WESG qualifier

Played the Swedish qualifier in WESG (World Electronic Sports Games) last weekend. There are tournaments in both CS:GO, DOTA2, SC2 and Hearthstone and they have qualifiers in each country that participates to determine which teams and players that get to represent their country. I played the qualifier together with Limmp, Pablo, Solitude and s4 but we participated mostly for fun since for example s4 already is playing with OG (but can’t participate in this particular tournament with them because they all aren’t from the same country). We faced Loda’s and EGM’s team in the finals (they played together with m’ICKe, Jonassomfan and Handsken) and managed to win 2-1! They took the first game but we came back and won the last two.

game1

The names are a bit weird because there wasn’t any ingame ticket so we all had to change manually.

First game was quite one-sided for them after the first 15 minutes. We tried to engage and fight them too much early on and when you look at their heroes you can tell it’s exactly what they wanted to do as well. It wasn’t something we thought of during the game and the outcome showed that as well ^^.

game2

I think our draft was quite good this game. Their first three picks were Mirana, Sandking and Venge which all are spellcasters that don’t really want to get an early BKB. We decided to pick Silencer after that (s4’s idea) which made us win a lot of early engagements and take control of the game. Batrider could blink and lasso one target at the same time that we used global silence and then we could force towers 5vs4 or chase to get more kills if that was possible. We could also siege with SD’s disruption without being scared of getting into a bad position.

game3

Last game was quite crazy and very back and forth! We took an early side of barracks but after that they won a couple of fights and got aegis on storm which made it hard for us to keep on taking more sides. We got the first side right before the 20 minute mark but didn’t manage to get the second one until like minute 42. I think they picked and played quite smart by having Beast and Storm on the team. You never want to fight Huskar straight on, you want to find the healers and other weak heroes in the back and go on them first. So by having Beastmaster’s hawk they could easily scout me and then just jump me with Storm. I tried to hide the best as I could but as you can see on my deaths it was easier said than done.. :D

Went to both GG Bar and Kappa Bar here in Gothenburg last week. GG Bar holds a quiz every Monday and Wednesday which is a lot of fun depending on the theme of the questions, last time it was Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1 and I really loved Nintendo 64!

Started to pack down some things in the apartment yesterday. Me and Bummi bought a new one some months ago and we’re getting the keys October 3rd so it’s time to start preparing! :)

Cheers,
Akke

Winners from Bubble Pop Heroes

Fun to see that so many people downloaded and played the game Bubble Pop Heroes that I’ve made together with some friends. As I wrote in the other post the person who got the highest score from both Android and iOS will win something as well as people randomly selected from everyone that has played it. I will send you guys an email later today!

The winners are:

  • yegor123 who got the highest score on iOS. I will send you one of my old team shirts as well as an autograph code!
  • bartoszkostka who got the highest score on Android. I will send you an autograph code!

The rest below were randomly chosen and will also receive an autograph code.

  • panderic
  • annanoriko
  • nattkrullarn
  • alexgodstone

Thanks to all who participated and played!

Cheers,
Akke

Situation update

Got back yesterday from my vacation in Hong Kong. It’s been a great and fun trip even though it was a bit hard to concentrate the last couple of days because of all the things that has been happening. I’m not gonna write anything about Hong Kong right now because I think most of you just want to hear a bit more what is going on and what’s gonna happen next.

I would like to adress the interview with Monster where I stated that changes needed to be done but “not like switching players”. Playing with Alliance has been great and I saw us having a lot of potential together – there were many games that we managed to turn because of good late game decisions and there were many games where we won the early game hard. At the same time we also had flaws which was shown on the main stage of TI6 where we didn’t manage to win a game against either EHOME or Fnatic but I was hoping we would try to work on our problems instead of switching roster. With that said, I don’t blame s4 at all for wanting to leave and try to play in another team. I kindly ask you guys to do the same and respect his decision since he hasn’t done anything wrong.

When it was final that s4 was gonna play with LUL nice try ^^ I was still in Hong Kong on vacation. It was quite hard to focus and think of what to do and come up with a decision what to do next. For me, s4 was very important for our team and since Bulldog would stop playing as well I felt we were somewhat in the same position as after TI4. I don’t want to go through a year like that again with all the shuffles; I think we played with 9 different players before we ended up with the TI3 roster again. Me and Loda spoke quite a bit and in the end we decided that it was probably for the best to part ways and see where the future brings us.

My biggest wish is to keep on competing but it’s quite hard to find a team right now since most of them are already finalized but I’m looking around for opportunities and options. The dream would be to be able to continue to represent the Alliance brand – the connection you feel with all the fans and the name after such a long time is very special and not something you easily would choose to leave behind. I’m not sure what’s gonna happen right now, if I will find a team I want to play with, if I will take a break or do something else. I’ll make sure to let you guys know when I’ve decided what I’m gonna do. In the meantime; thank you so much for all the love, shoutout threads on reddit, cheering, and the support you guys have been giving the past years. I’ve said it before but I really really appreciate it.

Cheers,
Akke

Win one of my team shirts!

Went through my drawers after I got home from TI and found a couple of old team shirts among some other things I’ve gotten at past TI’s. I even found some autograph cards from TI4! Since I don’t use a lot of these things I might as well give it away to people who wants it so I thought you guys can battle it out in Bubble Pop Heroes (the mobile game I’ve made with some friends) to see who deserves it the most! :D

I’m going on vacation for almost two weeks tomorrow (going to Hong Kong) so I will let you guys practice and get highscores until then. The UI with the scores is a bit bugged sometimes if you wonder why it’s empty once in a while ^^.

You can download the game here or search for “Bubble Pop Heroes” on Android or iPhone.

The one that gets the best total score from both the Android and the iPhone leaderboard will win something 100% but I will also randomize some things out to people who just have tried it. I’ll get back to you with this after I’m home from the vacation!

Good luck and take care!
Akke

Q & A

I want to start with thanking all of you who are writing cheerful comments, try to help us with how to improve our team and being involved and follow what we do. It’s a pleasure having you guys with me on this eSports-journey and I really wish the best for all of you!

I’ve read all of your comments here on the blog, Facebook and Twitter and tried to summarize them as good as possible. The questions that I can’t or don’t know how to answer is left out but hopefully most of it is here.

What do you think went wrong in the tournament?
It’s most likely a combination of a lot of things. First of all I think we were quite bad at finding and knowing our game plan, how we should’ve played to win the game. In some games we found ourselves just farming on all lanes waiting for something to happen instead of seeing that we should buy a mekansm on Bristle for example and then force fights. Instead what maybe happened was that we kept on farming and they started to pick people off which made us lose our timing in the game. I haven’t taken the time to look through the last replays against Fnatic yet but my thoughts after just playing the game was that their Bounty pick was quite smart against us since all we wanted to do in the first game (we picked Drow, Tidehunter, Dazzle, Mirana and ET) was to force fights and get towers but they constantly splitpushed us since they scouted us with Bounty all the time.

Will you try some new tactics?
We always try new things when we practice but we just need to find out what’s good and bad for us to play as a team.

What do you think about the comeback gold?
I think it’s a bit too much. There were a lot of games where you see a team securing a bigger and bigger lead throughout a period or 20-30 minutes that later on is taken away in a single fight.

Do you all go out together after the games?
We usually go out and eat together but it’s different from times to times.

What do you think about the new hero that will be released?
It’s fun that they add more new heroes, I just hope that it’s somewhat balanced. Hard to say when I haven’t been able to try it yet.

Are you going to stream now after TI?
The plan is to start to stream frequently later this autumn. I’m moving in early October so I will most likely start after that.

What is the plan for winning next years TI?
My plan is to keep practicing and try to improve as much as possible.

What are your thoughts about the first EG game in the group stage?
After watching the replay I felt we were ahead a lot in the early- and mid game but they kept on splitpushing that made us being unable to force a teamfight and push their base. Even though Loda didn’t have free farm in the beginning he still got a fairly early Radiance on Lone Druid and Bulldog was super farmed on Brood (because they couldn’t stay in their own jungle, it was also the reason why they focused so much on Loda’s lane because they couldn’t be anywhere else). We made some mistakes when we bought back and died again when we pushed their base which gave them an opening to just go mid and take our throne. Luckily for us we managed to force them back though! :)

Why doesn’t s4 play Invoker and Loda heroes like AM, Morphling or Lycan?
In s4’s case it’s mostly because we have felt that it doesn’t really suit our play style when he plays Invoker. I’ve read multiple times that “s4 can’t play Invoker” and things like that but I am confident that if we would want to frequently pick it he would be as good as anyone else. In Loda’s case we have picked heroes like AM and Lycan before but we had most success with other heroes when we practiced recently. We didn’t pick Drow in the tournament just because everyone else did it or something like that – we picked it because we had practiced a lot with it and felt confident playing it.

How are your thoughts about playing in more or less tournaments?
It’s very hard to say what is the best but I think we will try to at least participate in more online tournaments just to get more serious games to play and practice on. Traveling is a bit different though (like going to USA) because you miss out on a lot of days because of flights and jetlag.

What do you think about the “exit interviews” like the one you did with Maelk?
I didn’t mind doing it and I think it’s quite interesting for the viewers to get some insight from a team that just lost as well.

How is your game going (Bubble Pop Heroes) and can you make a living out of it?
It’s been ok :D. I don’t make any money out of it but it’s just fun to have made a game. I will do a competition in it with one of my team shirts as a prize (among some other things) but I will announce that here on the blog later!

Do you think about quitting Dota? Why or why not?
Not really. Of course I think about pros and cons with playing but I will continue to do it as long as it’s possible to make a living out from it and as long as I enjoy it. There will be a time when I want to prioritize something else and that is probably when I will stop playing.

Do you think having a partner is distracting or bad in any ways when you want to play at your fullest potential?
For me it’s quite the opposite. I feel it helps me in a lot of ways to be able to talk and share things with my girlfriend and it works out very good since she is interested and invested in gaming/esports as well.

What do you think about the recent patch?
It’s very good, almost perfect. You can play a lot of different play styles and there aren’t many heroes that you feel is too good. Obviously there are some things that could be changed, for example making Iron Talon a bit worse, Mirana aghs is a bit too strong and things like that but overall it has been very good!

The first game vs EG in the group stage when you all died in the bottom lane and they rushed mid to finish the game – what was your thoughts and atmosphere in the team? What did you say?
All of us pretty much thought we lost.. :D But we always try to find ways to win the game so the first thing we talked about was if Loda could splitpush and get their throne faster (you can see that he tp’s top after the lost fight) but we saw quite fast that it wasn’t possible. So we just tried to defend the base as good as possible, taking out Drow first which was their main DPS and in the end it made us win the game. The atmosphere was good, like I said we just tried to find ways to win. After we won I jumped up onto Bulldog and hugging him :D.

Do you feel it is hard to leave the “roots” from TI3 where you used a lot of split push and adapt into other strategies?
Not really. We have always played a lot of different strategies but I guess the main reson why we haven’t had as much success recently is that we haven’t been able to understand how to play each game properly and find ways to win them together.

If Alliance would just disappear – what would you do?
I would probably keep on playing and tried to get another team. If that wouldn’t work out I would probably try to stream a bit more to see if I like it and if not that I would go back and work as a full time programmer. I would most likely play other games and compete in them if only just for fun like Street Fighter V or Battlerite (the new Bloodline Champions) when that is out. I love to compete so I will always do that in one way or another – casually for fun or competitively.

Do you think it would be better to just stick to your own play style and meta instead of trying to “copy” others? You tried to play Phoenix/Void like OG without success for example.
If you want to stay on top you always have to adapt what others are playing and keep on improving/changing things. That is what is so good and fun with Dota, that there isn’t only one strategy that is superior to the best but instead different lineups and play styles that are good against each other. Regarding the Phoenix we actually won a lot of scrims before we headed into the Manila Major (I think it was that tournament) with it together with heroes like DK and Lone Druid but after we lost 6 official games straight with Phoenix we kind of lot confidence with it. One of the biggest problems with that was that we faced OG the first 2 games when we picked Phoenix and they really know how to counter it. Cr1t played ES the first game and just stunned or silenced me when I was using Sun ray and the second game they picked Nyx to counter Phoenix Sun ray with the carapace. We would most likely have been more successful with it against other teams but we choose to play it against them which was a mistake.

What do you think of SEA region in Dota2?
I like it! The Manila Major was one of the best events ever and the players from SEA are so nice as well. We hang out with some of the Fnatic players when we were there (Mushi, Ohaiyo and 343) and they are all really fun and cool persons. It’s fun to get to know other players a bit more but sometimes I’m a bit too shy to talk to everyone that I want to talk to :D.

When you guys lost I just stared into the screen feeling very lost and sad. How did you guys feel when you were eliminated?
At first I was very sad and disappointed. You know that your run is over and the dream you had of winning is gone and there is nothing you can do about it. The feeling stayed for a couple of hours but after that I tried to be happy for what I’ve achieved instead of sad what I couldn’t achieve. In the end of the day I am happy to be able to say I am playing in one of the best teams in the world and to be able to participate and experience all the events, the Majors and TI’s that I have been to and am going to attend in the future.

Is there any chance we will see your Chen or Akkecopter in the future?
Chen – for sure! Gyrocopter not so likely unless they buff his first spell again. When you play him as a support you need to be able to rely on spell damage but after it was nerfed he is not as half as good as support anymore.

What do you think about Chen/Ench overall?
They are viable but it really depends on the lineup and what you face. Both heroes can fall of extremely fast and if they don’t achieve much in the first 10-15 minutes you most likely have lost the game :D.

As I wrote in one of the answers, I will soon announce a competition where you can win one of my old team shirts (wrong size so can’t wear it). You can win it by playing a mobile game I have done with a couple of friends so if you want to start practicing you can download it on App Store and Google Play here! :) The scores that are loaded into the UI is a bit bugged sometimes so don’t be surprised if you don’t see any once in a while ^^. Anyways, will write more about this tomorrow!

Remember that you can subscribe with your email so you get a notification every time I write a blog post by pressing a button on the top of the right panel! :)

Cheers,
Akke

The International 6

A very long time since I last wrote something but I haven’t found the time or felt like it since we started to bootcamp around a month ago. My mind has pretty much just been on TI until now.

Posting this now so you guys have something to read while you are waiting for some great games to be played tomorrow! :)

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One of the pictures from the photo booth session (taken from @StarvingGamer1).

Before TI we bootcamped for around two weeks in Sweden. We rented a house that was big enough for us all to be able to stay there so it was nice and good to live together to discuss strategies or just hang out in the evenings. EGM told us about the Ursa + WD Roshan strategy that we later on used against Navi and we found out another trick as well that we actually didn’t get to use because there wasn’t any game that it suited so at least we have that left for the future ^^.

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Played a bit of Dragon’s Lair for the NES during the flight to Seattle. The game is so bad and good at the same time :D. 

Moving forward to TI it felt great to be able to go there again. Last year when we didn’t make it through the qualifier was rough, it’s hard to sit at home watching everyone else compete when you want to and have really tried to be there. We stayed at a hotel in Bellevue – I really like that area in Seattle. It’s the forth time I’m staying there (TI2, TI3, TI4 and TI6) so I know the place quite well where there are places to eat, shopping mall, Starbucks etc. You recognize a lot of the staff from Valve that are working with the event, it’s great to be able to see them again as well! As usual the whole event was very good, really nothing to complain about as a player and from what I’ve seen on the streams everything has been very good there as well. I really like the segments with Purge, he is just the perfect guy for that kind of thing!

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Signing some on the way back to the hotel after one of our games.

The group stage where we played in 2 groups instead of 4 (as it was during the Majors) was in my opinion a good decision. When there are 4 groups with 4 teams each there are more room for mistakes with seeding before the tournament and less games to prove that you deserve to be in the upper bracket. I was really happy when we managed to get into the top4 of our group since it’s the first big step in the tournament and can mean everything for a good placement. We spent the next 3 days to prepare for Ehome to see what we wanted to play against them, how they drafted, how they played and stuff like that. We managed to have a very good start against them in both games but failed to use it to our advantage when we went into the midgame. The second game against Fnatic where we had Naix, Puck, Enchantress, Prophet and Rubick felt very good in the early game as well but we probably gave away too much when we took a bad fight on the left side where I got grabbed by Batrider and some pickoffs after that. We had somewhat of a snowball lineup so we needed to be able to shut them down more then we did.

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The dining area at the hotel.

Finishing “only” in the 9th-12th place is both an accomplishment and a failure at the same time. It’s a failure in the way that I hoped and thought we would do better and you obviously enter the tournament with the mindset to win but at the same time it’s an accomplishment itself to just have qualified and played at The International and to be able to say that you are one of the best teams in the world. The thoughts and feelings are split but in the end I’m trying to be happy and satisfied with what we managed to accomplish after not even qualify last year.

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Me during the press-session. Everyone did a couple of interviews each.

If you guys have any questions you can ask them here and I’ll try to answer as many as possible! :)

Cheers,
Akke

Short vacation and Pokémon Go!

Went on a mini-vacation last weekend to Stockholm to see some friends and relax. I played a bit of Pokémon Go when we went around in the city where I managed to find a Dratini among others! I played the first Pokémon game when it first was released in Sweden many many years ago so a big part of the fun is to see and recognize all these Pokémon again!

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Found a Caterpie on the train to Stockholm :)

Me, Bummi and our friend Kristina went to visit The GD Studio where James, Skrff, Weppas and others hang out. Was a lot of fun to see their house and the projects they are working on. Luckily for us the weather was perfect the whole day compared to how it’s been in Gothenburg the past weeks.

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Some from The GD Studio gang!

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Meanwhile I’m here just chilling.. :D

Met up with Pajkatt and Bonnie the day after to eat brunch (and also to catch some Pokémon hehe). We walked around in the southern central part of Stockholm talking and playing until our train was about to leave a couple of hours later. Perfect weekend! :)

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Nice view in Stockholm!

Just won against Vega in the Global Grand Masters tournament. Playing the next round next week on Monday 17:00!

Cheers,
Akke