The insane marathon of online Dota 2 tournaments, which began due to the coronavirus pandemic, is finally coming to an end. In our news we will tell you about everything that happened with the game's esports scene over the course of these rather long four months, as well as about what lies ahead.
Let's recall that all of this has started in this year's March. StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 was the last tournament to be conducted offline. An invitation to ESL One Los Angeles was played out at this competition. However, such a plan was no longer acceptable for the American major, causing it to undergo a change of format.
Following that, the entire 2019-2020 esports season of Dota Pro Circuit was canceled due to the global quarantine. Even the main tournament of the year, The International, was postponed due to the coronavirus. Its fate remains unclear.
Many organizers had to revise the format of their events as soon as possible – which has caused a number of major leagues and single competitions to be announced early spring.
Overall, ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Europe & CIS became the most popular tournament within last four months based on the peak viewers indicator – which, in this case, amounted to a bit more than 500 thousand viewers. Meanwhile, ESL One Birmingham 2020 was the most watched event. In total, the championship's regional events have collected 13 million hours watched.
It's important to understand that the mark of half a million peak viewers makes the discipline's result the seventh best one. It failed to overcome only the last three iterations of The International, along with The Kiev Major 2017, The Kuala Lumpur Major and EPICENTER Major 2019. For an online championship, such a result is pretty much incredible.
Talking about the popularity of the languages, Russian and English are standing out the most, due to the game being the most popular in Europe and the CIS. Additionally, the countries of the post-Soviet space have seen an abundance of various tournaments featuring the local teams during the quarantine period. Russian-speaking viewers would never miss these.
A significant portion of the marathon-related content was provided by the three organizers. As it can be already understood, most of the content among these was brought by ESL with their ESL One Birmingham 2020 Online. Following were WePlay! With Pushka League and 11.9 million hours watched, and closing the top 3 were the Epic Esports Events with its BEYOND EPIC achieving a result worth of 9.6 million hours watched.
WePlay! Pushka League stands out especially strongly among these: unlike the other competitions, this particular championship has managed to receive its figure within a single division. Should the results of different regions be ignored, this particular league from the Ukrainian organizer becomes the most viewed one since the beginning of the pandemic. ESL One Birmingham 2020 Europe & CIS with its 9 million 87 thousand hours watched would be its closest match.
Team Secret stood out the most among all the teams of this half of the year. The team led by Clement “Puppey” Ivanov has managed to collect nearly all the possible trophies, winning a total of six tournaments. Additionally, their figure of 306 thousand peak viewers (achieved at BEYOND EPIC: Europe/CIS) became one of the best in team's history.
Now, many will remember that, after the very first online competitions an opinion was born: "Given that online shows the same results as offline, why would we need LAN events to begin with?"
Such a statement is fundamentally flawed for one simple reason: quarantine. Given that the modern world offers no opportunities for holding a large event in the LAN format, comparing the modern tournaments to the past ones is simply incorrect. Who knows what would have happened if ESL One Los Angeles had gone as planned.
In the past we have shown time and again that the large majors set in arenas with the audience of thousands have always captured the viewer interest. The community tends to value such events more, with the great deal of entertainment and the very spirit of live audience (that can never be obtained online) being the reasons.
After resting, the teams will return to their online encounters. In case the coronavirus epidemic will continue showing positive trends, by the end of the year we may see the return of the tournaments with the audience of millions set in beautiful LAN arenas.