My very first blog post ever will be about my latest eSport event – the Dota Pit League Season 5 in Split. I did not yet read through all the reddit posts etc, but apparently most fans who followed the stream were…not disappointed, but rather seemed to have turned into an enraged mob that wants to hunt down people with torches and pitchforks. So I wanna share my experience as someone who traveled from Germany to Croatia just to watch some doto.
Short information: I went there with a classmate and then met some friends from Split, who I know through Dota (& because of an Albanian 1/18 Slark, greetings love you <3)
Lots of fails but still a gucci time
This is the venue, the Spaladium. What looks like a Silent Hill building is only partly like this. The majority of the building is actually finished, but then they apparently had no money anymore, so they left the rest like this. Charming and elegant.
From the inside however, it was a normal arena, even with nice decoration on the stage
I went there as press, and therefore our PR-Manager registered me weeks before. I was told that I only have to go to the press entrance/counter and get my ticket there, like it gets handled at pretty much every event. Maybe it’s because i’m a bit retarded but I could however not find any other place to go in than the main entrance, where I could not get my ticket. The inspectors and workers there had no idea where I had to go, so my PR-Manager called someone from Dota Pit. After 20 minutes the situation got clarified, and someone gave me a Sponsor pass, since they did not have any more press passes. He apologized and promised me to later bring me the right pass and the keychain, what never happened so I was walking around as a Sponsor, looking like I’d be a rich gangsta with money. Since we bought lots of beer there, maybe I really count as a sponsor. But yeah it started a bit rough but they apologized & my boys were entertaining me during waiting, so no big deal.
So we finally went in – and what made me really sad: it was nearly empty. It got more crowded in the next days, but still I hoped there were more Dota fans. However this was the same at the Frankfurt Major for example, only few people attended in the mornings. Surprisingly there were LOTS of kids, I don’t know if they even play Dota (i hope not?). Also noticeable: most people wore normal clothing, only very few team shirts, Dota Merchandise and especially not a single cosplayer there. My friend told me that last time there was a Windranger and the entire crowd went mad #PoorGrill. Everybody was nice, joyful and so on, but I simply am used to see colorful cosplayers everywhere, next to all kinds of team jerseys and Meepo hats and so on.
There also was no shop. No magical little place with dota pins, pillows, shirts and gimmicks where you can’t chose from so you simply buy everything, or random boxes with hero plushs were you get the wrong one and try to trade with other people in the arena. According to my friend they didn’t sell anything because it’s not an official Valve event. Even though I understand that there was no Secret Shop, for me this took out a bit of fun. Also no signing sessions took place. At one side however there was a small stand where you could try out VR and stuff like this. It did not really caught my attention though, so I didn’t went there to explore.
Lots of people made fun of the “crowd” since it seemed like the three people who attended the games made no noise at all – no clapping, no screaming, no cheering. I just rewatched the stream and was a bit shocked how I really could not hear ANYTHING. In reality however we actually cheered and clapped, somehow the microphones just didn’t capture this. It was not the usual ravage and not that intense, I normally lose my voice at every eSport event, but still – we made some noiiiiise. Especially during the grudge match Secret vs. Digital Chaos, where everybody was applauding for DC. (While I was sitting there in my Team Secret shirt, but still having w33 as my idol, not knowing when I was supposed to cheer because I fking love Secret but w33 AAARGGH)
What apparently was very well to hear in the stream was the incredibly funny and bad techno whatever music 😀 Every song got worse, and the disco light beams stuff bla did not help either. But at the same time, my friends and me had a lot of fun with this horrible music. And I read that MANY viewers from the stream complained about the music, and they can’t bear it and so on. For every one of them, one question: are you too imbecile to mute the stream during the breaks, or turn down the volume? You can still see when it continues, and don’t have to complain everywhere about it, it’s simple. There also seemed to be lots of issues with the sound of the game and casters. In the arena everything was nice, therefore I’d love to get some information about the stream if you could tell me.
During every game there constantly occurred pauses, delays and problems. Every time I saw a player typing “p” or “sec” I was like “Srsly again how is this possible”. But then to be honest: as someone who was directly sitting in the arena, in front of the players, wanting to watch some Dota; I did not really care about breaks or problems. Because during that, I was simply chatting with my friends. So for me all was gucci, except for….dadadadadadadDADA THE FINAAAALS! I can’t even remember how long we were sitting there, waiting for it to continue, but it was terrible. The arena was really cold (at least for me), I was hungry but nearby shops were already closed, I was tired, I was bored. And we did not really get information of what was going on. I did not even know why there was a break until I read Cyborgmatts tweet. Sometimes there were announcements in Croatian, and since I only know 3 words my friends had to translate “it still doesn’t work but we are trying to fix it”.At some point i simply layed on the seats and played some old Donkey Kong games on my phone. Even the players got bored, OG slowly became friends with the guy working in their booth, they even took pictures together at some point 😀 I understand that the server problem was not Dota Pits fault, but I’d really loved to get some updates or announcements, not only every 40 minutes or so. They gave out bottles of water for everyone however, which I think is a really nice gesture, BUT I WAS HUNGRY but yeah of course they can’t hand out some chocolate bars.
Btw before the finals took place, Mister eSports Hype Guy (btw i love him!) held a small giveaway. I realized this because suddenly a horde of lil kids was standing in front of me, blocking my sight. He then threw some stuff in to the crowd of lurking children and I was scared if they might simply run over me if one of the items landed on my seat. Next time I’ll have to escape, I really hate giveaways, everybody behaves like greedy disgusting pigs. If I remember correctly he only spoke in Croatian & I did not understand what was going on. After throwing stuff he arranged a dancing contest, where a woman in VERY short clothing was dancing against some 8 year old boys or sth like that. After this, the next contest was to empty a bottle of coke as soon as possible. I watched the scenario quite perplexed, thinking “I came to watch eSports wtf”. The winners were awarded with funny screwdrivers. It was cringy but entertaining at the same time.
All in all: for me it still was a great event, despite of all the problems. I was hanging out with friends, talking to new people, had fun, watched Dota, it was great. It simply sees as Dota Pit was overstrained and could not yet handle everything, but with everything that occurred it seems like some issues they can fix in the future, or at least prepare themselves.
There was a completely different atmosphere than at the previous events I went so far. ESL One for example had lots of food, shops and things to explore like archery. And also a different audience and therefore mood. There are definitely things for Dota Pit to work on and improve, but for me it was worth going there, I had lots of fun and enjoyed a nice event of Dota 2. Like Meepo would say: „Ain’t no problem some tools and a few strong backs can’t solve!“