand it to change, including Nanoblade, Triple Tank, Double Sniper and even the popular Dive.
Having said that, GOATS has been prevalent for a very long time and I also feel that it has overstayed its welcome. I just hope the next meta will not be something truly boring, like Bunker.
That said, Caldoran did not envy Blizzard’s position on balance changes.
Early on, Blizzard made very large, sweeping changes that threw the balance off the scales drastically. For instance, Mercy’s Valkyrie rework.
People then started demanding for Blizzard to make smaller, incremental changes to slowly tweak Heroes into achieving balance. Predictably, people are now unhappy about the lack of sweeping changes to unpopular Heroes like Brigitte and are asking for Blizzard to take a sledgehammer to these Heroes.
I personally feel that Blizzard, while having made many missteps, has truly gotten the game in a better state of balance that it was previously, rose-tinted glasses aside. If I had to pick one thing for Blizzard to improve on, it would be to truly focus their balancing efforts on one core demographic – Their current approach of trying to please the entire player base, from Bronze players to Overwatch League pros, has led to many situations where neither side is happy (e.g. Reaper buffs).
Caldoran started off as the Head Administrator of competitive TF2, AsiaFortress. He then continued as a leader for Overwatch when his small pickup games (PUG) community grew larger.
On top of that, I love the game and its community! It is inspiring to see how much effort people put into the game in various ways, such as coaching, organising events and competing at ever-increasing levels of play.
When asked for advice for people who want to get involved in the Community, this was what Caldoran had to say.
Create stuff and help, even if you lack experience! Whether it’s creating graphics with your creative skills, helping with the logistics of an event or managing a team, volunteering your time and effort is the best way to get yourself known by other people involved in the community.
Make sure you get duly credited and acknowledged for the work that you have done, even if you’re volunteering for free. A simple credit with your name on it might not seem like much, but you’ll be surprised how much it helps you get further opportunities when networking.
Words of Thanks
I cannot thank everyone enough for voting for me. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and believe me when I say I will spare no effort as the Community Lead of Team Singapore!
The Committee has already hit the ground running to begin work on things such as acquiring sponsorships, establishing our social media presence and preparing for the trip to Blizzcon in Anaheim.
For those who didn’t vote for me, I hope that my efforts in the coming months will convince you of my capabilities. Let’s all cheer together at the top of our lungs for Team Singapore at the World Cup this year!
You can find Caldoran in the official Team Singapore Discord, or message him directly: Caldoran#4919 on Discord and Caldoran#1123 on Battle.net.