So we’re back from the Frankfurt Major, with ESL where the Dota championships were held and the winners of the tournament, if you don’t somehow know already, were OG.
One way you could have been informed of this is by being woken up in the middle of the night, no matter where you live in Europe by the chants of the teams name over and over and over….
But that goes to show just how passionate eSport fans are for their teams and for the entire experience as a whole. As this was ScaryGranules first attendance at a major eSport event, we have some inevitable highs and lows, but don’t worry it’s primarily the former, to run through.
What made Frankfurt Major awesome!
Now there’s not much to do in Frankfurt from a tourist perspective, in fact before travelling there, we had some raise brows and queries as to why on earth we chose a long weekend in Frankfurt, as it is not know for trips and is known for being incredibly industrial. That was a fair summary from our German and Austrian friends in the know but nevertheless Frankfurt as a host city for a tournament was incredibly simple to navigate and for the purpose of going to such an event, it did provide everything you could need. There’s some bars and restaurant right next door to the Festhalle where the major was taking place. Our apartment was a stones throw away and when a member of our gravy gang left the group to hang with some cool people from Crytek, the journey there and back took only minutes. A different world from London at times…
The Event Layout and atmosphere
We could talk in depth about each match, but due to security let-downs meaning we didn’t see the first two, it’s best we focus on the main one and that’s the final and it was a pretty great final in terms of game play and the crowd’s reaction. When OG triumphed over Team Secret there was a confusing mix up where the entire crowd was allowed to stampede the stage and surrounded the victors as they accepted their trophy. The mix up came from security themselves and by the time they realised what had happened, it was too late. Thankfully there was no trouble, just excited fans celebrating, but the stage itself began to bounce and wobble under the weight. The exit of the Festhalle was surprisingly effortless and though such a large crowd was within the hall, the streets were relatively calm afterwards.
German beer is simply wonderful. Glowbear left behind some wisdom for us.
So while the audience was passionate and enthusiastic and overall great, there were, as with any event, a few specks of fools. We had the misfortune of sitting behind a row of guys who were throwing cups and rubbish across to people supporting the opposite team. Then they tried to blame us then said other team fans came over to tell them to stop. They also went through our bags and stole our travel passes, because they really need a London travel pass in Germany. They didn’t ruin the experience for us but they did showcase that even in video game events, there can be idiots and people who really cannot handle their drink. We heard some other obnoxious comments from people we met at an after party, but it’s best not to give them any acknowledgement.
Security was pretty abysmal. There was no communication from the staff at the Festhalle as to why the massive queue was barely moving. Later on we found out it may have been to do with the scanning devices not working on tickets. But the fact that so many people missed the first couple of matches that they paid money for and no apology or even an update as to why was communicated is incredibly poor. Some people around us were close to leaving and trying to come back later, but that shouldn’t have been an option to be forced into. Once you got through security, which as a process was quite quick when you finally reached the gates, everything flowed much better on the other side. Drinks were cheap and served efficiently. The German way after all.
It was a great experience to attend the Frankfurt Major and has definitely peaked our interest in what other tournaments across the world can pull off. The production value was spot on, the commentators did a spectacular job and the accessibility, despite snail paced queuing to the venue was not lacking. If you wanted to purchase team related merchandise a shop indoors offered you various apparel and plushies, but it would have been nice to have more generic gaming items. But then again, an excuse to not blow all your money is also welcomed. We met some lovely people, we brushed off the less than lovely and despite the weather being quite cold the beer and laughs had during and after each match kept us warm. Thank you Frankfurt and roll on more eSport fun times.