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The Warsaw Voice » Society » April 30, 2018
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ESL one in Katowice
April 30, 2018   
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ESL one in Katowice

The Electronic Sports League (ESL) Dota 2 multilayer strategy game tournament is the first Major class tournament in Poland and one of the largest esport type events in Europe.

The Dota 2 multilayer strategic game ESL One tournament was held in Katowice on the last weekend of February. This in an event on an international scale and the first Dota 2 Major class event in Poland. The world's top teams competed for a pool of prizes which totalled one million dollars, and the games were watched by crowds of spectators gathered in Katowice's Spodek and were also streamed across the web.

Alongside the tournament games, the Mercedes-Benz MVP (Most Valuable Player) plebiscite took place, where the winner was chosen on the basis of votes cast by the public and an expert jury. The winner received a new compact vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz has been actively supporting the global world of esport since the end of last year – as a partner and co-organiser of ESL One tournaments. This is the Stuttgart-based manufacturer's response to the latest trends and an attempt to reach new, young customers directly in their own environment.

By Bartosz Grzybiński

Dr Jens Thiemer, Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing Director spoke to the Voice:
"We are happy to be an esport tournament partner in Poland for the first time".

After sponsoring the ESL tournament in Hamburg last year, Mercedes-Benz decided to sponsor another event. What opportunities do you see for the brand as a new sponsor in the esport world?

First and foremost, esport is an excellent tool for reaching young people. It is an important element, which represents a large part of our initiatives associated with entertainment. It facilitates our brand reaching new target groups where it is received enthusiastically. That is why in my opinion our plan to support esport will ensure we are in the right place going into the future. As compared to many other sporting disciplines, the structure of esport is significantly more dynamic. We are afforded a lot of flexibility, we are not forced into a situation where we are confined solely to a sponsor's function. On the contrary – here we can act like a real partner. As an example, as an ESL partner we have significant freedom to create real value for the target group.

The first Dota 2 Major class event in Poland was held in Katowice. How significant is that specific event for Mercedes-Benz?

For some time now, primarily due to the Intel Extreme Masters series, considered to be the first major esport event in Europe, Katowice has been acting as an epicentre for European esport. On the strength of this tournament, in recent years the city has built a reputation for itself of a venue open to new technologies and one which is youth-culture friendly. As Katowice has been hosting the Intel Extreme Masters tournaments for a number of years now, its position is already quite consolidated. That is why we are very proud to be able to be a partner of the first Major class Dota 2 tournament in this wonderful city.

According to experts, the hype associated with esport is just the beginning. Do you agree?

Definitely. If you look at the numbers of competing players around the world, esport is a mass phenomenon. According to figures, dynamic global growth is evident, vast sums of money are offered by way of prizes, and we are simply dealing with a fascinating platform. Just like many experts, I am convinced that one day esport will become bigger than football. And we are certainty still far from reaching the full potential of this new branch of entertainment. There is a lot to this platform which we haven't seen yet.
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