Molf1g: “Twisted Minds are a really good team […] I hope we can make an upset and beat them.”

Volamel 2023-05-27 12:12:05

February of 2018 saw a young Mikkel "Molf1g" Djernes debut alongside Team Singularity.  Fast forward nearly four years to the day and he celebrated by stepping away from the game he gave a better part of his life to.  Now, Molf1g is back alongside Team Peps to not only prove he can battle the best Europe has to offer, but perhaps regain a seat at the Overwatch League table. Molf1g joined Esports Heaven to discuss the role the Overwatch World Cup played in his return to competitive Overwatch, his goals for the year and his thoughts on facing Twisted Minds in the Overwatch Contenders playoffs. 
Early last year you announced you were off to 'grind real life', let's dive into that for a moment. What was that like? Did the decision to retire sit well with you at first? What did life post-pro gaming 'feel' like? After the season with the Spitfire I knew it would be hard to find another team for the following season and when I found out that it wasn’t possible, I lost all motivation to play the game anymore with all the uncertainty around Overwatch 2 and since I am also an older player I thought that the right next step would be to go study at university.  I was actually pretty confident that I had made the right decision and basically cut all ties to my old friends from Overwatch and basically didn’t open the game from January 2022 until January 2023.  I was studying IT-Technology in Copenhagen and having a decently social life, but I didn’t really enjoy studying and ended up slacking off a lot and after ONE semester I knew it wasn’t for me, but I didn’t know what I wanted to spend my time on instead and was looking in different directions for possible education or work.   What ultimately drew you back to competing in Overwatch? I think in January I was playing a little bit of Overwatch 2 with Niclas "sHockWave" Jensen and had a fun time, and then Overwatch World Cup was announced and I instantly knew that I had to be a part of that, just like I was in 2019.  World Cup 2019 probably is the single best experience I've had in esports so far, and playing on that stage at Blizzcon against Korea is something I will never forget.  So basically after World Cup was announced I was playing Overwatch 2 ranked for probably 10 hours a day to unwash, and started studying the pro teams and how the game was different from Overwatch 1.  The Pro-Am was then announced and I thought I should try to get myself a team for it and ended up trialling for a spot, through good old connections with the Danish guys, on Team Peps with my old teammates Dominic "Hybrid" Grove, Kristian "Kellex" Keller and Nikolai "Naga" Dereli.  We qualified to play against Overwatch League teams and went to London to compete from there, it was really cool how things had changed from when I played Overwatch League from home on ping, away from my teammates for a whole season and now Contenders teams could go play OWL teams from the same spot was amazing.     A simple but tough question; seeing as though you've gotten there before, is the Overwatch League the end goal for you right now? I am a competitive person and I’d like to think that I can make it back to the league, but I’m also realistic and since I'm 25 years old I know the possibility of that happening is very low. I won't lie, going back to the league to show my redemption after that season I had with London would be very interesting.  So for now the biggest goal is to be as good as possible for when the World Cup starts, so that we can show a good figure in that and hopefully that can give different opportunities.  I think I've grown and learnt a lot since my time on London Spitfire as a person, which ultimately probably was the reason I didn’t stay for another season. The Overwatch World Cup is quickly closing in, so I've got to ask; how do you feel about Team Denmark's chances?  I think our chances are good.  In 2019 we got 5th-6th place with a roster that had way less experience than the current roster has. We are all good friends and have a ton of fun together and if we prepare well for it, I think we can for sure be the best European nation at the World Cup.  In 2019 we had a really close group stage game with China, that we probably should’ve won and then the first stage match for almost all our players with 2 draws against Korea, so hopefully we can show a good level and prove that we are the best European national team.   Looking forward to beating up on Team Sweeden again if given the opportunity? If I’m honest I don’t think Sweden will even qualify, they have a good roster but Kevin "kevster" Persson and William "SparkR" Andersson really have to HARD carry this team. I have some friends on the team and it’s always fun bantering a bit with them and hope they qualify.  With the newest patch hitting live servers, the community has jumped on the Junker Queen bandwagon. As we've seen her rise in pick rate in the Overwatch League, do you expect we'll see that trend continue?  Yea, I dont even mind that Junker Queen is busted for a while or that they make changes that are kind of unbalanced, if they just quickly make new patches that will change the game and keep it fresh then I am good with that.  I just think maybe this Junker Queen buff makes her a must-pick on many maps and it’s always a bit boring when certain comps are just better than everything else.  We had a decent patch before with counter swapping/rock-paper-scissor meta where you can counter every comp, but there are still maps or game modes where certain comps will do better. One of the more subtle changes that has mostly flown under the radar was the added respawn time on Push after a team has captured the checkpoint. Do you expect this change to affect the game mode at all?  I like the change, currently in Push if you are behind with a checkpoint it can be really hard to turn it around because the respawn made it so they can always stop the bot before it reaches the middle. I do like that they make it less OP to have a checkpoint and that comebacks on the game mode are gonna be more frequent. What're some of the internal discussions about this patch been like? Any interesting thoughts coming from the lads at Team Peps about the patch?  The new patch won't actually be played on the Contenders playoffs patch, but we have talked about the new patch and as everyone else then we think JunkerQueen might be a bit too good atm, which automatically makes Lucio/Kiriko good again and we just had a meta similar to this.  Talk to me a little about the Spring Group Stage. What were some of the difficulties that Team Peps has faced when qualifying for Overwatch Contenders playoffs?  First of all, we lost Kellex as he went and joined Twisted Minds, and then one or two days before we actually had our first matches one of our players got banned for competing in Contenders with us, so we had to go out and find a new player two days before we started and since roster lock already had happened we had to find a player that wasn’t on any Contenders teams. Either way, I don’t want to blame all the outside factors that we didn’t perform well enough. It’s been a tough season but I have experience with that now from London, so I feel like we are improving and hopefully will show a good performance in the Playoffs. Admittedly there is a large amount of experience on this roster, how did that factor into these last few matches to qualify? None of us expected to be in a position where we might not qualify for the playoffs, but EU this season is actually quite hard to compete in, because of all the different styles of the teams. I think our experience helps us the most in regards to understanding the game, but also in important fights in the matches, that we still have a plan and we should follow it.  Even though it can be hard, the first thing I learned playing matches was that you should try to play like you do in scrims, no need to act like a hero or do something different than what you do in scrims.  Lastly, it looks as though your first playoff hurdle is going to be Twisted Minds, a team that did get the better of you guys within the first day of the round-robin. Do you have a message for your opponents? Any changes that you think will give you guys the edge this time around?  Twisted Minds are a really good team, with a lot of individual talent.  Their biggest strength is for sure that they can play pharah at an insanely high level, and no one in the EU has found a consistent way to beat them when they are playing it.  So we will try to prepare and we might have a surprise up our sleeves that hopefully will rattle them.  We lost 3-2 last time, but I hope we can make an upset and beat them.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment

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