I used to visit Genting Highlands on family trips every school holiday when I was young, so can’t tell you how excited I was when I heard that ESL One is gonna be held at the famous resort.
Teams and talents tend to complain about the hot weather in Malaysia during events in KL, so the cool weather at Genting is a big added bonus.
Though this convo happened when I was taking care of Team NP for eGG during their bootcamp in KL earlier on:
NP: The weather’s so hot here in Malaysia.
Me: But Genting’s gonna be cold you know.
NP: What? I didn’t bring any jackets!
NP: Wait wait... how cold is ‘cold’ to you
Me: Uh... 16° Celcius?
Well I’m sorry but that’s the best that our equatorial climate can offer.
Everyone seems hyped about it, since I don’t think there were any esports events held in a holiday resort. Other than Gaming Paradise, but ours actually happened kappa.
I’m just sad that the new 20th Century Fox theme park at Genting isn’t open yet.
Some pro players and talents were seen wandering about the Genting casino too the night before the event.
Arrived in Genting Highlands in the evening on Day 1 (Jan 7)! My journey up the winding path was just a dizzying mix of hype and carsickness.
The hype took over completely once I've reached!
This entire trip for me felt like a walk in the grassy area in a Pokemon game – every step I took there was a high chance I’d bump into someone I know or recognize.
Oh - hey!
There’s something really moving though, seeing all the passionate esports people from all over the region gathered in your home country. Just thinking about this kept my energy and hype up throughout the event!
Went to the Arena of Stars on Day 2 to watch the ongoing games, and grabbed a photo with this hard-to-miss Skywrath Mage.
Fitting cosplay since the Arena was often shrouded by clouds. Literally.
The Malaysian home team and direct invitee Fnatic was eliminated early in the groupstage with a 0-1 against VP and 0-2 against Team NP before I reached the arena.
Malaysian qualifiers winner WG.Unity fared slightly better with a 0-1 loss against Wings and later a 1-2 loss in a close series against Execration.
In spite of home teams being eliminated during the Group Stage, it was great to see a full house for the remaining games – says a lot about the passionate Malaysian esports fans who came to support this local event, considering the location.
Photo source: ESL
The enthusiastic and timely cheers whenever there’s an exciting play on screen made for an amazing impression of the crowd. Positive tweets from international talents and players basking in the atmosphere made me feel really proud of the local esports fans.
There were some minor technical issues every now and then, but the hosts, panelists and ESL production crew were able to fill the pauses with amusing content and interactions with the crowd.
Caught on the crowd cam during the Newbee vs Wings semifinals. Thanks for sending me the screenshots! And yup that’s a very happy ADTR sitting in front.
There were food trucks lined up in the open area just outside of the arena, as well as a bright yellow Digi booth featuring a console gaming lounge and the Secret Shop selling merchandises from past TIs and ESL.
Red Bull too set up a booth indoors for last-hitting and 1v1 challenges, which was often crowded with spectators. Teams held autograph sessions at open areas near the arena at scheduled timings; there was also a VR experience booth nearby.
I hung around the Red Bull booth most often since my friends were busy trying to win the limited edition hoodies.
One great thing about the Arena is its proximity to the SkyAvenue shopping mall; most of us were spoilt for food choices throughout the event.
Should the snacks from food trucks and buffet spreads in various lounges not tickle your fancy, you always have the option of dining at the resort F&B establishments.
Food from Acme Bar & Coffee, SkyAvenue.
Had dimsum from Ah Yat Abalone, First World Hotel.
I know right.
At one point we even went back down to Gohtong Jaya (mid-hill, about 5km from the peak) for a scrumptious seafood meal on Day 3.
During Dota 2 events I’d usually be working, be it as a translator or managing teams and talents, so it’s been really long since I last attended a Dota 2 event as a spectator – a local event, no less!
This time I finally got to relax and walk around at my own pace, chatting and meeting up with friends.
Got to chill in the comfortable Twitch lounge!
Also visited the press and player lounge during dinner; food there was great as well.
Caught up with quite a few long-time friends from the Singaporean, PH, Thai, Australian and Indonesian esports scene! Best part of events for me has always been meeting and catching up with the passionate folks in esports.
It feels really heartwarming whenever someone comes up to me asking for a photo or just to thank me for the work I’ve done. Makes all the effort so far worthwhile.
Love you guys. <3
Day 3 ended pretty late. I was watching the first game on TV in a friend’s hotel room, and there was a notice saying that the daily 10:30pm news would be cancelled for the ESL finals broadcast. Esports - we made it fam!
And Digital Chaos clinched the champion’s trophy after a grueling 5-game series on Day 3.
Attended the Twitch afterparty right after the event was over. Thanks for the invite Tammy!
Enjoying the after party with Ruth the Potatofluff.
Event was well-organized and lived up to the hype, just that the games on the new 7.01 patch doesn’t seem to be as exciting for some reason. Probably due to our general lack of understanding of the new map, and pro teams too have yet to figure out clear-cut playstyles at this point.
I believe ESL One Genting is the first major LAN since the release of the new patch. P/S: WCA doesn't count.
In any case, thanks ESL for bringing the event to such a cool location in Malaysia; thanks Genting for their willingness to venture into esports and host such a major event, and thanks Twitch for taking care of us!
It’s times like these that makes me proud to be a Malaysian – it feels like we’re finally able to properly demonstrate that we do have the infrastructure, crowd and local support to host successful, big-scale esports events here.
Definitely looking forward to future events in Malaysia!