On Saturday, 1 June, the Summer Season Finale of OMEN by HP ESL India Premiership 2017 had begun on a high note. As the day progressed, several high-intensity e-sports matches were played in games such as Clash Royale, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2. These matches decided which contestant proceeded towards the next round of the event or which one had to go back to their drawing board and re-strategise their upcoming campaigns. Apart from competitive gaming, a whole gamut of other exciting activities was conducted.
ESL India Premiership is the flagship e-sports tournament in India. The 2017 edition boasted a whopping $100,000* prize pool, which is shared between three competitive games, namely, Clash Royale, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2. Building upon last year’s edition, ESL India Premiership 2017 is a year-long tournament divided into three seasons – Summer, Fall and Winter. This year, OMEN by HP entered the tournament as the title sponsor. High-performance gaming peripherals manufacturer, HyperX joins the journey again as a partner. Red Bull also joins the journey this year. Also on board is Zowie a brand by BenQ, who donned the role of the monitor Partner. Finally, SoStronk functioned as the Server Partner of the tournament.
The Summer Season finale carried an INR 15.37 Lacs prize pool, which has been sourced from the main prize money. As mentioned before, the highlight of day one was the various e-sports matches played for the different games in a double elimination format. Beginning with the MOBA e-sports title, DOTA 2 – Entity Gaming, GoFigure and an international team from Cambodia, IQ duked it out. These teams had already endured the initial levels of the playoffs, which were held a day prior to the event. In the upper brackets finale, Entity Gaming got the better of the Cambodian team, IQ and pushed them into the lower bracket. Entity Gaming progressed to the grand finale. Now with only the consolidation finale remaining, team IQ managed to pull its socks in time and convincingly defeated team GoFigure from Bangalore to lock their spot in the grand finale.
In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, top teams Dare2Dream, Risky Gaming and Entity Gaming edged out their opponents in the qualifying playoffs to attend the main event. Once, here, Entity Gaming was cut short by UAE CS:GO team, Risky Gaming. The Mumbai team was pushed into the lower bracket and faced Dare2Dream there. After a very tough fight, Entity Gaming managed to get better of their fellow Mumbaikars and booked their spot in the Grand Finale on Sunday.
Finally, moving to the competitive card game, Clash Royale, the game followed a single-elimination format. The top 8 players of the Master League – Arpan Christian, Dipakk Mehta, Haseeb Nazir, Jimit Bhatt, Mrinmoy Lahkar, Reuben Dcunha, Tahir Shariff and Vivek Gore graced the event. However, as the day progressed, only Arpan, Mrinmoy and Vivek managed to endure the competition, in order to play at the main playoffs.
However, fans, e-sports enthusiasts and visitors had more to look forward to apart from e-sports. The event sponsors – Omen by HP, HyperX and Zowie a brand by BenQ had erected exclusive experience booths. Here, the latest technology from the different gaming brands was on display and the visiting crowds could interact with the same. The “Players’ Signing Session” was another highlight activity. Fans got a chance to get to know their favourite pro-gamers better as well as acquire their autographs on T-shirts. A cosplay competition, commemorating the Summer Season was underway. Here the best cosplayers stood to win cash prizes worth INR 46,000. For dance enthusiasts, there was a special just dance stage setup, which also offered cash prizes to the best participants; a total of INR 33,000 was up for grabs.
The Summer Season Finale also commemorates the successful completion of the Summer Season of ESL India Premiership 2017. The event was being held in Dublin Square, Phoenix MarketCity, Kurla, Mumbai from 1 to 2 July, 2017. E-sports enthusiasts and the public visited the arena from 10 AM to 8 PM on July 2nd, to witness the grand finale of the Summer Season Finale of ESL India Premiership 2017.
When we visited the venue on Sunday, the cosplay competition had just begun and the audience was still awaiting the final match of CS:GO between Team Risky and Entity Gaming. While enthusiasts fluttered around trying out the gadgets placed by the sponsors, players from the teams were at the booth signing T-shirts.
Team Risky came out as the best team beating Entity Gaming and taking the winner’s crown, while Team IQ from Cambodia who had quite an interesting journey to the tournament.
Speaking to AnimationXpress, the manager of team IQ said, “Our team had never been in such a big and well known event such as ESL. The experiences were pretty much new to us, we were nervous yet happy that we could join and experience such event and help build our plays up. The equipment uses, the stages, the people were all great. We hope to join again soon.” He further added, “We were pretty much prepared for Entity gaming since Friday night because we got many messages telling us they are the best in India for the Dota 2 scene. So we wanted to test how strong they are by deciding to test them with our first match because win or lose we can fight in lower bracket and get our way back to the final. We decided to pick the boldest heroes and see how much we hold them, the result were like 10 – 39 which meant they were really good as what people had said. However, with that game we learned a lot about their play and used it for the final match of best of 3 and we won by 2-0. The final match was as expected but what surprised us was the lower bracket game against Gofigure. They definitely are a very good team although we beat them first game but the second game they got us. Glad we played against such a team.”
As mentioned earlier, the team’s journey to the country was another great story in itself.
“Actually our main sponsor was in hesitation whether to put the budget for the team to travel so Xing, who is the team captain asked if we could do a funding over the weekend and see if there are any donations, hopefully enough for hotel and food. Honestly as the manager, I did not expect much however a miracle happened. We got a fan who came running the moment he saw the video and made the donation. Fans from the province even wired us the money and some who are studying abroad even transferred the cash. During only three days, we raised over $700. At that moment, our sponsor said we cannot disappoint the fans. Then he dropped us the budget and as the manager, I ran IQ’s visa paper work and air ticket also doing some communication with the Indian side, making sure, my team is there safely and where they can stay. Honestly, the team and I were very surprised of how much our local supporters helped us. It was a touching moment, all the time we spent it felt like it somehow was paid off. This kind of dedication from our fans is what keeps the team’s passion burning and striving forward.”