For those interested in taking the trip down on memory lane, make sure to check out the Uszat interviews we had back in the day with Akke, toMpa, Bogdan and of course Owen Wilson.
Uszat meets Akke, Loda and toMpa
Uszat totally meets Bogdan
After a HoN adventure, Akke is now back playing Dota 2 along with another SK Legend that goes by the name of Loda for Counter Logic Gaming .
Hi Joakim, you’re the first in our new series where we invite some of SK’s Legends from the past for a chat. Do you think people still remember what impact you and your team had at the very beginning you joined our organization?
Akke: Hi! That is pretty fun actually, I didn’t think people would, but when I i.e. play Bloodline Champions (where my nickname is Akke) there are a lot of people that ask “SK Akke??”. Also, it’s great to hear and see in the comments of our Dota 2 matches that people remember us.
Let’s start off with some questions about the past and work our way up to the present. The early SK Gaming were quite dominant in their time introducing a lot of new strategies like the famous “Global Strategy”; did you come up with tactics as a team or did you have one specific mastermind?
Akke: From what I remember, Loda has always been the one making the final calls in the picks, but we’ve always discussed them as a team. It was a long time ago so I’m really not sure who came up with the first idea, or if it just grew out of something that later on became the global strat.
I remember seeing you play a whole different role back then, playing a Viper at mid as well as Leshrac and Lina; having a very diverse repertoire. You seemed to have switched to a more specific role now as a support. Did it come natural to you and do you see it as the new trend - moving from all-round players to more specialized players?
Akke: Yeah, I would say people tend to focus more on specific roles now. The competition nowadays is pretty hard, so to stay on top you pretty much need to find something that you are good at and stick with that. I don’t say it’s not possible for people to play different roles, but I would say it benefits the team more if you somewhat have roles for everyone.
When I first started to play HoN I joined a team that was pretty much in need of a support player so I took that role. After playing that for a while I thought it was fun and it really suits me, both as a person and a player.
While the team started off impressive, a lot of line-up changes started to happen. Do you think that if you could have kept your core from the beginning SK Gaming could have kept their dominance?
Akke: Back then the scene was pretty new – there weren’t that many good competitive teams and that is pretty much why we could be that dominant. But it comes to a point where you can’t really rely on teamplay, where you need everyone in the team to be on top and that is probably the reason for the line-up changes. I don’t think it would have been better to keep the old team, but I guess we will never know… :D
The more changes, the more the team seemed to become reliable completely on Loda’s skills as a hard carry while at the very beginning it seemed to be much more of a team effort. Do you think in the end, the line-up started to lack skill?
Akke: I think so yeah, but I’m not really sure and into how it went after the line-up changes started to take place since I left myself for personal reasons not long after.
Unfortunately we saw you step down from the team as well, setting your priorities straight to focus on your education. Did you get a degree and do you have a job besides being a professional gamer?
Akke: Right now I’m writing my degree project, so I’m not far from getting my exam! I’ve been studying Game Programming which I think suits me pretty well since I like games hehe ;).
Not long after, you decided to switch to HoN and start playing with Loda again for a new adventure. What made you stop playing Dota and move to a new game and what were your biggest challenges and motivations?
Akke: The reason I started to play HoN was that I had been away from the DotA-scene for so long that I didn’t really wanna go back. HoN gave it a fresh start and was for me in that moment perfect. I played a lot during the beta with my IRL friends and also after it was released. There were really no big challenges or lack of motivation, I just started to play because it was a great game and I had really missed the MOBA-genre :).
The feeling I have now of Dota 2 is that Valve is trying to make it an exact copy of the original version but with graphical updates and of course certain bugs fixed and features added that weren’t possible due to the engine’s and platform’s limitations. Do you think by going in this direction Valve is missing an opportunity to make Dota 2 take an even bigger step?
Akke: I was surprised they wanted to make it into an exact copy. I think they would benefit more on being a bit more flexible while still not going too far away from the core of the game. But after all, DotA is a great game so I don’t really mind it being pretty much the same :D
Games like HoN and LoL have faster response times than Dota 2. As a former professional HoN player – do you think Valve made the right decision, going for a slower game or did you actually hope for a more faster gameplay like you were used to in HoN?
Akke: I thought they would change this, and it was pretty hard to adjust to it after playing so much HoN. Though after some weeks of play I can’t really say I thought of it any more. But for a lot of players that try Dota 2, they could get a bad impression since they compare it to LoL and HoN. But for you guys I can just say keep on playing – it will get better! :D
Not long ago, you and Loda decided to make your come-back to Dota 2. Why did you part ways with HoN and go for a new Dota 2 adventure? Do you think HoN is dying and do you think it still has a future?
Akke: I felt I had done my thing in HoN and was ready to move on. After all, DotA is the original game I started to enjoy so much, so I really missed a lot of the old heroes like Furion, Enchantress and so on. Also, I thought and think Dota 2 is going to get really big and I don’t want to miss that ;). It also felt like a good time to quit since it was right after a big offline competition where we ended up second. I also just found out I won (together with another guy who get exactly the same amount of votes) the award of “The best support player in HoN 2011”. Always good to quit on top! :)
From what I see, HoN doesn’t have that many tournaments going right now so I feel like I made the right choice tournament-wise. Though I do hope HoN finds a way to keep competing with LoL and DotA2.
Throughout the years you seem to be sticking with Loda, being friends outside the game as well. Do you think having been through so many different adventures together made your friendship stronger as well as the team play you two developed?
Akke: Yeah it has. I mean, we have been pretty much all around the world together and are very good friends outside the game as well. I’m not so sure it really has a big impact on the teamplay, but I guess it helps a bit ^^. Though when you are on LAN I can say it’s pretty awesome and important to be with people you enjoy hanging out with, like this last tournament I went to while playing HoN. Me and Loda flew alone together to USA which took like 20 hours in total. Now think of how it would be to do that with someone you don’t like? :D
You recently joined CLG. How are things going? Loda seemed to be hinting at line-up changes in an update of his blog. Are you happy with the team and organization?
Akke: It’s really good! It’s fun to see that an organization like CLG, that has been 100% about LoL, is putting a lot of time into Dota 2. About the team and the line-up I think it’s good, though we have some issues gameplay-wise that we are aware of and of course is trying to improve. I think our team has really good potential if we just continue to practice and aim high :).
How do you see the future of Dota 2 yourself and its place in eSports? Even though the DotA fans probably don’t like it, League of Legends is the biggest eSports game as of right now. What do you think needs to happen to make Dota 2 as much of a success as League of Legends is?
Akke: I think DotA2 will do great in eSports. Even if Dota 2 is just in the beta-phase right now, there are a lot of people following and are interested in the game. I think Dota 2 is already on the way to compete with LoL “success-wise” in terms of getting a lot of tournaments running. Though I don’t think DotA2 ever can compete with the player-base LoL has because LoL attracts most of the casual players. But I do hope this will change and that the LoL-players actually try DotA2 and see how good it is :).
CLG is known for its League of Legends teams, would you say by that fact alone, CLG could have a huge impact on the Dota 2 community and introduce Dota 2 to a lot of League of Legends players and perhaps create a brand new influx of players? What do you think would be a good idea to increase the influx of new fresh blood into the Dota 2 community?
Akke: This is really good for the community. I’ve already seen a lot of people from the LoL community getting interested, asking for our streams and such. I think CLG is doing a great job there!
I think it’s good that they have implemented a system for recommended items. One of the reasons LoL has gotten so many players is because you can practically start and play the game without knowing much about the game. I also like the spectator-system in DotA2 – if you don’t have time to play a game you can always see if your friends are online and watch them a bit. But I don’t have any good ideas of my own, sorry :).
I played with Bogdan the other day when I made an article about you and Loda’s return to Dota 2. Any news on some of your former teammates and a possible come-back to the Dota 2 community? Drayich is back as well, but what about KwoM, toMpa and Snow to name a few?
Akke: I don’t think either of them is interested of playing competitive, though it would be quite epic to get them to play and make a showmatch or something with the old SK-team? Getting quite nostalgic thinking of playing with Bogdan, Kwom, Hailo and Tompa again ^^. Maybe something to think of and arrange in the future! :D
A couple of days ago, Valve introduced a 5th ban in Captain’s Mode. What do you think of it? Is it too soon to already add a fifth ban or do you think it would be good for the meta-game to be able to remove some of the hard to counter heroes?
Akke: I’m not so sure what to think of this ban. Sure, something was needed to be done since there were practically some heroes that were needed to be banned in order not to give away the game, but I think the better way to solve it is to make some balances or changes instead of just adding a 5th ban.
Did you check out the changelog of 6.74 already? Looks like Nevermore’s Necromastery gets a buff – can we expect the return of Shadowfiend with all the bans going on as of right now?
Akke: He sure is a viable hero, but I don’t think the buff will make him get picked more than once in a while. But he is definitely a hero that with the right lineup can work in competitive games.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed some of the questions. Any last shoutouts or last thoughts?
Akke: I indeed did! :D Thanks for the interview and shoutouts to the team, CLG, Razer and own3d.tv
›› Other Activities
RETIRED: casual gamer & focusing on my studies
Master in Medicine at the University of Ghent
Ex-Dota 2 Lead Editor for It's GoSu after serving SK Gaming from 2007 till 2012 with a 1-2 year break and a period as the Dota 2 Lead Editor
Named Best Belgian Player NOLF #1
1st csports.net ranking NOLF
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2003(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2004(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2005(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2006(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2007(Team-Belgium)
Clanbase/ESL Nationscup 2008(Team-Belgium)
2nd OC Clanbase 2003 INF (Quick Thrill)
1st INF Clanbase Ladder 2003 (Virtual Fighting Squad)
3rd INF Clanbase Ladder 2003 (Quick Thrill)
3rd OC Clanbase 2003 INF (Quick Thrill)
3rd OC Clanbase 2003 INF (Virtual Fighting Squad)
1st SC Clanbase 2004 INF (Arrow)
3rd OC Clanbase 2004 DEM (Arrow)
3rd EC Clanbase 2004 INF (Pureplay) WITHOUT ME
1st EC Clanbase 2004 INF (Team sK) WITHOUT ME
3rd OC Clanbase 2005 INF (Instant Glory)
3rd HC Clanbase 2005 INF (Quick Thrill)
3rd NC Clanbase 2005 INF (Team Belgium)
1st OC Clanbase 2005 INF (Quick Thrill)
1st OC Clanbase 2005 INF (pureaim)
3rd OC Clanbase 2005 CTF (noobs United)
3rd HC Clanbase 2006 CTF (noobs United)
2nd OC Clanbase 2007 CTF (noobs United)
LOADS of Latenight Cup Achievement
1st Benelux cs 5on5 February 2007 (Dfiance Gaming)
8th-5th LanLife 2007 (Dfiance Gaming)
1st GamerLAN Summer 2005 (Arrow)
8th-5th Fom 7.0 2005
8th-5th GunkCon 2005 (Pillars.MIX)
8th-5th Fom 8.0 2006 (several clans)
8th-5th several times, no top spots yet!
1st Plug2Play 2006 (Cyberlegends)
Bootcamp vs CNO & 24gaming (endeavor.mix)
1st Clanbase CSS Benelux Ladder (Killing for Pleasure)
1st Digibattles Minicup v22 (Killing for Pleasure)
OC Premier League Attendant (Killing for Pleasure)
MYM Pride Nations #2 Attendant
DOTA Team Belgium 2008
DOTA Team Belgium 2009
Played - #dotapickup.xp
Played - #dotapickup.euro
Played - #dotapickup.1337
Played - #dotapickup.sprd
Played - #dotainvite
Played - #ihcs2
DOTA2: COME-BACK TIME
NewBee wins The International 2014, $5 million
ESPN to cover The International 2014
TI4: China takes the lead
TI4: Cloud 9 leads the pack
TI4: Liquid to the playoffs
THE NEW JERSEY