Jorien "Sheever" van der Heijden is on the front page of one of the biggest free newspapers in the Netherlands. “Guess what she does for a living”
The magazine is in Dutch, but Sheever explained that the news is titled “Guess what she does for a living”, and on page 5 it compares her to a Dutch famous sports panel host.
A Dota 2 fan and Redditor, u/nelsonbestcateu, translated and shared the piece in English. He gave us permission to post it here.
Jorien Earns her Living by Playing
What Jack van Gelder was for football (He was the Netherlands’ most popular sports commentator) Jorien van der Heijden is for Dota 2. Even if her name might not ring a bell, her alias Sheever will.
Working as a computer saleswoman during the day and online general by night. A line that could have come straight from one of Paul Jambers’ programs (Used to be a popular TV presenter with controversial topics).
But this was what Jorien van der Heijden’s life was like for a long time.
It only took Jorien 2 weeks to find a new game: That’s how long it took for her to get her requested Dota2 beta key: A permission to play Defence of the Ancients (Dota) 2 while it was still under development. In those 2 weeks she planted the seed for her current career. She even knows the exact starting date:
Fraction of a Second
For Jorien the game starts becoming more fun when there are more levels at which the game unfolds.
Dota is three-dimensional chess. You react to what happens in the game in real time. You are continuously taking decisions, which influences the pace of the game. At the same time your teammates and the opposing team do the same.
You play with 5 people on your team and the game has 112 heroes, so you can always change the path you want to take. If you win there’s a great sense of accomplishment and you want to play again right away.
This also happens when you lose because your friends or foes sometimes do something incredible which makes you think “I want to do that!” And you immediately want to try that.
Strangely she doesn’t earn her money by actually playing the game.
The Big Bucks
Players who are good play for money. The big bucks. Dota2 is a competition with a growing prize pool: During the last edition in August there was over 24,7 million dollar to be won.
Just like a football competition a Dota2 tournament is about more than just playing. There is pre and post game analysis, ex pro players who give their take on the game. In that area it is where Jorien build her career:
Joriens commentating career took off during those 2 weeks of Skyrim.
Next to her job as a computer saleswoman she started organizing Dota2 tournaments for amateur players, for which she wanted to generate more publicity.
That’s why Jorien and her admin (from her twitch channel I assume) also streamed those games on Twitch.tv.
When Jorien had to quit her job as a saleswoman for economic reasons and got a bonus for quitting, she decided to go with Dota2 all the way. Her timing seemed perfect.
That’s how she ended up in 2012, as an independent contractor, in Seattle. The main stage for THE Dota tournament of the year, The International.
The year after that she paid for her ticket there through donations, in 2014 she could make a living from advertisements and she earned a trip to The International paid for by the organisation.
Meanwhile Jorien has business deals and she travels the whole world to comment at games, not just for Dota2, but also for StarCraft, CS:GO and Hearthstone. In short she’s an esports professional, and she sees a rich future for gaming events.
Header Image: Stefan Dorresteijn
Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on @SkulzDota.