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!

Time for WESG!

Just woke up here and it’s around 5 am. Even though it’s early, it is a decent first attempt to change the sleep schedule! It’s so weird to feel wide awake at this time – imagine to be able to wake up this early every day and not be sleepy. That would be something! :)

Alliance had a small bootcamp before the tournament in Gothenburg so they all took their flight from there. From my team it’s only me and Gorgc (and Ludwig who is coming with us as our manager) who lives in Gothenburg so we met up with the rest in Frankfurt.

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Gorgc, Loda, me and Handsken!

The trip was quite long since the event is being held in Chang Zhou so after we touched ground in Shanghai we had to take a buss that took 3 hours. We also had to wait for the buss for like 1-2 hours so I’m safe to say we were all quite tired when we arrived! :D

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Whole Swedish squad ordering food at the airport in Shanghai. Kelly is making sure everything is going according to plan with the orders!

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Buffet at the hotel. Gorgc and Eskil are still hungry, trying to find something more they can (and want) to eat.

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Me and Pablo, two tired boys just waiting to get to go to sleep. :D

Today’s schedule is photo session and time to practice. Looking forward to get to play some pubs in China, always fun to get some variety and see if you gain or loose MMR :D. Tomorrow there are also gonna be photo session for some teams but also rehearsal for the opening ceremony. Event starts the day after the 12th according to the schedule we got here but we don’t know exact times yet for our games (EDIT: Here is the schedule) in the group stage. Looking forward to the tournament starting, gonna be interesting to see how strong the other teams are and how we perform! :)

Cheers,
Akke

New patch, last weekend and Alliance announcement

Was a lot of hype yesterday to read the patch notes. I had heard before the patch was gonna shake the game up a bit and it sure did! I think the talent tree is nice because it gives you more choices to tailor your hero and play style a bit and it can also make some hero viable super lategame if the games goes on so everyone is level 25. For example Crystal Maiden got a talent that adds 200 damage to her nuke which can be really useful to push out lanes. Really looking forward to when the patch hits the main client!

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At our friends Reuben and Johanna last Saturday

I went to see my father get 5th dan in jiujitsu yesterday. It was really fun and cool to see since he hasn’t been so active the past years after me and my sister was born. He got 4th dan in 1980-something so it’s fun to see him train/practice some again after so many years!

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My father just got 5th dan in jiujitsu! :)

We did an announcement a couple of hours ago, that Alliance now are a player-owned and independent organization. It has been something in the work for a long time so I’m happy it’s finally settled and looking forward to see what we can do in the future. I can make a longer blog post about this later and explain more of how it works if anyone is interested.

I’m playing in the ProDota Cup #13 that starts this week with team Horde and our first game is on Thursday. I updated the “Upcoming games” tab so you can keep track when we are playing! :)

Cheers,
Akke

Dreamhack, Horde and WESG

Sorry for not updating in a very long time but I haven’t just been able to find the time to write lately. I’ve been very busy with a lot of things like moving, working some at Mobile Storytelling and playing with Horde. Been playing scrims and some small tournaments together with Pablo, Xcalibur, Gorgc and Eskil and we finished 2nd in the latest one we played (WellPlay) losing to Imperial 3-2. We were quite happy with the results since we the week before lost to Imperial 2-0 so it feels like we are making progress. We have WESG coming up in January so we are trying to squeeze in as many games as possible! :)

I went to Dreamhack one and a half week ago to participate in the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament which actually went a lot better than I expected. I managed to make it out of the pools and win a set in the brackets! I always try to play when I get the chance, it’s fun to try to keep improving even though I don’t stand a chance against players like Armada :D. I got to play him during the group stage (and of course they put us on the stream.. ^^) and I felt very lost while playing. It was hard to even get a hit onto him, he read every move I made and even when I tried to mix it up a bit he was still one step ahead. Very fun and interesting to play against him – it’s not every day you get to compete and play against a world champion in a fighting game! :)

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Picture from Dreamhack!

Some have asked why we (Horde) don’t play with Kefka and Solitude anymore. They did get the option to continue to play with us but Solitude wanted to continue to play with his old team “Solidudes” and later on Kefka joined them instead as well. I thought it was quite unfortunate they didn’t wanna keep on playing together after our success at WESG in Kiev but at the same time I’m very happy to be able to play with Gorgc and Eskil as well! Looking forward to see what we can achieve in China in January when the LAN finals are :).

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Cuddle with Shiva after I got home from Dreamhack ^^

Still have some things to do in our apartment until we feel it’s finished enough to take pictures and share with you guys. Will have to suffice with a picture of me and Shiva for now :)

Cheers,
Akke

2nd place at WESG

I’m actually very surprised we got 2nd place. When we first won our group 4-0 (and with that secured a slot for the next event in China) we were super happy because that was our main goal and I honestly though just achieving that would be hard. The reason why I thought it would be tough for us is that we only practiced together for around 6 hours before we went to Keiv (0-4 the first day we practiced but 2-0 the second one).

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Looks like me and Kefka are holding hands :D Dinner after the first or second day.

It was a lot of fun to go to WESG together with Pablo, Kefka, Solitude and Xcalibur. Only Xcalibur had been to an event as big as this one before so I’m happy to have been able to be a part of the other guys first big competition on LAN. Seeing them explode with happiness after a close game was awesome :). They are all very talented players and have their things that they excel at so one of the reasons of our success was that we were able to see these things and make sure everyone got what they needed to play at their best.

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The venue where we played when we didn’t play on the stage.

The event was handled by Starladder and the only things that I can complain about is that it wasn’t possible to get any practice PC’s (which makes sense since there were 20 Dota teams, 20 CS:GO teams, 20 Hearthstone players and 20 SC2 players there) and that the food was a bit so-so. They tried their best to give space to the teams playing though and we went to Cyberarena one day (the internet café where we’ve been before at other events in Kiev) so at least we got to practice a bit!

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At CyberArena getting some practice when we had a long break before our next game. Was fun to see the place again! :)

Many of you have asked if we will continue to play as Team Horde but right now we have had to put in on ice since Kefka is gonna participate in the Boston Major qualifier with his team ProDota. We’ll see what happens after that, I’m not sure myself except that we will make sure to get more practice for the next even in China than we got for this one!

Lok’Tar Ogar! ^^

Cheers,
Akke

Back in Kiev for WESG

Feels good to be back in Kiev and this time it’s for the WESG European qualifier/playoff. We are here to represent Sweden since we won the Swedish qualifier, hopefully we will manage to make it to the final playoff in China later this year as well! There are 20 teams here from Europe who are fighting for 8 slots. There is a group stage here first at the tournament with 5 teams in each group where 3 teams proceed to the playoff. I’ve updated the “Upcoming games” tab if you are interested about when we are playing. There are a lot of games being played at the same time so I think the only main-stream and main-stage game we have is the one vs. F5 on Friday at 13:45 CEST.

WESG have other games as well like CS:GO, Hearthstone and Starcraft II so there will be a lot of European players, casters and personalities here. It’s always fun when the events have multiple games so you get to see people from the other games as well.

I’ll make sure to take some pictures tomorrow at the venue to post here. Until then I can only offer a picture of Midas when he was chilling in my lap while I was playing Dota just before I left for WESG! :D

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Cheers,
Akke

 

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.

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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 ^^.

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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.

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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