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What was memorable in 2018 for eSports fans?

Lord Matus

What was memorable in 2018 for eSports fans?

The esports industry’s memorable moments can relate to the esports in general and particular gaming matches. We have decided to talk about both of them.

Dota 2: The International 2018

Speaking about the brightest esports moments, we cannot but remember the main and largest Dota 2 event. A few interesting moments are related to it this year.

The prize pool

The prize pool of The International beats records both in Dota 2 and the esports in general one more time. Now, the biggest money pool has amounted $25,532,177. Valve managed to collect an additional $23,932,177 to initial $1,600,000 with a help of a crowdfunding system. By the way, this is 44% of the general sum of grabs. Invictus Gaming and paiN Gaming, who had performed the worst and placed 17th-18th, earned money prizes in the sum of $63,830 and it’s bigger than main prizes at the majority of middle-level tournaments.

A Chinese team hasn’t won The International 2018

There was such a belief in the Dota 2 community that only Chinese teams achieve victory each even year. For example, Invictus Gaming players had a triumph at The International 2012. Newbee won The International 2014 and Wings Gaming were the winners at TI2016. Everyone expected to see PSG.LGD as a winner this year. The reason was not only the above-mentioned legend but fy and his team’s perfect gaming shape, which was being demonstrated during the whole championship. Due to OG’s victory, the myth about the connection between even years and Chinese teams’ triumph was finally destroyed.

OG’s victory

Two players, which role in the team was difficult to underestimate, left OG a little time before the start of The International 2018, in May 2018. Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson and Tal ‘Fly’ Aizik have decided to continue their career in Evil Geniuses. As a result, two persons, n0tail and JerAx, left on OG’s roster. Due to this, n0tail, the team’s captain, had not so much time to complete the roster and prepare for the world championship. The new roster was confirmed a week later, which would protect OG’s honor at The International 2018. Such players as Topson, ana, 7ckngMad, JerAx, and n0tail became a part of it. The roster looked pretty interesting. Anathan ‘ana’ Pham previously played for OG and achieved victories at The Boston Major 2016 and The Kiev Major 2017 under this tag, Sebastien ‘7ckngMad’ Debs was the roster’s coach and made a decision to return to the gaming in time and Topson was a rookie who had earned ~$3,500 before joining OG. It’s worth to remind that the prize pool of The International 2018 amounted $11,234,158. Many viewers were skeptical about the success of the European roster at the tournament due to OG had been created two months before TI8. However, n0tail proved with his team that if a team is united with a mutual goal and each player does his best, impossible things will become possible.

Topson’s phenomenon

The situation with Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen’s success is really phenomenal. The Finnish esportsman had had only a ten-month experience of playing on the professional scene before joining OG. It’s worth to notice in a special way that he was listed in two teams: SFTe-sports and 5 Anchors No Captain, which are weak and haven’t got further than $2,000 Pro Dota Cup and joinDOTA. As it was said, Topson had earned about ~$3,500 but who would have thought that his total sum of earned grabs would overcome a threshold in the sum of $2,240,000 in August? Such things happen in the esports. At the moment, the Finn is the only esportsman in the world who managed to become the world champion from nowhere in two months.

The end of the Korean teams’ winning streak at the League of Legends World Championship

All viewers who are familiar a bit with the above-named esports discipline know that teams from South Korea dominate in League of Legends. In 2013, one of the most successful teams in the world, SK Telecom T1, prevailed at the World Championship. In 2014, Samsung White became the winners at the World Championship and SK Telecom T1 won again in 2015 and 2016. 2017 was the last year for the representatives of South Korea and the victory was achieved by players from Samsung Galaxy last year. Invictus Gaming representatives raised a cup over their heads at 2018 World Championship, having finished the South Korean teams’ winning streak at the World Championship.

CS:GO: The rise of Astralis

Even those who don’t have an exact understanding of what the esports is have heard about the success of the Danish team, which core was assembled 5 years ago. A very important and probably one of the best decisions in the history of the organization was made on February 7 the last year. That day, Magisk was signed who became a permanent fifth player and the key part of the roster. Emil Hoffman Reif became the last part of Astralis’ puzzle, which the team had lacked a lot. Astralis performed unsuccessfully on February 23, having held the 5th-8th place at SL i-League #4, and they came closer to a victory on March 3, having placed 3rd-4th at IEM XII — World Championship. Astralis were working on themselves and it was clear. Their efforts didn’t make to wait long. Astralis won the first tournament for themselves on April 22 (DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018) and reached the top 1 of the world rate by HLTV. It’s February 2019 now and nothing has changed on HLTV because the Danes are still leading the list of the best CS:GO teams in the world. Returning to the success at tournaments, Astralis placed first at ESL Pro League Season 7 - Finals, Esports Championship Series Season 5 - Finals, ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018, FACEIT Major: London 2018, BLAST Pro Series: Istanbul 2018, Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Chicago, Esports Championship Series Season 6 - Finals, ESL Pro League Season 8 - Finals, and Intel Grand Slam Season 1 together with them and also BLAST Pro Series: Lisbon 2018. Without considering ESL and ECS leagues, at which Astralis had held the first places too, the Danes prevailed at 11 championships and earned more than $3,500,000 in a year, having become the most successful team in the history of CS.

An interesting fact #1: dev1ce, Xyp9x, and dupreeh have been playing together for more than five years and one of the keys to the team’s success is a stability of the roster and a friendship between teammates.

An interesting fact #2: (at the moment of publication) the Danish team lacks only ~$51,000 of grabs to overcome the threshold of the total earned grabs in the sum of $6,000,000 .

Overwatch: The success of Overwatch League

When Overwatch launched in 2016, everyone was skeptical enough about the esports part of Blizzard’s child, however, the developers of the game introduced a new model of the esports tournaments. Blizzard not just made the game very well but took the professional Overwatch scene seriously. The developers created the esports league, a spot in which cost ~$20,000,000 and the sum was increased after the first season of Overwatch League was considered to be successful.

London Spitfire has become the best at Overwatch League. It’s worth to notice that they are owned by Cloud9, a famous American esports organization. After the end of the first season, the organizers made a decision to expand the list of participating teams to 20. Also, Blizzard has a plan of realization of some details in Overwatch League to make OWL more similar to a traditional sport. For example, the developers want to realize home matches at Overwatch League to allow local fans of participants to come and cheer their favorites personally. We will follow with an interest how the esports system will be developing in Overwatch.

Heroes of The Storm: The end of the support of the esports segment in Heroes of The Storm

Blizzard can’t provide enough support to all their projects, so choosing between Overwatch and Heroes of The Storm, they have decided to prefer the first product. While Overwatch League had a full success, the esports in HoTS was slowly fading. As a result, the representatives of Blizzard declared the failure of Heroes of The Storm, due to which decided to “shut down”. Finally, the company reorganized its resources: a part of developers of the MOBA game was sent to another unnamed project to improve its work, while a smaller part of workers was left on the roster of HoTS. Blizzard has promised to keep supporting Heroes of The Storm. According to their words, the game will receive updates in the form of new characters, maps, cosmetic items, and other stuff. Will they fulfill the promise? We’ll see later.

An interesting fact: one interesting story is related to the closing of the esports segment in Heroes of The Storm. A beginning player from North America told that he had left his study in a university to focus on the growth in HoTS and after that Blizzard announced the end of the esports support of the above-mentioned game. As a result, he left both without education and his dream. The organization, which team he was going to join, promised to support the beginning esportsman (?), however, the guy is unlikely to achieve some results in the esports.

PUBG and Fortnite: Battle Royal as an esports discipline

2018 can be called a Battle Royal year. A boom in the market of computer games happened last year. The revolution was initially started by hardcore and realistic PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATLLEGROUNDS but the second wave came with simpler but very difficult and unrealistic Fortnite at the same time. A few PUBG tournaments were hosted and now, there is a league as in many other esports disciplines. The game by Epic Games has a bigger media popularity than its competitor and many games can envy its growth. Fortnite has received support from NFL and more than $100,000,000 were allocated for hosting championships. In January, the title of the most viewed game on TwitchTV returned to League of Legends but Fortnite had been a leader of the streaming platform for a long time before that.

The creation of Ukrainian ESports Federation

Let’s pay attention to other events too. It’s not a secret that the esports develops very quickly. It is recognized as a sport in different countries, faculties of the esports are created in universities and various things are done for the development of the esports component in the world of competitions. At the beginning of the last year on January 17, Ukraine made one more step towards the esports. Ukrainian ESports Federation (UESF) was established in this country.

UESF has set the following objectives:

Development of Ukrainian esports infrastructure
Creation of Ukrainian regional and country leagues (student, school, semi-professional and so on) on a permanent basis
Hosting of regular city and regional tournaments
Propaganda of a healthy way of life and a right approach to a training process in the esports among young people
Creation of an esports school for future professional players, coaches, casters, analysts, and streamers.

After we together with you remembered the main events of the past year, we present you a

Few gaming moments, which were memorized by many viewers.

The 6th place — the ninja defusing by Xyp9X (CS:GO)

Astralis has proved for a number of times that they are the best in CS:GO. This became real not only due to a good synergy between all team members but because the representatives of the Danish team think unordinary enough. Xyp9x won the 16th round for his team in the match between Astralis and North, which was hosted at IEM Chicago 2018, in the following way:

 

The 5th place — the ace by chrisJ (CS:GO)

The professional CS:GO demonstrates us a saving play from teams in the majority of cases. Teams can hold a lot of time and if they lose a key point, having two or three players alive, they will step back, saving their weapon for the next round, avoiding additional risk. The sniper of the team mousesports showed in one of the seemingly lost rounds in the match against Team Liquid at ESL One New York 2018 that it’s worth to do crazy things sometimes. As a result, the Dutch awp player came to A and “counted to five”, scored the 15th round and brought the team to a match point. It’s worth to notice in a special way that this was a decisive round on the last map of the grand final match. All these multiplies the epic of the round in three times. Finally, mousesports have become the champions of ESL One New York 2018 for a reason and received the main money prize in the sum of $125,000.

 

The 4th place — the epic comeback by Natus Vincere (Dota 2)

Natus Vincere was not able to achieve high results in 2018 and their roster, which included Dendi, Lil, LeBron, Crystallize, and GeneRaL, was not an exception. However, the roster brought us one of the most epic comebacks in 2018 and in the Dota 2 history in general. The team was losing 35,000 gold in the match against Fnatic, which was hosted at the playoffs of GESC Indonesia 2018. Natus Vincere was protecting their base as well as they could for two minutes, after which Dendi bought Divine Rapier and the team pushed their enemies to their ancient.

 

The 3rd place — the Philippine casters in the match Team Secret vs Fnatic (Dota 2)

Casters are often emotional in matches but it doesn’t happen frequently that their phrases are cut into lines for the chat wheel in Dota 2 and invite to other tournaments just because the public wants so. That’s what happened with the Philippine casters in the match Team Secret vs Fnatic: «Lakad Matatag» and «Normalin, normalin» — these are the phrases, which became widely popular at the end of February 2018.

We, in turn, want to notice that the match between the Europeans and the representatives of Southeast Asia was hosted in the final of the upper bracket of the group stage at ESL One Katowice 2018. Due to the victory, Fnatic advanced to the semi-final of the playoff stage and placed 4th, while Secret held the 5th-6th place.

 

The 2nd place — OG’s victory at The International (Dota 2)

The International is the event, which always stays in mind of Dota 2 fans. Someone likes watching the tournament and someone lives with dreams about a victory at the championship. Probably, each Dota 2 player who expects to compete with other esportsmen has a great desire to raise Aegis of Immortal and to earn the major part of the biggest prize pool in the history of the esports. The OG players fulfilled the dream this year. We have previously said about this in our material and let’s get to the leader of the top now.

The 1st place — Invictus Gaming’s victory at 2019 World Championship and Rookie’s reaction to the victory (League of Legends)

OG won the biggest championship and they are very pleased but the emotions, which Invictus Gaming’s mid-player was feeling who achieved victory at 2019 World Championship can’t be compared. The reason is the Korean’s long way to his victory. Song ‘Rookie’ Eui-jin joined Invictus Gaming on December 18, 2014, and has been improving the team since then. He spent more than 7 years to realize his dream and he finally managed to receive a status of the world champion with his team.