Features

The International: The evolution of Pubstomps

Posted by Frederick "winterequinox007" Benjamin at 30 July 2014 18:45

For those that could not attend The International 4 in Seattle, some of us settled for next best - locally held Pubstomps in the area. Our editor, Frederick 'winterequinox007' Benjamin examines a few pubstomps in different locations around the world: Singapore, Canada, and Australia.


 

 


Table of contents
 

Singapore Pubstomp Singapore
Singapore Organizer interview
Singapore Participants interview
 

Australia Pubstomp Melbourne
Australia Organizer interview
Australia Participants interview

 

Canada Pubstomp Toronto
Canada Organizer interview
Canada Participants interview

 

There are different ways to host pubstomps for The International and a select few pubstomps will be presented to you by yours truly. This feature however will focus mainly around the Colosseum Singapore Pubstomp, at which I had the honour of attending personally. The Pubstomps featured in Toronto, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia will be covered based on feedback from other attendants.

Dota 2's Pubstomp Site: 

 

Join the biggest Dota event ever! We know everyone can't make it to KeyArena to see The International live, so we have the next best thing — local events in your area. There you can cheer on your favorite teams with friends and other Dota 2 fans.


Including short interviews with attendants, pictures, and a guide/outline of the events, it will provide some insight for those that missed out on both The International and the pubstomps.

Before we begin:
 

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death... I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post... I am the watcher.


In the spirit of The International, pubstomps have been hosted all over the world to allow gamers and spectators to be part of the action across the globe. Drinking, spectating, playing games, and enjoying LAN parties, people all over the world have come together sharing their experience and I will share those experiences with you.

"What is a pubstomp?", you might ask. Having its roots in the BarCrafts of old, a pubstomp is a group of people coming together to watch a series of games in a bar or pub. Owing to the dynamic origins of the word, the definition of a pubstomp has since changed, and I will seek to explore that in the three venues reviewed for The International pubstomp.


Last year's Singapore pubstomp got featured in a local newspaper
 

The International pubstomp - Singapore

 

Colosseum's The International pubstomp was held over a period of four days, spanning from 18th July to 21st July. Opening their cyber cafe to the public after their normal operating hours, gamers and onlookers were invited to watch the games on a large 5m² screen. Entry for the pubstomp was open to all, and was free for those who just wished to spectate.

For an additional fee, gamers were allowed access to computers at the premises as well, with their names automatically entered in exclusive raffles, turning the pubstomp into a LAN party and viewing event. Tickets were sold for both individual days as well as the whole duration of the event. Early bird prices for the tickets were $15 a day, or $45 for all four days. Normal prices were at $20 and $60 respectively. The tickets sold like hot cakes on the first day, with most of the tickets sold out within an hour from being on sale.

The tickets sold like hot cakes on the first day, with most of the tickets sold out within an hour from being on sale. Mini-tournaments, which consisted of various fun modes, organized and hosted by the staff were available to those who had signed up, with participants being awarded 'gold', which could be used to buy merchandise, for participating. 

The lights were dimmed in the venue and only a powerful projector lit up the room, showing the games on a massive screen. Although some people were watching the games, some gamers at the pubstomp were doing what they do best - gaming.

It was interesting to see the Na`Vi vs Cloud9 match up, and as an ardent supporter of Na`Vi, it was heartbreaking to watch them lose then and there. Fret not though as I supported Cloud9, DK, and EG as well in the Playoffs. Little did I know though... 

Other than the (huge indoor) screen, there were pimped-up PC gaming rigs as well. The LAN computers were top of the line, despite being over a year old. Boasting such system specifications, it was a pleasure playing on such decent gaming rigs.

Each participant ticket for the event included:
 

10 LAN hours, with a personal computer for the night
Energy Drinks, Nissin Cup Noodles given out everyday (No food was allowed, but exceptions were made for snacks)
Arcade machines open to all (Free as well)
Solo-Mid and Captain's mode games
A reward system that allowed you to earn 'gold' as you play games against other people in Solo-Mid, Captain's mode, and other fun modes, just for participating.
'Gold', which could be exchanged for prizes such as Gaming Mice, Keyboards, Headsets
Voting slips, which were to be put in tin with teams labelled on it.

 

Entertaining hosts, games, a private venue, exclusive merchandise, prize giveaways, and lucky draw raffles turned the four day pubstomp event into a memorable one. Gamers who took part in the mini-tournament and fun modes were allowed to accumulate reward currency in terms of 'gold'.

In Dota 2, players farm gold in order to purchase items. Transferring the concept into the pubstomp, people who participated in the activities would be awarded 'gold' that could be used to exchange for gaming peripherals and exclusive Dota 2 merchandise.

Winners could claim prizes that included various upscale brands of gaming gear such as headsets, gaming mice, mousepads, and the works. Some of The International merchandise were on sale as well, giving the pubstomp it's very own mini 'Secret Shop' that allowed players to exchange gold for prizes, and pre-order Dota 2 merchandise.

Lots of prizes were given out, apparently there was over $10,000 worth of merchandise that was handed out to the participants of the pubstomp, a sizeable amount by far.

With over fifty people at the LAN shop competing with each other over solo-mids and Captains mode whilst watching The International, never for a moment have I felt more in-sync in the community with the fellow gamers by my side.

When the not so 'secret shop' opened, people queued up in droves to redeem gaming peripherals, such as those below. The cheapest items there were The International poster, and Monster Energy drink cans, whilst the most expensive item was the Dota 2 Siberia V2 Headset.

Being generous with their redemptions and giveaways, people walked away with all the items in their showcase, leaving it quite bare. Personally, I managed to get a Steelseries 5HV3 headset, 2 The International Posters, and 3 Steelseries QCK Mini Dota 2 mousepads. 

Every pubstomp ticket sold includes between 5 - 20 voting slips for the participant. It was a simple matter to write our names and numbers, and at the end of the pubstomp a random person would be drawn from the tin depicting the winner. Up for grabs were Steelseries Keyboards and mice, along with autographed Dota 2 Loading Screen prints from Kendrick 'Kunkka' Lee.

Items: Signed Kunkka artwork prints and various peripherals

However, the pubstomp was not just about giveaways of gaming gear and such. It was about the local community coming together, united by the game we all love. We turned up to participate and watch the games 'LIVE' like friends normally would. I met a few of my online counterparts here, and watched The International games with them.

There were moments in The International that made us cheer, there were moments that left us disappointed. There were many ups and downs during the playoffs, with teams advancing through the brackets, and teams being eliminated, that caused the most response.

Over the next few days, strangers became friends, gamers cheered on the teams that they were rooting for, with both gamers and the public watching the tournament with a certain intensity and amazement. Between The International games and inter-LAN games, it was a volley of hollering through and through as gamers exchanged remarks back and forth about the games.

Despite rooting for certain teams, the crowd at the pubstomp cheered loudly whenever a a member of any team made huge plays, respecting the skills and precision of the player.With that being said, the moments that were undoubtedly the saddest during the pubstomp were when fan favourites Na`Vi, Cloud9, DK, and EG were eliminated.

Voting tins for the audience

All the claims that Natus Vincere were 'saving strats' went out of the window as they lost to Cloud9 in the lower brackets. Subsequently in the sequence of fan favourites, Cloud9 was eliminated shortly in the lower brackets, DK, and finally EG. China Dota was incoming for the Grand Finals.

As the last night of the four day pubstomp drew on, the weariness took its toll. From 10 pm at night till 9 am in the morning, it was a long night of spectating and gaming. By 7am about a quarter of the participants were quickly dozing off, but that did not stop the other 3/4 from playing lobby games, watching the remaining matches, or grabbing a quick breakfast at a nearby McDonalds.

The grand finals between Vici Gaming  NewBee turned up short for the viewers there, as many people felt shortchanged by the really fast 'GG' games. It was similar hero picks all around, with the 'Deathball Push Strat' against early game initiation and lockdown picks.

Many people were disappointed with this year's International, which featured two Chinese teams. Famed for their farming and pushing playstyle, the Chinese surprised the audience with very mediocre games this year. A Gosugamers interview with Daryl 'Iceiceice' Koh even said that, "this was the worst final for the people here".

Moving on though, the pubstomp had a mix of superb hosting and audience interaction, games, giveaways and quizzes that entertained the attendees throughout the night. Hosting and planning a pubstomp is tedious work. Not many gamers who attend will know the amount of preparation that goes into such events (or LAN events, for that matter).

 

 


 

Pubstomp host interview

 

Hello Daniel,  Lets talk about the challenges about hosting this pubstomp event. Could you tell us more about an unusual issue you faced that attendees might overlook or not know about?

 

There are many areas to cover before a pubstomp can even begin to be conceptualized: the venue, security measures, crowd control, activities, technical preparations, ticketing and registration.

Even when all that is figured out it, the police have to understand the nature of the event and be convinced that it is safe, conducive and properly managed before granting you a license to operate. Thank goodness someone in the relevant department knows about DOTA2 and about TI4, kudos to SPF for their diligence and understanding.

 

Walk us through on what a person would need to do to host a pubstomp or gaming event? What problems did you face?

 

Typically, if you want to host a pubstomp or a gaming event, you must be prepared to invest a lot of time and energy and be ‘Game Siao’. It’s the ‘Dota 2 Crazies’, which is practically our entire team, who are committed and focused in wanting to make the pubstomp experience better than before and fun for everyone.
 
However, there were a few challenges we faced mainly with our venue. We initially planned our pubstomp to target 200 people but due to technical limitations we had to make alternative arrangements.
 
In hindsight we are still pleased that pubstomp came back to the outlets, we saw, at times participants engrossed in the pubstomp activities- I guess some gamers still prefer to have the option to play while waiting for their preferred matches to start.

 

Now, I've heard that your first venue of choice was to host the pubstomp in a cinema. Why did that not go through? (could you give us some technical details that you're okay with)

 

We started planning almost 3 months before TI4 and we initially planned to host approximately 200 participants at a major cinema in town. We were very excited and the venue was practically confirmed.

They were very accommodating and provided the use of their online ticketing system, advertising channels and their facilities, not to mention their 4k silver screen to make the experience come alive. The deal breaker was the internet provisioning, we felt no matter how wonderful a setup we had our core objective must still be met, if the streams were bad the experience would be bad so sadly we had to pull out and within 10 days plan and execute a pubstomp at our outlets.

Having said that, with more time we could have overcome the broadband issue so the cinema could be a viable option should we decide to continue with a TI5 pubstomp.

 

The tickets for the gaming participants sold out really quickly. Did you anticipate the response and anticipation from the Dota 2 community?

 

We had to execute our contingency of hosting it at our outlets and we only had 10 days to prepare. As always we believed in what we had to offer and we knew that if we made an event that us ‘Dota2 Crazies’ would enjoy then perhaps others might too.

We were pleasantly surprised when the first and last day were sold out within a day or so and eventually all 4 days were sold out. What’s also heartening to see were last year’s pubstompers returning, catching up with them was blast!

 

What has the community response been like towards the pubstomp? Would you host one again next year if you could, and why? (has it been very rewarding etc.)

 

The community’s response so far has been rather positive and according to several pubstompers we asked it was an improvement from the last. We are still gathering feedback both positive and constructive from the attendees and there are always ways to improve.

We love positive comments but we are particularly looking for feasible ideas to make pubstomp even greater. What we are amazed with this year are the well thought of ideas that people are proposing to us and some of them are actually feasible to do!
 
The experience is always rewarding especially when we see new friendships forged because of the event. However, as you know a lot goes into producing a proper event and if we can cover costs and our beloved sponsors continue to see the value in supporting our event then for sure we will be back bigger and better than ever!


If there's one thing you could improve about the event, what would it be and why?

 

For sure, there are things we can improve on and we are collecting plenty of exciting ideas but sadly resource limitation is a real challenge and so we must carefully look and measure the feasibility of each idea.

We will always strive to achieve better than what we have done and if we were to continue you can expect something better for TI5.

 

I think I really enjoyed the community interaction and the friendliness between the players the most, come this year's International pubstomp. It was an event hosted by Colosseum for the community, with the community in mind, and it was their focus on making this event community-centric, that was their greatest strength.


 

Participants interview

 

The community here was pretty stoked about the event. Chasing down a participant of the pubstomp, I managed to get a few short opinions from a random attendee, Terence Zu. 

What did you like most about this event?

 

 The most?  Well that would be the Captain's Mode drafts I guess. I suppose the staff were really cool as well, as they weren't too focused on their mundane work-oriented tasks, and they were actually very friendly and open to people.

 

What do you think was the most memorable event of the pubstomp?

 

That would be The International matches that were on the big screen. I guess the big plays and jukes made by each team and their members is something to really marvel at. I mean, the main focus of the pubstomps is to watch The International together, and this honestly was pretty good.

 

Would you recommend this event to your friends? If so, why?

 

Honestly, that depends. The cost of the ticket is not something everyone can afford. Furthermore, some of my friends are just casual players, and don't really have interests in investing up to $60 for a pubstomp ticket. If I have friends that are interested, of course I'll recommend it to them.

 

If you could describe your pubstomp experience with your friends, what would it be?

 

One word, godly.

 

Author's final thoughts:

Would like to participate in this pubstomp once again, given the chance. On a side note, I can confirm with Terence that ALL the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, even into the wee hours of the morning. Some staff even accepted the invitations from the community to play a staff versus attendee Captain's Mode game.

Perhaps the only bad points about the pubstomp was that we had to return home every morning tired and drained, but the event was worth it. In addition, even though the air conditioning system was turned on, it still was a little warm at times in the pubstomp event.

Photo Credits: Colosseum

 

The International pubstomp  -  Melbourne, Australia

 

The second pubstomp that I will be exploring (not personally of course) is the Melbourne pubstomp, at the Crown Casino which was held between July 21st and 22nd, the day of the Grand Finals.

With The International almost one week behind us, this pubstomp was held back when people were still anxiously wondering, "Who would claim the largest share of the 10 Million Dollar prize pool? Will we get to see epic final games again?". Hosted by the founder of The Ministry of Gaming, Tan "KYUCHII" Win Meng, this event shifts from the focus of Colosseum's LAN style spectatorship, to a traditional pubstomp which has its roots in StarCraft's BarCraft viewing events. 

Registration started at 11pm for the early birds who were there. These people came in approximately 4 hours before the start of the grand finals, hoping to scout out the area and get some good seats. Officially, the Grand Finals matches did not begin until 3am, with the livestream broadcast starting at 2am local time. 

During this somewhat brief intermission, gamers were able to play 1v1 match-ups in specially provided booths, pitting their skills against other players. People were mingling around, having a beer or two and generally enjoying themselves as they socialized with their fellow Aussie gamers.

The event kicked off a little earlier with a DJ, who was mixing infront of the crowd for two hours whilst waiting for the venue to fill up together with the 1v1 booths and participant photoshoots. When the venue was starting to get packed, the hosts began with giveaways for the attendees of the pubstomp. These giveaways included various headsets, keyboards, mice, and mousepads, from TTesports and SteelSeries.

When the livestream broadcast started at 2 am, the people started cheering simultaneously, as a sign had appeared that their long wait had ended. This transitioned a little awkwardly a little later, as the gamers realized that the official games would not start for another hour. The wait time was no issue for the hosts, as they adroitly stepped in to keep the participants busy by allowing them to 'bet' using their raffle tickets, to stand a chance to win prizes from their sponsors. 

Pubstomp participants chilling out in the lounge as the games were being broadcast on multiple flatscreen plasma TVs.

When the livestream started, the participants got really excited and hyped up for their matches. With the end of every game in the best-of-five series, winners of the raffle were announced. In addition to the giveaways in between matches, a cosplay competition was held by The Ministry of Gaming.

Featuring mostly participants wearing Dota 2 themed apparel and accessories, one of the best cosplays was a Templar Assassin. There was a mini 'Secret Shop' featured on site as well, with participants being able purchase some International merchandise.

Even with advanced planning, unforeseen circumstances could still occur and the Melbourne pubstomp was no exception. Hosted with an expected turnout of 400 people in mind, it was a few days before the event that ALL tickets for both ordinary and VIP places were sold out, much to the surprise of The Ministry of Gaming.

This led to a few problems on the day of the pubstomp itself, with over 550 people turning up to Lagerfield, at the Crown Casino Melbourne. There was a lack of seats for the participants who opted to drop by the venue a little later, which led to many people standing, squatting, and sitting on the floors to watch the games.

At one point the catered food at the event ran out as well. Having paid between $32 and $45 for the one night event, this caused several patrons to be irritated especially since most, if not all eateries were closed at that hour.

Despite these unforseen problems however, feedback that I received at the event was quite positive owing to the fact that the hosts of the pubstomp delivered on all their promises for the event, with the issues that cropped up being unavoidable problems that occur all the time.

Above (Center): Tan Win Meng, Founder of Ministry of Gaming, and Melbourne Pubstomp Host.

Pubstomp host interview


 

Hello, could you introduce yourself to us?

 

Hi my name is Tan Win-Meng, my IGN is KYUCHII, I am the Founder of Ministry Of Gaming and host to Premium Pubstomp events in Melbourne.I used to compete in SEA tournaments from Australia under a couple of semi-pro teams (XPLICIT and Impreza).
I am now taking a break from the competitive scene to focus on my self development and also help the e-sports scene grow, starting from Melbourne.

 

You hosted the Melbourne pubstomp in the Crown Casino. What were some concerns that you had regarding hosting this event? 

 

The main concern for me is that the pubstomp starts at 11PM and possibly ends at 10AM the next day due to the time zone difference. Ensuring that everyone is constantly entertained and awake throughout the event is very challenging.

 

The grand finals didn't last long, approximately one and a half hours. Did pubstomp participants that travelled far to view the games feel in any way disappointed?

 

This year's finals is definitely less entertaining than the previous TI's, the success of our event is directly proportional to the entertainment value provided by the games. Hence,there are sure to be a few people that feel dissapointed after the event. 

 

I understand that the timings for the pubstomp were extremely awkward, having being held at 2 to 3 am in the morning. Was this a challenge for hosting the pubstomp? 

 

There are challenges to hosting an event that starts 2AM in the morning on a Tuesday night, but the amazing DOTA2 community here is very supportive of our events.

 

What was one thing overlooked during the organization of the pubstomp, only for you to realize it on the day itself?

 

Definitely seating space, with a total turnout of more than 550 people,those who were not able to secure a seat early or did not have a VIP table booking unfortunately had to stand to watch the games.
We will definitely look to secure a larger venue next year to ensure more people are able to have access to seats.

 

Embodying the true essence of 'pubstomp', did you step up and plan this event, or were you part of the community that decided a pubstomp needed to be held locally?

 

Last year, I was in the toilet doing my usual business, then suddenly I just had the urge to host a huge event for TI with style, and here i am now. True Story. =)

 

Which teams would you have liked to see in the grand finals? Why?

 

My favourite teams are DK, EG and C9. Three of these teams have very different and interesting playstyles compared to other teams. They are not afraid to experiment which in turn will produce more entertaining games.

 

Any shoutouts?

 

I'd like to make a shout out to a these people that helped me make this event a success. To my staff team, Win-Zwen, John, Eranga, Merv, Jyon, Tommy, Darren, Kuan Shen, Vincent, Matt, Junnie, Tristen, Kai and Henry. 
Also thank you to my parents for being so supportive even when they didn't believe e-sports were going to be this big (now they do). Shoutouts to the Australian DOTA2 community. Last but not least, i want to give a huge shoutout to our sponsors; Tt eSports, SteelSeries and AVANT GARDE!

 

Above: Participants at the Pubstomp, enjoying a beer together.

Participant interview



​I was able to interview an adopted Australian Dota 2 shoutcaster and personal friend of mine, 'Maya Arcana', who attended this event in Australia recently. With her replies, I was able to consolidate it into a overview/interview for this pubstomp.

What do you think of the pubstomp?

 

It was interesting, to say the very least. A quick introduction - I went to the Melbourne TI4 Pubstomp, organized by Ministry of Gaming. It was held at Lagerfield and Beer Garden, Crown Casino, Melbourne, Australia. There was a also small secret shop that sold TI3 merchandise. I would give it a 6/10; this is largely because there were not enough seats for everyone. For 32AUD, I would have expected everyone to get a seat at the very least.

 


What did you enjoy most about the pubstomp?

 

As I wasn't in my home country of Singapore, it meant that I could meet all of my Aussie friends. I really enjoyed meeting new people and catching up with friends whom I've never met in real life before. I had a pleasant surprise when a group identified who I was and were speaking to me about breaking into the SEA scene as well as casting. 

 

How would you describe your experience there for those who were unable to attend?

 

 I would say - go to a pubstomp not because of the drinks or food, but because of the people. The feeling when the crowd roars together with you, cheering your favourite team on is something that needs experiencing, and cannot be simply described. The closest thing would be "tingly-giddy-goodness"!

 

Would you go there again if you had the chance?

 

I would probably choose a cheaper pubstomp if I had the chance. The food and drinks were pretty overpriced, but I would say that's pretty much due to the venue (casino). Then again, I reiterate that a pubstomp should never be missed. (I might be organizing some for the Australians for TI5, so keep a lookout!)

 

What did you think of NewBee's quick wins over Vici Gaming? Did you feel shortchanged about the length of the pubstomp, as you paid good money for the ticket?

 

NewBee was fluid in their strategies and execution, so I don't have much to complain about that. However, one should remember that the organizers of the pubstomp have no control over the games, hence it wouldn't be right to say that I felt shortchanged. I did feel shortchanged due to the lack of seats and the pricey venue, but not about the length of the pubstomp.

 

Any points that the pubstomp hosts could improve on?

 

Pricey venue: I understand that Australian laws are pretty strict (especially about alcohol) so I could understand the reasoning of the organizers in choosing to go with Crown Casino, as they would have all the proper licensing in place already. However, if there was a cheaper place that could have hosted 400+ people (550 tickets were sold), I think that would have been a lot better.


Lack of seats: As mentioned previously, the lack of seats was something I felt that the organizers could have improved on. Comfy seats (like the ones in Colosseum SG) are pretty much a must for anyone who will be at a pubstomp for 8 hours or so!

 

Overall the event was fairly well done, with a large turnout and nicely done up venue. The issue with the seating seems to come from organizers underestimating the popularity of Dota 2 within their local region, which can easily be remedied by picking larger venues, or selling less tickets in the future.

Photo souce: Ministry of Gaming
 

The International pubstomp  -  TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto, Canada

 

In contrast to the Singapore Pubstomp, Toronto's Pubstomp lasted only for a day and was held in one of the most renowned theatres in North America, the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Short for the Toronto International Film Festival, this theatre has seen the likes of Colin Firth, Jay Baruchel, Hugh Jackman, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The pubstomp viewing event was held on 21st July from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, featuring the Grand Finals on the last day of The International. With Toronto being the home of Jacky 'EternalEnvy' Mao, the Torontonians turned up in droves to watch the prestigious invitation-only tournament that EternalEnvy participated in.

Hosted by Inah 'chibista' Antonio, and Jimmy 'JnT' Tran from Canadian-based gaming organization Helios Esports, the pubstomp was a phenomenal success, having outdone their themselves in this event.

Apparently, the event was a short one due to the brevity of the Grand Finals games between Vici Gaming and NewBee. From late morning, people were queuing outside the TIFF theatre in hopes of avoiding the long queues later. Entering cinema 2's movie theatre, the place was packed with hundreds of viewers hoping to get the best seats in the house.

 

The cosplayers invited the event, Enchantress, Drow Ranger 

Featuring a privately booked theatre, cosplayers, a customized compendium, exclusive autographed merchandise from Cloud9, and shoutouts from Dota 2 personalities such as Anuxi, Sheever, and ixmike88, the event received lots of love from the local and international community.

Drow Ranger, Queen of Pain, and Enchantress cosplayers were invited by Helios Esports to take part in the viewing event. Adding to the spirit of the day, several viewers managed to grab hold of a 'Kappa' mask well.

Moreover, the cosplayers also threw free stuff into the crowd, and picked winners (from a bag) for the raffles. Ushering the people into the theatre, there were reserved seats for some of the VIP viewers as well. 

Giveaways were done by the hosts of the pubstomp, with 'Mythical' and 'Legendary' prize sets for the audience. Inside the baskets were over $1,000 worth of gaming peripherals and gifts for each lucky winner. Raffle prizes were given out to lucky audience winners as well, with $3,000 worth of raffle prizes given out that day.

For the local Torontonians the event was covered by Sean Tepper, a reporter from The Globe and Mail. The Canadian newspaper helped to provide extra press coverage for the event as well, with the exposure contributing to the development of the local Esports scene.

As the event proceeded as planned, with the introduction of Murphy's law problems arose with the seat reservation system, as some VIP ticket holders were unable to reserve a seat of their choice. Usually,TIFF would be able to provide a seat hood with a 'reserved' sign for the VIP ticket holders. However on that day itself, there were not enough seat reservation hoods for the VIPs, resulting in some unsatisfied participants and misunderstandings.

Although the pubstomp organizers were able to refund the price differences to the participants. there were other participants that were disgruntled with the giveaway/raffle system and prizes as the giveaways had a high value which were given to only a few participants. Overall though, Helios Esports had a ton of features in their event, and did their best to provide an awesome experience, regardless whether you bought a VIP ticket or not.

 

Looking to get more feedback about the event, I conducted an interview with Jimmy 'JnT' Tran, about the pubstomp hosted.

Pubstomp host interview


 

How did you feel about hosting the Toronto Pubstomp? How long was this in the planning stage for?

 

We wanted to do the pubstomp ever since last year's International but it was already too late to start planning. Four months before the International 4 even began, we started planning for the event and we were very happy with the results.


With the logistics and planning of such a huge event, what were some unavoidable problems that cropped up?

 

One of the biggest problems we had was finding the right venue. We contacted other venues around Toronto but finally decided that TIFF would be the best place to host the pubstomp at.

 

What was your experience handling the pubstomp in such a posh venue like?

 

It was very hard at first with all the restrictions TIFF had. We spent countless hours sending e-mails back and forth to ensure our event went smoothly and being able to make sure our guests had a great time!


In what ways do you think your experience would differ if you were in the audience, rather you organizing it?

 

I think I would be a lot less tired and would be able to watch the whole match without any interruptions!


Who did you expect to be in the Grand Finals of The International? What teams did the spectators hope to see?

 

I was very saddened that Team DK got eliminated! I believe everyone wanted to watch Team DK vs EG in the grand finals.


What was your reaction to NewBee winning The International?

 

Newbee came out strong even before the International. They were one of the favourites to win this years International 4.

 

Any thoughts about how the pubstomp can be improved? How about thoughts on The International as well?

 

I've never planned an event before and having the honor to co-host this event with Inah was very inspiring. She taught me a lot on what to do and how important it is to meet deadlines for everything. If one thing gets backed up, everything else gets backed up! With the experiences we learnt from this pubstomp, I'm sure next years pubstomp will be even better!

 

Finally, Any shoutouts?

 

I'll like to thank our sponsors: Logitech Gaming, GameVox, NA Dota, D.Fundano Photography and AMD. Special thanks to Global and Mail for taking the time to cover this event. This event couldn't have happen without our volunteers and most importantly our guests who came and supported our event!

 

Participant at the Toronto pubstomp, sporting an International pubstomp shirt.

Participant interview



​With the help of 'chibista' and 'JnT', I managed to interivew a participant of the Toronto Pubstomp via email, and ask him about his experiences regarding the much anticipated event, which was held at TIFF on 21st July.

How did you find out about the pubstomp event? 

 

Well, through a Canadian Facebook Group.

 

About the venue, TIFF, do you think this venue was suitable to host a viewing party for The International? Why?

 

TIFF was a great location to watch the international. I just thought there may be be some other room to meet other people that like dota or something.

 

What do you think can be improved about the pubstomp viewing event? Any thoughts on the event as a whole?

 

It was great. I loved the giveaways, raffles and the cosplay. The event needs more enthusiasm too.

 

Which team were you rooting for? Who was the favourite team among the spectators?

 

Newbee all the way, and I believe that Team DK was the favourite team amongst the spectators

 

What do you think of the meta game that the various teams played? Were there any differences between Western and Chinese teams?

 

I couldn't really tell the difference between Western teams and Chinese teams meta game. A large number of this year had their own meta game.

 

Iceiceice said that, "this was the worst final for the people here". Do you think so? 

 

It was great. I wonder why he said it was the worst.

 

If you could give an MVP trophy to any player in TI4, who would that be? (And why?)

 

I really can't make up my mind on this one. There are sooooo many good players.

 

I would like to thank Inah 'chibista' Antonio, and Jimmy 'JnT' Tran for their help in this pubstomp experience in Toronto. The pubstomp insights were great as well, along with the pictures and information that they have shared with me. 

Photo Credits: D. Fundano PhotographyHelios Esports
Front Page Image: Toronto pubstomp at TIFF




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