LiNkzr's favorite Widowmaker moment: “It was like a movie scene”

Plus more on the Overwatch World Cup, the Outlaws' recovery from Stage 2, and OW lore.

Overwatch's Icon Katrina Weil · 2 Aug 2019


Photo via Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Stage 4 of the Overwatch League has seen the return of some of the most exhilarating DPS moments fans became accustomed to in the Inaugural Season. The 2-2-2 role lock has brought back dive, bunker, and the double-sniper composition, with precise headshot eliminations bringing life back into the game. 

The Houston Outlaws’ Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin is one of the DPS specialists giving a masterclass on Widowmaker. Upcomer spoke with Linkzr about his favorite all-time Widow moment, how the Outlaws recovered from a disastrous Stage 2, and insight into why he ultimately decided to not play in the 2019 Overwatch World Cup.

Houston has had a fairy tale turn around, going from 0-7 to becoming a playoff team. What do you think were the biggest reasons for this improvement?

I think our mentality in Stage 2 was plummeting, to say it kindly. We took the situation very emotionally, we were thinking about how we felt instead of what we needed to focus on to win as a team. 

When Stage 3 started, we started working on how we could enable others in the game and focusing on helping each other better. And granted, being not necessarily selfish, but just not closed minded. 

The Outlaws have seen very few roster changes since the team’s announcement. Did that familiarity with one another help you get through that difficult period?

It does, because we know what kind of characters we are and how we react to losses and wins. Sometimes it’s just difficult to talk about things. No matter how long you’ve known someone, it can be hard. But I think the closeness definitely helped when we had discussions about what direction we should go in Stage 3. Everyone was more invested. 

The Outlaws haven’t been in the playoffs since Stage 1 of last year. How do you think you have grown as a player and a person since then?

I think my biggest downfall as a player in Season 1 was that the wins and losses affected my emotions way too much. So I’ve tried to control myself more when it comes to preparing myself and actually try to be more level-headed overall. Not let the negative things in my mind affect what I do, and also the same for positive things, I don’t want to let that get me out of focus. 

Speaking of positive, Houston has one of the most vocal and engaged fanbases. Do they ever impact how you play, or do you try to control your response to that as well?

I definitely notice that when I’m playing Widow, for example, that they get really loud and that makes me happy that they show their support. Sometimes there’s expectations I feel we have to fulfill sometimes for the fans. But going through Stage 2 and seeing the support they gave us through that, I know that it’s not necessarily expectations, but they’ll be with us through the journey. It makes me really happy to have a fanbase this vocal and also this supportive.

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Your fan-favorite Widowmaker has taken down many Overwatch League players, what would you say has been your favorite elimination?

I think my favorite Widow moment has to be against the Dallas Fuel on Junkertown, when Seagull played. So there was the moment where I go across the map, dinks are happening, it was like a movie scene. That has stuck with me because it was the first time we were playing together, first time winning against Dallas. So many tiny things happened. It’s just stuck with me.

That was an amazing moment. As a fan of manga and anime, you have an eye for great stories. Who in the Overwatch roster would you like to be given more lore?

I’ve always liked McCree’s character, and appreciate Matthew Mercer’s voice acting. It’s so perfect for the hero! I want to see Ashe and McCree more. Overwatch could also maybe have a steampunk thing going on in a future world, almost like a Blade Runner style, that would be really cool. 

If you were in Overwatch, where would you be in the story? Are you a hero or a villain?

If I was in Overwatch lore, I don’t think I would be special [laughs]. I feel like there’s too much pressure to be a hero in Overwatch, and why would I want to be a bad guy? I wouldn’t want people actively hunting me, so I would be neutral. If I had to choose something, I would be more like Sombra, you know? Kind of be with both sides. She makes friends by blackmailing… it works out for her [laughs]. 

You’re also a World Cup veteran. Do you hope to play for Team Finland again? 

I’m perplexed. It’s a lot of effort and time I have to put into it, and last year I felt I was kind of rushed to play because I had a lot of stuff going on outside. I felt really bad last year that I wasn’t properly into the World Cup. 

I think my participation this year kind of depends on how fast I can do what I need to do, and then I’ll see if I have time to scrim for it. There’s a lot of players, the World Cup trials have been going on, but I haven’t been able to participate in the scrims yet because of Stage 3 playoffs. I’ll check how things are going when I go home and settle down.

With all of your experience as a fan-favorite player, when you eventually decide to retire, what would you most like to be remembered for?

I have thought about retirement, but not yet. But when I do, overall I want to be remembered for a certain kind of goofiness, like a goofy personality, but also the separation for how serious I was in game. That would be what I want to be remembered for.

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