I was able to interview Kevyn “Tviq” Lindstrom from the Florida Mayhem. In this interview I got to ask him about his thoughts on multiple subjects including:
His thoughts on how season 1 went
How he and his team have transitioned into season 2
Arm Injuries he’s endured since Apex Season 2 and how they have affected him
His goals for Overwatch League Season 2
His thoughts on the meta, GOATS, and pick/bans
Who he’d recruit to stop Montecristo if OWL was an anime
The interview was done online and the answers were edited for clarity.
Going from OWL S1 to OWL S2, there’s been a massive offseason. What did you do in the off time and what have you been doing to prepare for the new season individually?
The off season has actually been really good to me as I have finally been able to take a extended period of break without having to be too worried about the next thing coming or something that required me to keep my intense practice up. I was having problems with my arms during the season and before it all it started so this off season I’ve been able to mentally and physically reset to a extent and just focus on my health going into the 2nd season.
That’s good to hear. In going into OWL S2, Florida Mayhem have completely reworked the roster. What do you think were the problems with the OWL S1 roster? Also was there a specific vision in terms of how you guys decided to construct the season 2 roster?
Without going into naming people and pointing fingers, I would say our problem with our first season roster was that we didn’t mesh well with how the meta had turned out. We didn’t put in enough practice time inside of scrims or outside trying to learn and get better at it as. Outside of the game as individuals I believe we meshed really well with each other as we were always having a laugh and being good teammates overall.
I wasn’t involved in the picking of players for our season 2 roster at all so I can’t fairly comment on how it went down or the specific vision that was being followed. I do want to say though that each individual really fought for their spot on the roster during our tryouts and were super hungry to get on the team.
Outside of yourself and sayaplayer (as people have already seen both of you play in OWL S1), who among your new teammates do you think will make the biggest splash coming into Season 2?
I mean there’s Hagopeun and xepher who played in s1 as well maybe not a lot of games but outside of those 2 I want to say SWoN’s aggressiveness is something people will have to look out for, hagopewpew is gonna pop off either way so 🙂
OWL Season 1 could be considered a crucible for the players who survived it as it was an intense schedule with weeks and weeks of play. Players had to deal with practice, internal conflicts, burnout, tedium, patch and meta changes. As a veteran of season 1, do you think this gives you an advantage over newcomers into the League?
I believe it will give a head start into the beginning of the season and then I believe it comes down to how well coaches and veterans can forward that experience for the new players coming in as it is very different from playing outside the OWL. I don’t expect everything to be running super smoothly already after a season, but it will definitely be better than the first season for those teams that has already experienced it. Also the changes made to the new season are pretty huge.
The change of the format from 40 to 28 games has generally been met with approval. As a player in the trenches, how do you feel about those changes? Do you think it will change or vary player/team performance this season compared to season 1?
I think it will give better overall games in many cases as there will be a lot more time to practice specifically versus opponents and thus teams have a better understandings in how you should approach that team in different strategies. I very much approve of the changes myself.
Whether players individually will be able to perform better under these changes hasn’t really changed since it’s a long season and not a sprint. So you have to be able to keep yourself in form for the whole duration and not just a couple of games. I believe that hasn’t exactly changed, but definitely made easier.
I wanted to backtrack a little bit. In the first question, you said that you’ve had problems with your arms that dated before the beginning of OWL Season 1. Can you expound on that a bit more? Assuming you’re comfortable with answer, what kind of arm injuries were they and how did it affect your performance in Season 1?
It goes back to Apex season s2, so early 2017 February, where I started getting a tennis elbow from too much constant strain on my arm and it has kind of haunted me ever since. It had gotten a lot better at the start of OWL, however I ran into the same problem again during the season.
I started putting my efforts towards not just ingame practice, but also watching more vods in order to help it (obviously I’m also doing physical training to help build up my muscles so that it wouldn’t hurt as much). My elbow/whole forearm area would hurt really badly on practice days. I have got my exercises and stretches I do daily to prevent the injuries from occurring again during S2..hopefully.
Let’s talk about the meta for a bit. You’ve been playing Overwatch for years by this point, so I’d like your thoughts about the state of the game. I’ve heard different community figures point to different issues as to what makes the game less than its potential. Some aspects of the game people have looked at include the strength of the ultimates, how the game has been balanced around D.Va to an extent, and the uneven experience of the ladder. What are your thoughts about the GOATs metas as a competitor. As a game, what are the biggest things you’d like to see changed or improved upon for Overwatch?
Well one thing’s for sure. Having played the game for so long, it’s become more and more obvious how ridiculously strong snowballing is. Every strat ever made is created so that you have maximum power to snowball so that you require as few fights as possible in order to win easily as possible.
I think the strength of dva was more acceptable before they made her a 600 hp assassin. Where before she kind of was just super annoying to face as she just deleted you out of the game with matrix, but most of the time, with a little help, she wouldn’t just straight up kill you.
I would like the game to be more focused towards mechanical skill in a sense and less about ultimates, but I’m afraid that would also make the game become more stale. Whereas right now you have eco fights so that means you’re just resetting fast and making them use ults. Without those what could happen instead is that nothing would happen for a period of time until a pick (potentially). In all honestly goats is just boring to play and boring to watch since the chance of huge individual mechanical flashy plays are just so minimal.
Maybe we should be looking into more of changing structures of maps, making it so different heroes become more viable or simply just stronger and weaker. That would make a huge difference.
In other games, deathball metas have sometimes become a problem. However to counter that teams have come up with various strategies to deal with it. In Dota2/LoL they use split push where if the deathball is pushing one lane, their 4 players stall out the deathball while the fifth wins the game. In CS:GO if teams try to do that, they can get punished by an aggressive flanker that can either backstab the Ts or call the info to stack the correct site. However this style of play hasn’t made it’s way in OWL largely due to how the game modes are control/escort/assault. Do you think there needs to be a new game mode in Overwatch to try to mitigate the snowball effect of the game?
I think the difference compared to the other games is how important the ultimates are and how you aren’t automatically given the ultimates after the cooldown is back up. Like Assault you essentially just wait for the spikes to happen. I think assault in many cases is good as it is.
However Control and Payload maps are just so different in that the time needed to farm that ultimate or regain control often requires point sacrifices such as just giving up a point and so on. I think Control mode is too short and extremely snowbally (first fight decides basically who wins the map in many cases).
If you were to setup a flank on a control map, it just wouldn’t be possible on many maps just cause if you position smartly it’s just too small and you can see every angle and corner. Payload is kind of the same, but the bigger problem with that sort of flank or split push tactic is that it requires too much time to set up and in many cases just isn’t worth it. Having that extra man trying to force out a ultimate when you’re eco fighting is just better in most cases.
There has been a lot of talk about including hero bans into the game as a potential way to try to vary up the strategic element to the game. Do you have any thoughts on how that could change the game for good or ill?
I think that implementing hero bans is too early because I think we have too few heroes to do so. However I also see why it could provide a interesting format and also fun viewing experience, but it might backfire because of how incredibly unbalanced the game could be without certain heroes.
What are your overall goals for Season 2, both in individually and as a team?
Winning OWL and showing that I belong on the top with the other flex players.
Outside of your team, who are the biggest threats to win OWL S2 in your estimation?
I think Seoul have been looking pretty strong, but I also have Shock looking pretty good together with London and NYE, of course.
Last question. If OWL was an anime and Montecristo was the ultimate villain of that anime, what players would you recruit to take him down?
I would just acquire the biggest weebs to send his way and out brain him with anime things LUL (sayaplayer ez).