The US Group Stage of the 2018 Overwatch World Cup kicked off last night. One of the participating teams, Norway, won their match against Switzerland but lost against Brazil later in the night. Norwegian player Stefan “ONIGOD” Fiskerstrand played extraordinarily during those two games as both Widowmaker and McCree. After Norway’s match against Brazil, ONIGOD stopped backstage to talk about his journey in the Overwatch scene, his mission in the Overwatch World Cup, and his chances in signing with an Overwatch League team in Season 2.
Tell me more about yourself like how you got in the Overwatch scene and your journey prior to joining the Contenders team, Toronto Esports.
ONIGOD: Before Overwatch, I played games for fun, mostly shooters like CS:GO and Crossfire. I always played Counter-Strike since I was young. I thought I was good but didn’t think going pro was a possibility. My friend told me about OW and wanted me to play the game with him. During that time, I was kind of bored with games. I was just playing to play. When I played Overwatch, I felt like a flame re-ignited — it was something new and I really liked it. I played Overwatch all summer vacation. Eventually, I was scouted by a team called REUNITED for APEX Season 1. I won a Norwegian LAN with my Norwegian team. After I got home from the LAN, I got a call from the team asking me if I could fly to Korea the next morning. I realized it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I took it. REUNITED and I got to quarters which is pretty good considering the depth of the competition. After that, I was team less for a while. Then Toronto eSports reached out and [I] felt it was the right choice.
What made Overwatch different from other first-person shooters like CS:GO and Crossfire?
ONIGOD: It was the uniqueness of every character. Like it wasn’t just straight on aim battles, it was more about mobility and verticality. I liked that. It was about jumping around the map. It was also about being team-oriented.
I always liked first person shooters because I liked aiming and shooting in video games. I also liked being fast and jumping around. If you have good control, you can outplay your opponent. You get rewarded for good movement in Overwatch. Games like CS:GO is slow when it comes to mobility or you walk and die. Overwatch is more fast-paced and it fits more with my style.
Concerning Contenders, how did that experience carry over to the World Cup?
ONIGOD: Before I joined Angry Titans, I was teamless. During that time, I met Elliot “ELLIVOTE” Vaneryd. We formed a team together and found good success. We thought that we were one of the better teams in EU at the time. In terms of scrims, we did really good. Then, Angry Titans reached out to us. We did not want to split up because we thought highly of each other. ELLIVOTE is one of the best off-tanks in EU and he thought I was a good DPS. We signed together and it paid off.
The things we learned from Angry Titans is communication. I think I can teach other players how to communicate better. Even myself, I had to improve. I didn’t know if I should say what I’m doing in-game before, like where to move or to play certain comps like GOATS or tank comps. Overall, just game knowledge.
What is your opinion on the current meta with teams using GOATS comp?
ONIGOD: It’s an interesting meta. There’s a lot of strong heroes for team comps. I also think GOATS is too strong and not hard to play. It’s hard to beat a good GOATS team. It’s easy to tell what teams can only play the GOATS comp on certain maps and teams that play GOATS well. Those teams know how to nail everything down and know how to punish.
How does it feel to compete in the same arena as Overwatch League?
ONIGOD: I’m happy we get to play in the LA group stage. You get this feeling where things you’ve seen in the Overwatch League stream. That feeling gives you hope and opportunity to play here in the future.
You participated in last year’s World Cup and unfortunately had an early exit at the Shanghai group stage. What are things you learned from last year’s World Cup that you’ve carried on to this year’s World Cup?
ONIGOD: More people realize how important team play is. You have to trust your players. We’re playing with the best players from each country. If you try to do things yourself, it’s not going to go well. Basically, don’t go for stupid plays.
Who do you think are Norway’s biggest challenge in this stage besides USA and Canada?
ONIGOD: I think the team we just played, Brazil. We knew they are a good team. They just won the South America Contenders and knew what to expect from them. We were confident we could win but didn’t. It was one fight from winning or losing. But, I think Brazil is the biggest hurdle.
What does the World Cup mean to you and for Norway?
ONIGOD: Personally, it means a lot because there are new Overwatch League teams that are looking at players and potentially signing them. Getting to show what you’re able to do is good right now. This event gets a lot of attention. As far as the Norwegian scene is concerned, hopefully, it gives more attention to Norwegian players. Or, Norwegian players can get more inspired and try harder. I would love to see more Norwegian players in teams next year.
Are there any players in Team Switzerland or Brazil that impressed you?
ONIGOD: From the match we just played, Felipe “liko” Lebrao is a hard carry for Brazil. His Hanzo was crazy to play against. He had such good control over the character and was getting picks consistently. He also played Pharah a lot and that was annoying. Mainly it was his Hanzo that I noticed.
We had trouble shutting him down because it was hard to reach him. He was not playing super aggressive. The rest of his team were putting a lot of resources on him. They were playing around his style. Their D.Va was always around him so if he wanted to go, the D.Va followed. D.Va would give him matrix shield and we couldn’t respond.
A lot of players outside Overwatch League are looking to impress current and new Overwatch League teams for next year. Do you have the same objective?
ONIGOD: Every goal for players that are competitive is to reach Overwatch League. That’s what I’m here for. That’s my dream. That’s why I’m working hard everyday. I got to give it all I got and do our best to shine.
What do you think are your chances of getting an offer from an OWL team?
ONIGOD: The chances are good right now. If we do well in World Cup and we were also in Contenders EU finals with Angry Titans. I hope if I get any tryouts, I can prove my worth. I would like to join an expansion team, if possible. It would be nice to start a new adventure with new players.
Do you have any preference who you want to play for from the current crop of OWL teams or any of the new expansion teams?
ONIGOD: There’s not any team in particular. I would be happy playing for any team.
What do you think Team Norway needs to do to advance to Blizzcon?
ONIGOD: We have to put the previous match behind us. We didn’t lose because of mechanical skill or anything. I think they played better as a team and had better synergy. I still believe we can pull off an upset and beat Team Canada or USA, even though it’s super hard. We’re not going to go down without a fight.