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An Interview with ECAL's Geno

The showmatch between United States Captain Planet and China World Elite was a jumpstart for new organization Elite Cyber Athlete League (ECAL). In an interview with GosuGamers, ECAL organizer Geno talks about ECAL, the showmatch, 1.4 million viewers and future projects.

Hi there Geno, thanks for accepting this interview with GosuGamers. Some may not be familiar with you, could you give us an introduction to yourself and what you do?

Hello! My name is Lauro “Geno” Pangilinan and I come from the distant land called the North American Dota community. Right now, I make dry Dota commentaries for Machinima Realm, I am one of the owners of ECAL, and I am also one of the head admins for the upcoming ProDota2 league. In addition to all of that, I am the manager of Binary Gaming’s StarCraft 2 team, an inactive StarCraft 2 caster, and I also own my own gaming review site that is alive last I checked.

Outside of gaming, I am actually a Kinesiology major with an emphasis in gerontology. So basically I study and help find ways of making people live longer and have the ability to retain full functionality in their bodies as they age. You have a lot of 60-70 year olds who end up losing functionality and it’s pretty sad to see them having to go to nursing homes just because they cannot get in their shower. It is my job to make sure that everyone gets a chance to live life to their fullest.I also like to imitate my friend Becca’s voice twice to three times a week.

When you're not busy helping people live forever, you are also an organizer for ECAL. What was the intention of setting up ECAL?

The intention that we had was to create something big for the Dota 2 scene. We love Dota 2 a lot and would like to see it grow so we decided to something happen. I loved running the Sunday Evening Cup Series but I knew that I wanted to be involved in something bigger. The other thing was that we wanted to provide quality service to people who participate in our events. To personally speak about my experiences, there have been instances where tournaments did not pay out the money promised and there were tournaments referees that would be friends of my opponents so they ended up getting a walk over on my team. Besides providing something entertaining, we want to make sure that everyone watching and participating has a positive experience.

One of the founding members of ECAL is Nova. Many people won't know this, but he is also known as Caomei/Strawberry, who was a professional Chinese player that played for teams such as CCM, and was in fact a former teammate of YaphetS in CYC. With his experience, expertise and networks, does ECAL have plans to use him as communication channel to begin ease the transition for Chinese teams to Dota 2?

We love Nova! I do not know if he can convince people to switch to Dota 2 because that is something these teams will have to do on their own but hopefully the Captain Planet vs World Elite ft. YaphetS showmatch being broadcasted on their soil will maybe convince them to switch over. The transition should be coming quite soon especially when they have to train for The International.

Captain Planet, World Elite & YaphetS

ECAL was recently launched with an announcement of the showmatch between Captain Planet and WE. Was this showmatch your initial plan to bring attention to ECAL?

Yes! We wanted to come in with a bang. Bringing YaphetS into the equation certainly helped in hyping everything up.

Viewers were able to see the introduction of fan favorite YaphetS in Dota 2 for the first time after a lengthy absence from the competitive scene. However, there is no doubt that YaphetS was not showcasing his true talents he demonstrates regularly in Dota. What was ECAL's intention to introduce YaphetS at such a highly anticipated showmatch even though he was not prepared?

When I heard that we brought YaphetS into the showmatch, it was actually a surprise to me because I heard he was doing first person VODs of himself and teaching the game. So the showmatch happens and it was a rough game 1 but he seemed to play a lot better in the next games from what I saw. Besides the hype on his name alone, there are always those questions of “How do you think YaphetS will do in Dota 2?” and we gave everyone something to see. I was hoping to see a YaphetS press release right after announcing his intention to take Dota 2 seriously but it did not happen. We are all just fans of the game and we just want to see our favorite players play.

The showmatch concluded with Captain Planet winning all three games, and it was a jumpstart for this new team. Why did you choose Captain Planet instead of other teams?

There were a lot of teams we were contacting but a lot of them were citing server issues, time, or they completely ignored us. We ended up choosing Captain Planet because they were willing to play on the Singaporean servers and the idea of an upcoming team taking the big stage was a neat idea.

ECAL League

At the end of the showmatch, you yourself announced on stream that ECAL will be launching a league. Could you give us some details about this league?

The league itself still has work to be done. We do realize that the production was lacking in the showmatch but it was just a demonstration for everyone to see what we can do. The invites are starting hopefully at the end of April and then the qualifiers at that same time. What I can share for right now is that in Season 1, everything will be strictly single elimination so far. The future seasons will be different.

There are currently increasing number of leagues appearing in Dota 2. What sets ECAL apart from other leagues?

I could sit here and say “Our passion, dedication, and will to drive forward is what sets us apart” but it would not be enough for everyone because everyone who holds leagues have the same qualities. We do not plan on just holding a league. In addition to that, we plan on holding other showmatches and events that fans of the game will love. A lot of Dota 2 leagues are competing against one another in the same scene and I think it makes everyone better but at the same time, I think we should all work together to build a brighter future.
Our stream figures were 1.4 million unique views for our showmatch. That is what separates us from everyone else. We feel that with our incoming partnerships we will be a major player in the near future. All that off of one showmatch in a beta game!


There were also some controversies before the showmatch as there were reports by other sites that YaphetS was not going to play by consulting with a team manager. This turned out to be untrue, as an organizer what are your thoughts on this?

Sources are fine to consult with but even sources can be faulty. In this case, asking the organizers for some information might go a long way.

There have been questions raised by members of the community, in particular reknowned caster Tobi Dawson regarding the validity of the 1.4 million views, and 440k concurrent viewers for the showmatch. What is ECAL's response to this?

The figures given to me were from our broadcasting partners and streamers. You can take that however you will. I'm just going to say that there was news that YaphetS was never going to show up and we delivered on that. We are currently preparing our next events so that it can be bigger and better. Maybe you guys will see another star in another showmatch, I hear zsmj is playing Dota 2 these days.

There are confusion as to what Cable TV means. Could you elaborate on that?

Well we partnered up with Gamefy and they broadcast through IPTV and Cable TV. Gamefy is basically a channel that people subscribe too, so it was shown on TV for viewers in China.

Future Projects

You are also involved in another upcoming league by ProDota2.com. Is there anything you can share about this highly anticipated league?

Right now, there is not much I can share other than there will be a formal announcement for everything on April 3rd. The qualifiers start soon so get ready!

ECAL is off to a great start after the showmatch. Aside from the ECAL league, what other events does ECAL plan to showcase in the near future?

Other than the league, I am proud to announce that we are going to have a King of the Hill style of showmatches every month. In addition to that, it will be a Nations KOTH! For example, Team USA vs Team China or Team Russia vs Team Denmark could be something. We thought of this because we wanted to do more showmatches and we thought this was the best idea going forward. So get your popcorn ready.

Thanks for taking this interview Geno, any shoutouts?

Shoutout to Binary Gaming and its sponsors in Steelseries, EOReality, NationVoice, and AON Media. Shoutouts to Nitestryker, Solace, Nova, Drmaul, Blitz, Dsmk, GrandGrant, Jaywalker, Ayesee and Draksyl for your continued efforts in not only ECAL but in the Dota scene.

Another round to the BackDoor Express (good luck in your study abroad programs Chris and Kevin!), Japanese Culture Club (csufjcc.org), CatchKuma (catchkuma.com), Inhovation (inhovation.me), my friends in Walnut, my friends in CSUF, my brother Josh, his friends Jacob and Ann, the following in Oregon, One Clean Shot, InsaneVixen, and Becca (sorry for imitating your voice, I promise to only do it once per week instead of the usual two). Also thanks for buying me cake Annie!

To MelonSodaCan (aka Cancer) and Baguette, thank you guys for everything you are seriously awesome. To Polarbear, we’ve been friends since…preschool? How long have we been playing games for? Since before we could read? Slowly, we both conquer our dreams in the medical world. Good luck in med school man.

You can also follow me on these places:
Youtube.com/genogaming (I’m starting some new Let’s Plays with Deus Ex and Borderlands and I’m going to Video Blog again!)
Twitter @GGnetGeno and also follow @ecaltv because we will start updating a lot.

We look forward to promising projects from ECAL and thank Geno for his insight. Stay tuned as GosuGamers bring updates of ECAL.

ECAL Official Website - Showmatch Figures

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