torsdag 21 november 2013

I will focus more on esports!

My biggest problem in life is that there are too many things that I want to do. I am working on my PhD in Mathematics at the moment and that takes a lot of time. I am also running a student gym and I am casting the Swedish championship in SC2 and qualifiers for that. And of course I spend a lot of time playing StarCraft 2 and also some working out at the gym.  

This was all looking good but as I got some more really interesting opportunities within esports I felt like there was no way for me to do it all. So something had to go. One thing was for sure, I did not want to cut the time I am playing because that is something I really love to do.

Right now I am working 70% of fulltime at the university, 20% of that is teaching (that is 14% of fulltime). So even tho I love teaching math that’s what I decided to let go off. Starting next year I will work only 56% of fulltime at the university and at that pace I am supposed to finish my PhD in about two years.

So what will I do with all of this extra time (lol)? First of all, the things I will do will be in swedish (sorry). As some of you might know I did some writing for Aftonbladet. I will also do more casting in swedish, starting next week with casting the finals of DreamHack Winter on Swedish TV! Yes, on real TV! There are more things to come for next year and I am very happy that I get the opportunity to work more within esports. I think it’s a very important thing at exactly this time because of how much esports is growing. For me personally I am very happy that I get to try all of these things.

SVT will have both an English and a Swedish stream on their web TV from Ro8. Only the finals will be on real TV and with Swedish casters. Some people following the scene prefer the English cast. However when it comes to the then new audience a lot of people requests Swedish cast so I think the combination will be perfect!

I will be casting together with Petter Sjöstrand. I will be more of the analytic caster and he play-by-play. I prefer this combination of casters and I think that it’s even more important when it comes to a new audience. I always prefer it tho. I think that Apollo together with day9 is the best duo. Watching is then very entertaining and you also get the analysis. Personally I prefer to watch replays and do the analysis myself before watching two analytical casters, but that might just be me :)

On another note, I also think that it is very important that there are not just guys working in this area but also some girls if we want esports to really grow. We don’t want esports to be for half of the population but for everyone! That is actually one of all of the reasons I do all the things I do. Let me take ESPORTSM, the Swedish championship, for example. Last season we had 0 female players in the studio. ZERO! This was for 8 qualifiers and a final in SC2, Fifa, Street Fighter and CS. And we had one female caster – me. I would love to see some more girls within the scene and I think it’s important. How to make it happen is a really tough question tho.

This saturday I will be casting the second qualifier to ESPORTSM season 3 and on sunday I will be playing in The University Star League. This time the competition is a lot harder and I think that ThorZaiN will take the win. I'll post links on facebook and twitter when it is time!

As always, thank you so much for the support! If you live in Sweden don’t forget to watch some StarCraft action on TV next weekend. Much love and do me a favor and smile <3

lördag 9 november 2013

IeSF World Championship

Last weekend I went to Romania to play the first so called world championship where the StarCraft 2 tournament was for girls only. And I won!!! I also wrote history, being the first e-sports player to get doping tested at a tournament!

The tournament

In total 13 girls were playing in the tournament.

On the first day of the event we played the group stage. I didn’t know a lot about the players but from what I could see Akane was my biggest threat in the whole tournament and we played the first match so it felt a bit sad. I managed to win all my matches in my group and I was very happy about that. I felt a lot better going in to day 2. Tournament experience is really important to me since I never seem to be able to play my best when I’m playing at offline events. It’s good that I get opportunities to practice that.

I think a lot of people where surprised that Aphrodite didn’t do better and here is the reason. Aphrodite might be top 8 master on Kr. I doubt she has ever been close to GM tho. But doing ok on ladder is very different from doing well in tournaments. On ladder you can play one playstyle only and it will work because your opponent doesn’t know your style. But Aphrodite came to the tournament with one single build in ZvT, a mech build. She did well at the start but then when everyone knew what she was doing it didn’t work anymore. I hope she learns from this and starts to mix it up in the future because I think she is an important role model in the female scene. She was one of the female players I looked up to when I started playing. I got warned about her playing mech before the tournament and had some time to practice vs it and wasn’t too nervous about it after seeing her play. One thing about Aphrodite was really impressive tho. You should have seen her nails!!! I could never play with nails like that. For me it’s actually quite important to keep them short. Hers were long and had a lot of stuff on them! I say stuff because I am quite lost in the manicure world *n00b*.

The second day we played out the rest of the matches and the match I was most scared of was the finals. The reason being that I usually play bad when I play on stage and in front of people. In the first game I wanted to get an early advantage with a 9 pool since I expected Akane to go for hatch first. But that didn’t happen and I did some mistakes and got behind in the game. I continued doing mistakes but I still managed to win. After that I felt very confident that I would win the whole thing and I could relax and play better. At this point I felt better than I have ever done playing in front of people. It felt as if I could finally breathe :) The crowd was really amazing!

On the downside I felt that I didn’t really get to show my skill. ZvZs can be quite short and I would have loved to play some more vs terran since I practiced ZvT so much before the tournament! But I’m sure I will get my ass kicked soon by the boys :). In total (including the Swedish qualifiers) my score for the tournament was 20-0. It feels a bit sick to think of it and I can tell you that this gave me a lot of motivation to continue practicing and try to compete more. I would really like to be able to do well in mixed tournaments but I know it is very hard to compete with fulltime players when you can’t play as much. I will do my best!

The prize was a nice medal and about $1400 (the information is very unclear).

When I play I always get really cold hands. So what I do now is that I bring a USB heating blanket (it just so happens to be pink) to tournaments and it helps a lot. I also bring the nutella at all times (ofc). The crowd had a lot of fun about that… Everytime I ate my nutella the production decided to put me on the big screen… Well, at least I made some people laugh, that’s good right?

The doping test

The first thing that happened after the winners interview was that some guys came to me and wanted to make a doping test. And of course there was a guy with a camera in my face asking how it felt to make e-sports history since apparently this was the first time an e-sports player got tested at an e-sports event. So what I had to do was to pee when some girl was looking (ye, this didn’t feel strange at all…). Then I thought I was done. But NO. Then I had to play with my urine, but it in boxes and measure stuff, like really? And I had to do a lot of paper work, and this at a time when I wanted to celebrate and be with my friends. Oh well, I think the hope of this is that e-sports will be taken more serious and seen as a sport. I do however not think that doping is that big of a problem within esports but what do I know?

Romania and the after party

Before I went to Romania I got a lot of warnings from other players who played at DreamHack over there. It seemed a bit scary to be honest. When we got there we got the warning that girls should not take a cab themselves. But I didn’t have to since IeSF organized transfer between the hotel and the venue so it didn’t worry me too much. On Saturday there was an unfortunate incident. Long story short, one of the players got kidnapped and mugged. I’m really happy he is ok. But that made me even more skeptic…

After the prize ceremony they sent us with a bus to “the after party”. We got dropped off at a scary lane (in my eyes) where we saw a lot of broken windows and graffiti everywhere. Then we were told to go down in this basement where everyone was smoking inside. As you might know I really can’t stand smoke and so I didn’t want to go in. Then I basically had no choice but to stand outside waiting for the bus for four hours. It’s not like I could take a cab myself in Romania. I mean, I might be strong but I'm not very big :D Oh well, at that point I was a bit shaken up because of everything that happened and I was lucky that the others didn’t like the party either and  I left with a big group of people. Oh, and we were supposed to have a nice dinner at the after party but as every lunch and dinner before they got us pizza from Jerrys pizza. Talk about bad advertising. I will never eat from Jerrys pizza again :D

In general we were treated very well and were taken care of tho :) But the so called after party was a big fail imo.

Team Sweden

The Swedish A.V.A team did really well too and got third place. In total Sweden got second place after Korea, yeeeey.

The future

As I came back home I got sick, it was kinda expected since it happens to me quite often after travelling and this time I came from Romania so... But as soon as I get better I will go back to hard core practice and prepare for the university star league later this month. I have a lot of things going on within e-sports right now and I will let you know as soon as all papers are signed and everything is set.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for supporting me. I’m so happy that I have so many people around me spreading love within e-sports. And I’m so happy that my ex forced me to start playing and that there were some female cups a couple of years ago that made me want to compete and play even more. And thanks to everyone who helped me practice for this event, I think I learnt more the three days before the tournament than what I usually do in a month. I will try to practice more like I did then in the future! Thanks to IeSF for organizing and SESF for sending me. And thank you Millenium for all the support and help I get, and big thanks to my family for all the support you always give me. Just thank you to everyone, and please ~keep smiling~