Jørgen “Decod” Myrlund is one of the most well spoken and knowledgeable OWL prospects out there. His understanding of the game is second to none, and he’s confident that his skill (and his glorious beard) will carry him to victory in Season 2. We sat down with Decod to discuss his chances, Team Norway’s close match against Brazil, and the story of Last Night’s Leftovers. Enjoy.
[This interview was conducted at the LA group stages, but many questions and responses have been edited to reflect the time of publication. Further details on the chronology of the interview will be listed below.]
First off, I want to talk about Norway vs. Brazil. That was a really close game. What did Team Norway do at that point to try and get back on track?
Our coach talked to us, and everyone just took a moment to let go of their stress. We were up 2-0 to start, but getting reverse swept… it’s one of the worst feelings in the world when you don’t get to play competitively that much. We went in, and at the 2-0, we were like “Yeah! Let’s get back in there and close it up. This is gonna be easy. We’re gonna win 3-0, maybe even 4-0.” And then they started to clutch. It was all really close- a couple of seconds on Anubis, a couple of meters on Junkertown. There was one point where we had five minutes left on Anubis, and nearly won the fight to win the map… that would have been it. Oh well.
After that match, we just went back to our hotel. After eating, of course. We took the rest of that day to relax and prep for the next match.
In that same match, many people saw two different types of momentum – Brazil surging, and Norway falling. Do you see it that way, too?
We started off strong, and we still had the fire going into the second half. What pumped us up for King’s Row was how we clutched out City Center on Oasis. I came back as Hammond, because I was thinking to myself, “Yeah, I’m not going to be able to come back as Winston, he’s not going to be able to do anything against what they’re playing.” So I came back as Hammond and we won – though I would say that our peeling was also really good and really helpful. A great example of that was when we ran Onigod on McCree [on King’s Row]. We kept him alive through a lot of stuff, which was a big part of us winning that map 5-4.
There’s two sides of the coin there though. Onigod did manage to flashbang a Barrage or two, but if the Defense Matrix had been there he wouldn’t have been able to do anything. It was lucky. No matter what though, him hitting flashbangs and headshots was really crucial.
What’s the big thing you spent the weekend in LA working on? Any flaws in your gameplay, little mistakes to clean up, things like that?
For myself, I don’t think I made too many mistakes. If anything, sometimes I was just a little too eager. I would jump in and make some plays that people maybe frowned upon a bit. There were times where I just really wanted a target, you know? So I would go after them no matter what.
What was the experience like with Team Norway vs. Last Night’s Leftovers?
I would say the thing about Last Night’s Leftovers is that we were trying really hard. We did our best in Contenders. We weren’t a paid team or a paid org. But we had a lot of great staff. They really set us up for success. Maybe if we had a little more time, or a few more games to play together, things would have gone a little bit better for us.
After our first win against Switzerland, we felt really good about our chances to keep up. We knew the mistakes we made, we knew we didn’t group up or comm correctly in a couple spots, but for me it seemed very easy for us. It was a pretty dominant performance. Against Brazil, it was a fight to the limit. Every map was really close.
With LNL, the thing was that we knew our strengths, and we knew our weaknesses. With Team Norway, we were just getting to know those things in the middle of our games in LA. We had some more time to scrim after Contenders had finished for NA and EU. Once those finished for both regions, we started jumping into scrims more together. It was nothing but scrims til our games. It was rough, it was uphill and downhill.
We came in with a particular mindset for Team Norway. There were players on the team that have lots of experience, and others that needed to be taught how to play around the rest of the team. With this meta, that’s really important. We did pretty well overall, though.
Speaking of the meta, the one we’re in right now is one of the most diverse we’ve ever seen. Do you think we’re in a good place overall? Are the things that could still be fixed?
See, if you were to talk to a DPS player, they’d just talk about how strong Brigitte is. The thing about Brigitte is that most CC is pretty slow, but her CC is pretty fast. She can turn around, stun you, and kill you pretty much instantly. That’s what Tracer players and stuff would probably tell you.
Funnily enough, a Winston player would tell you the same thing – in a way. The real problem with Brigitte for Winston is when she uses Rally, not when she stuns you. Winston deals almost no damage to armor, so when Brigitte started being used a lot, I started trying to play Reinhardt more – his hammer swings are affected less by armor. It’s -5 damage rather than half damage.
It really screws Winston players over, too, because Brigitte changes how you have to think. You can jump into a fight with 80% ult and think “Ok, I’m gonna get Primal here and do my thing,” but if she rallies all of a sudden, you get 5% of your ult and then you die. So Winston players will give you the same answer as DPS players – Brigitte is a bit OP against those.
She can be countered though, by heroes like Hanzo and Pharah. So you can run plays with those heroes, and bait a team running 3/3 or GOATs comp into you while still winning fights. They chase you, you speed boost away, they overextend and get hit with a ton of spam, you finish off who you can. Pretty soon the Pharah will get her ult, Hanzo will get his… those combo well with your tanks, of course.
With Dragonstrike having been changed so you can’t damage boost it, combining other ults is really strong again. Especially with not too many people running Zen if they’re running 3/3. Though we’ve seen a bit more of that lately. A discord orb couple with Reinhardt’s hammer is pretty strong, especially if you open someone up with a shield bash. They won’t last long. It’s glorious.
But yeah, I would say the meta is really good. Orisa and other slow heroes really struggle, though. The meta is getting faster and faster. People are getting better at that.
So there have been lots of moves going on for Last Night’s Leftovers – mostly their staff, as far as we know right now. Sephy to Atlanta, Kate to DC… Does it feel good to see them rewarded for their hard work?
Well, I don’t know much about the Sephy deal myself. I haven’t really followed that one too much. I DO know plenty about Kate, though, obviously.
[Kate Mitchell, GM of the DC OWL team, was at Blizzard Arena supporting Decod at the time of this interview. This interview took place before any of the recent controversies surrounding Kate, and Decod’s answers are not reflective or reactive to any of said controversies.]
It’s been hectic for Kate. There’s been lots of travel, lots of talking with people. All the OWL moves right now have been staff- teams are looking for GMs and coaches before players. That comes after. Hectic as it’s been for Kate, though, it’s been like a fairy tale. Starting with Kungarna, joining LNL and getting us through Trials and into Contenders. We’re the first Trials team in North America to make it as far as we did. And a lot of that was on Kate.
Would you prefer to have LNL signed to the Overwatch League as a unit, if you had the choice? Minus Sugarfree, obviously, who’s too young to join the League right now?
YES. Everyone on the squad has so much potential. If I had the chance to get anyone into OWL, though, it would be my tank partner Nexx. He’s been in my tag team for over a year. We know each other really well. We’re at the point where we don’t even really need to communicate that much to know what we’re doing.
Over a year ago, when we were getting out of our last team together, his attitude changed. He used to be, “We lost, now I’m sad and kind of angry. I just want to go play ranked and be tilted.” Then he got a good coach and he realized his potential. Everyone told him what he really needed to hear – what he REALLY needed to hear – and he started rising and rising in terms of attitude. How he thinks of the game and how he thinks of players has really improved. That’s what I really appreciate about him – how he went from being what he was to what he is now. His reflection shows in his character. And in his gameplay.
He might not get much recognition from casters or anything – most people’s eyes are on Sugarfree and NLaeer, or Dogman and Ajax. For me and Nexx, we were stuck – well, I shouldn’t say stuck – we made our team’s playstyle focus first on the DPS, then the supports, then the tanks. So everyone is funneling resources into the DPS players to pop off. We played around our team – we might land a huge shatter or huge grav, but it’s so our DPS can get in there and kill everyone. So we were never the flashy players ourselves. I was kind of sad about that at times, but that’s how we decided to play. And it worked for us, to be fair.
If you could send a message to teams that are looking for a paired tank duo, but are maybe a bit skeptical about signing you and Nexx, what would you say to convince them?
I would just tell them that we were a team that made it into Contenders from Trials. We weren’t paid. We weren’t driven by money or resources, we were driven by a passion for the game. Not that many teams can say that they have a tank duo that has been together for as long as Nexx and I have, or a tank duo that has come as far as we have. I think that says a lot about us, and what we can do. There’s not much else to say – I don’t want to inflate my story, or make myself look bigger than I am. What I am is what I am. And what I am, is better than I was.
Plus, we’re very coachable. Coaches like hearing that.
Would you say the same, if you were to send the same message regarding the whole of LNL?
Absolutely. Every player that joined LNL will leave it 100 times better than when they started. Everyone had their own problems, big or small, but we did our best to coach through them and fix them. We didn’t get them all, but we got a lot.
What’s happening for you now that Norway is out? What’s your plan?
I went back to Norway after LA, and took a break for maybe a week and a half or so. Having some days off, taking some time away from the computer and going outside – I’ve been grinding since Trials, playing Overwatch 6 days a week. My sleep schedule was 4pm-4am, I was on 150-200 ping all the time, and it never ever stopped. After LNL were out of Contenders, I started scrimming right away with Team Norway. This has been my first chance for a real break.
I do have some tryouts, though, and I have my fair share of opportunities. I see myself joining OWL in the not so distant future. And if not OWL, then definitely an academy team. I’m confident.
Do you think you’re ready for the workload of the Overwatch League? The consistent grind? It’s similar to what you’ve been going through, but on an even larger scale.
Ever since I played in China for the World Cup last year, I’ve found that playing on stage really pushes me, in a good way. It forces me to up my comms, my focus on the game, things like that. When I’m in a practice area or sitting at home, I’m kind of whatever about it. Even in official, high-stakes games, it’s nothing like seeing people sitting out there, putting that headset on, hearing and seeing your teammates right next to you.
Constantly being able to reach out to people and make them see you and your team having a positive attitude when playing the game – you can make them think, “Wow, this guy just enjoys playing this game. That’s awesome.” That’s what I achieved in LA. It’s what I wanted. I want people to like me for who I am outside of a good main tank player, too. I want people to know me for me.
Every time I went up on that stage, I was hyped. And every time I came off the stage – even on a loss – I didn’t care about that. I played well and that’s what matters. A win is a win, a loss is a loss – a win feels better, of course, by a lot. But you can’t always win. Eventually, you’ll lose, and that’s ok. And not everyone gets the opportunity to travel and play. I know that.
My message, then, would be “Put me on stage, and I’ll show you what I can do. I will always be ready.”
Alright then! If you think you’re so ready, I’ll ask you this. Who would win in a fight – you or Fragi?
What, like a bare-knuckle brawl? It depends on what kind of fight it is. I haven’t met him, but I don’t think I’d back down. I’d take the challenge for sure, but I think it would end in a stalemate. We’ve had our Reinhardt fights, when he was still in EU, but I won those. So take from that what you will, eh?
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