Letters for the Future Fan - Team IDDQD
Dear fan of the future,
I am unsure who is dominating the Overwatch esports ecosystem when you read this, or who is quickly climbing the rungs of the competitive ladder, but I write to you today about a team or organization that is long past your time. Something that is timeless in their story and their purpose. Something that unrelentingly dared you to challenge your perception of the current landscape of Overwatch and had the courage to chase their dreams. These are my letters from the past to help educate people on where the community has come from and to act as a Rolodex of info on just who these teams were so that their legacy might continue to live on through you, the reader. Now, sit back and prepare for a brief history lesson or a trip down memory lane.
The early days of Overwatch are often overlooked and with the Overwatch League becoming the largest stage in Overwatch, we often forget where we came from. This is the story of one of the first truly great teams that would form one of the most recognizable dynasties in the early years of competitive Overwatch. This is the story of the team known as IDDQD.
Like many esports in their early stages, Overwatch teams this early on were incredibly malleable. The timeline we are going to tackle today is around late into beta phase one, roughly towards the tail end of 2015. This was the proto-stage for Overwatch esports and the team’s structures and retention of players reflected that. “IDDQD” was named after the god mode cheat hailing from Doom. However, before we begin our historical journey, I would be remiss not to mention the team that made the up the core of what IDDQD was: the HULKtastic Mix.
Even more obscure than the team mentioned in the title, HULKtastic Mix was exactly what they claimed to be - a mix of players. Their first recorded showing would be during Alphacast’s European Tournament #2 in November of 2015 where the team would field the roster of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, Sebastian "chipshajen" Widlund, Richard "PiPou" Buscemi, Daniel “Sanchez” Lamprecht, Jesper “Musashiii” Maassen, and a Swiss player who went by the name of Sonigo. In the round of 16, HULKtastic Mix first faced off against the French team, Cooldown and would emerge victorious with a 2-1 map score. Coming into the Quarterfinals, HULKtastic Mix would play against the original Fnatic roster and lose 1-2, securing HULKtastic a 5-8th place finish.
HULKtastic Mix would next play in the GD Studios Last Stand tournament in December of 2015, where they would field the roster of chipshajen, Oliver "Vonethil" Lager, Jose Antonio "BromaS" Ramos, Jonathan "HarryHook" Tejedor Rua, Christian "cocco" Jonsson, and Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin. Most notably missing their captain, INTERNETHULK, due to a family event. He would return, but fearing any additional roster shuffles they continued playing with the starting six they began the tournament with. HULKtastic Mix would cruise past their first few rounds opponents, namely, Ventus.Pro, Paragon and Fnatic. They would fall to the lower bracket after their defeat at the hands of melty eSports Club. HULKtastic Mix would than play a rematch against Fnatic and would narrowly miss their mark with a loss 1-2 which would award them a 3rd place finish. This would be the last event for HULKtastic Mix and mark the beginning of the team we’ve come to know as IDDQD.
The genesis of IDDQD came during the GosuGamers Overwatch Weekly Europe #3 where INTERNETHULK would return as well as a new addition to the roster in the form of Timo "Taimou" Kettunen. IDDQD would finally take home the gold with victories over Paragon, Illuminati and melty eSports Club, all of whom they had played in previous tournaments. Taking the win over melty eSports Club was a big victory for them, but they pressed forward and faced off against REUNITED in the grand finals. To add a bit of context, Reunited were the team who previously played under the Fnatic banner. From here on out, IDDQD would always seem to find REUNITED in the finals of the many events they would participate in. During this specific encounter, IDDQD would take the win, 3-2. This victory propelled them into the future as a leading team in the Overwatch ecosystem and overthrowing some of their rivals.
Over the next two months, IDDQD would improve their undefeated streak to 52 matches.
The next player to bolster IDDQD’s strength would come in the form of a player from Sweden. Former Team Fortress 2 player, Kevyn "TviQ" Lindstrom joined the team during the ESL Community Cup #1 Europe. IDDQD’s ongoing dominance would continue through the 6th edition of the GosuGamers Weekly tournament series, wherein then they would decide to make a key roster change coming into their next event. During Creation eSports’ King of the Watch Europe #4, Taimou would be absent from the starting roster and Lucas "Mendokusaii" Hakansson would be added to the team.
Robert "Roflgator" Malecki would be added shortly after Mendokusaii and would act as head coach for the team. Roflgator would debut with IDDQD during the GosuGamers Overwatch Weekly NA #7.
A little under a month after Mendokusaii joined the team, IDDQD would suffer some serious changes prior to a major tournament. Mendokusaii and TviQ would depart the team shortly before the One Nation of Gamers Overwatch Invitational. From the massive loss, many people started to question even if IDDQD would participate in the tournament. When GosuGamers wrote their initial news report and asked for a comment, Mendokusaii had this to say: “I thought this was the best course of action.” And as for the team, IDDQD seemed not to be phased by the sudden loss of their DPS lineup; “Mendo and TviQ will leave the team, they feel they found another option for them. We as a team will stay together and will be as strong, if not stronger in the future. We wish TviQ the best of luck wherever he goes.”
Leading into the event IDDQD would reunite with Taimou and add emergency DPS player and former ShootMania Storm professional player, Dylan "aKm" Bignet. This substitution would prove fatal when the team would suffer their first defeat in ages. With a convincing victory in the first round over IMPULSE 11, IDDQD played against Kyle "KyKy" Souder’s Cloud9 and would lose 0-2, sending the team into the lower bracket. In the lower bracket, IDDQD would defeat Brandon "Seagull" Larned’s Luminosity Gaming and would fall to the same team who they defeated in the first round, IMPULSE 11, granting IDDQD their first finish outside of the top spot in nearly two months.
Their last appearance as IDDQD would come during Game On’s Overwatch Arena Season 1 where they would take home the silver medal. As the Overwatch Arena was a fairly long event, the roster change of TviQ and Mendokusaii leaving only affected them leading into the grand finals. To fill the last DPS slot left open once their emergency substitution exited the team, IDDQD would recruit a Swedish Quake 3 player by the name of Pelle "fazz" Soderman. Outside of the finals, they roared through the group stages without losing a single map, racking up a 7-0 match record and 14-0 map record. In the playoffs, they blew through melt eSports Club and their rivals REUNITED to face Flat Earth in the finals, where they would lose 1-3. A little more than a week after the event, the IDDQD roster would be signed to the Envyus organization as they refitted their Overwatch stable. The five core IDDQD players would join the only remaining member of the original Envyus roster, Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree.
And after their contracts were signed, the rest was history. Envyus, formerly IDDQD, would continue to write their names in the Overwatch lexicon with multiple large-scale victories at the OG Invitational, Operation Breakout, Beyond the Summit’s Overwatch Cup, OGN’s Overwatch APEX league Season 1, and MLG Vegas 2016. Envyus would then later be rebranded as the Dallas Fuel and is now a mainstay franchize in the Overwatch League.
Many of IDDQD’s former players have moved on to great things. Both TviQ and aKm would find tremendous success within Rogue. Shortly after winning the APAC Premier in 2016, the team would splinter sending TviQ to Misfits. Both of them have now found their ways into the Overwatch League on their respective teams of Florida Mayhem and the Dallas Fuel.
The core members of IDDQD — Taimou, HarryHook, cocco, and chipshajen — all have transitioned into a successful tenure with Team Envyus and the Dallas Fuel.
Head coach Roflgator would find successful coaching opportunities with Rogue, Fnatic, Tempo Storm, and now resides as the head coach of EnVision Esports.
Mendokusaii had a successful run within Cloud9’s Overwatch stable and now resides within the Houston Outlaws.
Fazz, Sanchez, Musashiii, and Sonigo have all either retired or have become inactive since their time within IDDQD.
Longtime team captain, INTERNETHULK would leave the team after they became Team Envyus around the end of APEX Season 2 to pursue a career as a head coach. Tragically on November 8th, 2017 he would pass away due to complications regarding an enlarged heart. Later that month, Blizzard announced “The Dennis Hawelka Award”, as an award to be given to the player with the most positive impact on the community.
Their contributions to the scene far surpass just gifting players a platform to showcase their talent, but they also were some early adopters and experts during the double Zenyatta metagame. Their work ethic allowed them to launch past some of the mainstays of the scene at the time. Their legacy lives on within the careers of their former players who now grace the stage in the Overwatch League.
There was a young and rising ecosystem of Overwatch competitions and talent that we’ve lost due to the natural erosion of time and IDDQD was at the forefront of that ecosystem for a long time. It is safe to say that IDDQD was one of the first legendary teams in the budding stages of Overwatch esports.
Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLGs of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment and GosuGamers.