Behind the scenes at the TI11 OG Monkey Business Show cover image

Behind the scenes at the TI11 OG Monkey Business Show was in attendance for the OG Monkey Business Show at TI11 on October 21st, and got a peak of what goes on backstage.

OG’s Monkey Business Show is one of the most compelling Dota 2 podcast-style talk shows out there. The meeting of the minds between Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and Juan M.R. Luna regularly delivers incredible insight and hilarious moments. And at TI11, fans have the chance to attend the show live.

After the success of their live show at the Stockholm Major, it was only natural, they’d follow things up at TI11. And with the help of SecretLab, who opened up their incredible Singapore HQ and showroom to OG, the Monkey Business Show is being broadcast live with studio audience for every day of TI11 Main Stage.

Kicking off after an incredibly well organized viewing party, where SecretLab opened up their offices to fans for almost eight-straight hours of games, the filming of the podcast was a mix between an encore and main event. Tinged with the knowledge that OG had dropped to the Lower Bracket earlier, the show still delivered with some incredible entertainment and great guests, as Nicolas "Gunnar" Lopez and Alvaro "Avo+" Sanchez Velasco joined JMR Luna on stage.

Straight to down to Monkey Business

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Preparation for the show began hours before it started, with production staff focusing cameras and staging mics.. The matches wrapped and JMR Luna took the stage, immediately slipping back into his role as a director and producer. His production background is instantly noticeable, as he picks every shot, directs all the cameras, and moves the lighting around. It's notable that officially, Luna isn't listed producer of the show. He's just wants everything perfect.

Hands-on, He grabs the Aegis behind the stage, and with another production member, moves it until its in the perfect light. Then he spends the next few minutes perfecting the voice levels.

Fans and audience are packed in now. For the watch party during the day, the numbers hovered around 15-20 people. Now there’s at least double that for the podcast. Producer Mike "Mav" Mavo coaches the crowd, laying down the rules and directing where people should sit. And then, once the main TI stream is wrapped up, and The Late Game show is concluded, Luna starts the show.

The Monkey Business guests arrive

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JMR opens the show by explaining that N0tail wouldn’t be joining them tonight. Assumingly, the two-time TI winners is helping his team with prep for their October 22nd games. 

Gunnar is the first guest, and he gets a raucous applause. The Nouns player had some great insight into the tournament so far.  JMR and Gunnar chat, and focus on some of the performances, especially the lack of three-game series. And Gunnar had a theory on that. “It feels like there’s a lot of stress. People are playing scared.”

We’d been told pre-show that we had an expert on Latin American Dota joining the podcast. And fresh off The Late Game, Avo+ traveled cross-city in incredible time to be on the show. Luna and fellow Spaniard Avo+ reminisce, before the trio discussed Latin America’s success, and the prospect of a Major in the region. Avo+ wasn’t so sure, citing infrastructure issues like unstable internet.

Fans could also ask questions directly. While the them focused on Latin America’s success at TI, there were also some questions about what Mid heroes were strong for Gunnar, and some fun answers all around.

After the show

After the show wrapped, Avo+, Luna, and Gunnar, stayed to take photos with the fans, while some OG merch appeared in the scene. This is one of the best chances you can get to grab this OG gear. 

Ultimately, this was an incredible show. The watch party in an great venue, combined with the fantastic live podcast was a perfect opportunity for OG and general Dota fans. Once again, when spoke to attendees, we heard stories of fans with no tickets for TI11, who were ecstatic to get a chance to attend an event like this instead. 

But what’s more, it’s actually amazing how much work goes into an event like this. The organization to get dozens of fans into an office building correctly, have a live production, and coordinate all the guests, is really something to behold. There’s more than you’ll ever see that goes into each one of these episodes. Even if they’re produced to make them look like cozy, laid-back chats, enormous effort goes into each episode.

Thank you to OG’s Bryn for the invite, the hosts at SecretLab, and OG for the incredible event. Watch the VOD from the episode described above here.