Fitzyhere joins Team Liquid
Today, a new face joins Team Liquid! But if you’ve been here since the StarCraft (or Overwatch) days, you may recognize the name. (Though, you might not recognize him without the helmet on.)
Fitzyhere, Fitzythere, Fitzy is now on Team Liquid’s talent roster! Fitzy is primarily an Overwatch streamer, journeying from pro StarCraft to Dota to Blizzard’s own hero shooter. Though Fitzy has changed games, his playstyle has stayed pretty similar. In StarCraft, he was known for an unconventional but strategic approach to the Zerg, and in Overwatch, he’s known for his strategic shotcalling and unorthodox playstyle.
When you put together Fitzy’s creativity, community, and history, he’s a natural fit for Team Liquid. Much like us, he came from StarCraft and branched out into much more. We’re pretty excited to see all the Sombra plays Fitzy will make under the TL banner, but before that, we want to catch you up on his gaming journey.
Welcome to Team Liquid! How are you feeling about joining the organization?
I'm excited! Team Liquid’s been around since I started professionally gaming, so it’s always been like, oh, there's Team Liquid — this inspiring team that has all the good players. Back in 2011 or 2012, I was a professional StarCraft player, and it wasn't about getting partnered on Twitch or anything. It was about getting featured on TL.net. It was a big deal to get featured on TL.net for your stream back then.
Right — like Team Liquid, you got your start in StarCraft. Can you talk a bit about that?
My first real competitive game was Age of Empires 3. It was my first time playing online and getting to the top of a ladder. Then StarCraft came around, and that was the next [real-time strategy game] that I was playing with my brother a lot. But then I kind of took the 1v1 route a little bit more and ended up doing well enough.
I never performed the best, but, you know, I took some big names down. And I was traveling to compete, and competing in the World Cup. But yeah, I love strategy games. That was my first big industry and also what got me into streaming. Towards the end of 2011 was the first time I really streamed and loved it. I wanted to do more but unfortunately it wasn't super financially viable at the time.
But yeah, StarCraft was great. Zerg player here, so screw the Protoss — we don't like them. Long story short: StarCraft, great game.
So how did you go from StarCraft to Overwatch?
Actually, in between those two was Dota 2. Of course, I was enjoying StarCraft as well. But when I did get my hands on Dota 2, it was like, yes, I like this type of game as well. It’s still a top-down perspective, though obviously very different from StarCraft — you're controlling one unit instead of hundreds — but I played that up until Overwatch, which would have been about mid-2016 or so.
Anyway, I went to Dota for a bit while I wasn’t streaming because streaming wasn’t as viable. I was trying to focus on school when [StarCraft II] Legacy of the Void came out in about 2015. So I played that for a little bit, and then Overwatch came out. I went from Starcraft to Dota, then back to Starcraft, and then to Overwatch, which was my first real FPS. Growing up I played GoldenEye and Halo a little, but nothing competitive or serious. So yeah, Overwatch was the first.
My aim was terrible. It was all about game sense for me. StarCraft introduced me to the top-down RTS style, [which led to] Dota, which is a MOBA, and then Overwatch had the MOBA plus FPS, so I was introduced to the FPS world, and I’ve played various FPSes since.
Do you think the strategic aspect of Overwatch is what drew you to it?
Yeah, absolutely. The reason why I didn't like a lot of FPSes in the past was that they were like, oh, you just point and shoot. But [with Overwatch] I'm like, alright, let's come up with this tactic and use this ability to get ahead. Even in Starcraft, I would use a lot of the spellcasters — essentially, I would rush late game with Queens and Infestors. I would have this death ball Zerg army and would use spellcasters to just defeat anything, unlike what the Zerg is typically known for, which is very macro-oriented.
Going into Overwatch, using the more ability-focused heroes — I play a lot of Sombra, I play a lot of Mei — those are characters with zone-controlling abilities. Sombra hacks people to cancel abilities and stop abilities. So just using a lot of game sense as opposed to pure aim is definitely more my style.
You’ve definitely become known for your Sombra play. How did that come about?
I like new heroes, so when the game came out and Ana was released, I was playing a lot of Ana. I would flank with Ana so I could sleep dart the Reinhardt because back then, it was all about breaking the Rein shield, and like, why kill it when you can just sleep him and completely negate it? Back then, Rein was in every game.
Then Sombra came around and it was like, oh, you can just be invisible in their backline and then hack them and bypass the shield. So there was a lot of playing in a non-standard way. Everyone else was like, “this is what we do: we shoot the shield, we kill the shield, we progress the fight,” but for me it was more like, “let's just get past that and do this differently.” So that's kind of how it happened.
I'm not a big meta person. I don't play standard. There are a lot of straightforward people who are like, “I'm gonna learn this strong thing and I'm going to perfect it, and then next month when the next meta comes out, I'll do the same thing.” I'm like, “alright, I'm gonna figure out what nobody else knows yet because I want to come up with my own thing.” There were plenty of people that were like, “you can’t play Ana, you can't play Sombra, you can't play Mei” — there was all this you can’t, you can’t, you can’t. I’m like, well, I’m going to do it and get good enough to shut you guys up.
It’s no secret that Overwatch experienced a bit of a content drought between Overwatch 1 and Overwatch 2. What was it like sticking it out through that time?
Well, it was knowing that content was eventually going to come. And of course I love Overwatch. But I also know that I missed out on games through the years of playing Overwatch. So if a new game came out, or there were games that I was missing, I took the time to go play some other games. I played Hearthstone Battlegrounds — recently I hit the top 100 of the Battlegrounds leaderboards — and I played Dead by Daylight.
We didn't know how long [Overwatch 2] was going to take, so I just didn't get stuck in the negativity vortex, I guess. It was like, well, we know there's not going to be any content for a little bit, so just play other things in the meantime. I played Overwatch but it wasn't like, I have to play this, I'm stuck playing this. Because ultimately, it is the job of a streamer to work with what performs well. And taking the leap into variety is scary. But you're gonna take a numbers hit and I think a lot of people get scared with that. Sometimes you just gotta play what you like to play and not really worry about the numbers, if you're creating fun, enjoyable content that people want to watch.
What’s it been like to form a community through your time with Overwatch?
Something that started back in 2019 is that we made a FitzCon. Essentially, I was on stream and I was like, “I love roller coasters.” Someone else said they love roller coasters, too. So I'm like, “haha, we should go ride roller coasters.” And it's like — wait, we should. So in 2019 we went to Cedar Point, which is an amusement park in Ohio, and we just met up and rode rides for the day.
FitzCon 2019 was a success! Thank you everybody who came out, this was a weekend I won't forget! pic.twitter.com/8fw50uOTp7— Fitzyhere (@Fitzyhere) June 16, 2019
2020, we didn't quite get to do that. 2021, same thing, COVID-wise. Last year we went to Kings Island — which, again, is in Ohio — and then we went again this year in June. I think this year we had about 30 people who flew in or drove in. One of my mods is from Scotland; they came in and we went to an amusement park and just rode rides and hung out.
Do you have any hobbies outside of gaming and streaming?
Ah, that’s a good question. Some streamers become streamers because they're good at games. I was good at games, but then, also, growing up I always wanted to be an actor. I didn’t really pursue that, but then streaming filled that void.
In terms of hobbies outside of streaming, though… growing up, I played the saxophone. Every now and then I'll bring it out on stream.
Do you think we’ll ever see the helmet again?
Oh, I’ve got it right here. Do you want to see it? [Fitzy takes the helmet from a shelf behind him] So, it’s actually a headset. It’s built in. It’s very dusty, though, so I’m not gonna turn it on. That kind of turned into my shtick in that era. So many people would come and ask me about it, but it’s just a headset. There’s nothing special about it.
I was in the newspaper, actually. People were very upset about me being in the newspaper because it was at the time when gaming was like, “look at these nerds.”