It’s no secret that I love DotA. In fact, I’ve always dreamed about being able to compete at a high level, so when given the opportunity to play with some colleagues in an amateur competition, I couldn’t pass it up. We joined the SingTel PVP Esports Corporate League, in which we had quite some fun. Here’s what I thought about the whole thing:

Registration

Registering for the competition should’ve been easy, but when we actually started to register, we couldn’t find out why our form kept getting rejected. In the end we found out that it wouldn’t accept any spaces in the form – frustrating at first, but eventually we were able to register.

After registering, we were wondering where we’d find out who we were up against. After some searching, apparently brackets were to be made via Challonge’s seed randomizer. Which is great and all – however it was done via a random live stream on the PVP Esports Page without any indication that it was a seeding draw. I find it hilarious that they didn’t even bother posting the Challonge link or an image of the brackets. I had to scrub through the video to find what I wanted. Quite a big blunder on the tournament organizers, it’s really something that every tournament does.

Scheduling

Oh here’s another issue. We had two games on the first day. Completely understandable, however our schedule showed that our first game was at 11am and the next at 5pm. I was completely appalled at how they can schedule us with a 6 hour gap in between, when we could’ve completely finished our two games within a 3 hour timespan. Not exactly very friendly for working professionals.

Eventually I was able to talk to the organizers – apparently Gam3.Asia was coordinating this. The reasoning given to us was that they wanted to stream two of our games – which I understood, but they did not even bother to consult us. It took a lot of explaining how a 6 hour down time is not friendly to our schedules, and we had to work out a new schedule to put our games closer together. Our games eventually weren’t streamed because of the schedule change we requested – which was weird because they could’ve streamed one instead of two games.

Playing

So we were about to dive in to our first game, however we had some administrative delays because some of our Steam nicknames changed since registration. Now this I don’t understand – tournament organizers should know that Steam nicknames are easily changed. In fact, during the registration process, they asked us for our Steam ID links – those are unique identifiers that they could use. Instead they were asking us why our nicknames are different. They seem to have had no understanding of how Steam works. IN FACT, there wasn’t even an admin in the lobby – completely stupid as the Lobby creator could even have turned on cheats to ruin everything. It’s not that serious of a tournament, but they could at least do it right.

Our first two matches were a walkover. It seemed like some of these teams just joined for the sake of joining, with some players possibly even very new to the game. We ended up losing at the Winner’s Finals, and the Loser’s Finals after that. But it was fun nonetheless.

The Spectator Experience

So I started watching the streams just to see how it went. I found that the audio was off sync, also another easily fixable mistake. I wish they really would’ve hired people who could do this more professionally, at least to get the fundamentals right.

Production quality aside, I eventually ended up not watching because I felt like there was no storyline or anything to the whole tournament. I realize that for the Corporate League in particular, there was no information as to who was playing against who, so honestly who would care? It became pretty much as good as watching a random pub game being casted. Something that I really enjoyed when I was watching collegiate sports was rooting for a team – or my team. However in the Corporate League, not knowing who was in the competition basically made it seem like random matches.

Moving Forward

The Corporate League is a pretty good idea, however I feel that PVP Esports needs to improve a lot on actually running the tournament. I feel Gam3.Asia did not even meet the basic standards of tournaments as they stand now. In fact, a FaceIt tournament would’ve easily been more organized than this.

I would like to see more of the Corporate League – but with storylines. With people actually more invested and involved in the whole thing. Maybe we can even see rivalries and have something to look forward to in the future, but right now it feels like it’s a one and done deal.