The news of North American organization EnVyUs picking up the five IDDQD players dropped last night, and in anticipation of this move we've talked to Finnish fragger Timo 'Taimou' Kettunen about how he got into professional gaming and Overwatch, about the state of the game and about his team. Joining the IDDQD five on the new EnVyUs roster will be Ronnie 'Talespin' DuPree Jr. from the old EnVyUs roster, which was broken up after some players decided they no longer wanted to pursue a career in professional Overwatch.
IDDQD was the dominant force for much of the second beta stage, although recent roster shake-up's have seen them fall a bit as they hadn't locked down a stable roster. With the addition of Talespin the team should now be in a good position to again challenge for that top position after the Overwatch launches on 24th of May.
Interview with Timo 'Taimou' Kettunen
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Timo and I’m a 22 year old young man from Kuopio, Finland. I’ve been playing video games since I was a young kid.
What games other than Overwatch have you played seriously?
I’ve played League of Legends, Counter-Strike 1.6, Starcraft 2 and Team Fortress 2 in a fairly serious fashion.
What made you decide to try and push to become a pro at Overwatch?
Gaming has always been a passion for me and I’ve fantasized about becoming a pro player for about 10 years now. It used to just be a dream and even the thought of moving abroad to play games for a living seemed almost impossible to imagine. However, now eSports has grown to such an extent that if you’ve got the required talent then you might be able to leverage that into a career as well.
You played Medic in Team Fortress 2, but you’ve swapped to playing an offensive role in Overwatch. What prompted this change?
I like playing characters which have a big impact on the game. If supports were the characters which were best suited to carry games alone then I would probably be playing support in Overwatch as well.
What was your team history in Overwatch before joining IDDQD?
I was on a team called K1CK-eSports which contacted Blizzard as we wanted to move over to Overwatch. I was playing support for the team during the first phase of the beta, and then as the game went down players started planning new lineups for when the beta would start up again. K1CK was falling apart at this point as a few players had left the game due to real life obligations. Luckily a lot of teams were interested in picking me up though and I ended up going with IDDQD.
You ended up parting ways with IDDQD, but then recently they asked you to rejoin their team. How did you feel when they contacted you?
I have to admit I felt like I was being yanked about a bit at first, but I didn’t hold a grudge and the team did have good reasons for why they let me go originally. We’ve been able to overcome those problems since however and now everything is working as it should.
Tell us a bit about the new organization? How was the agreement reached with Team EnVyUs?
EnVyUs was a familiar organization for us from before. Ronnie ‘Talespin’ DuPree who had played on their old lineup also helped us a lot when we were figuring things out with them. EnVyUs offered us the best terms of the organizations interested in our team and their owner Mike ‘Hastr0’ Rufail is a really nice guy, so the offer really was too good to turn down. For myself I’m going into this wanting to do a lot work with myself and for the team in order to ensure we can be the best Overwatch team around.
Tell us a bit about your team.
On our team we’ve got Cocco and chipshajen who are both from Sweden, INTERNETHULK from Germany, HarryHook from Spain and Talespin from the U.S. I know HarryHook from our Team Fortress 2 days. The rest I got to know only in Overwatch, although I have played League of Legends solo queue with INTERNETHULK without knowing about it. Each of us has been good at some previous game or has played it at a high level. In terms of how the team works, we all take part in formulating strategies. Everyone contributes to in-game communication and anyone has the ability to make calls as the situation demands it. Whomever is first to speak is generally who ends up leading in the given situation. We don’t have one specific captain and instead make decisions together.
What kind of playstyle and heroes do you prefer?
McCree and Widowmaker are my primary heroes that I play and the ones I know the best. Really my preference is for hitscan heroes in general. I like an aggressive style of play that doesn’t leave a lot of room for the opponent to breath. My playstyle does however change depending on what heroes and hero lineups that the team prefers at any given time.
Which heroes do you consider yourself weak on, that you might want to improve with?
Hanzo, Junkrat and Genji. All heroes are really strong even though they aren’t used as much in pro play, but if I were really good on these heroes they might open up the possibilities for certain surprise lineups.
How difficult is it for players to adapt to a new meta or to new heroes that they need to play?
The game isn’t inherently mechanically difficult to pick up. Everyone learns the mechanics of a hero quickly, but how you utilize the heroes changes dynamically depending on what heroes the rest of your team is playing and what heroes the opponents are playing. For example McCree is really good as a frontline offensive character against tanks, but if your team doesn’t have a Lucio then McCree becomes a backline flanker and the playstyle changes entirely. For myself I don’t think there’s much trouble adapting to new heroes and new metas.
How do you feel about the current meta in professional Overwatch?
The meta has changed weekly during the beta and I expect there to be big changes for release as well, especially once they start adding new heroes to the game. Right now the meta is very much built around hitscan heroes and hitscan attackers like Widowmaker, McCree and Tracer dominate. It’s quite boring when you consider that there’s 21 heroes in the game and only five or six really see play right now.
What’s your general opinion on Overwatch development? What has Blizzard done well? What could be improved upon?
I’ve been happy to see that Blizzard listens to players. Before they didn’t use to listen to the community as much and made decisions on their own, which made it feel like the games sometimes lacked something. They’ve made a good game now, although we’re still missing an official ruleset for professional play. I feel Blizzard needs to create a ruleset for professional competitions and add more maps. I also wouldn’t mind at all if Blizzard decided to introduce a one hero limit. Right now picking the same few heroes is heavily in the meta, and you rarely see more than 4-5 different heroes in a competitive game.
What do you think of the changes that Blizzard has made to heroes so far? For example there were a lot of calls to change Genjis reflect, but it hasn’t really been touched.
Blizzard has been on the right track with hero changes. They don’t just nerf strong heroes but they’ve also buffed weaker heroes, so at to bring them up to the same level. Although we haven’t seen many impactful buffs or nerfs for a while now, so I’m sure they have some in store for us in the future. They did change Genjis reflect, shrinking the hitbox a bit, but I still think it’s too big. It still reflects all shots within an 180 degree angle, which is completely broken.
What are your thoughts on heroes which don’t see a lot of play, such as Torbjörn, Bastion or Hanzo?
I think every character has their niché and these characters are surprisingly strong. We just happen to be in a situation where the other heroes are overwhelmingly a lot stronger, so we don’t see the likes of Torbjörn, Bastion or Hanzo all that much.
How do you feel about the situation with supports right now? Lucio seems quite a bit stronger than the rest?
The only reason Lucio is top tier right now is because of the Speed Buff and auras. If your team doesn’t have a Lucio then the enemy team will simply run over your tanks and your offensive heroes with their Lucio Speed Buff, and you simply won’t have an answer for that. His ultimate is also very strong as it applies a sizeable 500 hp shield for six seconds.
Anything else on your mind?
Thanks to all our fans for your support and to EnVyUs for giving us this opportunity. Shout-out to our sponsors Monster Energy, Twitch, HyperX, Zowie, DXRacer, Elgato Gaming and Scuf Gaming. And thanks to Blizzard for making Overwatch!