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1v1 with Akke

Aug 112017

Joakim “Akke” Akterhall has a storied history in Dota 2. He won an Aegis with Alliance in 2013, played on multiple teams, and most recently began his broadcasting career by appearing at The International 2017 as a panelist instead of as a player. He took some time away from the broadcast to to discuss his TI7 predictions, Valve’s new Major/Minor system, and what his future holds.
 

Q&A

Since your departure from Alliance, you've found yourself on Horde and currently Crescendo. What made you decide to leave Alliance and your close friend Loda after nearly 3 years on a team beloved by many fans?

It was a very hard decision, but Loda and myself spoke a bit about it from the beginning and we were still hoping to play together after TI. That was my thought at least, but s4 and Bulldog left at the same time and I figured we needed that – if we continued to play, we would have to pick up new players and after TI4 we played with something like 10 different players. Loda and I decided it was best to just part ways.

It's not that I wanted to stop playing with Alliance! As you said it's a very loved brand and name as well as being a team that I've grown with alongside the other main guys. It was really just the best option for me to leave. I wasn't exactly planning on playing after I left, but Horde kind of came out of nowhere and I decided to give it a shot.

What is your opinion of the new Major and Minor system for Dota 2? You’re at TI7 as a panelist, but does it give you more motivation to return to playing?

I think the future is very unclear for me. I have no idea what I want to do. With the Major and Minor tournaments it's much easier being a player because now we know the schedule for the year. It's easier to plan everything and there will be more space for the non-tier 1 teams, so it won't be the same 6-8 teams every single time. It'll be more fun to climb the ladder because previously, if you weren’t a tier 1 team, you wouldn’t get to experience the big tournaments and you wouldn’t earn any money. It's super hard to play and have the motivation without that money, so this new system will provide a path for those teams to get that money and open up more opportunities for them. You used to just feel like you're playing a lot without getting anything from it and that is changing. That's why I think this new system is great for everyone including the community.

Now that you've landed a role on the main TI7 panel, we'd have to imagine it must be quite the change of pace to be at The International as a host and not a player. How are you feeling about this new opportunity?

Right now it's day three and it's a lot of fun. The first two days I was very nervous and kind of just wanted to go home! It's the first time I'm doing something like this, so I was very nervous and felt out of place, well out of my comfort zone. It's been a lot of fun and it's been great to see another part of production and be a part of the panel, meeting the Valve staff. It's been a great journey and event for me. Having ppd on the panel has been great because he brings a unique perspective, so it's been great to work with him. I don't really mind that he's been joking about other players, you know?

 

Coming into the event which team was your favorite to watch and which do team think will hold up the Aegis on Saturday?

OG is my favorite team because s4 is playing on it and he's my closest friend here, so that's pretty much it. I love their team chemistry. All of the players are super nice, super kind, and smart. Their coach 7uckingmad is also great. I sat with them during the player dinner and if I had to choose any team to play with here at TI, it would be them. However, I don't think that they are the best team at the event, which is something I've touched upon during the panel. In my opinion, they have the highest skill cap, but they don't necessarily play at their highest ability all of the time. This has been their problem and why they are struggling right now. That said, in their Major wins you can tell that they have found that chemistry and have played together great.

Looking at it right now I think Newbee will win the whole thing. They're just a very consistent team and know what they want to pick but I also think VP is somewhat of a dark horse and can win it as well. They pick anything and seem to make it work. They actually won with Chen and I was super impressed with that, even though he's one of the worst heroes, they made it work.

[Note: This interview was conducted before both OG and VP were eliminated from TI7]

Having won a TI yourself and being a part of other TI's is there something you see at TI7 that's different from other International events over the years?

I think the event itself is about the same, it's just that the skill cap and the teams are quite a bit better. If you look at all of the teams now, and even coming into TI, every one of the teams could possibly win. Well, maybe not everyone, but there are probably 7 or 10 teams with the potential. If you look at the teams at TI1, 2, and 3 you have favorites and you always kind of knew who would win.

What advice would you give to the team who does hold up the Aegis?

Enjoy the moment for sure! It's a once in a lifetime experience that you've been working super hard for. It's something you really deserve. There is a lot of talk about the money, but The International is a community event; everyone buying the Compendium and coming together to make this event simply amazing.

Anything you would you like to say to your fans out there?

I'm just super happy that they keep supporting me. I'm very thankful for all the kind comments and feedback I've gotten. Those have meant a lot to me. Like I said the first day or two when I was nervous, it was those comments that really kept me going. It's helped me a lot, so again, I'm very thankful for that.

Follow Akke:
https://twitter.com/FollowAkke
https://www.facebook.com/FollowAkke

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