JohnGalt and Bani on New Three-Strand Coaching Philosophy of Justice in 2020


Over the past two seasons of the Overwatch League, coaching has proven to be an integral part of what separates a good team from a team that can go the distance. For Washington Justice, a team that struggled in their debut league season, coaching has clearly become a priority in 2020.

Much like the three-pronged American justice system, Justice has its own coaching philosophy in 2020: Individual, Development and Strategy. To learn more about this new approach and how the new staff will fit in with it, The Game Haus spoke with Justice’s head coach. Seetoh “JohnGalt” Jian Qing and new Individual Coach, Chris “Bani” Benell.

Building on strengths

JohnGalt, formerly of the Los Angeles Gladiators, comes to Justice this season and takes the reins as head coach. However, he is not shaken by the new challenges ahead.

“My experience with the Gladiators was in a different role, which was to help my head coach. My new position means new responsibilities, and I will intensify them to lead the team according to my own vision… Justice has this environment where everyone really cares about the team. Everyone wants to help each other and there is a lot of kindness and warmth here.

Image courtesy of Washington Justice

As he attempts to step up and lead the team located in the nation’s capital, he employs a unique coaching philosophy focused on individual training, development and strategy. Here’s JohnGalt’s explanation of what these new coaching roles really mean for justice in 2020.

Although each of the coaches has their own title, the titles do not limit any of them to a specific role. These roles were created to highlight the strengths of our coaches, not to force them to take on one unchanging responsibility.

Sup7th has immense experience in building and leading a team. He did it in Korean Contenders, then he repeated it with Hangzhou Spark. All the players who worked under him really respect him. Our second trainer, Ace, has been a key part of developing in-game tactical strategies on all of his former teams and he has a very keen mind for the game and his meta is constantly evolving. Bani, our last coach, brings a lot of experience as a former professional player and we found he has a very organized mind when it comes to details and strategies. I was really impressed with his analysis when we interviewed our assistant coaches…

When it comes to coaching, flexibility is key. Coaches will do what they are best at, but they will have plenty of opportunities to contribute in any way they can, even outside of these focus areas. I don’t think there are better or worse styles of coaching. Ultimately, it comes down to what your team needs. Like all teams heading into the next season, we’ll learn as we go what works with the new chemistry of Washington Justice players. This makes having a flexible coaching structure an advantage.

[Related: When do Hero Pools go Live in Overwatch?]

JohnGalt plans to use these three coaches to meet the need for flexibility in the league, which hero pools would still be a need for, as well as the judge’s specific need to manage and train a mixed language roster. For JohnGalt, it starts with creating a family bond within the team.

“One goal for us will be to teach players how to work together and communicate in and outside the game. Being of different cultures and nationalities, we will ensure that everyone, staff and players, come together as one team. , one family. This will be our first priority.

Another way to approach this problem is to take language lessons. Our Korean players will be supervised in English lessons. Many of our Korean players were from mixed teams in the 2019 season and already have a good command of English, which gives us a competitive advantage over other mixed teams.

bani watch league
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

An individual approach

One of the new Justice coaches fulfilling this triple style is former Houston Outlaws Support player Bani. Consistently regarded as one of the most cerebral and intelligent players of his time in the league as a player, it’s clear that Bani is a natural fit for his new role as Justice coach.

“Coaching has been part of my long-term vision from the start. The way I played as a player has always been very preparatory. I was better off when I knew what the enemy team was going to play or do (and indeed – my own team, too) and had a predetermined answer to that. This strategy helped my individual decision making as well as my direction in the game, as I was able to make quick decisions based on what I had studied at length beforehand. This mindset only grew as I developed into the Overwatch League – to the point where I would basically work as a coach until I got into the game.

[Related: Overwatch League Unlocks Data, Introduces Stats Lab]

An ever-present fear for players moving from the stage to the backstage is the ability to see the big picture and understand more than one’s previous experiences. For Bani, there could be speculation if he would be too heavily influenced by his time as a support player, however, Bani has a plan to ensure that is not the case during his transition to the individual trainer.

“Due to my training, I consider it of the utmost importance to have complete data to support any feedback I give to a player. Whether the player is a Support, Tank, or DPS, I will make sure I have some evidence to back up my training and put the same level of research into giving feedback for any role. My experience as a professional player helps me understand the mindset of a player and how to help him properly, but I am extremely careful that this does not limit my style to that of a player coach. “Or” support “…

As an individual coach, my goal is to develop the skills and strategic thinking of each of our players. The individual coach illustrates my strength in understanding and working with the mindset of a professional player. I have a good understanding of what feedback works and does not work from my experience as a player. However, all Washington Justice coaches have excellent knowledge in several areas and will work on whatever the team needs most under the guidance of Head Coach JohnGalt.

owl bani
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

A new start

For Washington Justice 2020, it’s time to turn a new leaf and start building a winning franchise behind solid training and a promising roster. With the team’s superb travel schedule, five massive homestands and a new training system in place, Justice is hoping to slam the hammer on the rest of the league this year, dooming all in their path to a quick defeat.

This interview was initially conducted on December 19, 2019 by Jake at hand. The Game Haus would like to thank Justice, JohnGalt and Bani for their time and wish them the best for the 2020 season.

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Image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

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