Settling Into a Routine – Shanghai Major Blog

BY Andrew Miesner / February 26, 2016

by Sören ‘Fantasy’ Vendsahm

Most of these travel blogs for eSports teams try to give you a unique insight into the unusual stories that occur behind the scene. The routine that a team builds up to get settled in and function on a high level is very rarely discussed. So, while nothing extraordinary is happening with the compLexity Gaming Dota 2 squad at the Shanghai Major until Sunday’s matches hit – here is the routine the squad members have built up.

The normal day here starts at around 7 A.M local time for most members. The first order of business, even before grabbing breakfast, is the gym or the pool area. Being in shape, working out as a team, getting body and mind into the perfect condition – those aspects have always been a major focus of the coL squads with captain Swindlezz. The TI5 team with Fly and Moon had those rituals, and this team with the three Swedes has adapted it as well.

Early mornings for coL.Dota

After getting done with weights, the next is mission of the day is normally towards scrambled eggs, pancakes, omelets, sandwiches, tea and juice. The luxurious breakfast at the Marriott Hotel is a not only a nice “pick-me-up” to start the day out right, it is also an opportunity for casual talks and team building in a delicious atmosphere.

Once the plates are cleared and the drinks are empty, the team practice facility is occupied by at least half the squad. Pub grinders like Limmp and Chessie will almost always get a few Chinese pubs in, despite their clear dissatisfaction with the teammates in those games. So far the Chinese pubs have been especially hard for Handsken and Swindlezz, mostly due to the communication barrier they are experiencing. Since most of them prefer the solo-pub life, sometimes no English speaking teammates can be found, making it a rather interesting and sometimes rage-inducing endeavor.  Free from those worries is usually Zfreek, the “Custom Games Enthusiast” of the squad. While at TI5 his main focus in downtimes was Overthrow. However, he now found a new love called Element TD. That love is also shared by one of the managers that is accompanying the squad, as Chef Josh is all about that Tower Defense as well. Together they spent most of the morning hours of today playing TD and trying to refine the approach in strategy together.

Preparing settings and equipment on the tournament computers.

Once that portion of the day is normally interrupted by lunch as a team, the more serious scheduled events start hitting. First it was Media Day after arrival, then it was boot camp to set up all the gear on the competition computers, now it’s scrims with some of the best teams in the world.

After these games are over, a brief discussion of the performance and drafts is usually in order – most of the times nothing really major. After that the “Free For All” evenings begin to take shape. At first they’ve been a bit wilder with people going out to experience the night life of the metropolis city in China. The closer the tournament draws though, the more the team is valuing quiet and relaxed evenings to calm themselves down and prepare them for the next day. Yesterday the first complete 8-man dinner took place, followed by the majority of the team going into the hot tub, something that they’ve grown accustomed to at their team house in Florida.

Scrims, scrims and more scrims

That is the boring and unfiltered look behind the facade of a team preparing for the majors. Tomorrow the team will prepare for the challenges ahead, will have a scheduled interview appointment with Valve and Perfect World personal. They will most likely have just a few scrims and instead focus on keeping warm in pub games while finishing preparation for Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid and Virtus.Pro.