Photos courtesy of myself!
As the pictures (as well as the amount of pictures) indicate, it wasn’t a very large-scale event considering the size of the venue and the amount of people present. In fact I actually went down on Day 2 only as Day 1 was just qualifiers in determining the top 16 out of the 64 open spots (i.e nothing too interesting).
I was kind of disappointed, but not too surprised considering that the E-sports scene here isn’t the biggest, furthermore considering the fact that this is a SC2 only event. Production values were decent given how much (or how little) attention the event received, with a proper stage/setup along with a live stream + commentary.
The biggest bummer for me was that the games aren’t even shown live, as the casting was via replays. The stream itself was laggy and freezes for a couple of seconds every now and then. At one point the whole area went out of electricity due to a power failure or something.
I arrived at a later time to watch the grand finals only, and to my dismay it wasn’t shown on the big screen due to the reasons aforementioned. The games itself were played in front of a live crowd but I wasn’t overly excited about considering that I hardly know any names in the SEA SC2 scene. In total I loitered around for about 2 hours (+dinner) just to see if there was anything of significance that might actually happen but to no avail.
Interestingly enough, the prize pool is rather generous in comparison to the WCS in other countries. The prize pool is a whooping 10k, with the winner taking home 4k. That amount alone is more than what some well-known Korean pro gamers have earned in total.
Prize pool total by countries (sorted by playoff dates):
New Zealand: 5k
United Kingdom: 15k
South Korea: 25, 980
The next E-sports event to watch out for would probably be TGX from 7-9 Sept, where the WCG SG Finals are held as well. Last year’s was pretty decent so I’m certainly looking forward to it.