A Few Things ESL Can Work On For Season 2
With the first season of the HCS Pro League in the books, everyone is starting to unwind and relax after a very eventful season. With this being the offseason, now is a great time for me to go over a few things ESL can work on for Season Two.
This season had a lot of positives to take note on. With a few new prospects emerging in the scene, Counter Logic Gaming’s unstoppable reign of terror, the uncertain but exciting future of Team Liquid and the second chance OpTic Gaming has earned to redeem themselves as a solidified competitive team makes many of us very excited to see what Season Two will bring.
Unfortunately, this season was no where near perfect and there are quite a few things ESL need to work on to improve the Pro League for next season. To avoid any confrontations with anyone in the community, these ideas will not be ranked based on importance. However, I most likely will not be listing every idea the community has, so if you feel there is a way that ESL can improve the Pro League and it is not in this article, please feel free to let me know in the comments.
More Open Events
I am sure most of us would agree that there was simply not enough events this season. Although there were three events this season, all three were closed invitationals, therefore only teams that were invited could compete in them. The lack of open events has definitely taken its toll on the community with a lot of anger coming out of some players over the lack of events. This recent drought of events has also taken its toll on the pro players with many saying that the season finals were a bit hard to adapt to due to the lack of events they could have competed in this season. If you want to read a more in depth article about the importance of LAN events in Halo 5, click here.
Better Planning Of The Stream Schedule
As many of you heard, ESL initially had no plans to stream the relegation tournament. This was due to there not being enough time to stream both relegation and season finals matches, so ESL felt it was best to just not stream relegation. I, as well as many angry fans, heavily criticized ESL for doing this and with the power of the community's feedback, ESL came to a resolution that allowed us to see most of the relegation matches.
To me, this was a problem that should have never taken place. Relegation matches are some of the most important and entertaining matches to watch, considering everything that is on the line. I understand that streaming all of the relegation matches would interfere with the season finals matches, but this could have been avoided if ESL were to have moved the relegation matches to Friday.
I am sure ESL is glad they streamed the relegation matches with the OpTic vs. Denial match being one of the most exciting matches in Halo 5 and possibly even in Halo history. Hopefully, ESL has now recognized the importance of streaming relegation matches and will work on improving their streaming schedule to stream every match in Season Two. If you want to read more about the recent problem with streaming relegation matches this season, click here.
Implement Some Forge Maps To The Map Pool
This is just my opinion, but some of the maps ESL and 343 are using for competitive play are not good at all. Although most of the maps in the pool work fine, Stasis is one of those maps that just makes me cringe. Being a somewhat improved version of the map Torque, Stasis has a few changes that are designed to help improve the player movement on the map.
Although I do recognize the changes, it is still a very bad map, in my opinion, that is not worth a spot in the map pool considering all of the great Forge maps designed for competitive play. I am sure that if 343 reviews some of the Forge maps the community has made, they will quickly find some that easily look and play better than Stasis.
More Clarification On The Prize Pool
This may be a bit picky for me to point out, but I personally find it annoying that the prizes for each placement in the season finals were not fully disclosed until a few days later. Infact, I did not find out this information from ESL, but instead, through a tweet from Beyond Entertainment. Although I appreciate Beyond for doing some extra work to find out more information about this, I would much rather have seen the information quickly and clearly given to me like in past events.
Highlight The Top Prospect Players
Although I know many of the top prospects who competed this season are hoping to land a spot on a Pro League roster, the reality is that most viewers will not have a clue who they are. Although part of the excitement of seeing these young stars compete is that you have no idea who they are, I personally think it would be a really entertaining and impactful idea if ESL were to do some sort of documentary on these young players so that way they can talk about all of the challenges they needed to overcome to put themselves in the position they are in right now.
This is something most sports leagues do because it is a way for the viewers to get a better understanding of just how passionate these players are about the game and maybe even give us hope that we may go pro one day if we work just as hard. This is just a little idea of mine and I do not think it would hurt the Pro League if ESL did not add this, but I do feel it would be a great addition.
More Invitational Events
Although open events should definitely come before this, more small scale invitational events only for the pro teams would definitely be exciting to watch as well. We saw ESL host three Invitational LAN events for the Pro League this season, but I personally feel that it would be beneficial if some of the Pro League matches were played on LAN. Having one or two Pro League matches played in the ESL Studios in the middle of the season would definitely help every team, especially those teams who tend to play better on LAN.
These are my ideas on how ESL can improve their Pro League format in Season Two. As I said earlier, there are most likely other ideas that you believe will make Season Two better, so please feel free to tell me them in the comments section below.
Zachery Chevere can be contacted on Twitter @PmL_Zarhaz
Image credits go to ESL, eSprts.com, SaLoT and GAMURS