In early January, Bukovel Minor 2020 from WePlay! Was held. The Ukrainian company succeeded in the impossible – its major really attracted the attention of the audience, although usually tournaments of this level in the eyes of the audience remain unreasonably long qualifiers for majors. Championship from WePlay! earned a lot of positive comments, but I was led to the idea that modern tournaments are badly lacking in identity. After BuKovel Minor passed DreamLeague Leipzig Major, which for a long time will be remembered for the quality of the game, but the organization of the tournament itself has lost – at least in terms of its visual component – to the Ukrainian minor. So it’s time to talk about this topic in more detail!
Why is this all?
After the minor, reddit filled in laudatory reviews, some viewers even called on Valve to attract a Ukrainian company to The International next season. Judging objectively, the proposal seems insane – WePlay itself! also understands that development must be evolutionary. However, it is not difficult to guess why the audience clutched at the modest major – he, unlike most tournaments, will be remembered not only for e-sports results. Bukovel Minor had a face, and this is WePlay! even eminent MOT can learn.
It is clear that the identity of the tournament is not the most obvious item of expenditure in the preparation of estimates. When launching the championship, the operator should think about where the e-sportsmen will live and train, how they will eat and get to the arena (after all, too long trips can affect the schedule and provoke ppd to criticism on Twitter), and many other factors.
In conditions when even the quality of noise-canceling booths or the location of floodlights in the hall can upset the players, worries about the tournament’s abstract “atmosphere” really seem unimportant. However, it was they who provided the championship with the recognition of the audience, and in fact, all THAT ultimately strive for this.
An identity is needed so that even after the tournament is over, the spectator evokes some kind of association – so that it is recognizable. Sometimes such an effect is achieved without the efforts of maintenance. For example, we all remember The Kiev Major 2017 for the emotional finale between Virtus.pro and OG. Similarly, a mention The Boston Major 2016 immediately suggests thoughts about the Ad Finem booth, which Omar Madara Dabasas crushed in a fit of joy from reaching the grand finals, and DreamLeague Leipzig Major will probably remain in history after the match EG – Team Secret. But do you remember well MDL Changsha Major or The bucharest major? Me not.
However, blaming other companies for reluctance to work on the image of tournaments will be wrong. Many of them moved in this direction, and some even succeeded, but they were already too fed up with the audience, who praised WePlay’s approach. I consider it necessary to recall a couple of successful (and not only) finds of other TOs – let’s restore justice!
Beyond The Summit – cheap and absurd
Beyond The Summit is the first company that has managed to come up with and host a tournament that is different from everything that competitors did. All “Summits” (except the 11th) are held without spectators in the house rented by the studio (the locations now began to vary). There, e-sportsmen not only hold matches and train, but also participate in various, sometimes openly absurd, activities, break into the position of commentators in the middle of games, eat on the stream and generally have a good time. This is fascinating!
Then Roshan appeared – and this find was very interesting. The monster, known to every doter, appeared in a new status here: from the “chest” for Aegis, he turned into a real symbol of the tournament and has since appeared at all Epic Esports Events. Saying that now, standing in the roshpite, all the players recall EPICENTER, it would be foolish, however, it is important to note that EEE became the first company besides Valve, which “assigned” something from Dota 2. Now any MOT that wants to use Roshan when the opening of the tournament will surely receive a portion of criticism from the audience.
In 2017, the organizer held the CS: GO tournament of the same name and there he tried to introduce another chip – a kind of Russian flavor. Then the “translator Dmitry” appeared at the championship, who talked with people on social networks and sometimes broke into English-speaking analysts, the heroes from the “Village of Fools” began to participate in the streams, and the video content was appropriate. However, judging by further tournaments, this initiative did not take root.
MDL – Order of the Faceless
There are also reverse examples in the industry. And if we want to discuss how tournaments should not be done, then it will be most correct to recall MDL, which for a long time has not been able to find its identity. The only characteristic symbol of her championships is a trophy stylized as Battle Fury. The rest of the tournament operator, perhaps, has the most faceless events on the professional stage.
In 2018, the organization held Changsha Major, which was designed in the style of comics. Already at the next championship, this find was abandoned and turned to more familiar formats.