ESL One Genting tournament kicks off, powered by Microsoft and partners
Being in a stadium amidst the throng of fans that ushered in 2017 as they rooted for their favorite Dota 2 team can be a pretty overwhelming experience, most especially when you’re right in the thick of it.
We are of course talking about the ESL One Genting tournament that kicked today at the Arena of Stars, here at Genting Highlands. The event was sponsored by Microsoft along with long line of other partners that includes Lenovo, MSI, NVIDIA, and even Plantronics, and every piece of gear that we saw in the arena, both on the stage and at the shoutcasters’ desk, featured products that belonged to one brand or another (the shoutcasters’ desk sported Lenovo notebooks).
Even the desktop systems that were used for the tournament were all installed with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card.
The ESL One Genting is the first Dota 2 tournament of 2017, with its prize pool sitting at US$250,000 (approx. RM1,118,125) for the winning team at the end of this grueling three-day tournament. The participating teams including Fnatic (flanked by our local eSports favorites Mushi and Ohaiyo), Wings Gaming, Digital Chaos, Virtus.pro, and WarriorsGamingUnity, an all-Malaysian based eSports team.
But of course, Microsoft’s presence in eSports arena is obviously due to all the systems running one of the most competitively played games in the world via their Windows 10 OS. The company has slowly been shifting their marketing strategy for Windows 10 towards the direction of gaming. To that end, that’s also one of the reasons that Microsoft is one of the major sponsors for ESL, the organization that handles these tournaments worldwide.
Besides Microsoft, both MSI and Lenovo had a presence outside the event as well. Both of them had booths just outside the stadium, and both companies were simply promoting their products.
But of the two, Lenovo was the one that surprised us with a brief and prompt presentation of their new Legion Y520 notebook (technically, the model we saw was an engineering sample), and their more powerful ideapad Y910 gaming notebook. Specs-wise, the Y910 comes fitted with the latest Intel Kaby Lake CPU, and a more powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU inside.
Lenovo also showcased their first ever VR workstation system. Running on an Intel Xeon CPU and dual NVIDIA Quadro M6000 workstation graphics cards, this was the first time that we had seen the company enter the VR market.
It was during this time that we also found out through a source close to Microsoft the company would be officially be bringing the Xbox One controller into the Malaysian market. Details about the initiative were still being finalized, but if the source was to be believed, then we could see the controller retailing at all of Microsoft's official partners (Lenovo being one of them) sometime during March 2017.
ESL One Genting is set to go on for another two more days, with the deciding match to take place this Sunday (January 8, 2017). We were present for the first match, and at the time, team Fnatic had lost the ‘Best of one’ segment. We had asked who they felt about it, and team member Ohaiyo simply said that they were looking to at least put up a better challenge during the ‘Best of three’ matches.
You can visit the official ESL One site for more information.
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