The Electronic Sports League looks to have made a big impact with their visit to New York City.
The esports organization brought their third ESL One event of the year to New York after previous stops in Katowice, Poland, and Cologne, Germany. And over two million people tuned in to watch.
ESL New York featured a Dota 2 tournament with eight of the world’s top teams. American squad Evil Geniuses ultimately met Chinese team and International runners-up Vici Gaming in the final, with Vici prevailing in a close best-of-three series by a margin of two games to one.
Other competing teams included Alliance, Cloud9, and Secret Team.
Vici Gaming won about $52,000 for the win, but the bigger number was that of the viewers watching. It’s not every day that any sports broadcast receives 2 million viewers, much less a Dota 2 tournament on American soil. The event was held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in downtown New York, with over 5,000 attendees turning out to watch the matches live.
“There is no doubt that esports now has its place in these kind of venues,” ESL’s Ulrich Schulze said in a press release.
Indeed, the event wasn’t even the biggest esports event of the year—by a long shot. Last year, the League of Legends World Championship final drew over 32 million viewers, a number likely to be eclipsed by this year’s tournament, which concludes this weekend.