Interview with JayPL: "I thought the feeling would be worse and more painful but I took it well"
Mon 31st Jul 2017 - 7:02am
After 5 weeks of hard fought battles in HGC Phase 2 part 1, Team Dignitas have to watch their first international tournament from home. We had a chance to sit down with Tank player, drafter and ingame shotcaller Jerome "JayPL" Trinh and ask him what's going to happen in the downtime and how the team can bounce back to the top of the standings where they feel they belong.
Sadly Team Dignitas did not make it to the Western Clash, but now you finally have a few weeks off after months and months of HGC matches and scrims. How does the team plan on using this break to its advantage? Perhaps taking some time off to relax your mind or practice hard to get ahead of other teams?
JayPL: For some of us, it was really needed to have a break, so obviously not playing the game seriously for a few weeks will be advantageous for the shape of the team. Taking a breath, trying hard again and coming back the strongest we can.
How do you feel about the Western Clash in Kiev, knowing you won't be competing? Will you be watching?
JayPL: It's a weird feeling, I was scared to miss a HOTS tournament, I had a lot of motivation and pressure (in a good way) to qualify, but, well, things happen. I thought the feeling would be worse and more painful but I took it well because I know in a competition, you can't win everything, there will be ups and downs. We will of course watch it!
Team Dignitas have been searching for a coach for a while, and now you are having tryouts. How are the tryouts going so far?
JayPL: The tryouts went pretty well. We had a lot of applicants, they all showed a big interest in our team and I feel like we can get better thanks to them.
What are you mainly looking for in a coach? A drafter? Gameplay analysis? A numbers analyst? Someone to secure team atmosphere? Someone to innovate the meta? Or someone to manage scrims and daily planning maybe?
JayPL: We are not looking for a drafter, but someone who can improve the team from an external point of view thanks to his knowledge and analysis from other regions or other teams. Ingame, someone who can enlighten us on some rotations or better calls. No matter what, we will likely have more knowledge than a coach, I don't think a coach is here to drastically change the team to the point that you can't recognize them from drafts or the way they play. It's also important to have a coach for the internal problems and the conflicts between players. As the shotcaller and drafter, I don't want to feel arrogant when I have to manage the other players and explain to them what they can improve on for us to make better rotations or have better teamfights. I don't think that should be a player's job.
The team has gone for a long time without a coach. Do you think it will be hard to adjust to leaving responsibility to someone who is not a player on the team?
JayPL: I don't think it will be hard to leave a bit of responsibility to the coach. In fact, it's way better for us at least.
Let's transition from the coaching topic into another topic that has been spoken about by the team. In the middle of this first part of phase 2, you tried to have Bakery handling drafting and in-game calls for the team, where that would normally be your job. How was this experience for you? Did it give you more freedom to focus on your own play? Did it lift some weight from your shoulders in-game, not having to call the shots?
JayPL: When Bakery took the lead in draft and ingame, I was feeling so fresh and free. I just had to listen, follow and play my game and not overthink things. I began to really enjoy the game again. I guess it's just due to my personality that when I'm in charge of something, I want it to go how I imagine it, how I plan it, as I expect for us to be at the top. Ingame it was a bit weird as the tank: the tank has to make decisions and has to engage when he sees an opportunity, so when Bakery was thinking about something else while I wanted to go, things didn't go well and I ended up a bit confused. And obviously yes, it did give me a lot of freedom, I was just following and I had the feeling that even if we lose, that it won't be because of me, since when I'm the shotcaller and drafter, I will always blame myself first.
The team reverted back to having you call the shots and do the drafting for the last games. Why was that?
JayPL: I took back the shotcalling even though I didn't really want to, because it was just better this way. Bakery didn't enjoy the experience and it would have taken too much time to be perfect in the role. For the rest of the team and myself, we didn't feel comfortable ingame and it felt like everything was "broken".
After the Western Clash, only one tournament remains for HGC this year, the famous and prestigious Blizzcon. What needs to be done for Team Dignitas to represent Europe at Blizzcon?
JayPL: We just need to get back in shape, and I truly think that with this break, the magic will happen. We will work harder than we ever have before. Blizzcon is the most important event, it's the final boss. I don't think we need to improve a lot as we are already a strong team. We just need to be consistent and be in shape, as our mental state will be the main factor.
Thanks for your time, do you have any shoutouts?
JayPL: Thanks to the fans cheering for us every week, it means a lot! Thanks to Team Dignitas, Philadelphia 76ers and our sponsors. We hope to make you all proud at Blizzcon!