My journey at TI7

Gonna start with congratulating Team Liquid who had an amazing run in the tournament from the lower bracket! Fun to see Kuroky finally get the aegis!

The text is quite long, starting with when I first got word about going to TI as talent.

Bruno reached out to me about a month before TI, some time after the regional qualifiers ended. He asked me if I wanted to be on the panel and my initial answer and feeling was no. I’ve been asked to paneling some times before at events like Dream League but never really felt that it was my thing. Didn’t take long for Bruno to convince me though, he said he knew I would do great and that I was gonna be on during the main event together with PPD, Merlini and Day9. Hearing that it was these guys that I was gonna work with made me a bit more comfortable since I had PPD with me to give the pro insight and I’ve always liked Merlini. Never had any experience with Day9 before but he seemed like a nice guy. I told Bruno I wanted the weekend to think about it but I found myself shopping a suit the day after so apparently I had already unconsciously accepted.. :D

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View from the panel, sometimes it was super crowded there with people watching us ^^

During the time between that and the event I tried to prepare as much as possible by watching events and think of how people played and picked. I would walk around at home talking about a game and make up scenarios to talk about.

Fast forward to TI. Met up with Bulldog and sinneddonut (Bulldog’s girlfriend) at the airport and hanged out with them while traveling. Had never met sinneddonut before but it was fun to talk to her and get to know her a bit. When we arrived in Seattle Bulldog didn’t make it through customs and I didn’t see them again after that :(.

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Me, Sinneddonut and Bulldog

When I got to the hotel I met up with some of the other talent and casters. I made sure to talk some to PPD to get to know him a bit better before we were gonna work together. Never really spoken to him and it’s good to know the people you are up there working with. Had a nice lunch and later on in the evening it was time for the player dinner. My initial thought was “shit, are we allowed to go there? Since I’m not a player now..” but as I thought about it I also remembered that all the talents and casters has been to them the past years so obviously I could go now as well ^^. It’s quite a fancy restaurant so I dressed up in my suit and went to the shuttle but I have never felt so over dressed in my life. I forgot most people just go to the player dinner in their team clothes or at most have a dress shirt on. I missed Loda who always would dress up for occasions like this with me but I guess I went a bit overboard with tie and pocket square and all. Oh well, the dinner was super good and I got to hang out with the guys from OG which was fun. I felt a bit lost during some part of the event because I’m so used to going to the tournaments together with a team and hang out with them. Now I was there “alone” even though I obviously was welcome to join the other talents and casters.

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Me, Pajkatt and Sebastien during player dinner.

Group stage starts but I don’t really have anything scheduled until the main event. I spent the days watching games, writing things up about the teams like if I noticed them do anything specific or something I knew about the teams. Stuff to remember to be able to talk about when the team is playing during the main event. Only thing I had scheduled during this time was to record a piece with Slacks and Pyrionflax but it never got aired. Apparently it was hard to cut into something good, well at least I got to go to Benaroya Hall again and see the place where we played the TI3 finals!

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Aww sweet memories. Benaroya Hall ^_^

Main event starts. We are scheduled to take the 7 am shuttle. I set the alarm at 6:10 am but I think I woke up even before that, it was hard to sleep. I didn’t feel so well, I’ve never been this nervous in my whole life. I get to the shuttle and go to the venue where we have a morning meeting together with the producer, Kaci, Slacks etc. Everyone that are here looks super confident, talking and laughing with each other. I guess what I noticed was that I’m quite different than most people that were working here. In situations like this I’m quite shy and silent, I’m just thinking about the broadcast and that I’m so nervous. To be fair I’m not really sure why I was so nervous to begin with. I think it has something to do with that since I was there as a talent, I had certain expectations on me compared if I would join the panel as a player sometime during the event. Then I would be there as a player and no one would judge me if I didn’t do a perfect job, if that makes any sense.

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Cool Faceless Void cosplay

 

I spoke a lot to my girlfriend throughout the whole event which helped me a lot. She gave me pep talks before and after the first couple of segments (actually between all segments she could watch ^^) and told me I did a great job which I really needed to hear :D. I tried to stay away from social media because I felt I would get really hurt if someone tweeted me something mean. Usually I don’t really care if someone tweets something bad or mean, I’ve learnt to deal with that in the past when someone is angry that we lost a game or didn’t like something I did during a game but when it comes to playing I’m very confident and good at separating good criticism from bad. But when it came to this, something that I was very insecure doing, I couldn’t deal with it at all. Luckily I have the best fans in the world who just wrote nice things to me and I really appreciate it, it made me being able to get more secure and better throughout the days. Love you guys.

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Backstage with Day9 and Sheever ^_^

I was very nervous the first two days but after that I started to feel more confident. There was even a time where when we were done with a segment I felt I just wanted to get up there again and talk about the game. The easiest part was talking about the draft and it was also quite fun. PPD and Merlini were very easy to talk to and fun to hang out with. The hardest segments was in the beginning of a day when we would recap the day before and things like that. The first day was especially hard since everything was very vague. The teams hadn’t played any games on the main stage yet and I feared getting a question like “Akke how does Newbee play”. Luckily Day9 asked me before we went live what I didn’t want to be asked so he knew I didn’t want a question like that but I was amazed of how PPD could just go on and talk about those things. PPD would be like “well they play more like the western teams, they like to focus around this player and tend to have a lot of team fight” and so on.

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Me and Pajkatt

Day9 was super fun to work with. I’m not sure how he do it but the energy he had the whole days were just amazing. Constantly happy, joking around at the same time as he was very serious about what was going on. In the end, even though I was super nervous in the beginning and all that I’m very happy I got the chance to do this. I feel like I’ve grown as a person, gotten a really cool life experience to be at the panel during an event with hundreds of thousands of viewers. It was also a lot of fun to get to see how the broadcast team work and everything behind the scene.

I would like to sincerely thank Valve for giving me the opportunity to do this. It’s been two great weeks and it was fun to get to meet you all again. Thank you!

38 thoughts on “My journey at TI7

  1. Well done Akke!

    You know what… you did come across as very nervous and uncomfortable on the first couple of days, and I remember sitting at home watching and thinking – ‘I wish he’d smile – because it will help him relax and make him look so much more confident’.

    But, after a couple of days you seemed to get the hang of it and really warmed up. I thought there were some great segments where you and ppd disagreed about things, and it’s actually good to have different perspectives rather than a panel that always agrees.

    Maybe we’ll see more of you in the future!

    Best of luck!

    Like

  2. Hey Akke!

    I think you did a great job on the panel, even though your nervousness showed in the beginning. but it was nice to see you get more and more comfortable as the event got along.

    Will you be doing this kind of thing more in the future now that you’ve had some experience? Have you considered trying your hand at casting? yknow, be the next syndereN :D

    also, I was curious, why did Bruno approach you about paneling? was that completely out of the blue? or had you talked about it with him or someone else before?

    cheers.

    Like

    • Hey!

      I’m not sure, I might do it more in the future. Probably not casting though ^^.

      I’ve talked to Bruno and a lot of other Valve employees throughout the years. So I guess they made the decision based on their interaction with me before and what they’ve seen from me in interviews etc.

      Like

  3. Loved having you on panel Akke! Followed Alliance since NTH and haven’t been as excited about pro games since all original members left A, but TI was more fun since I could see some Akke-paneling! Pity Bulldog couldn’t make it^^ and lol about the dinner :D haha but I’m sure u looked great <3

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  4. We’re waiting for you to stream!
    No matter your MMR and stuff, we all know you’re skilled and legendary player.

    Anyway, good luck and hope to see you next TI7 as well. Your insights were top!

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  5. after a few days you really look super comfortable on the panel, I see the you a bit nervous in the first few hours of broadcast but it was rock on after the second day, I’m super happy to see you. Hope to see you more on the panel or even see you back playing again, excited. Really happy for you sir.

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  6. Was a really great read up!
    u’re really an inspiration to me as a dota player and also as a person.
    looking forward to see you more in the future!

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  7. IMO you did a great job!
    Always been a Fan of Alliance since I started playing Dota myself, but lost interest in pro games a little when you guys broke up. Thankfully I got to meet you guys at ESL Frankfurt, and actually met you again on the afterparty. I really liked you, so I followed your career more than before. I was very happy to see you at least at the panel and thought you did an awesome job :) (Also got to buy that ingame signature, especially after the one on my alliance hoodie was worn out)
    And yeah dont bother the people saying things like “omg he misspronounced a word hes so awful” or whatever, because people like us who speak more than one Language know how hard it can be sometimes! Would like to see those people on a TI panel talking in a foreign panel, haha!
    Also you gave great insights in the game and I also had a lot of fun judging your outfits :D (which were great btw, buying that new suit payed out haha).
    Anyway, keep up the good work. I would be happy to see you on more panels and events (crossing fingers for ESL Hamburg!), so yeah :D
    Thanks for the Blogpost as well and I hope your journey home wasnt too bad!
    Cheers, Bella

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    • I remember meeting you at the afterparty! :D Thanks and I agree with you about the languages. Multiple languages is hard, especially if you don’t constantly practice it, it’s so hard to forget a lot of words etc. I even find myself saying like “you was” and things like that sometimes that are like the basic things you learn :D. Oh well, at least I know when I’m saying something wrong most of the times x).

      Hope you are well and thanks again for the kind words!

      Like

  8. You did great! I picked up on the nervousness in the first broadcast which is understandable, (I would be too) but after the first game you looked fine and I really enjoyed your analysis on the panel! You rock that suit man!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Akke! Just wanted to say you did a great job, and your suit game was really strong. You and PPD were definitely the best dressed at the event. Good luck in the future and keep playing smash!

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  10. Loved the broadcast. It’s ok to be shy, definitely way better than trying to be someone you’re not and look “unnatural”. Hope to see you next year on the main stage.

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  11. After reading this blog, I feel really bad that I wrote some really mean things about you on social media. Me and some other folks should have cut you some slack while assessing your performance. With that said, I also believe you should have done some lower tier tournaments to get the confidence. But oh well, everyone starts somewhere. Good luck with future panels, you can only get better!

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  12. Commentary you gave on panel was spot on and informative. Addressed key issues w/ draft, gameplay and such. Hope to see you again next time, but i would love to see you participate in events as well !

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  13. It’s cool that you’ve shared this with us, you’re a cool guy and you were a value contributor on the panel. Don’t worry so much and trust yourself more!

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  14. I think most viewers could tell that you were nervous on your first day. Second day not as much but you absolutely nailed it. I really loved your insights and hearing your experiences. I hope to see more of you as either a pro player or a panelist!

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  15. You did so well! At the start of the very first broadcast you really did seem nervous but it didn’t last too long, by day 2 you were like a seasoned pro :) I hope you’ll consider doing more events like this in the future, if you’re not playing of course! Best wishes for the year ahead.

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  16. Hey Akke, this was a good read. I’ve been a fan of you since 2013 and somehow reading this makes me feel a little emotional seeing how far you’ve gone and how many years it has been since I first saw you win Ti3…
    It’s so good that you enjoyed yourself this time, you did seem really nervous at first but you slowly seemed to get more comfortable :D
    It would be nice to see more of you in future, whether as a player or panelist or something.
    Stay awesome, Akke! You did great, and screwing up is normal, so if you ever make mistakes in future don’t feel too harsh on yourself ^_^)/ Go go go!

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  17. Thank Mr Akke for doing a great job at TI7 and writing this piece!

    However, you should write more about your experience as a talent. Tell us about your interactions with the teams, Valve, PGL, fans, how you felt during the finals, who were the standouts of this tournament, your TI7 moments, the state of the meta, what do you want changed, nerfs/buffs, plays of the tournament etc.

    Thanks once again. Much love from Malaysia.

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  18. You did a really great job. I enjoyed the banter with ppd.
    It seems like you got a taste for being on the panel and I hope to see you on more in the future.

    Keep up the great work!

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  19. You did great Akke! Was really cool to have a Scandinavian on the panel as well imo. It was a new situation for you, so it’s obvious that you had to find your footing before beginning to feel comfortable. Hope to see more of you in the future ;)

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  20. Very well done, Akke. It was awesome. Didn’t really notice anything wrong during the TI. Watched all of the panelist comments. 👍👍

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  21. Hello Akke
    This might be late, but just found your blog. To be honest, i like you on that panel desk, even thought I’ve notice a lil bit of nervous, but doesn’t matter man, you are doing great.

    Keep up the great work!!

    Like

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