ESL keep getting better and better

Ever since the ESL took on Michal “Carmac” Blicharz as head of their Intel Extreme Masters events, we’ve seen a lot happening not only for Quake Live but also we’ve been lucky enough to see a very positive growth in online coverage for the tournaments.

This weekend is the Intel Extreme Masters Edmonton event which is the finals for the North American players, to find out who will make it to the IEM World finals in CeBit early next year. So far since Blicharz has been behind the wheel, we’ve seen Quake Live at:
IEM Gamescom (August 2009)
IEM Dubai (October 2009)
IEM Edmonton (On now)

Here is a short introduction to the action:

These are just the offline events which ESL has been able to bring us some Quake Live action. Of course they are having a plethora of online events which is how we saw the final 8 players qualify for the IEM American championships. But I think this additional coverage can not only be credited to Carmac but also since they have hired James “2gd” Harding and Joe Miller they have been able to bring a lot more English coverage instead of the usual German which we see from Turtle Entertainment.

Here 2gd and 2gd take us through the highlights of the Dubai Quake Live tournament:

Unlike the Dubai event, we see the casters staying put in their studio in Köln. This means that while there won’t be on-the-spot interviews with the players directly before / after matches. Carmac has thought about that though and provides us all with interviews with the players anyway, even if they are pre-recorded before the matches. He’s also been nice enough to give us artsy little “b-rolls” of players getting ready for their matches.

vo0 interview:

vo0 had a strong and promising start to this tournament but got totally fisted by Tim “DaHang” Fogarty in the semis. vo0 got a total of 6 frags over 3 maps (in a best of 5 setting) and if he plays like this today against Chance “Chance” Lacina he will be stomped.

dkt interview:

dkt came out looking really strong at Quakecon this year taking 4th place and showing he isn’t a dude to be messed with. But since shitty performances at DreamHack Winter and not even making it through the group stage in Edmonton, people are wondering WTF happened to the dkt they knew. Get back into form!

Rapha interview: (current World Champ – but for how long?)

Rapha had pretty much predicted that he would make it through his group, which he did but actually lost 2 – 0 to DaHang, but beat Chance yesterday in a thrilling 5 map battle to be rewarded a spot in the final. As he mentions in this interview, he’s the kind of guy who grows each game in a tournament and I wouldn’t be surprised if this time he beats DaHang to win the thousands of $$ first place prize.

DaHang interview:

Despite being widely considered as the 2nd best player in North America, this is the first time since QuakeCon 2007 (the Quad damage tournament where he came 3rd remember?) that DaHang has really made a blip on my radar again. He’s come into this tournament looking very strong and it seems like he has quickly adapted to this new patch. He’s never taken a world title and to win the North American championships would be his biggest achievement to date.

The one person who has really surprised me in this tournament whom Carmac hasn’t interviewed yet is Chance. He played so tightly against vo0 and even took home the group win when vo0 fucked it up by losing to Griffin. He went on to play Rapha and as I mentioned took it to a nail-biting 5th map (there was 1 – 2 frags difference each map before) but seemed to fall apart in the 5th and final map, ztn. If he can keep the form he had for the first 4 maps against Rapha, he could able to beat vo0. But there is one big difference between vo0 and Chance – Chance has never been a “champion”. Vo0 has years of tournament experience plus has proven to the world that he IS champion material, which is something that really separates players on the mental playing field.

If you’d like to follow the IEM events more closely, go to the IEM website. At 20.20 CET the match for 3rd place will take place followed by Rapha vs DaHang in the final, don’t miss it!!

Also the European championships will take place here in Köln (YAAAY) very early next year, can’t wait!

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

× nine = 54