Elijah "Elk" Gallagher plays main support for the Philadelphia Fusion and academy team Fusion University. Before making it to the OWL, Elk also played for Evil Geniuses and MEGA Thunder at the Contenders level.
Elk is regarded as one of the brightest young players in the OWL and I had the opportunity to ask him about his personal growth, experience so far with the Fusion, and his aspirations for the future.
If Elk and the Fusion continue to play well, they could both end up at the OWL Grand Finals held in their home town of Philadelphia.
Chang: As a two-way player for both the Fusion and Fusion University, in what ways has your experience been different from other OWL players in terms of practicing and logistics?
Elk: I don't think it's been very different, a lot of the practice routines you stick to are very similar.
Chang: How significant is the difference between playing in Contenders and the OWL?
Elk: I haven't played enough on stage to give you that great of an answer but I'd say the fact that you're always competing on LAN is the biggest change.
Chang: During Stage 1, you had to sub in for Boombox and play flex support, not your usual role. How did you adjust to this change in such a short period? Did you learn anything about yourself or your team through this experience?
Elk: I did what the team needed, I practiced in what little time I had and did my best to step up. I definitely learned a lot about playing flex, even in such a short amount of time. I wish the situation could of turned out better but hopefully there isn't another situation like that in the future.
Chang: How would you characterize the Fusion's performance in Stage 2? Your own performance on stage?
Elk: Not ideal, we really wanted to make stage playoffs again. My own performance against NYXL wasn't what I wanted but I had very limited practice time leading up to the match so took it more as a learning experience. Against Mayhem I was pretty happy with how I played.
Chang: GOATS has been the meta for the better part of the last year. What's your opinion of the GOATS meta? Do you see it changing anytime soon? Do you have a personal hot take on the meta?
Elk: I don't think so, no, but I also think that is slowly changing
Chang: How have Philadelphia's coaches helped you improve as a player? Is there a specific area where they really helped you improve your game?
Elk: The coaches have helped the team a lot as a whole transition to being able to play goats better. Historically Fusion has been touted as one of the best DPS teams but with coaching we hope to also become one of the best GOATS teams in the league.
Chang: Philadelphia has one of the most diverse rosters in the OWL. Is there anything interesting you've learned from your teammates from around the globe? Would you say they have a unique perspective on things?
Elk: I've been on a lot of international rosters and one of the more interesting things is hearing peoples viewpoints on political issues or just opinions on things in general. I like getting many perspectives before forming my own opinions and there's no better place for that diversity of opinion then in a team with so many nationalities.
Chang: Which support player in the OWL do you look up to/admire the most?
Elk: I think i'd probably say Moth, he's very smart in all of his gameplay and decision making. Many aspects of his play I aspire to get better at as a player.
Chang: You've made appearances on Sideshow and Avast's streams and you've had your own streams where you breakdown matches. Are you planning to stream more in the future? If so, what kind of content do you like to make?
Elk: I enjoy streaming for educational content but balancing that with a practice schedule is very difficult, if I do make more content it will either be playing comp or reviews/casting. I'm hoping to be able to do a lot more in the future.
Chang: Have you thought about life after the OWL? Do you want to go back to school to pursue an interest of yours or do you see yourself staying in esports and becoming a coach?
Elk: After my time in esports is done I think I'd want to go to college, ideally for statistics and some other math related majors to see what I like most and make a career out of it.
Chang: Was your family supportive of your decision to go pro?
Elk: Yes, very. I have a hugely supportive family and am very grateful for them.
Chang: What's your favorite dish made by Chef Heidi?
Elk: Eggs Benedict
Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Fusion