Known for his good-humored, jovial personality, Cloud 9’s support, Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein started gaming at a tender age. In his TI5 player profile video, he welcomes us into his home, introduces us to his family, his girlfriend and his dog, Pumba, talks about his goals and gives advice to new players who are just getting acquainted with Dota 2.
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein started playing Heroes of Newerth professionally at age 15, as a part of Fnatic’s HoN roster, alongside Tal “Fly” Aizik, Kalle “Trixi” Saarinen and Adrian “Era” Kryeziu. They were able to grab four consecutive LAN championship titles before setting their sights on Dota 2.
In March 2012, the squad made the transition to Dota and continued to be a part of Fnatic until August 2014. Under the Fnatic banner, Johan would achieve numerous top three placements in premier and major tournaments and participate in The International 2013 and 2014.
Upon walking away from Fnatic, he joined Team Secret, sharing in their substantial success until the great January reshuffle, when he was removed from the team and then picked up by Cloud 9.
Johan’s father, Eivind Sundstein, links his son’s first gaming experiences to his Gameboy times, in childhood. Johan was in high-school when he first told his parents he wanted to make a career out of competitive gaming and start playing Dota full-time.
I met some friction, especially between me and my mom, but also my dad. I think they were a bit disappointed, because games, in their time, were only related to something you actually pay to do, not something you can ever get paid for doing.
Johan’s mother, Vivian Sundstein, tried her best to come to terms with his decision: “I forced myself to think differently”.
Extremely clever, quiet, living in a world of his own. That’s how his loved ones characterize Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein. Anja Suder, Johan’s girlfriend, admires his serenity and clear mind. “He’s very good at not only looking at his perspective, but others’ as well,” she says.
No matter how busy BigDaddy might be, he always makes time for his family, his girlfriend and his dog, Pumba. When he talks about his special relationship with his dog, the 21-year-old displays a rather mature understanding of today’s world and Pumba’s role in keeping him genuine. “In today’s world, it’s all about presenting yourself to be something that you probably aren’t. You’re not this person who goes to parties every weekend, but you want to look like this person. You can’t do that kind of a façade to a dog. You can’t be fake,” BigDaddy says.
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein thinks that empathy and the ability to understand other people are the features that can make a talented player an amazing teammate to have. He admits to being a bit egotistical in pursuit of his ultimate goal:
At the moment, I’m being a bit selfish, because I’ve put my heart and soul into Dota and I’m doing it mostly for myself. I feel like I need to be able to achieve my goal.
He raised his sights and decided to go the extra mile last year, after The International. His father bursts into tears as he recalls the first thing Johan told him when he went to pick him up at the airport: “Dad, I made my decision, next year I will be a part of the finals”.
Everytime you generally just reflect back, then you also ask yourself: ‘Is this really important?’ I think it can be. I think it can be great to have won TI, to have set a goal and to have reached the goal. I think I would be feeling really, really empowered, like I could do anything.
– Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Watch BigDaddy’s TI5 profile video:
Read an in-depth profile feature about team Cloud 9 – Cloud 9 go into TI5 with outside chance of winning title: “We are confident!”