1. The Feather
  2. Object of Envy
  3. Dethroned in Cologne
  4. The World
  5. The Rise and Fall
  6. Renewed Purpose
  7. A New Home
  8. Lost and Found in Los Angeles
  9. Dr. Dennis and Mr. Hulk
  10. The Largest Heart

The Feather

Chapter 3

There was every opportunity to give up, to let the frustration overcome him. He had come close twice to fulfilling his childhood dream, yet as the calendar turned over and over the door that he had pried open started creaking to a close.

Of course, he never saw that as an option. In 2015, Dennis was a 28 year-old with no meaningful bullets on his resume, and he was at an age that was considered ancient or far too old to begin his career as a professional player. Things changed in October when the Overwatch beta was released.

The Overwatch IP was the first new Blizzard Entertainment game in many years, and it had caught Dennis’ eye when it was announced at BlizzCon the year before. Though it had been 10 years since his peak in the FPS genre, it was another Blizzard game that he knew he had to play.

“It’s going to be a huge hit like every Blizzard game,” he told his brother David a few months after the game’s announcement, “And this time, I’m going to make it.” Even though there were scarcely any details about the game, Dennis was ready for what could have been his very last chance. Before he had even played the game, he had already chosen to become great. It’s difficult to imagine that anyone who had heard Dennis’ statement could have predicted how he would make it happen.

In the first week of the open beta, Dennis was one of 9,700,000 players to join the game. He experienced the rush of new love, and he even convinced his brother David to play on his account during the early beta. While Dennis was already a proficient player, his brother’s clumsy mechanics and German curse words over comms left Dennis’ friends and teammates scratching their heads. Once it was Dennis back behind the trigger, the shotcalling and celebrations resumed from the other side of their headsets.

Dennis had found a new passion to pursue, and he would pour hours into the beta in an attempt to git gud. In those early days, he played the mechanically intensive hero Genji, although it later became common knowledge that he was not very good at aiming or micro mechanics, despite his background in StarCraft II. Despite his poor choice of hero, Dennis wanted to form a team that could coordinate as a unit in the wastelands of the beta’s ladder. He made a post on Reddit looking for players for a competitive team, even though the game was still young. This post would bring together some of the most important names in Overwatch, although none of them knew it yet.

One of the first people to reach out to Dennis was Sebastian “Chipshajen” Widlund, a support player that would go on to do incredible things within the Overwatch scene. Chips stumbled upon a post made by Dennis on the Overwatch subreddit about forming a team, and he and a friend reached out about the opportunity. Ever the sociable ladder player, Dennis had, in fact, already added Chips to his friends list from high level soloQ, and they started scrimming soon after. They sought out other like-minded players, and Dennis used his ability to form rosters and scout talents to form one of early Overwatch’s most popular teams.

During its early iterations, the team was called HULKtastic, coined by Dennis on GosuGamers and named after their estimable leader. The new recruits started scrimming, and this group of potential players, 10 or 12 large, tried out for a spot on the team. After cuts were made, the original group included INTERNETHULK (Dennis’ new handle), chipshajen, and new recruits Harryhook and cocco. These four players clicked early on and ended up staying together for more than a year and more than a few roster changes. They had started a team that would soon make waves in the world of Overwatch.

IDDQD’s noteable top finishes
IDDQD’s noteable top finishes

While the rest of the Overwatch world had just begun to consider the game in a competitive capacity, Dennis was ready to grind. He pushed for full eight hour scrim days, a carry over of the intense work ethic that he had developed in his failed pursuits in other titles. HULKtastic took every opportunity to show their prowess, competing in many of the earliest beta tournaments.

Within just a few months, Dennis would land on radars of prominent community figures, and he began to make connections as he had always done. On November 29th, HULKtastic competed in the ESL partnered AlphaCast European Tournament. Just a month after the beta launched, Dennis found himself toe to toe with the largest esports organization in Europe: Fnatic.

They wiped the floor with Dennis’s ragtag roster and HULKtastic fell out of the tournament in 5th place. Despite their performance, Dennis couldn’t help but puff out his chest. He sent a message to Mitch “UberShouts” Leslie, one of the casters of the tournament, warning him to look out for HULK and the HULKtastics. One day, he told him, he would be one of the very best in Overwatch. His boast was a prophecy for his own performance, but also for the unsuspecting caster.

In February of 2016, the name HULKtastic was changed to IDDQD, named after an old Quake cheat code to unlock God mode. The quintet of Sebastian “chipshajen” Widlund, Jonathan “HarryHook” Tejedor, Christian “cocco” Jonsson, Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, and INTERNETHULK competed under this name for only two months, but in that time Dennis and his teammates demonstrated that they were one of the best teams in the beta, and that their stack of players was formed in a way that elevated what it meant to be a team. This grabbed the attention of Team EnVyUs, and the American organization signed IDDQD on April 23rd of 2016 to represent them in Overwatch. As everyone knows by now, they made history.