IISR goes to ESL One eSports Counter Strike World Championship held at the Barclays Center

Produced by: Denise Kamyuka

NY 2018 ESL One eSports
December 17, 2018

One of the major applications of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Sport Research (IISR) is the exploration of eSports as a field of academic study and engagement. According to esportsearnings.com the highest total awarded prize money for 2018 was awarded for Dota 2. The total prize purse for this year 1030 tournaments (worldwide), was $172 207 763.74. Forbes and Statista use projection on prize money growth and Twitch viewership to put USA eSport revenue at over $900 million for 2018. They further project that by 2020, revenues will soar to over, $1.65 billion.  With such growth and consumer demand it is only prudent that the institute start developing it niche local in eSport academia.

Currently the institute is funding research on eSport nutrition and host think tanks that will help us identify areas of potential investment. Our research however, would not be complete without experiencing an eSports tournament, live. IISR’s director Dr. Emese Ivan, attended the ESL Counter-strike tournament and had the pleasure of running into one of St John’s University’s Master’s in sports management students, Michael Antonucci. Michael agreed to give an account of his experience for our newsfeed.

“On the weekend of September 29th, I attended the ESL One eSports event held in the Barclays Center. Just like any other sport event the arena was bustling with fans surrounded by numerous marketing tents. However, this gathering at the relatively young arena was not for basketball nor hockey, rather the world championship of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or CS:GO. CS:GO is a video game that pits a team of “terrorists” and “counter terrorists” in a race to either plant or defuse a bomb. The 8 teams must follow strategy and conduct varying plays in order to obtain their share of a $250,000 prize pool and the title of world champion.

From my experience at the Barclays Center, I noticed no shortage of sponsors and other various organizations promoting their products. Some of these sponsors included AT&T, Alienware, and Intel. Numerous stations were constructed, allowing fans to engage in video game tournaments and QR code scavenger hunts. I quickly realized that the experience of this event was not just completely centered around the professional gameplay itself. It was clear that during these games many fans chose to continue their trip around the arena, gathering their free giveaways and participating in gameplay themselves.

Unfortunately, the hometown contenders, Team Liquid, were unable to secure victory against their German competitors, Mousesports. The five-game series had started fairly well for the North American players, going into the fourth round with a generous lead. However, Mousesports had mounted one of the most ambitious comebacks of the year as star player Chris ‘ChrisJ’ de Jong proceeded to single-handedly wipe out the entirety of Team Liquid. Naturally I rooted for the home team in this competition, yet I couldn’t help but appreciate the outperformance by de Jong against an entire team.

Overall, my experience as an eSports fan at the ESL One Championship was engaging as well as entertaining.”

Thank you, Michael, for this contribution. Stay abreast of what the IISR is doing by visiting by following visiting our webpage, subscribing to our blog and liking us on Facebook @SJUIISR.