Tim "Manneten" Bylund began his Overwatch career nearly two and a half years ago. It’s taken him to South Korea, all across Europe, and even venturing into Australia for competition. While he and the Florida Mayhem may have parted ways, this Swedish native is unphased. Esports Heaven caught up with Manneten has he prepared to depart for Bangkok Thailand to represent his country in the 2018 Overwatch World Cup Qualifiers._____Seeing how the last time we spoke was when you and Misfits were in South Korea and now you’ve seen it all, what has it been like seeing Overwatch esports change over the last few years? Is it a surreal feeling?It has been amazing so far and for some reason feels like it went by so fast! I even remember writing that interview and living in Korea with the team like it's in the back of my head. Coming into Overwatch and hearing what Blizzard’s idea about the game [was] and how they wanted to really invest into the esports scene really made me confident in that the game would grow as an esport every year. Now looking back I don't think anyone expected it to grow this much in just a little over two years, it's unbelievable.We’ve got a bit of housekeeping to do. Try and recall back to Contenders Season 1 in 2017. What do you remember from that final match against Team Gigantti?The first thing that comes to mind is the double map pick drama with both us Misfits and Gigantti picking the same map twice which if I recall correctly is the first time it was allowed in Overwatch. Other than that it was an amazing match that went back and forth and truly showed how good a team can be on their pocket map, but the match eventually ended in a tight game of Illios and some crucial clutches from LiNkzr.From your TwitLonger post, it seemed like everything was great with the team behind the scenes. On the contrary, you talk about having a great relationship with all of your teammates even going as far to say that: “... it felt like we were just dudes hanging out because we had fun together.” In your eyes, why did things not go as expected in Season 1?I don't think there was a single main reason for our Season 1 failure but more like a ton of small ones. Our starting staff roster was obviously a bit too small and we were, for some reason, really nervous on stage at the beginning of Stage 1. [This] made our practice very different which is not good and took us way too long to fix. [We also had] delayed visas and many other things. So I would basically just summarize it as some unfortunate things combined with a lot of personal and team failures around practice.In that same TwitLonger post, you touch on a bit of remorse about the three-way trade between Rogue, Misfits, and Luminosity that happened all the way back in 2016. Could you elaborate on what you were talking about and the trade itself?The trade offer itself started after the world cup where this all-star Swedish roster was on people's minds, But it required a three-way trade to bring us all together and it was pretty stressful as it was a big decision and no matter the choice I would have let one team down as well as having 3 owners who obviously want as good of a roster as possible but somehow they managed to make it happen.Thank you, Frank, Ben and Steve .That being said, talk to me about Mineral. You seemed quite close with him. How would you describe him as a coach for those on the outside looking in?Yeah, Mineral is the longest standing friend I am playing with now with around two and a half years and our only time apart was the period between early Swedish Misfits and 2-3 months later as we picked him up as head coach.And for people that don't know him, [Mineral]is a very strong leader and also very experienced in that role both as a player and coach. He also works well around helping players with personal problems on the side and getting everyone on the right foot for practice and officials.As someone with direct experience with the Overwatch League, could you give all the folks at home a word of advice when approaching the league? I think there is a lot that goes on behind closed doors that people don’t really grasp. What was something about the league that caught you off guard?Most players would be surprised by the intensity of the league and how every day of practice is 1/3 of the time you have to prepare for a team. Also, don't overwork yourself. If you play extra hours of ranked, but can't show up in practice with 110% energy then don't force ranked games. I can't stress enough how important consistent practice is and if just 1-2 of your teammates are not fully ready it can destroy the team's engine.As a former Widowmaker main, do you ever see yourself returning to your DPS routes for Overwatch League Season 2 or have you fallen in love with the flex position?I would love to play the DPS role again, but it would require a ton of grinding and I would see myself playing in Contenders first to prove myself. I do believe I could be a good DPS mostly because of my communication and how I have kind of a different perspective now after playing flex for one and a half years. And looking back, I always had the aim for it, just not the experience or confidence that I have now.In an episode of OverSight, it was intimated that Swedish culture played a part in the Florida Mayhem. How did that culture fare with adding Korean talent to the roster? Did that mix well at all?With aWesomeguy, Sayaplayer and r2der coming in, especially so late in the season with the delayed visas and et cetera, I think it was hard for them to really bring in their culture and more that they had to adapt with the small timeline we had. Overall, we mixed very well considering, but it was obvious that if they could change and rework our structure, they would.You mentioned that r2der once told a story that he was very hard on his players back in South Korea. Would you have rather had r2der be more strict and hands-on with the Mayhem? Do you think that would have helped things?I worded that story pretty poorly and it was more r2der explaining how different the cultures are and not him being super strict. I think again it was hard for r2der to come in so late in the season when we had already set the way we practice and work as a team, as well as us thinking he didn't need a translator because his English is actually pretty good. But for him to be able to help us with all the tiny details and be more hands-on we needed a translator which we got a few weeks later. Maybe if we prepared r2der’s integration a bit better and tried his way of everything maybe it would have been better who knows.Last but not least, you’ll be traveling to Bangkok, Thailand for the Overwatch World Cup. Could you talk a little bit about how practice is going with Team Sweden and your take on representing your country for the second time?The practice has been going fine even though half our team is always on like 160-200 ping because of half our team living in LA currently, so it's going to be amazing to see how we can play with no ping on LAN. It feels great to play for Sweden once again, but this time, it feels like there is more pressure since I can prove myself again, but it's also going to be fun playing on stage again and hopefully, we will be sliding through into Blizzcon once again!____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.