Overt took Oceanic Nationals by storm in Stage 3, with the OCL team filling big shoes in the top-flight like it was nothing. Heading into OCN 2021 Relegations, coach Tim “Pants” Denby is confident Overt can show off why they’re “on a different level” and deserve their spot in OCN 2022.
Overt are the one of the many surprise packages of Oceanic Rainbow Six in 2021. After a strong start in OCL Stages 1 and 2, they got the early chance to test their mettle against the best in ANZ in OCN Stage 3.
They seized their chance with both hands.
The rookie squad came out swinging against the big guns — pushing Knights to the edge in their first game before claiming big wins over ORDER, Wildcard, and Chiefs across the Stage.
Overt’s rapid rise was something to behold. However, you won’t catch coach Tim “Pants” Denby taking any of the credit for it. In his words, their climb was a case of their players, not just Pants in the engine room, implementing more analytical and strategic depth into their gameplay.
“Most of the success that is Overt was pre-established prior to me coming on, but now that I’m familiar with the way the team works, I can provide more insight into how to improve. It’s always good to have that objective outside opinion,” he told Snowball.
“Typically Soya and Twent do more of the strat creation — which is how it should be because you want your players to be the driving force behind what happens in game.
“If the coach is doing something players should know about, it means I have to communicate everything and it can get messy.”
Pants joined Overt after OCL Stage 2, having played on Big Dogz — also fighting for OCN Promotion — for most of the year.
He had minimal coaching experience before his chance on Overt, doing some strats for teams in the XP Esports Women’s League. Much like Overt’s general story in 2021 though, he seized the opportunity and it paid off in dividends, helping level up the squad into a more structured side.
“I felt like my potential was being somewhat capped on Big Dogz, and I felt like I could throw my weight behind a team that wanted to go further,” Pants said.
“When Soya put out a tweet looking for a coach, I thought I’ve got a teeny bit of experience coaching and I thought I could give it a go. If I was good at the job, I’ll provide some value, and if I’m not I’ll learn something from it.”
Expectations were low for Overt on their OCN promotion, both internally and externally. However, getting pushed up into the top-flight offered a number of unique advantages to the squad.
They managed to get higher quality scrims as Asian teams respected them as a Tier 1 ANZ side. As the quality of practice (and games) improved, so did the team.
“A lot of the team’s success can be chalked up to their scrim partners. They scrim Tier 1 almost exclusively, as well as a lot of Asian teams, and that level of consistency in high-level scrim partners gives a level of confidence we have the experience other teams coming up from OCL may not have otherwise,” Pants said.
“I’ve been a part of different teams in OCL and who they scrim, and we’re on a different level.”
This has also put distance between Overt and FURY — their OCL rivals and first opponent in OCN 2021 Relegations — in the team’s eyes. While FURY managed to beat Overt in the OCL Stage 2 Grand Final, the extra OCN experience is invaluable in definitively breaking ahead.
“The level of competition between FURY and Overt is probably close in some sense, but we have a leg up on them in that one Stage of OCN. They were the two teams that were putting in the work to compete at the top level,” Pants stated.
While Overt and FURY highlight the rising stars coming up through the scene, veteran squad Wildcard is fighting for their legacy in OCN 2021 Relegations. The tumultuous year has left the once-Kings looking vulnerable, and Pants isn’t quite sure they’ll even qualify for OCN 2022 over the fresh blood in OCL.
“It depends on who they come up against in Relegations, but I think if they come up against FURY, there’s a decent chance Wildcard don’t make it back in,” he claimed.
“Something has not been quite right in the Wildcard camp. I don’t know if it’s a team dynamic problem, or motivation, or game theory — there’s so many things it could be. I would not be surprised if they fail to qualify for OCN though, and key members were poached for other teams.”
“No other team in OCL was coming close to the level of skill, coordination, and teamwork that Overt and FURY had.”
OCN 2021 Relegations is more than a fight to get Overt back to the top for Pants though. The coach watched his Siege career go by over the last few years before jumping back into competitive play in 2021 on Big Dogz.
It was his “one regret” about his Siege career, thinking he was never good enough. Now he wants to prove that he can help lead a team, in some capacity, to the big leagues and beyond.
“The one regret I have is that I didn’t try to get into comp sooner. I played one qualifier in Year 2 Season 3 on Medusa against Corvidae [before it became DarkSided] with like RizRaz, Warden, JackDaddy — and I dropped the idea of comp at that point. Years went by and I was watching everything from the sidelines thinking ‘I’ve got to try’.”
The one major concern looming over Overt’s head is their map pool depth after the squad gained the moniker of being just an Oregon team in OCN Stage 3 (a map they played three times with two wins against APAC South teams).
However, anyone discounting Overt just because of that dominance on one map — they did break the Chiefs’ streak on ‘Dubhouse’ in the OCN Stage 3 playoffs — will face the wrath of the rising stars in the face of Relegation.
“There’s not a single map I can think of that Overt is uncomfortable with,” Pants stated.
“We have a very good baseline across all the maps. You’ll have preferred maps obviously, but I think we have that baseline — and a lot of that is due to the level of confidence the players have in each other.”
Oceanic Nationals 2021 Relegations continues on Saturday November 27 with Overt taking on FURY at 4pm AEDT. You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six ANZ Twitch channel.