ESL One Frankfurt – My First LAN Event
Some people like to watch football, others watch basketball. As for me, i like to watch dota2 pro games. It’s a very intricate game where a team of 5 people try to destroy opponent’s base while protecting its own base. Everyone has their different roles, with different abilities and items and each team can use a wide variety of strategies.
At the beginning I only play this game with my bf and our friends and did not really care about pro scene. But my bf likes to watch pro games to learn some tricks and once I saw dendi pudge and got really interested in NaVi game afterward. I started to follow their games in starladder, TI3, dreamhack and other competitions and really wish to go to LAN event to watch them play live and feel the atmosphere.
It was not really possible since the event is usually held in the US or in east Europe where we need additional visa. Luckily, last weekend ESL had their tourney in Frankfurt in the Commerbank Arena. We were so happy, finally it’s held somewhere relatively easier for us to visit. We travelled with regional slow train, so it took us around 8 hours from Bremen. By plane, we would’ve reached Dubai in that time. We got some movies saved on my laptop so the 8 hours passed just like that.
we came only in the afternoon because we thought it would be too tiring to stay at the stadion for 11 am to 11 pm. The first thing we saw was the cosplayer. They’re pretty cool I must say.
Alliance vs Cloud9 games started shortly after we arrived. I visited the secret shop and esl shop during the drafting phase, beause during the break between games the shop is crowded. Drafting phase is where the players pick heroes (game character) they want to play and ban the heroes that can counter their heroes or simply to prevent the opponent team playing it.
A few minutes into the game, we saw a crystal maiden and a meepo in the crowd.
and look! we also found an awesome cosplay of Legion Commander
we also met a very manly Phantom Assasin (?)
and then we watch the game…
Game 2 was so long. Honestly I dont know if it was really long or it’s just my feeling. What I don’t like from this event is that we cannot bring our own food and drinks. I really understand that they want to make money. But it was a 12 hours tourney, from 11 am to 11 p.m. The food they sold was quite expensive and very limited. And the thing is, we had to buy food for lunch AND dinner there. They only sell burgers, hotdogs and very expensive drinks (4€ for mineral water). I don’t think there was enough options for people who do not certain things like vegetarian or moslems, or jews. But other than that, I dont have any other complaints.
Other facilities such as toilets or the transportation is good too. The Arena is easy to reach by tram, bus and S-bahn. But I think it would be much better to hold the event in a hall. A stadion is just too big. It is World Cup time and as expected, the stadion is not full. It was still very crowded though.
We went early for the 2nd day because NaVi is the first to play. Their opponent is EG. Bruno, Merlini and Cap had a sign event during the game. Bruno is a stat man, he provides statistic about the games, like the winrate of a team and such. Merlini and Capitalist are dota2 casters, they commentate the game like a football commentator during a football match.
We only stayed till almost the end of the second game because we had to hurry back to Bremen. I had an interview on Monday and my bf also had his fligt home. Sadly we had to miss the rest of the tournament. I know NaVi was fighting the last team fight of the series as we walked out of the stadion because the sound and cheers of the audience was sooo loud. I really really wanted to see how the fight goes but I know I have to catch the train, oh it was such a torture.
After we reached the tram, I checked on my mobile and they lost to EG. Well, I kind of knew it. They haven’t been performing well for these past months. It does not seem like they’re saving strat for TI (The International) either. I really hope this is not the end of their era yet because I like everyone in the current roster of NaVi. Hope they can get their selves together and do well in The International 4 this year because the prize pool is already over 10 milion USD.
Overall, it was a good experience, would have been better if NaVi won some games though. I don’t know if I would travel that far for a LAN event again. The atmosphere is definitely better in the arena, and you got to meet your favorite team, casters and dota personalities. But staying for a very long time there and with very limited options of expensive food and drinks is not very fun for me. I like it better to watch at home on a comfortable couch with any snack I want. But if it’s TI, then it’s another story. I wont be able to watch TI this year because I have an exam week, but I wish all teams good luck. May the best team win the 4 million dollars.