PapaDrayich: My life right now is streaming, the job at the e-sport school and my radio show
For a few years now, Kim "Drayich" Larsson has been the Swedish commentary icon voice and as he says, whenever there is a high tier Swedish Dota 2 team playing, he will be always there to cast.
Unfortunately, PapaDrayich is most certainly going to miss the chance for a live, onsite commentary at the Shanghai Major, where Alliance will fight for their TI6 spot. But more details about this in the interview we made with him soon after he got the bad news from Valve.
Hello, Drayich, or actually which one do you prefer the most; Drayich or PapaDrayich?
Either is fine. Some people even call me DraySWE these days. I don’t know why I have three different names to be honest. So I’m fine with either.
We didn’t have you as a guest at GosuGamers for a long time, how are you doing lately?
I’m good for sure. Maybe working a bit too much still, but trying to find the balance. I quit my day-to-day job more than one year ago now, and I’m only living from e-sports. I’m streaming full time and I have a position at an e-sport school where i work some hours every week.
I got three kids, so currently I’m looking for a new bigger house. My wife works in the kindergarten and she’s both the hottest and coolest person around. So I have to say it’s more than good.
You and your fans recently received bad news from Valve for the Shanghai Major, what happened exactly, why are you not going to cast from there?
An idea was formed at the beginning of January that we should go to China and cast the Major from there. Alliance looks in good form and the channel was really excited to try it out. Anyway, I got a contact saying we could come, but not really anything else. He was clear with the fact that we might not get the best spot and stuff like that - I accepted the terms and started a small fund raising campaign. We got all the money we needed in less then 24h so it was really hype. Then the contact started to change his mind, it might have been a language thing but I don’t think so.
First off we had to pay for our own internet - which was over 12,000 dollars. Well a lot of weird things, we are still talking to them since it’s still a small possibility that we are going, but as time passes it’s harder to really make a good plan, so we might have to make a production in Sweden instead. That’s why I decided to pay all the money back to the community. It’s important to keep their trust. If we get a green light to go anyway I hope we manage to find the money still.
But you will still provide the Swedish commentary for the event, it’s just that you will do it remotely, right?
Where there is Swedish high tier teams and DotA 2 - we are providing content if possible. Always.
Do you think that your recent snow bath video might have something to do with Valve’s decision?
Valve has been supportive. Perfect World has also been supportive. Its just the fact that they changed their minds in my opinion. And this might have been a language thing, it might have been that I spoke to the wrong person, it might have been that I misunderstood things. But I don’t think so. I think they had a bad call in the first scenario.
Speaking about the community support and involvement, I would say that you are one of the few who really works to improve on it. The best example is your e-Sports school in Sweden. Tell us a bit more about this project of yours.
The e-Sport project is not mine per se, I mean I am the boss at that school but the idea came from the school not from me. The idea is kinda simple. In many other schools you are able to play soccer or other sports and still learn normal school subjects. So you go to a normal education, which makes you able to go out in the worklife or directly to the university. But on the side you are learning esports.
Since it’s still fairly new, the content isn’t really 100% done yet, but we are getting there.
So, when will you bring your kids to the e-Sports school?
Whenever they want to. I will never pressure my kids to do anything else than what they want to do. I don’t have any special wishes for them other than the fact that they are happy. Whatever they want to do is up to them.
Over the course of many years in e-Sports you have also attempted multiple times to improve the reputation of the community through your writing. If I would ask you to do a 2010 - 2015 retrospective what would be the most important things that have changed in terms of community behavior?
That’s a really big question. What really changes, and still is changing is the fact that esports is considered serious, or at least more serious overall. I have also seen more parents stepping up and saying it’s fine that their kids play. The panic over kids playing computer games nowadays is less, I think.
Another thing is that we are seeing more females. I mean they are visible now and they sometimes get more space. These matters are far from being all right yet though. I also believe that there are more serious organisations which means less players getting tricked. Generally though esports looks better with every day.
A lot of fans were so hoping for the Alliance - Na’Vi rivalry to be a thing again but only Alliance is back now. You are a close friend of the Swedish team, and I believe you never lost faith in them, what makes them so special, why is Alliance able to fight their way back while Na’Vi stills struggles ?
Some people will say Alliance heroes are better now. I believe they just have worked really hard and finally they got what was needed plus the version suits them well now.
As for Navi I’m not sure. I’ve been missing strats where the big plays from the stars can really make the difference. Dendi is much better than what he shows playing for this version of Navi. Sometimes I think it’s related to picks but I also don’t know how their team spirit is at the moment.
Currently the Chinese Dota scene is unstable and underperforming but they put all their efforts into refreshing the scene with all these young teams that are essentially youth divisions for the big organizations. That is not happening in Europe at all, do you feel that the EU organizations should take the CDEC example into consideration and start thinking of long term plans?
I don’t know if it’s doable moneywise. It’s cheaper to run a Chinese team like that and that might be the problem. Of course Europe also has to take care about future and upcoming stars.
Let’s talk about your future plans, what’s cooking for you in 2016?
My life right now is streaming, the job at the esport school and my radio show every monday. It could stay like this and I would be fine. But I’m missing the events. My job is awesome but I need the social part of it too. Events are what really makes me happy. I hope for more viewer parties, casts on venues and stuff like that. I will try to manage to reach that and still keep Swedish as the language.
Thank you so much for talking with us, any final words you might want to add?
I’ve started streaming once a week in english. Thursdays if anyone wanna check in, feel free to do so,you can find me here.