Interview with High Coast CEO and Chessie: Entering Dota in 2021

By Kenneth WilliamsJanuary 23, 2021
Even in the strongest region, dozens of stacks emerged to battle for 2021’s Dota Pro Circuit. Europe’s Upper Division features some of the most prestigious names in Dota like Team Secret and OG. A mix of old stars and rising talent battle against them. No team represented the Upper Division dream as well as Chicken Fighters. A mix of the old Ninjas in Pyjamas roster and 5men, the team clinched a ticket through the perilous closed qualifier. Now that they’re competing at the highest level of Dota, a sponsorship was only natural.
High Coast Esports is a multi-title esports team based in Härnösand. They field rosters in Counter-Strike, FIFA, Rocket League, and more. The team’s name references a geothermically unique section of Sweden’s eastern coastline. By picking up the Chicken Fighters roster, the organization has entered Dota as one of the best teams in the world. TrackDota connected with Robert Gavelin, the CEO and co-Founder of High Coast, to discuss his company’s entry into Dota.

TrackDota: 2020 was a rough year in Dota, though 2021 is starting off promising. What drew High Coast into Dota?
Robert Gavelin: I would say there are multiple factors, but Dota has always been one of my personal favorites in esports, and when we saw this team, we just thought this is a fantastic chance for us, and we can't miss it.
High Coast fields a total of four teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Did the Coast’s experience in CS:GO contribute towards your entry into Dota?
I don't think so; the main reason we have so many teams is that we're trying to build a grass-root-minded organization. We're continually looking for new young talents in Sweden to help them become the best they can.
Players and personalities are often quick to point out Dota’s difficulty with marketing. How is High Coast approaching the issue?
Well, after just these few days in the Dota scene, I believe we have gotten a great response from the community and that the (tournament organizers) are doing that little extra to help organizations get some more screen time.
Finally, what’s High Coast’s goal in Dota? Aside from performing well in Europe’s Upper Division, of course.
I would say our primary goal is to stay in Dota long term. We want to build a name for ourselves in the community, and we hope that we can keep this roster and let them show everyone what a great team this is. Anyone shout outs or additional thoughts?
I want to give a shoutout to all our fans, new-comers and oldies. You're the best, and you're the ones that keep us going!
High Coast offlaner Rasmus "Chessie" Blomdin joined the interview to reveal more about the stack’s origins and the prestige of playing from Sweden.
The High Coast Dota roster was originally assembled for the DPC qualifiers. The team includes very experienced names like Era and Chessie and some newer talent in Xibbe. How has the team adjusted to playing at the highest level of the strongest region?
Chessie: While a couple of us might have been around for longer than others, each and every one of us has played against these top teams in the world for years now. Everyone brings their individual experience to the table, and we use that to grow as a team. The preparation does not really change whether you play versus tier 2 teams or tier 1 teams; you watch Dota, talk Dota, play Dota.
Swedish teams have quite a legacy in esports. Many of your players previously fought under Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Chessie's brother Limmp currently plays for TI3 champs Alliance. TI10 was originally scheduled in Stockholm. Do you think your location gives an advantage?
I don't believe that location gives much of an advantage in esports - a big reason being on your home turf in a traditional sport like football is advantageous because you have over 90% of the crowd cheering for your team. In esports, you are, for one sitting in a soundproof booth with white noise and noise-canceling headphones, so you can't capitalize on that energy to the same extent, but you also will not have the same overwhelming amount of people cheering for your specific team as there will be 16 teams present all with their own fanbase.
High Coast will debut under their new banner against OG on January 23, noon ET / 9 a.m. PT.
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