Ireland’s EStars final proves that esports can prosper in Ireland
The inaugural Three Ireland’s EStars tournament took place in the 3Arena in Dublin on Sunday, May 13, and well the final showed a lot of potential.
Esports, which is a competition using a video game, is something that never really grabbed my attention, sure I watched the occasional StarCraft II tournament, but I never found myself going out of my way to make sure I watched a tournament. So, with that said going to the Three Ireland’s EStars final in the 3Arena was a journey into the unknown.
The final, which was a best of three, was between Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers in League of Legends, a five-v-five lane based MOBA. I had occasionally played League of Legends in the past, so I understood the basic mechanics of the game.
Before talking about how the matches went down I want to give my impression of the arena. The event location, 3Arena, is a 13,000 capacity indoor amphitheatre although the organisers of the event decided not to fully utilise the capacity, I say about less than half of the seats were available, but the reduced capacity meant that attendees got a closer look at the action. Speaking of attendees there were children who accompanied by their parents and young adults, it was nice to see that the final brought in a wide array of spectators who all cheered and clapped together when one team dominated the other.
Moving onto the matches between Sligo and Shamrock, the first match was a rather disappointing as Sligo dominated Shamrock Rovers right from the off as Shamrock Rover always seemed to overextend with the players getting caught in 3 on 1 or 3 on 2 situations. These pushes were seen clearly in kill count as after 20 minutes Sligo had registered nine kills to Shamrock’s one, but killing isn’t everything in League of Legends and Shamrock had attempted to come back, but the damage they took early on proved fatal.
Now for the second match, and Shamrock Rovers started off far stronger with an early dragon kill and double kill within the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately, Shamrock’s strong start was as good as it got because following the double kill things slowly began going downhill for them as Sligo Rovers regained composure and pushing back, and on the 21 minute mark Sligo struck a killing blow, a triple kill, this triple kill sent the remaining Shamrock players running back and gave Sligo Rover the opportunity to push toward Shamrock’s Nexus and after 23 minutes Sligo Rovers had overrun Shamrock Rovers’ defences and won the second match and the final. Sligo Rovers victory netted the team €20,000 and a trip to Las Vegas.
Apart from the matches did the final offer anything else? Well, the organisers had some nice side content. At half-time F2 Freestylers took to the stage to entertain the audience by having some fans perform football skills and dance, honestly the F2 Freestylers were not my cup of tea (I guess I wasn’t the target audience), after F2 some cosplayers took to the stage and the hosts talked to them as they showed off their outfits. Following the final match, there was even more side content with YouTube content creators such as Sjin and Turps from the Yogscast, RossBoomsocks, Rezone Games and Gross Gore talking about their experience in Ireland and League of Legends in a short Q&A session. As the YouTubers went away the best act took the stage as Prodijig provided a stunning modern taken on Irish dancing, it was a truly amazing dance and music.
So, what else is there to say about the final? Well, there were some minor issues, before the start of the first match, one of Shamrock Rovers computer crashed (displayed BSOD) and apparently one of the machines didn’t have the required software installed (I learned this from talking to the players after the final match). Another issue was the start time for the final. My invitation to the final stated that final would begin at 5:30 pm, but the EStars Facebook page said the doors opened at 4:30 pm and Ticketmaster, who were selling the tickets, said 5:15 pm. I know one or two others were a bit confused by the time, so I hope future events lay out the times better.
So, in the end, what did I think of the inaugural Three Ireland’s EStars tournament final. Well, I found it to be rather entertaining experience, as someone who only slightly followers esports I was able to be engaged with what was happening around me and the side content/entertainment was a nice way to break up the matches. Personally, I hope this inaugural tournament is the first of many esports tournaments to take place in Ireland.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.