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EIZO is an enthusiastic sponsor of many of the worlds' leading eSports teams and tournaments.

Meet some of the personalities in the world of eSports in these profiles.

Kalle "Trixi" Saarinen

Kalle Saarinen or Trixi, as he is popularly known in the world of eSports, has been Finland’s biggest export to eSports in Heroes of Newerth and most recently in Dota 2. Highly commended for his remarkable number 3 role (the hero that solos the hardlane/offlane in Dota 2), Saarinen has established himself as a benchmark for most offlane players in the world by his hero choices. Be it his Nature’s Prophet, Bounty Hunter, Weaver or Lone Druid; Trixi has been instrumental in his team’s rise through the ranks of both HoN and Dota 2. Currently a student, Saarinen has been busy focusing on studies, “I am studying information technology at the moment, I used to study business administration but I found it rather boring so I switched,” says the 23-year old who spends most of his free time playing computer games.

In the virtual world of games most professional gamers are known to be excellent multitaskers, however there is a fair amount of unseen multitasking that transpires in their ‘offline’ life. As Saarinen explains, “When I was working full-time last year, it was rather hard to make everything work well. I had work 5 days a week and I might have had work on Saturday and/or Sunday as well, depending on the week. I also had days when I got off from work rather late so I was home after 8 pm my time (7 pm CET) and many tournament games started at around that time or even a bit earlier. I found myself rushing back home to be able to play the games but I didn’t get any practice beforehand and I was occasionally rather tired as well after working all day.”

Trixi at DreamHack Winter 2012

Trixi at DreamHack Winter 2012

In the last year Saarinen has begun investing 5 days a week into practice since reuniting with his long-term friends in Fnatic. He says, “Nowadays, it’s a bit better since I have work max two days a week. That’s because I started studying at the beginning of this year. Now I have a lot more time on my hands as school stuff doesn’t take nearly as much time as work did. For example, I have a week off right now from school so I got plenty of time to do stuff as I please.” Balancing work and leisure is always tricky and even though he lives with his girlfriend and her 3 year old child, Saarinen insists he has learned to multitask it all. “My average day has me waking up and going to university or work and then when I am back I enjoy playing all other games like Path of Exile with my friends, after that I focus on our tournament games and scrims and once that is finished I spend time with my girlfriend and her kid. It’s a lot sometimes but I manage it somehow.”

Saarinen’s early memories of gaming in the 90’s mostly include competing on the console before graduating onto PC games, “I remember playing a lot of games when I was really young. Mortal Kombat, Doom, Warcraft 1 at like the age of 4 or 5 and then Warcraft 2, Fallouts, Quakes, C&C and many other legendary games later on,” says Saarinen. He reminisces that when he started it was all about competing in a group that got him attracted to PC games such as Dota 1 and HoN. “We had, and well, still have, a tight group of people we played games together with. We played a lot of Dota 1 and afterwards HoN and I think the key ingredient was the group itself which motivates you to play. That’s also the reason I dislike 1on1 games as I get bored very quickly playing alone with nobody to talk to,” says Saarinen.

The competitive Dota 2 scene has in its own way evolved with several tournaments boasting at least $10,000 USD in prize money. Dota 2, has retained its old community and has quickly become the second biggest title in eSports. “I think the scene is very interesting at the moment. There are a lot of LANs coming up and teams are rather even so anything can happen,” says Saarinen. He offers humble advice when asked about key elements essential to become successful as a team, “For new teams it’s no different than for other teams. You have to work hard to improve your individual skill, as well as scrim or pub together to improve team play. Another important issue is to stay together even if things don’t work out instantly. You cannot expect to be the best straight away even if you have very good players.”

Trixi (center) with his Dota2 teammates after winning DreamHack Valencia 2012

He admits that while his own team (Fnatic.HoN) started off as a group of friends, it eventually derailed as players left due to other commitments. It wasn't until players took the team seriously in a professional spirit and invested more time in them that results started coming in. Saarinen reminisces, "The earlier days were not as successful as we were later on with the HoN squad, but we weren't doing that bad either. We had to switch players more often than we wanted as people wanted to focus on other stuff or just lost interest."

Trixi (far right) with the rest of Fnatic's Heroes of Newerth squad at the Gamers Assembly in 2011

Trixi (far right) with the rest of Fnatic’s Heroes of Newerth squad at the Gamers Assembly in 2011.

After progressively finding their rhythm and dominating Heroes of Newerth for two years and across four DreamHacks, the boys decided to move on to Dota 2. The team started their journey in Dota 2 without Trixi as he was a part of another team, a few months later he re-united with them. Despite their pedigree in HoN, at the start of their campaign in Dota 2 the results weren’t great. The team had in general not spent a lot of time playing Dota 2, much less competing together.

As Saarinen explains, “In HoN, we knew how each team played and what heroes they liked to play. We could counter-pick or counter-lane very easily and win games like that. When we switched games to Dota 2, it was apparent we wouldn’t have that advantage anymore. But as we have just stayed together we’ve managed to catch up. People have to remember also that everybody else except me had a low amount of hours played in Dota 2 so the individual skill level wasn’t there either. Now it’s different though, as you can very well see.”

It wasn’t until DreamHack Winter 2012 that the Dota 2 team came out all guns blazing, finishing an impressive top 4 before heading on to the THOR Open in December to claim their first 1st place. That pretty much secured them as one of the top teams in Europe. They have overshadowed most teams with amazing plays ever since.

Despite all of the recent developments and tournaments, Saarinen still remembers DreamHack Winter 2011 as it was the most competitive HoN event for them, “Dreamhack Winter 2011. It was the first HoN LAN to have the most, if not all, of the best teams in a LAN event. Winning that felt very nice as the prize pool was awesome as well. Hopefully, we’ll get to The International 3 as that might very well be the most memorable one if we get there”.

Being a professional gamer with Fnatic for almost 3 years, Saarinen knows the advantage that the right kind of gear can bring, he says, “I think it matters quite a bit. Different people have different tastes. There isn’t really any best setup, you just have to find what suits you the best. Personally, I’ve grown to love the 7G keyboard and Xai/Sensei mouse by SteelSeries and don’t really want to use anything else”.

Fnatic's Dota2 and League of Legends teams with their 1st place checks at the THOR Open 2012. Trixi is in the back row far right.

Peripherals are one part of it. Saarinen has recently been using the brand new FORIS  FS2333 from EIZO. A question that begged to be asked was how much of a difference does it make to him in his gameplay, “I cannot in all honesty say that it would improve my gameplay, but it certainly is nice to see things clearer and smoother. When I got the new EIZO FS2333 a couple of weeks back I switched it with my old one which was about 5 years old and I have to say that I did see a vast improvement. The overall look was better and it makes games more enjoyable to play,” says Saarinen. Having tinkered with all the seven preset modes that come with the monitor, Saarinen began to appreciate the monitor even more.

For Saarinen being a professional gamer is all about competing, keeping up with the current skill level and meeting fellow gaming enthusiasts at LAN events. “Age doesn’t really matter as I think everybody in our team has the same goals in mind. Do well in tournaments and improve all the time. Especially LAN tournaments are a priority, as they are also really awesome lifetime experiences.”

Mouse: SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Edition
Mousepad: SteelSeries QCK+ Dota 2 Edition
Keyboard: SteelSeries 7G
Headset: SteelSeries Siberia v2
Monitor: EIZO FORIS FS2333
Favorite Hero: Slark or Bounty Hunter

Official Monitor of DreamHack Open 2013 and NASL Season 5


FORIS FS2333 Fnatic reviews FORIS FS2333

The 2012 flagship model co-developed with Fnatic. Fast response time of 3.4 ms. Brings out the details in dark areas like no other gaming monitor.