Before his 30th birthday, Jakob "bock1" Kleveland was an active medical professional by day and moonlighted as a professional gamer by night. Beginning his journey in 2017, bock1 has been grinding his way through the European Overwatch scene on teams like 123, Those Guys, and now with the London Spitfire Academy team, the British Hurricane. He spoke openly with Upcomer about his odd pre-game ritual, how the team is approaching this season of Overwatch Contenders, and where his endgame with esports is?
This might be weird to ask, but do you still brush your teeth before every game? Could you explain how that started? Any idea why you feel compelled to do that? Do you get that same feeling during stressful situations outside of the game?
Yes of course. No clue when it started. I'm just minimizing sensory load to improve my focus on the game. I also do it before working out etc. It's not a feeling, its just preparation.
What people might not know is that you’re a licensed doctor. Are you still actively working? Did the two jobs ever mix with one another?
I combined working full time as a doctor with pro gaming until the start of 2019. [I] placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd in Contenders while doing both, now I only help out when extra personnel is needed so life is [very] chill.
With more life experience than the average professional gamer, do you find yourself at odds with other players at times? Have you noticed that maybe treat you differently based on your age?
Generally, you have your role in a team and it's not wholly dependent on your previous life experience. Some people are mature even tho they are young, ie. FunnyAstro. My biggest issue with a lot of the young players is that they don't take care of themselves properly, working out and eating healthy is a huge part of the prolonged success of any part of life. I would say maturity has a bigger impact on how people treat you than actual age.
With the closure of many Overwatch Contenders academy teams, are you concerned with the future of Overwatch Contenders? Are you concerned with your future in Overwatch?
I didn't even know many academy teams were being cut. Wasn’t more Overwatch League teams supposed to get academy teams? I'm not concerned as I'm already happy with my results and I could easily go back to my old line of work which I love doing.
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I’ve got to ask about Atlantic Showdown. Could you speak a little about what went into preparing for the event? What was one lesson that you learned from the event?
We prepared by boot camping for a week in a different city in Germany. Our preparation was done the normal way by looking at how enemy teams played during the season and preparing different ways of approaching their game style. Our plans were solid and worked in practice but we fell flat in the actual competition due to stress, we didn't manage to play our game at all sadly. Id say it was because of inexperience and hopefully we do better next time. I'll try harder to lighten the mood before the game to relieve stress.
Now that you’ve returned from the Showdown, how are you bouncing back this season of Overwatch Contenders? Week 1 obviously didn’t go in your favor, but Week 2 was a resounding success. How important was the victory for you and the team?
Yeah, the first week didn't go our way, once again we didn't play like we practiced and I was honestly scared it was going to get out of control. Momentum and self-confidence is a huge part of competing and with our win, in Week 2 I'm more hopeful that we can prove our worth once again and win the season.
Last but not least, in multiple AMA’s you mention that the Overwatch League, for you, isn’t the necessarily the end goal. Is that still the case? What is your end goal with Overwatch? Where do you hope to see yourself in the next couple of years?
I’ve already reached my end goal by winning Contenders. Right now I'm playing because its fun to compete and I'll keep competing until it stops being fun or if I feel I'm not able to compete at this level. I'm not interested in moving to the US, if I was 10 years younger it would've been a fun experience but now I'm too invested here in Sweden. In a few years, I hope I've started a family and maybe found a fun medical specialty.