Dotaland note: Felix菜刀刃 helped 17173 organize and plan the G-1 League earlier this year, China’s first Dota2 tournament. These bits and pieces are a series of his reflections and musings on the lead up to the event, the event itself, and surrounding tales. Dotaland translated an earlier entry here.
The fourth iteration of the G-1 League was also China’s first Dota2 competition. It was a first for simultaneous English and Chinese casts, and received high praise and support from Valve and IceFrog, and various foreign gaming media sites fought to get coverage of the event. It’s not exaggeration to say, then, that in terms of Dota’s development domestically, this G-1 League held milestone meaning.
This series documents from my own point of view snippets of the experience from planning and preparation all the way to the ultimate LAN finals, and everything in between, hopefully to bring a more complete and realistic perspective of the G-1 League. And the other hope is to acknowledge and give thanks to the hard work and dedication to esports, given by so many people.
November 17, day one of offline finals
The two days before competition resumed, our various finals teams had already gotten to Fuzhou to participate in the creation of a music video (Dotaland note: this video was the G-1 League theme song, performed by players). And because they had to play in the GEST final, Orange could only make it a day later, landing near midnight, thus missing out on the music video. Pikaxiu and other staff stayed up till 4 in the morning tweaking settings on the computers to be used in the finals, ultimately managing to stabilize pings around 60ms. It could be said that everything was progressing in a clockwork fashion.
The finals venue was an indoor recording studio; the lighting, sound, and stage effects were all excellent, the only drawback was its limitations on viewer capacity. Last year’s G-1 finals were held in Shanghai in partnership with NeoTV. What this meant was that this was 17173’s first time doing this on their own, and relatively speaking, they lacked a bit of experience on the matter. According to Pikaxiu, in comparison with the goals he had set prior, he could only give this event 60 points out of 100, but taking into consideration 17173’s current abilities, that can be raised to an 80.
The second day’s atmosphere was charged and full of energy. Every inch of the venue apart from the stage area was packed with viewers. 2009 and Crystal (SJQ/laoshu) were at the complete mercy of scores of smartphones and their cameras. Our media section was squeezed off to a corner, where we had relied a flaky wireless internet connection. Despite the roughshod accomodations, all the media people there were still very passionate in their work. Especially worth mentioning here is 178.com’s Marbo, who used a handycam to record the entire G-1 music video, thus allowing fans a sneak peak of a ‘ripped’ version of it.
That night’s semi-finals saw LGD facing off against iG, and we saw Magnus. We saw his imba dodging ability, where facing even a three-man gank, Yao would still be able to escape safely. In the end iG seemed a bit clueless in front of LGD’s aggression, and without making much of a resistance they surrendered. Thinking about it, this result shouldn’t be too strange — iG had just finished WCG China matches, and had been busy with a campus tour, so they as a team would still be in an adjustment stage and thus a lack of form could be expected. What was commendable was the fact that despite this, their attititudes remained upbeat. In interviews and from the way they acted after their losses, a sense of professionalism and respect could be seen from them. I guess ever since their experiences in Seattle, they’ve grown a lot. And not long after this, they took the win at the WCG World Finals, displaying once again their aura of kingliness…
In the other matchup between DK and Orange, things were much tighter. Because at the time the two teams were using different internet connections at the venue, their ping was different. Orange had up to 200 plus ping, while DK seemingly only had around 100 ping. In the first game Orange were swept away with little argument, then in the second game when they figured out this issue, over two hours were spent on trying to fix it. At the last after the problem was just barely dealt with, another hour went by as the match went back and forth, culminating in a sad loss for Orange. As for the differing pings between the two teams, it was hypothesized that Orange’s line was shared with a neighboring office. The tests and setup prior to the matches had happened in the middle of the night, yet the matches themselves occurred during peak usage hours, so the high ping only presented itself then. This was something that we as organizers missed. In the end Orange were very patient, and didn’t have that many complaints.
After the day’s matches, a group of friends in the media went out to eat, and bumped into Orange’s players eating at a street-side stall. ChuaN, with friends from Malaysia, we could see that he was truly happy at the time. Old friends from the same places, meeting with tears in their eyes… couldn’t imagine them fighting each other to the death, right?
November 18, second day of G-1 League offline finals
Don’t know why, but the more exciting an offline event is, the more I remember of the bits and pieces outside of the matches. On the 18th the things I remember most were the tense atmosphere, the occasional yells; these are things that no replay would ever capture.
Mushi’s Outworld Destroyer towering like a god, figuratively putting an exclamation point on his professional career. After this competition he missed out on WCG and G-league alike, the rumors being that he had switched to LoL… The final was LGD against DK, and B-god sadly failed to save society. After the match he and his girlfriend quickly left the venue, skipping even the awards ceremony. DK manager Farseer’s expression as he stood in for him on stage was unpleasant to say the least; the last time Farseer had been like this would have to go back to 2011’s first G-League when DK lost 0-3, the opponent at the time I think was also LGD. And on the other end of the stage, after DK put out GG, xiao8 rushed off the stage and hugged team lead Nicho in a release of long-held emotion. In the end, where there are winners there will always be losers, and the stage of esports will not see any perpetual winners.
And so G-1 came to an end. Even though I have no intentions of singing praises and talking things up, but still reflecting back on our achievement here is very satisfying. In the esports world, apart from players, commentators, there are another group of people — competition organizers and planners. They are the staff that set up the night before, and when everything is over, it’s also them that clean up. Even though they may present a cheerful face, their responsibility is still heavy, and their work often goes unknown by everyone else.
The “My First Person View” G-1 League theme song released afterwards had many little emotions and moving parts. The lyrics and directing were done by Yaoyao. Post production was done by Pibao, with Pikaxiu the producer. The strengths of the G-1 staff team is that they’re full of creativity, and full of energy. If there is a good idea, they will go all the way to try to make it reality. Many things look hard to accomplish, but as long as there is a determination to go along with needed ability, then the chances of it happening are good. This is perhaps another layer of the meaning behind ‘compete to your heart’s desire’.
Yaoyao is leaving 17173 after this G-1 League, so let’s commemorate everything, including the end of this series, with the lyrics to “My First Person View“.