Thursday, 16 July 2015

Recap: ESL One Frankfurt 2015

On Saturday the 20th of June me and my father travelled to Frankfurt for the ESL One DOTA 2 tournament. We managed to stay for 3 quarter final games before we had to return to the UK, and I'll recap the day's events now.

After barely making it onto the plane (31 minute check-in ftw) we arrived in Frankfurt late Friday night. A surprisingly comfortable night's sleep ended depressingly early as we woke at the equivalent of 6:30 (thanks timezones) and drove out to Commerzbank Arena for the opening at 9:00. We got our wristbands and got in 10 minutes after opening.

The stadium was MASSIVE. It could fit 44,000 people, though it was only about 2/5 full seeing as everyone needed to see the screen. Our view of it is below (pictures will be put up later):

After an intro from the five-man panel, the first game started - Alliance vs Virtus Pro. Alliance being the underdogs, I sided with them, despite my love of polar bears. To recap Shadow Fiend was Shadow Fiend and did Shadowfiend things to close out the game Virtus Pro 2 - 0 Alliance. Much sad face was had.

The second game was Evil Geniuses vs Vici Gaming (EG vs VG, cos that's not confusing). This was the best team vs the second best team in the world, so the panel was split down the middle on who would win. I correctly predicted the fan prediction - 54% said EG would win, 46% said VG. My dad supported VG so I supported EG. Shadow Fiend did more Shadow Fiend things and some EPIC Wisp plays closed it out. The games felt a lot closer than the score shows. Evil Geniuses 2 - 0 Vici Gaming.

In the break between games 2 and 3, we left the stands and got to the stores on the showfloor. Cosplayers were available for photos but I'm too short for them not to look really awkward. I got a group shot off Twitter for you though - you're welcome.

There were the standard t-shirt stalls as well as a signing session with a queue as long as the entry queue, a couple of hardware stalls (Corsair, Razer, Nvidia) and the Secret Shop. I picked up a poster and a Redpaw plushie (SO ADORABLE) that came with an in-game code to get the same courier. Worth it.

Finally we returned to the stands to watch game 3 - Cloud 9 vs Invictus Gaming. Now THIS was a good game. It started with me fangirling over Synderen (<3) who was co-casting and just kinda took over casting some of the time seen as he kept getting caught mid-sentence by the near-constant teamfights. Game 1 was a close win from Invictus with an over-farmed Gyrocopter, but in game 2 Cloud 9 responded with some of the BEST base hold-offs I've ever seen and tied it up. Game 3 felt close throughout until the 90 minute mark where it all went wrong. I have a new-found love of Cloud 9 though. They're my Dota team of choice.

Overall I had a truly great day. It was my first time going to a tournament and I couldn't ask for better matches! Even my dad - who knew nothing about the game until the day before enjoyed himself. I'd recommend it to anyone!

See you later guys,

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