noxilicious blog: ESL ONE Frankfurt 2015
Photo courtesy of ESL
ESL ONE Frankfurt 2015 took place last weekend and the event has once again set new records. More viewers, bigger event, more prize money, an enthusiastic audience and much more.
In 2014 ESL ONE made its first stop in Germany – and it was a success. Therefore it was to be expected 2015 would be the second edition of ESL ONE in Germany. The bars have been raised once again though, as ESL One Frankfurt 2015 is the biggest eSport event in Europe! With 7 out of 8 teams attending the event being TI invited or qualified teams, good games and excellent entertainment were somewhat certain. But nobody could see, what was coming, as the event delivered more than anybody could expect.
Location, venue, food and drinks
Once again The Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, Germany, was the location for the event to be held. Somewhat close to Frankfurt and easy to reach with the car and train, it still seems to be a decent location for everyone to reach, no matter how you are going to the event – don't forget that players, teams and casters can easily arrive with the airplane and are not far away from the stadium, which is often used for football games. That hasn't changed this year and it still is a valid argument as to why ESL ONE Frankfurt is unique.
Competitive games were not the only thing that spectators could feast their eyes on though. Engaging booths allowed people to play DotA 2, recieve a querky air brushed tatoo of your favourite team, bull-riding, and last but not least, getting autographs from the players themselves. It was clear that the ESL ensured that competitive gaming was not the only thing on offer at ESL One Frankfurt. There would not be a time where one could stop due to all the on-going activities. Hot food and drinks were also present inside and outside the stadium throughout the day. Local German cuisine was also found throughout the event to give the international spectators a taste of Germany and this was very well received.
Organisation and execution
Two days full of Dota 2 action – that was promised and the ESL event lived up to that promise. From 10 am until 11 pm the day was full of action and there have not been many delays. If there were minor issues, ESL admins were able to fix it rather quick. Matches mostly started on time and there were no big issues like a lack of internet connection, PCs breaking down, monitors not working or something like that. ESL seemed to be prepared and the event itself was pretty flawless. The security at the stadium was friendly and questions were answered rather quick, communication in English or German was not a problem at all and there were no big incidents or accidents.
The games, surprises, upsets and domination
A few days before the event took place, the seeding matches determined which teams would face off in the first games. Some matches seemed more promising than the others but in the end the favourites would come out on top. VP quickly 2-0d Alliance, Secret sent fnatic home early with a score of 2-0 as well. iG versus Cloud 9 was rather promising as both teams seemed to be on the same level in their games and it was exciting to see that C9 can face opponents like iG and have a high chance of winning, in the end the Chinese team was victorious. EG was definitely ready and sent one of the best teams in the world, VG, home in the first round, as they 2-0d Vici Gaming, who didn't seem to have any answer for the EG aggression. Virtus.Pro, the rather aggressive playing Russian team, couldn't handle EG either, as the Americans quickly stomped VP and took the game series 2-0 their way. In the other semi final, Secret made short work of iG and left them without a chance of advancing.
EG and Team Secret managed to secure their spots for the Grand finals and both teams earned it. Both teams didn't drop a single game throughout the event so far and both teams dominated all their opponents. They seemed to be ready and just one level above all the other teams. The expectations for the finals were high and the teams should live up to the hype and deliver the best games the Dota 2 community has seen in 2015. The first match looked pretty even, as both teams took blows, both teams managed to secure some kills, but in the end EG should come out on top. Team Secret was not too impressed about that was they fought their way back into the series as they took the second game quite convincingly.
Game 3 had Kuroky on his signature Rubick and Puppey on Keeper of the Light. S4 was able to secure himself Shadow Fiend, while Arteezy got the AntiMage to play. With some impressive split pushing and clever fighting, they managed to break EG down and take the second game of the series.
At this point Team Secret seemed very confident and EG seemed to slowly lose their momentum. They made a few mistakes in game 4 and were frustrated pretty quickly, which caused a pretty fast "gg" although the game was not completely over.
Still, this game series was the best one in 2015 so far and left Dota 2 fans all around the world in awe, as both teams showed some incredible team play and versatile drafting. Maybe it will need some more time to analyse and fully understand all the games, but it was demonstration of some of the finest Dota 2 one could imagine.
Photo courtesy of ESL
What will one remember who attended the event?
15 000 Dota 2 fans per day were attending ESL ONE Frankfurt 2015 and a peak concurrent viewership of over one million. Those numbers could be experienced at the event and at home while watching the stream. The event shattered new records and managed to double the amount of viewers on the stream in comparison to last year.
The event it self also seemed to be a bit bigger and even better organised than last year. Premium tickets, Aegis Lounge or normal tickets all delivered a unique experience.
In terms of games and picks, well, there is quite a bit to remember. The Tuskar and Techies picks from Secret against fnatic will be some long time memories and not every day viewers are able to see a Techies triple kill and the total domination with that hero combination.
The high amount of heroes played and some impressive win rates from professional players with their signature heroes stood out as well. Finally, the grand finals delivered the best Dota 2 action of 2015 – and they leave us all waiting, eager to get more, lifiting the expectations for matches at TI 5 later this year. The crowd filled with fans was quite unique as they cheered quite a lot, not only for their favourites but rather for every good kill, team fight or in-game action. In the end the audience as so loud that even the sound crashed.
Commentators and casters couldn't do anything else, but notice that, thanking the crowd for an incredible experience, which sums up the event as a whole: A unique experience with an atmosphere one has to see and hear him- or herself, as words can't describe the event!