As the invite lists were unveiled for the E-League ($1.2 million) and the ECS ($3.2 million), many were shocked to see that Tempo Storm was not included. The Brazilian side had a Cinderella run at the IEM Katowice X tournament and had already proven themselves in multiple North American qualifiers, beating top dogs such as Team Liquid, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, and more. Luminosity Gaming’s FalleN, the proclaimed “savior of Brazil”, voiced his frustrations on Twitter.
“Excited for @EL , sad again for not seeing @Tempo_Storm in another big competition. Don’t know what it takes, sure its more than results.”
It is not just skill, dedication, or hard work that earns you invites nowadays. Remember that the E-League will be broadcasted on television and all matches played offline (similar to that of Riot’s LCS), and the ECS is a league sponsored by Twitch, who controls a monopoly of the game streaming industry. Obviously, on a scale like this, viewers would have more pleasure and interest watching matches between high-performing teams.
But, to contradict to that statement, not every team in the ECS or E-LEAGUE is a great team. On the ECS side, invited teams include compLexity and TSM, both of whom have not proven they are worthy of an invite to such a prestigious league. The TSM side have yet to play in any league other than ECS or E-LEAGUE, whereas the compLexity side are faced with roster issues and a failing record in the ESL ESEA Pro League.
As for E-LEAGUE, you have teams being invited that are facing roster issues and have had lackluster performances as of late. Examples include Gambit Gaming and their CIS team, the bondik-less FlipSid3.ESP, an underdeveloped Echo Fox, the slumping and losing Renegades, the unproven SK Gaming side, and the aforementioned TSM. But, what most people don’t realize is that the majority of these teams were picked in favor of their social media reach.
Gambit Gaming, Echo Fox, Renegades, and TSM all have huge fan bases thanks to their League of Legends teams and SK Gaming has a historic and successful history in a previous iteration of Counter Strike, 1.6. FlipSid3 may be the odd one out, for their past performances and ability to keep consistent placings have proven their worthiness of the E-LEAGUE spot.
Lurppis, a historic 1.6 player turned ENCE manager, has said on Twitter in terms of SK Gaming’s invite:
“In fact, ELEAGUE’s commissioner is a former SK employee, which makes that invitation look really sketchy.”
It is all about the business side of esports. Esports is still growing, and people will want to make money out of it. Tempo Storm does not have a huge fanbase outside of their Hearthstone squad and their CEO, reynad. The ECS teams were handpicked, and they were possibly blindsided by someone behind the scenes and never received the invite they deserved.
Image: Tempo Storm