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.

img_1246

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

img_1250

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

img_1255

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

img_1260

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!

dmi1hndai81747189an.png

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!

IMG_9319.JPG

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! :)

IMG_9176.JPG

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 :).

IMG_9239.JPG

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).

IMG_8784.JPG

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.

IMG_8748.JPG

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!

IMG_8772.JPG

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

FullSizeRender.jpg

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.

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

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