ESL's FlyingDJ on the future of the Facebook deal

posted by Malystryx.GDS,
Ulrich "FlyingDJ" Schulze sat down with LiquidDota at the Birmingham Major, answering many of our burning questions about future ESL One events.

ESL's Ulrich Schulze on the format

The format of ESL One Birmingham Major came under scrutiny from fans, in particular for the bo1 first round in the GSL-style group stage, which led to Evil Geniuses, Vici Gaming and Newbee being eliminated for the Major after losing a bo1 and a bo3.

"I think we will try to change up the format for all future events," said Ulrich Schulze, Senior VP for ESL. "We try to iterate the format every time and this time to be honest, and I think we were really upfront about this as well, the event was planned to be in Manila for 6 days but now because of how it’s been sandwiched in between the other Majors it came down to 5 days. It felt to us like we couldn’t do certain things the way we would’ve wanted to."

Schulze went on to say that the experience of visiting fans was also a consideration when picking a format, and that the old "12-hour day" format a couple of years ago was deemed a bit too much. Schulze said ESL hope to find a "middle ground" in the future, but reiterated that the format for ESL One Birmingham was the result of a last minute change of location.

On the topic if single-eliminations Schulze said that ESL have no real preference to it, but that it's suitable in terms of scheduling and storytelling.

"We understand why players want it, namely to get a second chance; we understand why the audience wants it because it might be that their teams are knocked out and they don’t want to see them completely dropped out," said Schulze.

"But we still consider single elimination for certain interesting features like every match being decisive, no unimportant matches but I think the message for us is pretty clear that the final bracket should have double elimination so it’s looking likely that we’re going to do the same for our events in the future."

ESL's Ulrich Schulze on the Facebook deal

Another topic of debate was ESL's streaming deal with Facebook, which has become a bit of a meme ever since its debut at the ESL One Genting Minor in January.

"How it was launched for ESL Genting was extremely short notice and not how we envisioned it so that was definitely a big mistake that led to all the things happening around there," said Schulze in the interview.

Schulze added that a few features are missing to allow it to be on the "same level as some of the other streaming platforms", but also said that he believes Facebook have the ability to create something bigger and better than anything we've seen so far.

"The other thing is we don’t want people to have a bad experience because that bad experience also reflects on the event and the sponsor so it’s not in our interest to force people to watch somewhere where they don’t enjoy it," said Schulze.

"As it comes to 2019, we’re not sure of any deal yet. We haven’t locked anything in yet and we’re not sure where we can go but we can certainly see the impact this Facebook deal has had and we certainly don’t enjoy being on the front page of Reddit every time with people complaining, it’s not a good long term prospect."

The entire interview can be found here, and I urge you to check it out.

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