We are back with another interview, this time with successful Overwatch pro and content creator, André “iddqd” Dahlström. André is a Swedish pro who played on the San Francisco Shock during Season 1 of the Overwatch League. He is now a full-time streamer and creates content for Higher Level Gaming.
We spoke to iddqd in-depth about his thoughts on the state of the Overwatch League, how he deals with burn-out, whether he sees himself returning to the pro scene, and what kind of exciting new forms of content he is working on with Higher Level Gaming.
Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Hi there, my name is Andre and I go by the in-game alias iddqd. A chill dude who likes to hit the gym, and rock some video games. I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with solid aim while playing all types of fps games growing up, hence why I made the move to play overwatch professionally for awhile. Also, Overwatch is sort of where I made my name.
You were on the pro scene for a while and you’ve been creating a lot of content since. Between competitive gaming and content creation, which path have you preferred more?
I think they both have their pros and cons for sure. I don’t miss the stress or the aggressive hours that we had to put in as professional players, specifically in the OWL. But I do miss the constant grind to be on top of things and always make sure you are as prepped and as good as you can be as a hitscan player in the game.
Streaming, however, is sort of like, you are your own boss and no one can tell you to play xyz amount of hours. You sort of feel how much you want to stream and create content and make your own schedule. So there’s always more freedom that comes with being your own boss and doing your own things.
I do miss the competitive ember within me, wanting to defeat everyone else’s team. With streaming, that passion and fire has sort of.. burned away. I think that’s just me adapting to a calmer lifestyle. For the future, I don’t really know what decision or what path I will take. I could definitely see myself compete again — but for now, I am enjoying the content creator life.
Between participating in the pro scene and most of your streaming and content creation, you’ve played a ton of Overwatch. Do you ever feel a little burned out or exhausted? If so, how do you deal with that?
Absolutely. I have felt myself almost slamming to the ground multiple times and having to take necessary steps to stop myself from faceplanting into a wall and stopping completely. I think it’s hard for someone in any position who has any minor or major success in what they do, if it’s financially stable and making revenue, it’s extremely difficult to stop when you are the base of your own home. It’s always hard to put a limit on how much one should stream or how much someone should create content. You start to realize a little bit too late that maybe it’s time to take a break and just enjoy a little bit of vacation, something that I have had a very hard time doing lately, or just in general.
When it comes to competitive play, you don’t get to decide. You have your off-season for x amount of weeks or months and that’s that. Use them to your advantage. In some situations, you barely got any time off at all because you would use some off-time to catch up if you’re not doing too hot in the competitive scene, so you can gain a slight advantage over teams who take full off-seasons.
Pair little off-time up with long hours every day, it certainly has a long-lasting effect on literally anyone, something that we have seen a lot of OWL players, in particular, complain about over and over again.
What are your favorite hobbies to do in your downtime when you need a break from Overwatch?
If there’s time, I always like to go see my family over in Europe. I am definitely enjoying dieting while going to the gym frequently. I used to be extremely obese and overweight and I found joy in transforming myself into something healthier and better. It’s quite addictive to hunt for success, especially when you yourself are the limit to how much success you can find. So you keep the grind. Outside of the norm, I love spending time with friends and the lady. Basically, like everyone else.
How do you feel about the long-term outlook of the Overwatch League and competitive gaming in general?
I think Blizzard are so invested into the OWL that they won’t let it die for many years to come. So, whether my opinion on Overwatch as a competitive title is for the worse or for better has no effect. I think there is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to long hours and matches. But the game will run its course whether people agree with the system or not.
I personally competed in Overwatch since the very beginning and I have always been very open about me enjoying the period before OWL was a thing. I said this when I was actively competing in OWL as well. I don’t know, I just sort of enjoyed having three major tournaments a year or so, where players got to travel to a land they haven’t been to before and to meet up with other teams that you only got to see a couple times a year. For some reason, it felt more passionate and just more competitive. But enough talking about nostalgia. I think OWL is great on other points. It’s not all negative. Like I said, OWL will go on for many years to come. It’s very healthy as we speak.
You’ve recently been creating content for Higher Level Gaming, a site that is dedicated to helping players get better at their favorite games through coaching and advice from pros like yourself. How has your time with HLG been so far and why do you believe in what they do?
I think the initiative with HLG was clever and I love the idea behind it. I think a lot of creators across many platforms and games have sort of wanted to do this in the past but haven’t had a cloud where you connect all the dots. HLG brought all of that together to one node and I always thought that was a brilliant idea and I was surprised it hadn’t been done earlier. I personally am the type of person who, if I feel like I lack in a certain department, I hunt knowledge down on how to better myself and then improve till my fingers bleed from training. Now, not everyone has that mindset or the ability to do such a thing and would need professional help to overcome such a hurdle. Then there are people who just want to have the best training possible, and HLG provides just that for those that seek it.
What kind of content can players expect from you on HLG between what you’ve already done and what you have coming in the near future?
I think I want to improve on areas when it comes to positioning and how to gather your own knowledge about the game and how you can expand the way you think about Overwatch. I don’t want to give you the answers, I want to give you the knowledge to consistently find those answers yourself. That’s something that I haven’t done before and I would like to try that out. I think VOD reviews are great, but they do become stale when you’ve done them a hundred times. I think for better or worse, hero guides and map guides are great as well. They work as fillers and no one dislikes those while I try and find other ideas to expand the content on.
HLG has recently made the decision to ditch their premium model where the library is now free to view and users no longer have to pay to use the service. How do you feel about that decision and how do you think users of the site will react to it?
I think the F2P model overall in the industry has sort of been the king of all platforms. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. It will probably quadruple the views the content gets and it will spread like wildfire. If HLG believes in it, so do I.
This interview with iddqd was brought to you by Higher Level Gaming, the only training site that puts out highly focused, curated, professional-grade level esports training that’s accessible for players of all skill levels.
Minor points in the above text were edited for clarity.
Pizza. Music. Baseball. Wrestling. Netflix. If society thinks it’s a waste of time, I’m probably addicted to it. Also, I write about stuff sometimes.
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