Off the excessive of a second championship win, the San Francisco Shock added a number of new faces to spherical out its roster in late 2020. Charlie “nero” Zwarg, one of two new DPS additions, rapidly made waves and earned himself a near-constant beginning place this yr among the many Overwatch League staff’s set of champions.
Earlier than he grew to become the Shock’s go-to flex DPS during the 2021 season, nero spent a number of years on the Guangzhou Cost, garnering consideration for his fixed visa points throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However this yr, he’s soared on heroes like Echo, bolstered by stability and help.
With San Francisco chasing a three-peat throughout the 2021 Overwatch League playoffs, nero talked with Dot Esports in regards to the challenges he’s confronted on the Shock roster, postseason journey, and commonalities he shares with gamers coping with “visa hell.”
What challenges did you face slotting into an already-established staff?
Nero: Mainly, Crusty didn’t actually know the way I would slot in so we type of needed to take a look at every thing out. We examined out quite a lot of gamers, quite a lot of DPS rotations, and I really feel like we’ve figured that out. It was onerous in the beginning, however now everybody’s kinda discovered their position and it’s positively changing into so much simpler to work issues out and repair issues as a result of we all know our set rotation.
Did it take some time to mesh with the opposite gamers on the staff?
I feel so. For me, personally, it took most likely a stable couple months for me to mesh with everybody. It’s an entire new staff, everybody has a unique playstyle than my previous staff. It took me just a little bit however I really feel like I’m there now, in order that’s what issues.
As somebody who was caught in “visa hell” earlier than, how does that course of have an effect on your psychological state?
Final yr, I couldn’t be in Korea for lots of the matches. Once I lastly got here again, I hadn’t been in a position to play with the staff for a very very long time. It was type of onerous as a result of they’d been enjoying with a unique participant they usually had gotten used to that participant. I really feel like that’s taking place to quite a lot of groups proper now, the place they wish to begin a sure participant however they’ll’t as a result of they’re not there, they don’t have a visa, or one thing like that.
It’s only a powerful scenario that nobody can actually keep away from with COVID and every thing occurring. It’s fairly mentally taxing, truly. It’s tough.
Does it have a destructive impact on matches in any respect or your play?
It did for me [last year] as a result of I hadn’t performed in like two or three months in an precise match. Then I got here again and simply acquired immediately thrown into scrims, immediately thrown right into a match, and I hadn’t been there for some time so it was onerous for me.
However I’m certain it’s onerous for different gamers, too. Like [Philadelphia Fusion DPS] sHockWave, for instance. He didn’t have a visa for a lot of months, he needed to play in [Overwatch Contenders], after which he lastly went [to Korea] and he couldn’t play [immediately] as a result of he hadn’t been enjoying—he didn’t mesh with the staff but. It’s simply an unlucky scenario.
How do you assume journey impacts gamers? Are you involved about journey going into the playoffs?
Yeah, I’m personally nervous as a result of all of the NA groups need to go to Hawaii and we’re gonna be jet-lagged, some groups greater than others. Like Atlanta, for instance. They’re going from the East Coast to Hawaii and that’s, what, like a six-hour distinction? They’re going to have an enormous drawback, particularly not with the ability to play with Pelican as a result of he can’t fly. [Note: This interview took place before we knew Pelican would participate in the playoffs.]
I feel we have now a drawback, personally, as a result of we additionally need to play on overseas setups. However on the identical time, I heard [the East Region] is touring someplace as effectively. It’ll most likely be truthful, truthfully.
We’ll have just a little little bit of a drawback, nevertheless it’s no matter, you understand? Shit occurs. You possibly can’t at all times have a good match. On the finish of the day, in case you’re the higher staff, even on a drawback, you’ll win. There are not any excuses.
What do you assume you’ve realized or absorbed essentially the most from being part of the Shock this yr?
I’ve realized to simply at all times be assured and at all times belief my staff. And “by no means play to lose, at all times play to win.” That’s what our GM at all times says. It’s at all times winnable. Even in case you’re down two maps, you may at all times win. Simply by no means hand over.
This interview has been edited for size and readability.
https://dotesports.com/overwatch/information/its-always-winnable-san-francisco-shocks-nero-talks-travel-and-tribulations | ‘It is at all times winnable’: San Francisco Shock’s nero talks journey and tribulations