A Pro Since He Was a Young Teen
News of plans to pursue a Dota 2 career might be met with resistance from most parents, but Micke’s were supportive.
“They hoped I would finish school, but when they found out that I wanted to go 100% into Dota, they supported me, because I had already been quite successful in Heroes of Newerth.”
Micke’s pro gaming career started as a young teen, and he attended DreamHack 2013 with Denial eSports at just 14 years of age, his first ever LAN.
“We placed second and that is when I realized, I think, that I could compete with the best.”
The finish earned Micke $1,000, and the young Swede would go on to compete in HoN for the next 4 years, eventually becoming the 2nd highest earning HoN player of all time, beaten only by Insania, his current Alliance team-mate. “Quite successful,” indeed!
Many professional players such as Zai, PPD and Kyle would make the switch from HoN to Dota 2 around the same time as Micke’s LAN debut, but Micke stayed put.
“I was just a young kid back then, I just wanted to play the game I thought was most fun at the time. I also wanted to wait to switch with my close friends, Insania, Khezu and Flensmeister.”
Insania and Micke would go on to win the HoN Tour World Finals (the International of the HoN world) in 2017 together and later that same year were picked up by Alliance for Dota 2. By that point the duo had an inseparable bond, and their friendship, as well as the one with Boxi, became the backbone of a new Alliance.
“We just clicked, we love playing with each other and we’re just really good friends,” said Micke. “Boxi is a weird, but amazing guy. He just loves to fight so much that ‘dog fight’ is a meme in our team."
“Whenever we get in a battle fight we know Boxi will win it for us. Boxi is at his best when the fight gets messy,” said Micke.
“Some players just play because it’s a job. But I’ve always focused on playing with friends, there’s more chemistry, and the better the chemistry outside the game, the better you play in-game,” said Micke. “Plus.. you’re far less likely to scream at your friends,” said Micke grinning.
Although many other top teams in the scene decided to change personnel ahead of the new season, Alliance will be following in the footsteps of the likes of Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, and Virtus Pro by sticking with the team they closed out last season with. This will allow them to further that in and out of game bond, increasing their chance of success in the eyes of both the players and the management.
A New Focus
With Micke now devoting 100% of himself to Dota 2 after dabbling in it for a bit in 2016, Micke began to grind — all the way to the top 40 in the MMR leaderboards worldwide! Quite a feat, but how did he do it so quickly?
“Most of the items do the same thing they do in HoN so I didn't really have a problem with that. I really think for me, all I had to do was to play more Dota,” said Micke.
“I grinded to high ranks with 5 heroes: Leshrac, Invoker, Storm Spirit, Shadow Fiend, and Lina. A key to success is mentality, I used to be a guy that would not care about ranked, but when I started caring I would get tilted and rage a lot. You have to care but keep a cool head. Also, watching your own replays for mistakes and to see what you can do better is really important.”
“When I switched to Dota 2 I watched a lot of s4 and how he played because I like to play the heroes he played at the time. S4 as a mid player was a great role model, especially in terms of his decision making.”
S4 was of course an icon in Alliance’s history, but Micke is part of the new generation who are doing things a little differently, especially this season.
“I hope fans will look forward to our aggressive playstyle. This season for sure we will fight all the time. This is not the TI3 Alliance where you rat all the time.”
Is Rat Dota dead?
“Well.. we still have Qojqva, so we still have a little bit. We’re about 20% rat right now,” said Micke laughing.
Qojqva is the most experienced player on the roster — a veteran whom Loda stepped down to make room for. Qojqva joined a team of blossoming Scandinavian talent, whom Loda believes are creating a new legacy, a new age in Alliance’s history, but Micke could have easily not been a part of it.
Long-term Injury Scare
When Micke joined Alliance he did so while recovering from a hand injury, an injury which ran the risk of requiring surgery.
“Fortunately, I didn’t need surgery. It came because I had bad posture for a long time and used my phone way too often,” said Micke. “I was thinking about taking a long break but Loda introduced me to someone from Lvl Up EMC, he checked on me and gave me exercises for my hands. My hands got a lot better but it is still not 100% and will probably never be 100%.”
Despite his injury, Micke is lauded as one of the most promising players in Europe, and there is nothing more satisfying than “making big plays” for the young Swede. One such moment came in the Open Qualifiers for TI8, a moment of magic on Morphling that gave us a glimpse of his potential.
“I don’t think I did anything special, but others viewed it differently,” said Micke when asked about the moment. “I won the team fight 1 v 5 if I remember correctly. A lot of Phantom Assassins, daggers flying, that sort of thing. If I’m honest, I can’t remember the details. I was just happy we won that game.”
Alliance’s team manager Marcus revealed that when Micke is crushing he has his own trademark laugh, a cackle we can all relate to.
Did Micke’s cackle come out for that Morphling play?
“(laughs) Nah, we were so serious right then. It’s great to have these moments, but I honestly didn’t feel it was that crazy, but yeah it was fun.”
As mentioned earlier, Alliance head into the new season with no changes, proof of their belief in the roster they created last season.
“We have known each other for a long time and like to play with each other. We also believed that we can be strong next season so we decided to not change anything. Alliance helped us focus on our game 100%, provided a nice bootcamp, and great company when we need it,” said Micke.
Does the young superstar have any personal goals?
“Qualify for a LAN. I’ve never qualified for a Dota LAN with a real team. That’s definitely my goal. I just want to play Dota, and win tournaments, that’s all I want."
“We are all motivated now after we had our break, so hopefully the next season we are expecting some LAN events and good performances.”
This aspiration would become a reality in the Kuala Lumpur Major European Qualifier! With a 2-0 over one of the newly formed teams, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance will be attending their first Valve Major since The International 2016, thus showing that Micke and his teammates are the real deal! It looks like it’s time to find new goals as they enter the 2018-2019 DPC season now that they’re showing that they can be a top contender in Europe.