Interview with Ulrich Schulze: EG vs Secret ran about one million stream viewers
This is the first time when ESL partnered with Valve for a Major event, how did it go?
It’s the first time in DotA but it’s not really the first time for us, we’ve done this for CS:GO Majors but I’m pretty happy we can do this first DotA Major as well. I think it’s been a learning process for all of us. The Majors are a new product, nobody really knew how things will look from the start so we just worked together on defining it: what would be similar to the International, what will be different and I think, in general, we are pretty happy with how it turned out.
There are a few things that us, the media representatives didn’t like so much at this Major, like the fact that players were so strictly hidden from us. Do you think this can be improved somehow?
We always trying to create something where players and the press can meet together but at the same time this is a very long tournament with a lot of prize money so we also try to give players the space that they need so they can focus on the game. In general, I think in the future it might be more press days before the start of the main event. I know it’s always a little difficult because obviously you want to talk to players during the event and not just before. We’re trying to create a good balance so the players are not annoyed but they still get some interviews out, we will look forward to find small improvements here and there.
How much was Valve’s involvement in this production and how much was ESL‘s?
We are doing the entire production here, the teams production is done mainly by us, Valve was really involved in defining the product, how everything was going to look, how the players were going to be treated, what hotels were going to be in, some key parts on how we’re going to build the stage.
We were obviously inspired by how TI looked and how we would run the TV show – they had a big say in that. But the main part, the logistics on site and the actual tv production it’s mainly ESL.
Do you already have some statistics for the event, like how many viewers you had at the venue or how many beers people drank?
I don’t have numbers yet, I know that we are going to be sold out for the grand finals, so the venue will be totally packed. We’ve seen over the week that more and more people have come, obviously people that would travel from further will take only a few days off to go to an event. I looked over some statistics and there always been five hundred thousand – one million viewers at the same time on streams. EG vs Secret ran about one million, I don’t have full statistics yet but what we can already see today is that is pretty packed inside and it’s a nice atmosphere and tomorrow, for the final day is going to be a full house and I think this is what we’ve expected.
Is there anything that you really want to say or to add to this interview, things that I didn’t asked and you feel that they need to be said?
No, I just want to say that in general we are happy with how the Major turned out. It’s a new thing for us as well, for everyone else is also new.
We’ve seen really amazing DotA, sometimes during a tournament you can’t really control the quality of the matches and this is something that you will always be surprised with. Especially the last few ones, we‘ve seen matches that were so close, we’ve seen some really unusual picks and strategies. For a DotA fan it’s such a great tournament with such a variety of players and strategies.
So, you are much more into DotA now than CS:GO?
I came from CS:GO, I played CS:GO originally and I think I know more about this game than DotA but at the end of the day both games are really exciting. When I sit in there and see people cheering it’s very unique and that’s why I think everybody should come to an event once, because watching the stream is nice, you see the people cheering but it won’t be the same as sitting in the audience and actually hearing everyone clap when there is a great move or something like that.