Esports has evolved from being a misunderstood subculture to a contemporary competitive “sport”, but always keeping the same premise in mind. Have fun! Tournaments have changed their locations from smoke-filled basements to specialized, sometimes even purpose-built, arenas. We have quickly gotten used to the fact that gamers now play at arenas like Wembley, in front of hundreds of cameras and thousands of spectators, while all the action is being projected onto large media screens at the venue and broadcast via multiple streaming platforms all over the globe.3
However, audiences always want more, and organizers try to come up with theatrics to impress us, the viewers, as well as the players themselves with new features, whether it’s the competition’s format or the tournament’s location.
In this article we’ve highlighted the most exotic stuff happening at esports events.
Changing the Game Without Changing the Game
“Beyond The Summit” has hosted three CS:GO tournaments at the “summit house” in Los Angeles. These tournaments have become fan-favorites, with the organizers creating one of the most inviting atmospheres in the competitive scene.
Imagine a competitive event set up like a boot camp with all distractions minimized. You sit in a room next to your opponents’ door competing your asses off, shouting at them. And at the end of a match you meet them in the kitchen downstairs, shake hands and split a pizza. Coming in as opponents, leaving as friends, what could be better?
The photo shoots there have nothing to do with serious faces and poses — the process is meant to bring as much joy as possible to both staff and the esports stars. Wanna try on a Freddy Krueger or a Ghostbuster costume? Go ahead. It’s all good at cs_Summit.
And what kind of tournament would it be without an analytics desk? At cs_Summit, even the most common things come with a twist, with the analytics moving from a professional studio to a couch in a living room. You’ll be much more likely to see your favorite on-air talent donning shorts and t-shirts than their usual formal attire.
Another interesting feature is that analysts and commentators are often joined by pros who aren’t involved in an active match, which makes the broadcasts more interesting by adding professional expertise, therefore additional educational value. Some team insights are revealed as well.
And at the end of the day it’s always nice to have dinner in the backyard outside watching the sun go down.
ESG Tour Mykonos 2017
In case you’re wondering which stadium or arena is located on Mykonos island, there isn’t one.
The first tournament of the ESG Tour was held in The Destiny Villa with two swimming pools and a spectacular view, overlooking the beautiful Aegean Sea. How do you like that?
Eight teams stayed in three houses, where they ate, slept and competed.
It was impressive how the organizers put together a tournament which combined a relaxing environment and competitive spirit under one roof (okay, three roofs).
The tense CS battles alternated with to yacht trips and friendly water polo games, where commentators could adjust and hone their professional skills.
The players’ ability to stay focused on the games was constantly tested by the mirage of a vacation. Sunbathing, swimming pools, and the laid-back feeling of the tournament could’ve derailed any team at any point.
But, a 200,000 EURO prize pool, with half of it going to first place, the teams had hundreds of thousands of reasons to keep their eyes on the prize 🙂
Mousesports won the tournament and celebrated their victory by taking a dip in the pool to cool down from hot battles.
MIBR — The Return
In summer 2018, the famous Brazilian organization, MIBR, made their “back in business” announcement after six years of inactivity by signing a CS:GO roster. The line-up was revealed by Made in Brazil founder, Paulo Velloso, at a special event, called “MIBR — O Retorno”, which took place on June 23 at the Transamérica Expo Center in São Paulo.
Despite the strong rumours speculating the signing of the Immortals squad, it never happened.
At that point, MIBR signed Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Marcelo “coldzera” David, Ricardo “boltz” Prass and Jake “Stewie2K” Yip, whose contracts with SK Gaming were about to expire in July and never expected to be extended.
The three-hour event produced two showmatches. The first featured two MIBR mixes, made up of current and former team members, and in the second one former players were replaced by five youngsters, who had been selected viaan online qualifier.
Legendary players, who made history with MIBR, Raphael “cogu” Camargo, Lincoln “fnx” Lau and Carlos “KIKOOOO” Henrique Segal were also present at the event.
Jason ‘moses’ O’Toole and Team Liquid coach Wilton “zews” Prado, along with local casters Bernardo “BiDa” Moura and Willian “gORDOx” Lemos, were responsible for the online broadcast. The event was also broadcast on TV.
Who’d have thought that a cybersport announcement could reach an entire country!?
Virtus.Pro vs. SK Gaming football match
In February 2017, SK Gaming tweeted a caricature of themselves looking like the Brazilian national football team, noting that they were short a couple players and looking for fans to fill in. Jarosław “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski was keen to challenge SK, boldly suggesting a 6v6 football match between Virtus.Pro and SK Gaming for $50,000.
“We can show you in POLAND what is football”, he said.
Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo, the SK-Gaming IGL, in turn suggested doubling the wager.
The discussion, which included ESForce, SK Gaming and ESL, ended up with an agreement to play the 5v5 football match in summer.
The match was held on July 10th at FC Cologne’s stadium with the following team rosters:
Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo
Fernando “fer” Alvarenga
Marcelo “coldzera” David
Epitácio “TACO” de Melo
João “felps” Vasconcellos
Alexander “TheSlash” Müller
Benjamin “Kane” Reichert
Valeri “UNT0UCH3D” Kirov
Jarosław “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski
Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas
Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski
Filip “NEO” Kubski
Jakub “Kuben” Gurczyński
Ivan “Paranoia” Tipukhov
Gleb “Glebke” Chernyavskiy
Dawid “Junior” Jędrzejowski
The event was not much different from any professional football match. The teams were led onto the field by a referee and wearing a special football uniform. Coaches and substitutions were also on the sideline to add more authenticity to the show. The match was broadcast by commentators, including long-time Russian football caster Victor Gusiev. Shirts were even exchanged at the end of the match.
There were two halves of the match which were twenty minutes each. The game was full of action, shots and goals. Virtus.Pro took the lead twice, taking the score to 4:2 at one point, but ended up losing 5:4 by conceding three goals in the last four minutes of the match.
The winner, SK Gaming, took home a trophy and a $100,000.
Clash for Cash: The Rematch
Last but not least is the exotic event “Clash for Cash: The Rematch”. It was a best-of-three showmatch between ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017 finalists Virtus.Pro and Astralis. “What’s so exotic about a showmatch? They are done at any big event”, you might say.
But the thing which made this particular showmatch special was that it was held in the same way any major tournament is. The scene, spectators, commentators and the analytics desk; every aspect of the tournament was present.
And another thing was the format. It was a winner-take-all, bo3 match with a prize pool of $250,000. A quarter million for winning two maps. Not bad, huh?
The interesting thing was that Astralis won the series after losing the first map, just like they did in Atlanta. And the Clash bo3 gave us the match in which they actually lost on nuke.
Those were the most notable exotic esports events so far. This is the exact reason that esports are so popular with young people. They want to have fun and enjoy their gaming experience. So, organizers will continuing improving their production values, and tournaments will provide new ideas of how to integrate esports into common aspects of life in unexpected ways. After all, that’s what the fans are asking for. We’ll keep our eye out for more awesome events which capture the essence of esports. And, as soon as it happens again, we’ll let you know. So stay updated with dreamteam.gg 😉