Oftentimes, we watch our favorite sports or esports and have no idea who the people are who are participating. We may craft our own narratives based around deals they are involved in or the way they play the sport, but this doesn’t often reflect who the person really is. Sometimes, to get a sense of who a player, coach or broadcaster really is, you have to sit down with them and let them tell their story.
Mads “fischer” Jehg of Team Denmark and GGEA is a name that some in the Overwatch community may already be familiar with. The young DPS player has been quickly making a name for himself, especially after Denmark’s third-place finish in the tightly-contested Bangkok Qualifier. We may be seeing him on the Overwatch League stage very soon, at the rate he’s going.
I recently got the chance to sit down with fischer to get a sense of where he has come from, what brought him to Overwatch and what his future may hold. I hope you’ll enjoy his story as much as I have.
What was your childhood like? Did you pick up video games at a young age? If so, what games were some of your favorites?
My parents didn’t live in the same country, so from a very young age, I had to travel a lot. My mom lived in Denmark and my dad lived in Belgium. I have, however, always been a gamer. One of my first and fondest memories is sitting in the basement in Belgium playing Nintendo 64 apparently refusing to come up. I was probably around a year old when I first touched video games and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been hooked ever since.
Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart both hold a special place in my heart, as those were the very first video games I ever touched. Once I hit middle school I was really into playing Pokémon on the GameBoy, something I probably take for granted today. Growing up playing Pokémon basically taught me English before any teachers could. Once I got a little older I started playing games on the PC — mainly Counter-Strike and Heroes of Might & Magic — and that’s when I really got into playing online.
Did you play any games professionally before Overwatch?
I’ve played both Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Hearthstone at relatively high levels before I got into Overwatch. I played a couple of LANs in Counter-Strike and played a couple of online tournaments in League of Legends and Hearthstone. Before I got into Overwatch I was mostly playing these games for the ladder experiences. It’s the progression that really excites me. If I remember correctly I started my League of Legends account somewhere in Gold or Plat and the feeling of improving and climbing is the best feeling ever. You get to Plat 3, Plat 2, Plat 1 and then suddenly you’re in Diamond. Then you start climbing in Diamond, maybe you make some new friends who’re also doing what you’re doing. Improving, and focusing on becoming a better version of yourself. You learn to see things from different perspectives, something that’s super important for all team-based games.
You grew up with such a rich background in gaming, ranging all the way from Super Mario 64 to League of Legends. Have these games impacted how you approached Overwatch at all? Do any of the strategic aspects carry over?
For sure. Every game I’ve played have given me some sort of impression on how to perform a task to move forward. Super Mario 64 might not be super relevant to Overwatch, but the reason I felt so attracted to Overwatch was because it combined FPS and MOBA aspects into one. Both my experience with CS and League helped me greatly in the early stages. Strategic aspects like cooldown management, peeking, timing, communication, etc. all carry over from those games.
Early on, was there anyone that was a driving force for you? Maybe another player, a family member, or a friend?
I’ve always been very independent when it comes to what I like to do, so I haven’t felt the need to have someone like that. When I want something I’m usually super closed-minded and very determined to get it, regardless of anything else. This quality of mine isn’t necessarily that great though since I often tend to forget about my friends and family in the process.
From what I’ve found, your first competitive Overwatch tournament was all the way back in 2015 called “The a-Mei-zing tournament.” (Which is quite a name, if you don’t mind me saying) What were those early tournaments like?
I’m pretty sure my first competitive Overwatch match goes all the way back to the closed beta when I was playing under a different alias.
Think it was the very first GosuGamers Overwatch tournament. But that’s a long and complicated story. But the early tournaments of Overwatch were super weird compared to the present. Competitive rules differed from tournament to tournament, heroes were differently balanced or used and the overall experience was just used as more of a tool to learn, rather than to seek glory or money. Everyone who started in Overwatch all had different backgrounds, and the most important thing to take away from playing with each other at that stage is simply to be more comfortable together as a team.
In 2017, you made the jump to North American Contenders playing for Hammers Esports. By this point, had you felt like you’d made it? Or was this just the beginning, in your mind?
Ah yes, good old Hammers. At the time, getting a sponsor, even though you were on an unbeatable team for 3-4 months, was the most difficult thing in the world. Our team was
named ‘The Chavs’, and we were basically the king of EU for that timeframe. Our success concluded when we won a LAN in Paris, the Xtra Cup if I remember correctly. After our success in Paris, we finally had people contacting us about opportunities to be paid professionals and that was an amazing feeling. At the time, Overwatch League wasn’t announced, so I think it’s fair to say that, back then, it felt like I had made it. I was finally on a paid team, living in LA in a fancy house with a pool. It was great. Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end. When the Overwatch League was announced, Hammers couldn’t gather the resources to buy into it and it left everyone with a sad feeling. But you could say, as soon as we knew this, we suddenly hadn’t made it anymore, and the new hunger for ‘making it’ came back.
In the 2018 Overwatch World Cup Bangkok Qualifier, you and Team Denmark got the world’s attention as you just missed qualifying for Blizzcon behind China and Australia. What was that experience like and how has life been since then?
World Cup is something I’ve always cherished as a player. It’s a great event with tons of benefits to it. You get experience, exposure, and connections, everything any player could dream of. We had a super good run and looking back on it, I always regret not making it to BlizzCon. I talked a little bit about this on my Twitter already.
Now that you are officially a free agent, can we expect to see you on an OWL roster in Season 2? Have you been trying out for any OWL teams, or waiting for teams to approach you?
Prior to free agency, I was trying out for a bunch of Overwatch League teams, but I cannot say anything more specific than that for now. My dreams and hopes for Season 2 of OWL are of course for me to be there. I want to play on the main stage, and I’m more motivated and hungry than ever to achieve it.
Now that I am officially a free agent, I’m doing everything to make sure I get into OWL for Season 2. If there are still any expansion teams out there looking for a DPS player with tons of experience, motivation, and commitment I’d love to get in contact.
Fischer declined to give any comment on the current situation involving GGEA. Right now, he is focused on his end goal of one day reaching the OWL.
Follow me on Twitter: @GoopyKnoopy I would love to dialogue with you about anything I’ve written!
You can also shoot me a line on Discord! (GoopyKnoopy#2205)
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Big thanks to fischer for taking the time to talk to me this past week. Best of luck to you!
“From our Haus to Yours”