Crowd Ghosting at ESL Season 5 Finals

The intense showdown at the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals was extremely competitive and recited the tale of the humble destroying the proud. A heated crowd was rather over-board and quickly favoured G2 Esports against the previously overconfident North squad. So much so, that little cheers of encouragement met North and the crowd settled to ghost all tactics so that G2 Esports would recognise patterns and strategies. This notice has definitely nullified the French side’s victory and has highlighted the need for change.

ESL has always tried its utmost to ensure a focused environment for the professional competitors by offering passive noise-suppression headsets, ensuring proper team speech clarity and destroying ambient noise. Many are those who shun these attempts and suggest sound-proof booths, so that such a heinous act of cheating will never happen again. Of course, G2 Esports is not to blame, it’s not like the team asked fans to ghost but the fault lies in the crowd and North for not reporting the call-outs. This has been a unique occurrence, if it weren’t, ESL would’ve been more prepared. Yet, the reaction of the people is quite understandable, they simply shouted what everyone had on their minds; victory for the humble. Nonetheless, it is unacceptable.

Being the enthusiastic and caring organisation that it is, ESL has tirelessly been searching for a social which is neither too drastic nor passive. Initial ideas include banning certain misbehaving spectators, to deter further breach of ethics or the sound systems may be improved to further eliminate surrounding sound. ESL are strongly against the thought of soundproof booths;

Soundproof booths do offer a solution for sound damping, but this in turn also dampens the energy of a LAN tournament and disconnects the players from the crowd, which is a critical dynamic for an engaging and exciting high-level sporting event. The feedback from players at events like IEM Katowice is testament to our current solution going in the right direction.

ESL do make a righteous point; for if you think about it, LAN events aren’t there just for the connection but for the fans to attend and connect with their favourite professionals. However, there is also the equally relevant argument that the crowd and gamers were never that connected anyway, with a glass booth always in between. Yet if one thinks about it, playing for high stakes with thousands of people roaring with excitement is an experience most professionals in the community thirst for, isn’t it?

At the moment, ideas and initiatives are being considered to satisfy all players and spectators. Even though we may choose a side, as a community, we should always respect teams who fly out for our entertainment.

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