Interview With Atlanta Reign OWL Player - Kodak
Wed 31st Oct 2018 - 3:00pm
Steven 'Kodak' Rosenberger is a Professional Overwatch player for the new Overwatch League team, Atlanta Reign. He is a Flex/Support player that began his career in 2017 and has played for teams such as 6nakes and even represented Team Germany in the World Cup. The 18-year old player is now a part of one of the youngest OWL teams and he is very optimistic for the future.
You began your professional Overwatch career in 2017 – what was the initial appeal of the game to you and what were you playing previously that took up most of your time?
Kodak: At first Overwatch got my attention by watching streams like steel_tv in mid 2016, the game design was an eye-catcher to me and it instantly got a place in my heart. I believe what really made me think that Overwatch was the game where I wanted to puruse a pro career was the APEX Tournament in Korea after following it and seeing these players living their dreams, I got caught and I found my life goal, which was becoming one of the best players in the world. Before Overwatch I played Counter Strike: Global Offensive, where I reached the highest rank (Global Elite) and aimed to go pro but due to the huge competition you had in counter strike from players who played counter strike for years already. I decided that it was the best for me to try it in a newer game where the experience gap was not that big of a deal.
It was just announced in the last few days that you were picked up for ‘Atlanta Reign’, a new OWL team based in Atlanta, GA – what was the process like in being brought on and what does it mean to you to be part of something like this?
Kodak: How I got approached by Atlanta: I got contacted by Casores and he asked me for Povs, which I gave him. As soon as I saw him reaching out to me I got super excited even though it was not guaranteed that I will get a tryout but if an Overwatch League team reaches out to you, you just think: this is my chance I will give everything I have to not mess this up. After a few days of waiting I got invited to tryout, during that time I was on a bootcamp with Team Germany so my scheudle was really filled. I perfomed well and the coaching staff got interested in me. Making it into the Overwatch League is an unbelievable feeling - it's a mixture of happiness, excitment and relief. From the moment the Overwatch League got announced my goal has been to play in this league with the best players in the world. Now im here and I have to thank Atlanta for giving me this chance and im ready to make the best out of it.
What are your thoughts on how the rest of the roster is looking? Any specific person that you’re really excited to be playing with?
Kodak: I think our staff did an amazing job building this roster. It is a great mixture from all around the world with super talented players. We have a really young roster, we might even have the youngest roster in the whole league. I am really looking forward to playing with Massaa, his ultimate tracking is perfect, he has really good mechanics, deep understanding of the game and brings the experience from Gigantti with him, which I believe will help us alot as a team.
When will the practice really start kicking in for you and the team?
Kodak: Due to us having a roster from all around the world it makes it really hard for us to practice online, which means that we can start our real practice once we are all together in Los Angeles.
What are your goals for you and the team going into the next year with the beginning of Season 2 starting in February?
Kodak: I can not answer this question for my team but I can tell you about my goal for this season. My goal for this season is to reach the playoffs. I believe with hard work, we have everything to make it possible. As we are coming in as a fresh team with no experience together, we might have starting troubles but once we figure out everything we will let it reign.
You’ve personally played in a good amount of Minors and Majors – do you have a favorite between them? If so, what did you enjoy most about that event?
Kodak: My favourite has to be the Overwatch World Cup Paris 2018; it was crazy. The crowd, the matches, everything. I probably had the best time in my life during that event, even if we did not manage to qualify for Blizzcon we managed to put on a great show and took away major experience for the future. I want to thank Team Germany and everyone who attented the world cup for the amazing time.
You’ve primarily been a Support/Flex for your entire career – what drew you to this role when you picked up the game?
Kodak: I actually rotated between many roles at the start of my career. I started to play as a DPS in Season 1 and quickly realized that it was not a great fit for me, swapped to Flex Support in Season 2 played it for awhile and felt like I had found a fitting role for me. I did not manage to find a team as Flex Support so I asked an old teammate of mine, Snillo, if I could tryout for his team as off-tank due to them alraedy having bock1 locked as flex support. This led to me playing for 123 in Overwatch Contenders Season 0 as off-tank, we managed to get 2nd place despite me having no experience on off-tank. Afterwards I got replaced for Hafficool and I cant blame my ex-teammates for the decision. Hafficool was just the better player on that role. So after I got cut from 123, I had to make a decision and I asked myself do you really enjoy playing off-tank? And the answer was no. I fully focused on my role as a flex support from there on.
What other Support players out there do you really enjoy watching or look up to?
Kodak: JJonak. Hes an absoloute beast - the gap between him and other flex support players at the moment is pretty big, huge respect to him! I can not wait to play against him it's going to be an honour for me.
Looking at the game and competitive scene as a whole, do you feel like there are any necessary changes that need to be made or do you feel everything is in a good spot as is?
Kodak: I feel like we need more support for the Tier 2 scene. More offline events where upcoming players can show what they are capable off and a bigger support in terms of salary. Contenders still has alot of unsponsored teams playing for no salary. I played for no salary my whole career except for Mosaic but thats whole different story. I believe that overwatch league is in a really good spot right now and can not think of any changes I would suggest.
For a final, easy question – if you could only be one hero in real life, who are you picking?
Kodak: I would pick Sombra. Imagine being able to hack everything, going stealth whenever you feel like it and teleporting yourself. It would be amazing wouldn't it?
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for us! Is there anyone that you’d like to give a shoutout to?
Kodak: I have to thank you for having me here! Thanks for offering me this interview. I want to shoutout my old team 6nakes, Team Germany, Atlanta Reign and all our supporters! #LetItReign
Be sure to follow him and the Atlanta Reign as they prepare for next season!