Dota2 Major

Dota2 Major Dota 2

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!

Photo: EPICENTER

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.

Bukovel Minor Scene. Photo: WePlay Press Service!
Bukovel Minor Scene. Photo: WePlay Press Service!

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!


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Timecode: 6:52

Evil Geniuses and Team DK commented on The Summit 4 Johan n0tail Sundstein and Clement Puppey Ivanovand at the same time behind them Danil Dendi Ishutin staged a shadow fight. Such content contrasts very well with the overly serious events held by ESL and DreamHack throughout the season.

Other important elements of the BTS identity are funny photos of teams that then fly around all social networks, and videos that beat the most relevant memes. At The Summit 7, the organizers shot a parody of True Sight about Virtus.pro, where Solo accused RAMZEs of spilling Doshirak, then remembered the most famous reshuffles, and presented a new Loda bow at the anniversary tournament. CS: GO championships from this company are also filled with memes – which is worth only perfume ads from Mikhail Dosia Stolyarova!

EPICENTER – expensive and epic

For some reason, MOT from the CIS work better with others than with identity. However, if WePlay! made a bet on the atmosphere and chamber conditions, then Epic Esports Events tried to arrange the most “epic” tournament – and in all plans.

EPICENTER 2017. Photo: EPICENTER
EPICENTER 2017. Photo: EPICENTER

The most significant in this regard was the first EPICENTER on Dota 2, which received no less positive feedback from the community than the WePlay! Minor. The tournament was opened with cinematics with the heroes of Dota and team logos, which the audience with great pleasure began to poke towards Valve – supposedly, this was not even at The International. Since then, the organizers have gone a step further, and the opening ceremony has become noticeably brighter, but then even this video made a splash on reddit.


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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.


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DreamLeague – a tribute to tradition

DreamHack has been conducting Dota 2 tournaments since the release of the game and during this time managed to develop a specific identity for the title event – the DreamLeague series. The company maintains the corporate identity better than any other operator in the industry: despite the fact that DL championships are held in different cities, their design always remains the same.

DreamLeague also differs from its competitors in the general tone of the event: despite the official appearance of the studio, its regular guest is SirActionSlacks, which can turn any discussion into an outright trash. Other guests of the studio adhere to a similar style, even if it contradicts their usual manners – the same Sheever in DreamLeague clearly feels much freer than in other tournaments.

The analytics studio at DreamLeague is always located in the middle of the stage – so that in breaks, viewers do not look at screens, but at live people. Oddly enough, this works well for the “seamlessness” of the air – any other live tournaments seem clearly divided into matches and “time clogging”. DreamHack has a single show with equal elements. THAT did not come to this right away – only in the ninth season of the league. However, since then the concept has taken root, but the “erofelnye” photos have disappeared and remained the prerogative of BTS.

Rich and Sheever at DreamLeague Leipzig Major 2020. Photo: DreamHack
Rich and Sheever at DreamLeague Leipzig Major 2020. Photo: DreamHack

DreamLeague also has mascot. Of course, this is not Roshan, but also a very recognizable character – an anthropomorphic panda that makes cups, hugs cybersportsmen and tries in every possible way to participate in the broadcast, but it is explained exclusively in sign language. She travels with the tournament to all countries and cities, as does the music group that always performs at DreamLeague. This approach is somewhat reminiscent of The Summit format, but it exists at a higher, professional level.

By the way, on Leipzig Major, the mask was removed from the panda, and it turned out that it had been hiding behind it all this time …


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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.


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OG Intro with Changsha Major

In 2019, MDL decided to have a major at Disneyland, which at first seemed like a great idea. How many interesting elements the organizers could integrate into the broadcast! But in reality, everything was limited to a couple of comedy sketches with SirActionSlacks and other casters on different attractions. On the official channel of the studio, these videos collected a couple of thousand views.

Now, MDL has returned to its origins and re-organized the major in China. A faded scene, an unremarkable opening ceremony and a minimum of intrigue in the tournament bracket – I am sure that by the end of the season the name of the event will only remind me of the failure of Gambit and Team Spirit.

Photo: Hotspawn
Photo: Hotspawn

The same fate befell all previous MDL competitions: we will remember the tournament in Macau on the scandal with Virtus.pro and Apex Legends, Changsha Major was one of the first events that top clubs simply decided to miss, and Disneyland Major today is a model of how great an idea can be ruined by a mediocre organization. Over the three seasons, the operator has already held five major events, and not one of them has become a big event in itself.

Organizing a tournament is a very complex process consisting of many elements. It is not enough for modern MOT to simply create conditions for spectators and players – these times are long gone, and the scene has become very competitive. Today, the audience expects from the organizers that they will surprise her and present a product that will be interesting in itself – in isolation from the quality of matches and the level of team performances. Work on identity requires a lot of effort: some ideas will not be accepted by the audience, some will be unsuccessful during the show on the stream, however, all these risks in the future will help THAT create a recognizable image of their flagship events, add recognition and, after that, popularity . WePlay! will not let lie!

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