Photo Credit: Talk Esports
When it was announced that CS:GO would be having a major foray into public television, the CS:GO community was overjoyed, but the majority of the world still remained unaware of esports and the game. What this move intended to accomplish was to increase awareness of esports and help legitimize the genre to gain the same respect as more traditional sports. Previous attempts to get into television by different games, usually ended up poorly or with little impact. However, the first week of ELEAGUE helped new viewers understand the game while allowing long-time fans to still enjoy the broadcast. This was mainly in part due to Anders and Semmler, the beloved casting duo of CS:GO. The two casters explained the basic concepts of the game for new viewers while also keeping the show entertaining to older viewers. ELEAGUE also provided CS:GO 101 clips in between the breaks and games to help newer viewers understand the economy system, purchasing weapons, and several other basic aspects of the game.
Another perhaps lucky factor for the first week success of ELEAGUE was that the series played between Cloud 9 and Luminosity Gaming was a nail-biter, rather than the blowout that most people expected. Luminosity Gaming were the clear favorites and the best team in the world going into the series while Cloud 9 were drifting somewhere around the top 15 mark. Whether it was due to having the home crowd or practice, Cloud 9 showed up to play and awed viewers with their crisp teamwork and fragging power in the first map, Mirage. Even more surprising was the fact that Mirage was Luminosity’s map choice and arguably one of Cloud 9’s weaker maps. A stunning performance from n0thing of Cloud 9, something that hasn’t been seen in a while, gave Cloud 9 the map, as they outmaneuvered the Brazilians at every turn. The second map was as exciting as the first, with the game going into overtime as neither team was able to win in 30 rounds. This time it was Skadoodle from Cloud 9 that was carrying his team throughout the game, but LG’s coldzera, FalleN, and fer were also stepping up on the opposite side. In the end, LG edged out their North American opponents by taking the overtime 4 to 1. Unfortunately for Cloud 9 and the crowd, the NA dreams were crushed on the next map as LG put on a clinic as to why they were the best team in the world. After an initial pistol round loss on the first half, two insane wallbang headshot kills by FalleN catapulted LG to a 14-1 half, basically winning all 14 rounds after. The efforts of Stewie2K from Cloud 9 was not enough to overcome the huge deficit and LG marched away as the victor of Group A.
In regards to the television schedule, ELEAGUE had the worst spot in the scheduling, widely known as the Friday “death slot”. The time frame that ELEAGUE was allotted was where television shows went to die because viewership was at the lowest during this time because most people would be outside after a hard week’s work. Add on to the fact that the first week of ELEAGUE was broadcasted on Memorial Day weekend. Despite all this, ELEAGUE managed to pull several hundred thousand viewers, a good start in regards to all the factors.
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