Interview with Fnatic iddqd: "To be the best, you have to believe in it"

Overwatch Harsha “ggHarsha” Bandi

The runner up in the second Overwatch Open qualifier, Fnatic, bounced back in a huge way in the third qualifier. The NA/EU mixed team won a coveted spot at regionals without dropping a single map. I sat down with their superstar DPS player after their win to discuss the Overwatch Open qualification, Gamescom, and various other things. 

Hey iddqd! First off, how do you feel about qualifying for the Overwatch Open regional finals? You guys played pretty well last week and didn't even drop a game.

It's insane, we're very happy to be onboard and everything is going our way. Qualifying for ELEAGUE was our second objective beyond Gamescom, and I'm super proud of the boys. Hard work pays off. We've been scrimming 8-12 hours everyday since we had our crushing defeat vs Cloud9 when we started off so well on 2-0, ended up being reverse swept 3-2 in Cloud9's favor. We all sat down, trying to figure out what went wrong. We located the problem, fixed it, and here we are.

That's good to hear and actually leads to my second question: for the second Overwatch Open qualifier you guys lost 2-0 to Cloud9, and then last weekend for ESL's Atlantic Showdown the match was obviously much closer to the point where it could have gone either way. Do you think there was a reason to your team's improvement? I know it feels really bad to get reverse swept, but the team still clearly did much better than before.

Yes, it was unfortunate that we got reverse swept during that time. I think we we're just mentally exhausted and things weren't properly going in our favor. We still have myself and Vonethil playing on 200ms in these cups, while it's not an excuse. It does affect the performance by a large margin, something that will end soon enough. Honestly, it boils down to just sitting down and reviewing everything as a team. It's important that players record their own VODs so we can try and pinpoint the issue at hand. This way we can be our own critics and constantly improve. Every player does a mistake or two every game - this way we can eliminate the individual mistakes, but also the mistakes we do together, as a team. Increasing scrim times and talking about strats has made it much easier for us to eliminate the error of our ways.

Also, we have kind of set the new stage of this meta. We brought in the old "godcomp". While other teams are trying it, they don't do it to the success we are. I guess this works in our favor. We are the creators, hence we understand better how to break it when other teams tries to pull our strategy against us.

Just to clarify for readers, what exactly is the "godcomp?"

The old godcomp used to consist of two Zenyattas, Tracer and a Genji, Symmetra, and Lucio.  The godcomp we brought in consists of Tracer, Genji, Zenyatta, Zarya, Winston and Lucio.

Going back to what you said earlier, 200 ms is a LOT of ping. I know you bootcamped before and are planning to do that again some time soon. Are there plans for you regarding moving to NA?

200ms is a lot of ping. People don't generally know this, but I rather not mention it at all. At the end of the day - I am the one who chose to play on NA servers, with an NA based team. It's my call, and you can't complain if you decide from the start that you want to play on NA. Simple as that. 

Me and Vonethil bootcamped at a special PC facility in Stockholm who provided us with the latest tech and a 1GBPS up n down fiber, it was better - but not game changing. It was enjoyable though, big props to Fnatic and Inferno Online for hooking us up with that on such a short notice. Yes, we are going to London to FACEIT HQ for a week to bootcamp prior to Gamescom.

There are definitely plans in the making of a move to NA. I can't specify where or when, but we are currently looking at q4 of this year.

That's good to hear, and I'm sure most people are definitely looking forward to seeing you without the "training weights." You've played for both Rogue and Fnatic, so you definitely know about the strengths of both regions. Do you think that a particular region is stronger, and are there differences between the play that you see in each?

I believe NA is currently the powerhouse by far. I think the rest of the teams on the NA side have an upper edge because of EnVyUs. We practice vs them, we have tourney matches vs them every week. This goes for all NA teams. Every single game against them puts that team closer to that caliber.

I believe NA is currently the powerhouse by far.

There's no such team on the EU side, yet. This is the only reason why I believe NA has the upper edge going into Gamescom, but you never know - if there's a time for upsets, it's right here, right now.

There are differences between the regions, yes. Big ones too in terms of gameplay and comp setup. It's gonna be fun seeing NA and EU finally clash into each other and to see who comes out on top.

So you've qualified for both Gamescom and ELEAGUE now in the last week, and I assume that has to feel pretty good. Do you have any predictions for how the brackets will go? And where do you think Fnatic fits in with the rest of NA, because I've heard a lot of pros rate your team incredibly highly.

No predictions whatsoever. More fun this way. Let the best team win honestly. 

Yeah, so I've heard. I think we've come onto the scene with blazing speed. I think it just comes down to hard work and practice. We are kinda in the zone, and we've had our honeymoon phase, and it has also ended. I just feel like our "consistent" play is very high, and sometimes we're way above that. I guess that's what makes people say we are to be included, if there was a top 3 list of teams. I myself can't speak on this. I'd rather let the results speak for itself.

That's a fair answer. So moving away from pro play specifically, you've started to stream and interact with your fans a lot more. Has this always been the plan, and did it maybe have something to do with getting settled with your team?

A mix of both really. I've always wanted to try and answer every question in regards to the scene - questions on how to improve and such. I feel like I have a lot to give, and I'd like to fill that role if possible. It has been an incredible experience so far, I really enjoy it.

I'm guessing that means we're going to be seeing a lot more of you then! As far as heroes go, you're definitely one of the top McCrees and Tracers in the world. How were you able to manage to get so good? Just practice?

Hehe, thanks! There are no shortcuts, ever. Just flat out play the game constantly. I sit around for up to 12 hours a day, I have a few tricks up my sleeve how to get better at certain things. But again, just play the game and have the mindset that to be the best, you have to believe in it. I know it sounds so cliché, but it's the honest truth.

Do you have any shoutouts or things to say to fans reading this?

Shoutouts to Fnatic and all of our sponsors, everyone who's supporting us, and the amazing community we got going on, let's keep it that way!

You can find iddqd on Twitter (@iddqdOW) or watch him stream on his Twitch channel, where he drops knowledge, and if you're lucky, sometimes beatboxes. He will be competing at Gamescom on August 20, and will be a part of ELEAGUE's regional finals starting on September 25.

For more competitive Overwatch news, follow @GosuOverwatch.


Will Fnatic be able to compete with the best teams in the world when the LANs come around?

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Harsha “ggHarsha” Bandi
<p>Gaming fanatic who enjoys Overwatch, League of Legends, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. You can find him on Twitter as <a href="http://www.twitter.com/ggHarsha">@ggHarsha</a>.</p>


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