Keeping up an event for 10 years itself is a remarkable achievement. However, uplifting an infamous gaming culture on an island and expanding it for ten years is a completely different story. While the country’s biggest eSports event took place as a part of PlayExpo ’17 organized by Gamer.LK at SLECC, the question we all had was, would it live up to be the biggest gaming event of 2017? Here is how we saw SLCG 2017 happen over the three long days.
Exploring SLCG 2017
This is always an exciting moment and with SLCG 2017, it was no different. Despite the change of venues, this year, a slightly different feel was given. The left side of SLECC was dedicated mostly for SLCG 2017 matches. A long strip barricaded by sponsor boards separated the gamers’ battlefield from the rest of the event. The boundaries were set to ensure no player has interfered while he enters his game.
The long strip consisted of over 100 PCs playing ten official titles. It was divided into nine sections, 10-12 PCs for each. While it was very similar to how the original setup of SLCG from 2011 to 2013, the increased number of titles made the area compact. The segmented spectator areas were just outside the sponsor boards. Fans were able to spectate matches through TVs broadcasting the live matches relevant to each section.
Call of Duty 4 took a little less prominence than the previous years, yet a majority of sections were allocated as there were 112 registered teams. From which, one section was given for Special Force 2 during the last day. DOTA 2 followed up with two allocated sections for 56 registered teams. The rest of the team games also had a dedicated section to conduct their matches. Meanwhile, in a corner we found the individual titles such as Injustice 2, Tekken, Street Fighter, FIFA 17, and Project Cars.
The massive main stage gave prominence to all the important matches of each team title. 12 PCs (6 for each side) filled the sides of the stage. In front of the PCs were two horizontally long screens attached to the tables showing team names and line-ups for the relevant sides. Behind the PCs stood a massive screen projecting the live matches happening on the stage and other key events of the event.
A massive space was allocated in front of the main stage for fans to spectate their favorite matches. Space was easily enough to let all the gamers from different clans sit separately and cheer their favorite teams.
SLCG 2017’s setup limited to the above two areas mentioned inside of PlayExpo. The venue was massive to an extent the crowd looked small compared to previous years. It was very spacious and comfortable to move around. However, those who were in the SLCG 2017 side strip could not see what was happening on the main stage as vendor stalls were blocking the view. Despite that, navigation was made very easy for SLCG 2017 participants to easily reach the rest of PlayExpo’s happenings.
But SLCG 2017 is not an event where you come stand behind a monitor to play or watch a video game. It’s a festival where gamers and fans unite to shout and celebrate eSports. Living up to creating the hype, the matches that went up on the main stage were cast by professional shoutcasters in Sri Lanka. They made sure to keep the excitement real by giving accurate facts, predictions, and analysis of ongoing matches for the spectators.
What Evolved in Local eSports Over Ten Years
The main part of SLCG 2017 are the official titles. This year, ten official team and individual titles were played. They were: DOTA 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, CounterStrike: GO, Call of Duty 4, Special Force 2, FIFA 17, Tekken 7, Injustice 2, and Project Cars. In addition to them, Clash Royale happened as an official mobile title.
With the promise of uplifting eSports, Gamer.LK introduced the world’s most popular fighting title, Street Fighter V, and FIFA 18 as promotional titles this year. The turn up for the promotional titles gave a solid impression that they are worthy of being official next year. A special note is that the local celebrity, Iraj also showed his interest and took his turn in playing Street Fighter against the Sri Lankan champ, Ashwin ‘PnX|Phantom’ Umasudhan. It was a first time where a cyber-athlete officially faced a celebrity in a friendly encounter.
All individual titles happened on a qualifier basis. Each day, several sets of qualifiers took place from which the top two players who remain were qualified to the main bracket. The main bracket of the qualified participants took place on Sunday and the winners were crowned. FIFA 17 once again had the highest number of individual participation. In oppose to the rest of the titles, Project Cars had the smallest final bracket with only 6 qualified participants.
The main stage was given for prominent matches of each game. Grand finals of almost every team game was played in the main stage giving the players the spotlight they deserve. However, the CSGO final was skipped from the main stage with the agreement of the players due to delays in the schedule.
The top contending eSports clan – Phoenix GaminG was heavily challenged by their rival clans, n00b Alliance, Tech Morph, and Xiphos eSports. Almost every title had a grand finale of a battle between two clans. N00b Alliance beating Phoenix GaminG in Tekken 7, Tech Morph reaching the final of Project Cars, Phoenix GaminG vs Tech Morph coming into the grand finale of FIFA 17, and Division 9 defeating Death Sentence in DOTA 2 were some of the major gaming highlights from this year.
With all difficulties, unpredictable moments, and endless cheers, the following results were finalized at this year’s Sri Lanka Cyber Games.
In addition to the main tournament, the Female League also happened on the last day of SLCG 2017. In three titles, namely: Mortal Kombat XL, Mario Kart, and NFS Most Wanted, the league entertained 6 enthusiastic lady gamers. From them, the following names emerged victorious:
By considering the overall performance of clans that take part at SLCG, the Overall SLCG 2017 Championship is given to the most dominant clan each year. This year, the ten official titles were taken into consideration and were given points accordingly. The reigning champs, Phoenix GaminG had a very hard time contesting the overall title this year. However, defeating the strong forces of n00b Alliance and Tech Morph that came very close, Phoenix GaminG was once again able to become the overall champions at Sri Lanka Cyber Games ’17. In addition to official titles, there were many sponsored titles such as Gran Turismo, Rider Rush, Run Away, and Smash Hit for everyone to freely take part and win major prizes, including an actual Honda motorbike.
The Award Winning Cyber-Athletes
Alongside Sri Lanka Cyber Games, the National eSports Awards hosted by the Sri Lankan eSports Association also took place on Saturday. During the ceremony, the top performing individuals and clans are recognized.
Phoenix GaminG was on a streak of winning the Best Clan of the Year award for three consecutive years. However, it was highly contested by n00b Alliance and Xiphos eSports during 2017. The question of who would win the best clan became a great question to discuss.
Despite the sudden announcement, all relevant people representing their clans gathered near the main stage to hear the big results. After the individual awards were announced, the Best Clan of the Year award time came. Once again, Phoenix GaminG was announced as the Best Clan for the fourth consecutive year.
The following awards were given to the respectful players at National eSports Awards this year:
- Call of Duty 4 – Mohammed ‘TM Rocker’ Zaid
- CSGO – Geeshan ‘Defiance’ Jeyaraj
- DOTA 2 – Mirsab ‘PnX|Paradoxx’ Hassan
- FIFA 17 – Ashen ‘TM Penaldo’ Katagoda
- Mortal Kombat XL – Ishan ‘x3.Deadpool’ Nayanajith
- Project Cars – Ryan ‘x3.LokDown’ Perera
- League of Legends – Patrick ‘PnX|xzPat’ Philip
- Call of Duty Advanced Warfare – Dinendra ‘PnX|Danaya’ Sandamal
- Tekken – Abdul ‘PnX|AR’ Rahman
- Overwatch – Hassy ‘x3.Syndrome’ Vinod
- Best Clan of the Year – Phoenix GaminG
And the 10th year was a wrap!
An increased number of titles definitely showed an increasing number of participants. Lots of new faces representing new clans were seen at this year’s SLCG 2017. The action and results that emerged were undoubtedly the finest eSports anyone can witness in the country.
Despite a few techincal and communication issues, Sri Lanka Cyber Games concluded for the 10th year bringing the biggest crowd under a single roof. The matches were intense, players were very skilled, and the games and numbers defined the event to once again be the biggest gaming event of the country.