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Signed: The difference one year makes

Check out the interview with Signed from the back-to-back Overwatch League champs, Order

Andrew Amos
Freelance Esports Writer
16th Sep, 2019·☕️ 3 min read
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Dynasty is a term through around in the Australian Overwatch scene with a bit of reckless abandon.

It was used to talk about the Sydney Drop Bears when they won three straight Contenders Australia titles in 2018. It was what crumbled when Order defeated them in front of a packed crowd at IEM Sydney. It’s now rising up again, as Order have claimed back-to-back titles in 2019 with a 4-0 sweep of Mindfreak at the Melbourne Esports Open.

One of the players who razed the old dynasty and rose up as the new ruler was Dale “Signed” Tang. The star DPS player lost in disheartening fashion in Melbourne one year ago when Order fell to Dark Sided in the semi-final.

But, it’s amazing the difference one year makes. Signed improved himself to become one of New Zealand’s most talented DPS players, following in the footsteps of fellow countryman Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse, who now plays in the Overwatch League.

He also got significantly less support after winning his second Contenders title, four months on from winning his first.

“I only got one message this time after we won. I got 30 after we won at IEM Sydney,” laughed Signed.

Order pulled out a composition not many people were expecting, testing out Symmetra in the post-role lock meta. Signed was tasked with beaming down the enemies with perfect synergy, and Order cut through Mindfreak like butter.

“Originally, our two coaches (rqt and Project) and a few others were talking about how busted Symmetra would be in role lock because of her shield break capabilities,” he said. “You can get the charge up to a fully charged Zarya beam and just shred Orisa shields.

“We only practiced it for a week before the final, and I’ve never really played Symmetra before, but I’ve played a lot of Zarya. The hardest thing to pick up was the teleporter and turret placement, but mostly it’s just beaming the shield and shredding.”

Order weren’t confident about their chances heading into the Melbourne Esports Open though. Mindfreak were on hot form in the regular season, grabbing the first-seed heading into LAN. The Order boys, while experienced, were taking things pretty easy.

“I thought we were going to lose this,” Signed fretted. “I wasn’t confident heading into it. I felt like we didn’t practice enough and we didn’t make our bootcamp as efficient as it could have been because most of the scrims were cancelled. Even before the final, we all went out to drink while Mindfreak were scrimming.

“When I woke up in the morning I thought “wow, we are going to lose.””

But, their worries were for nought. While they might not have had the practice, they had the stage experience. They had the mental edge, and they even toyed around with their opponents on stage a little bit, taking inspiration from top trollers, Dota 2’

“We were trying to copy notail’s entrance in TI8 when Jordy (Jordation) brought out a bunch of papers, and we had the chat wheel binds in game to stuff like “LAKAD MATATAG”,” he said.

They even whipped out a bell, ordering themselves up a quick victory on the day.

“We weren’t originally allowed to bring the bell in, so we had to sneak it on stage,” he said. “Drew (rqt) had to stuff it into his pockets on the way in, and whenever he would fling his shirt it would ring. It was pretty funny.”

The sights for Signed are now set on BlizzCon and another Overwatch World Cup appearance. He’s been to the US once before to play Overwatch in 2017 for OWWC and he’s looking to find some success this time around.

“I’ll be a lot less nervous this time around,” he said. “The Overwatch World Cup in 2017 was my first international event, and I think nerves really got to me. It’ll be good, even if it’s just because we get to hang out with the other teams from around the world.”