Jordy “Jordation” Frish is giving Overwatch one last crack in 2020 before he decides to hang up the mouse and keyboard for good, leading a revitalized Mindfreak roster to go one better than last year in Contenders Australia.
In September, Jordation was on the other side of Rod Laver Arena to Mindfreak. His Order line-up put on a dominant performance in front of thousands of fans to lift the Contenders Australia trophy for the second season in a row, demolishing the band of misfits 4-0.
However, as his off-season prospects of going overseas after cementing his fourth Contenders Australia title in five seasons didn’t eventuate, the then-flex support was at a crossroads. Either try again for one more year, or pack it all up and move on.
“I was looking at unis at Melbourne to enrol in and start in,” he said. “I messaged Joel on November 28 and asked if Mindfreak are trialling DPS and he said he’d get back to me. It was a few weeks later when he did and he asked me to trial so I got a spot from there.”
Back on his more comfortable role of DPS — the role where he won back-to-back seasons with Sydney Drop Bears at the start of 2018 — Jordation has found a new drive to keep him going in Overwatch: raising the next generation of talent with Mindfreak.
“The new team is going really well,” he said. “I like the role I get to play in the team. I like playing with less developed talent.
“I think everyone is more keen to learn because they don’t have the same sense of complacency that a lot of the established players have. No one comes into scrims with an ego. Everyone is very open to advice, the team is very keen to just do better and win.”
The new Mindfreak roster features some of the same players that hit the MEO stage just six months ago. Joshua “Bus” Bussell, Isaac “Ackyyy” Berry, and Samuel “Swilko” Wilkinson remain, while DPS prodigy Kai “Nanda” Hwee Gray and off-tank Rhys “SlipGyp” Howe round out their 2020 squad.
For Jordation, the new environment marks his departure from a long-standing Order core, and an even longer time with main tank Sam “Quatz” Dennis. The move, in his eyes, was a necessary one though, to keep pushing himself to improve.
“I’m enjoying being on Mindfreak a lot more. There’s more work involved, I have to be more switched on in scrims,” he said.
“I can’t just lay back and let Unter do all the shotcalling because Max was phenomenal in terms of in-game leadership and now I have to do a lot of that myself. I much prefer having to be switched on because I’ll improve a lot more without any level of complacency.”
With players like Unter jumping overseas or retiring (Song “Dreamer” Sang-lok is now in the Overwatch League, while over a dozen players from last year have retired), nurturing the next generation of talent in Australia has never been more important.
“Between myself and Bus, I think we’re very much so just guiding the team. They aren’t just new to the highest level of play, they are just quite young in general. Nanda is 16, Ackyyy is 17.”
However, from the highs of early 2019, which saw more local talent get thrown over to North America and beyond, it feels like the region has slid back in its shell, according to Jordation.
“I think Australian Overwatch has regressed into only being four competitive teams at the top, and then a huge divide to the teams below. With quite a few people retiring, there’s not as much talent as there was.”
Not only that, but the game is completely different heading into 2020. With a new format, role pools being added to freshen up the meta every week, and a map pool that could only be described as an ocean, the Mindfreak DPS is more excited than ever to show off his skill.
“I’m really excited for role pools, and obviously role lock is still in place and the meta is restricted in that regard,” he said. “I think that this is much better than hero bans because I imagine hero bans diverging into the same thing and a meta still forming that’ll still be stale.
“This will force diverse metas and to be the best, you’ll have to be the best at not just one comp or one hero, but the best all round.”
And if results are to go by, Mindfreak is in the best position to do that. They took home the Monkey Bubble Koala Trials Tournament in the pre-season, sweeping a formidable Ground Zero Gaming in the final to win the charity event.
The improvement is being felt week-on-week in scrims with their young talent, although there is a long way to go.
“This young talent and the attitudes of all of these players is pretty phenomenal in terms of learning and accepting feedback,” he said.
“There are just basic fundamentals that these guys currently lack, but they are willing to take on feedback and if they are told to do something, they’ll try and do it without talking back. If this is something the coach wants me to do, they’ll try it.”
Mystery Man ZendayaFan01 and his team is now locked in for 4th seed heading into contenders 2020. pic.twitter.com/2vftpoXEmr— Jordy 🌎☄️💕® (@Jordation) January 16, 2020
While these young players have a long way to go, this year will be Jordation’s last, possibly in esports entirely. Although he’s only been around for two years, the DPS is weighing up his future outside of esports, and unless some big offer comes knocking, he won’t be kicking on.
“[I imagine in 12 months that I’ll be] retired or playing in America or another region,” he said. “I don’t want to play another year in Australia unless there are some serious format changes that make it livable, but that’s unrealistic. I’m going to give it my all this year to try and make it internationally, but if not, I’ll be out.”
However, the itch will always live on. With Riot Games’ Project A on the horizon, Jordation might give in to one last crack once that rolls around later in 2020, or early 2021 — although he doesn’t fancy his chances.
“I’ll be too old by then to turn back and become a professional gamer,” he said. “I’ve got the plan to go in when the game is new and everyone’s bad, be good, and then quit before I get bad like 2016 Overwatch.”
With his mind set on the task in front of him with Mindfreak though, the ultimate goal is to make it back international at the Showdown, and hopefully do himself, and his region, one better by making it to the Gauntlet.
He’s never been more confident in a team than Mindfreak, and if people don’t respect that, they’ll pay the price.
“I hope people don’t sleep on Mindfreak again. People need to respect Mindfreak or they’ll get shit on.”
Mindfreak kick off their Contenders Australia Season 1 2020 campaign on March 1. You can catch the games on the Overwatch Contenders Twitch channel.