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Luddee: “There are some positives to the [Contenders] changes but no LAN is, in my opinion, really bad for the tier 2 scene.”

Volamel 2018-12-25 02:47:36
  Grinding in the competitive Overwatch scene since 2016, Ludvig "Luddee" Håkansson has been on the rise since his debut all the way back during the days of the GosuGamers Overwatch Weekly tournaments. Known for his measured support play, the young Swede first was seen on teams like B0nkers and Red Reserve before joining Toronto Esports during the 2017 Overwatch Contenders qualifiers. Now, he’s sat with one of Europe’s best Contenders teams, Angry Titans. As he prepares for his upcoming playoffs match against Winstrike Team, Luddee spoke with Esports Heaven about the state of Overwatch, the changes to the Overwatch Contenders format for 2019, and more!
The “state of the game” topic has been a hot-button talking point for a good couple months now and as someone who’s quite literally played the game non-stop for roughly two years, I think you’d be quite the authority figure to ask. That said, what’s your take on the state of Overwatch currently? I think it is in the worst state it has ever been in so far. It's a very stale meta and from my understanding, even the Overwatch League teams play a lot of GOATs as well, from what I've heard. Making a bigger change to Brigitte might help fix this, [but I’m] not sure if the recent changes will do a lot. [We] haven't practiced on the new patch. Ranked is also in a very bad place right now, resetting SR and adding role-queue should help fix this, the best scenario would be a third-party queue like counter-strike has ESEA or Faceit and for professional players, rank-S or FPL, would be very good content and might up the viewership on twitch too. Player burnout has been something that has been a major issue since the end of the first season of the Overwatch League and it’s not something that only league players face. What, in your eyes, could Blizzard do to help remedy the burnout issue that competitive Overwatch players face? In my opinion, fixing ranked and/or adding an alternate third party queue like ESEA or Faceit would help a lot. I think that the long break after the Overwatch League season helps the players a lot to relax and prevent burnout as well and that's why I like having two long seasons of Contenders instead of three short ones. It will give us a little bit more time off and hopefully make it feel less cramped up.     Obviously, with the last 2018 season coming to a close, we have to look ahead to first 2019. With the new year brings many changes to the Overwatch Contenders format and system. Overall, what are your thoughts on the upcoming changes? Overall I think the changes are okay, some bad, some good. There are some positives to the [Contenders] changes but no LAN is, in my opinion, really bad for the tier 2 scene. Luckily I managed to get some LAN experience before this. Two longer seasons is going to be good, will hopefully put less stress on Contenders players. I also like the prize being more rewarding to the top teams, although, I feel bad for unsigned teams that don't make a salary outside of prize winnings. I don't really mind the soft region lock, but I understand why some people do. And finally, if the cross-region tournaments are true, that would be really good for EU I think. Let’s get to Overwatch Contenders. Walk me through the week five loss to the British Hurricane. What, in your mind, went wrong? We didn't expect them to play as good on GOATs as they did and we ended up playing more passively than we had been in practice. They got a lot more value from their ultimates than we did from ours because we played scared. Pretty much exactly what happened versus Shu’s Money Crew EU as well. It will not happen again. Recently you sang the praises of your new head coach Optidox. What are some of the big changes that he’s made in the team to help you and the Titans improve so much this season? He has helped us a lot with always being proactive and staying as disciplined as possible. He has had us go through maps together and focused a lot on positioning and playing smart. [He] made us see GOATs in a way we didn't before. I feel like identifying problems is one thing, but implementing a solution in practice is a different thing entirely. How do the Angry Titans go about fixing issues you guys run into and how exactly does that get implemented in practice? We usually have long theory talks and VOD reviews after we have identified problems and come up with solutions as a team, the next day we try it out in practice and if it doesn't work, we do it all again or we realize how to fix it while playing. Talking and VOD review > Playing > Talking usually fixes issues. I have spoken with some of Europe’s best talent and they all seem to dread attempting to practice for Winstrike Team and their more unorthodox take on the metagame. How are you and your team preparing for your quarterfinal match against them? We had them as scrim partners for the entire season and all I can say is that we will go into the game knowing how to play against them, we're not scared. Last but not least, I want to ask you about some of your major goals. You’ve represented your country in the Overwatch World Cup and have competed successfully in Overwatch Contenders. What are some of the big milestones you want to accomplish in 2019? Obviously like every other Contenders player, getting picked up for the Overwatch League is one of my biggest milestones. The thing I want even more, though is improving as much as possible coming into the new year, the milestones come hand-in-hand. Also, representing Sweden again if there is going to be a 2019 World Cup would be an honor and I hope if that happens, we can prove what we've got and win it all.
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.

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