Post Shanghai Major

Finally got back home yesterday. When we arrived at the airport around noon last Sunday we were told by Lufthansa that the flight we were supposed to take got stuck in Beijing so we had to wait around 12 hours for it to arrive in Shanghai. We got a hotel to stay at during the day and Kelly found a mall that we went to so overall the day was successful! Finished the day with eating “Hot pot”!

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Looks a bit like me..? :D

So let’s get back to the event. Last blog post I wrote was just after our group stage finished and for me at that time the event had been quite good. I’ve gotten some comments about the last post and I want to point out again that what I experience is from a players perspective and not as an observer or caster. If you are having problems watching the stream or the casters are having problems it doesn’t effect us in most cases. I know there was problems with the stream from day 1 and I agree that that isn’t acceptable.

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First day of the main event

There isn’t much to say about the days between the group stage and the main event. We just were at the hotel, playing pubs or practicing against other teams. Watching replays, trying to analyze what the others have been doing and we especially watched Liquid since we knew we were gonna face them in the first round.

Moving forward to the main event we got on a bus at around 8:15 am that took us to the event. After we got there we were taken to a “pre-game room” where we could sit and chill while we were waiting for our game to begin. If you didn’t play the first match you could watch the current game on the TV or warm up on the computers that were there with your SSD. For me, this is where it starts to go downhill. As you can see in the picture below, noting was plugged in. Sure, there wasn’t any game going on so we couldn’t watch anything anyway but the room was just sad. We didn’t have any computers the first day either so we just sat there waiting for us to be able to go on the stage and setup.

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The arena was nice, I like that we could go in from back-stage and go to the stage from there. When you are about to play you want to be able to focus on just the game and having a back-stage passage helps. I think these events should have scheduled signing though to make it possible for the audience to get autographs and meet the players. Anyway, we got into the booth and started to make sure our gear was working. They had a “local” audio system build in and (when it worked) it worked really good. We noticed that EGM’s microphone didn’t work and after some time they had fixed it. Liquid on the other hand were in their booth a bit later, I think they went to smoke before they entered the stage. They said that they didn’t have time to test the audio but after the first draft we had to pause the game for like 15 minutes because one of their microphones didn’t work. In the end of the day, it isn’t Liquid’s fault for not testing it even if it would have been quite good if they had done it, but I don’t understand how these things keep happening. Does the people that set up the audio don’t test it? During one of our other matches we had to pause again, it was either versus EHOME or Complexity, because apparently one of the players had bumped into the audio on their back into the booth so it stopped working. It’s so annoying to have to pause the game – sometimes you even forget where the opponents are on the map so you have to remind each other when the game starts again.

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Some from the Chinese “Alliance Fan Club” took us out for dinner. Was quite a fancy restaurant, the food was really good!

I felt we could easily have won against both Liquid and Complexity but the competition is very hard so just a small thing can change the whole outcome of the game. The draft we had the last game vs. Complexity with Dark Seer jungle, panda mid and Spectre safelane was something we had practice before and it worked out really well. You could see that it was a good strategy when we managed to come back from 1-8 to 10-11 in kills. Unfortunately we picked it against an OD/Potm combo and we didn’t have anything to help out S4 with in the middle lane and there isn’t much he can do about it either. I should probably be quite happy with finishing 7/8th place, we even just won two events straight, but after the group stage and how the practice has been going I felt we could also have won the whole event. But it’s like at the last Starladder tournament where we almost got eliminated in the group stage but ended up 1st place. Small things makes all the difference.

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It really sucks to hear what has happened at the hotel even after the event was finished, that they cleared out the practice rooms where people had their belongings and gear (which after that got lost/stolen). It feels like almost all problems comes down to bad communication and that they don’t seem to have someone responsible for different areas (maybe they do but it doesn’t feel like it ^^). What’s sad though is that for every person that fucked something up there were 100 that worked their asses of to try to make the event as good as possible but it’s easy to forget those people. Bonnie who was hired as a translator had to take a big role in the production since they realized it was impossible to make the stream go smooth with switching scenes etc if you can’t talk both English and Chinese. It feels good though for the next event after reading Valve’s statement where they said they will be more involved next time – I’m sure it will be better!

The problem for me that came with that so many complained on social media about everything and nothing is that the hype somewhat disappeared. One of the days when I was checking reddit 80% of the posts where links to tweets about how bad the event was. I guess it sums up about how the tournament was in general though.. :D

Next tournament for us right now is Epicenter in Moscow in early May. Might pop up some other tournament before that but it seems like we won’t be playing so many officials in the upcoming weeks. Epicenter looks to be really good though so really hyped for that!

Cheers,
Akke

22 thoughts on “Post Shanghai Major

  1. As a die hard fan, the lose in the tournament was so sad for me, waiting all the night to see u guys playing, and then losing… But, still loving the team ! Gl in next events

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  2. Thank you and everybody in your team (including every single person that accompanied Alliance in this adventure) for those incredible games, The quality of every game in this major has been really good, every team got better and the new ones are really a force to be recognized. Thanks for letting me enjoy a support perspective of professional games, i always play as a support and it’s incredible how much people can learn by watching every player, individually and playing as a team. I’m glad that i kept myself away from all the drama and just enjoyed the games of this major. Good luck with the next tournament, now relax and please take some time to inspire yourself and continue your book :).
    Excited to see Alliance in the future, now that i have more knowledge about all this Dota 2 tournaments and majors!
    Have a good day!

    Best of wishes from Argentina!

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    • Theoretically, 7/8th finish at a major is a bit risky because you may not be invited if another team that finished outside of that range did exceptionally well in the months leading to the major (won a lan/or two like Vega (ESL NY) and [A] did (WCA, yes they won SL13 too but that was after the invites).

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  3. i can t say i wasn’t a little dissapointed about the result, some decidions were plain wrong…mostly where to fight or not and how to extend the fight to the point where u were all to far apart and couldn t capitalise on any kills, many went low but none died. also u were all too afraid especialy against liquid, u could see the fear in your expressions (maybe smth happened while u were waiting for the games or u were derailed bcz u are the better team). inspite all this u are on track…7-8th place is better then the last major …BUUT in my opinion u played worse then starladder, maybe u had some bad days (shit happens).
    i hope u get better and we THE FANS have nothing but the best wishes for ALLIANCE.
    ALLIANCE FOREVER!!!

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  4. Hey you’ll get’m next time Akke. Loved watching your games and was hoping you guys would win the tourney. Very kind of you to recognize all the people who worked hard on the event. Looking forward to some more exciting Alliance games. Cheers from California.

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  5. The event may have been pretty crappy, but the Dota that was played was *really* great to watch. Loved to see you guys play, I think you did fantastic. I’m already looking forward to seeing Alliance at the Manila Major!!

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  6. Keep it up Akke, its the first time that I am writting something directly to you and I would like to say that you are a great player and you have a great team, I really wish I could see you guys in real life someday!! Greetings from Peru !!

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  7. As a Alliance fan since 2013 it was sad for me to watch that final game versus complexity. Especially when panda was getting bullied by the potm od combo I felt really loss and was praying for Alliance. When you guys lost I felt empty. Like really empty. I’m a competitive athlete and i feel empty when I do badly in comps so I understand how you guys feel. The road to victory is tough but I believe in Alliance as much as I believe in myself to be the best one day in my sport. Good luck!

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  8. Well told Akke. Thank you for sharing your insight and experiences during the event. You guys are an amazing team and there are greater things beyond this Major for you.

    I believe in the Alliance!!

    Good Luck!

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  9. Hi Akke,

    Us, the Alliance fans, also felt that a small difference could help you win the liquid and complexity matches. I think it would have been better in those matches if you prioritized the wisp pick instead of starting the draft with Bulldog’s hero. However, we still believe in you guys and I really think you can do way better at the Manilla Major and of course at TI. In [A] we trust!!!

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  10. I agree it may be a bit disappointing, but 7/8 is still not bad, especially compared to last major. It’s too bad they had so many issues at the tournament and we are lucky there are many devoted people out there to help out. Anyway, I enjoyed watching the games, especially that one with the godly enchantress player :D I’m looking forward to Epicenter and Manilla now, take it easy man.

    Jimmy

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  11. I had a lot of fun watching your games (through Drayish stupid stream, “moppeMushi” XD). Hyped for next!! Watched the epicenter commercial like 3 times, looks super cool. Happy [A] will play! Cheering for you!

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  12. There were enough major screw-ups throughout the Shanghai Majors that they should actually have checklists and plans in place before any event of this magnitude. The streams was atrocious, the opening ceremony was a bit of a joke and the drama about casters was something I wouldn’t have expected in a $100,000 tournament (much less a 3.4 mil one).

    While none of this reflects on the lower level workers or the teams involved it does suggest serious changes need to be made in management as the quality just wasn’t there. Perfect World repeatedly screwed up with little improvement for most viewers (at least outside of China) throughout the tournament. It was bad enough I gave up on watching altogether.

    While I did appreciate some of the humor that came out of the tournament (such as the “Satan casts the Shanghai Majors”) Valve needs to make sure that it’s partners actually do what they claim they will or face consequences next time.

    Good luck with your next tournament though Akke.

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