Katowice: A crowning finish and preview of what's to come

Counter-Strike fans across the world are still smiling about the outstanding four days of CS history they watched unfold. So many stories have been written, great performances given and all supported by one of the most amazing crowds the CS eSports circuit has seen, which brought the four day tournament to a whole new level. It was the best final event a brand could hope for, and only a glimpse of what’s to come in future with ESL One.

More than just one event to remember

When looking at the event from a viewer’s perspective, we got all that we could have asked for from the very first day. There were upsets, brilliant plays, comebacks and of course a great lineup of teams that brought together a mix of both CS legends and CS:GO newcomers. Additionally, Virtus.pro making it all the way from the qualifiers to become World Champion in a Grand Final against NiP while enthusiastically backed up by their home crowd was not something anyone could have planned.

Virtus.pro - The Polish dream came true (more photos on Flickr.com)

However, it was not only Katowice. EMS One, now in its fifteenth and final month, always provided people with some stories to tell at live events. Everything from NiP losing their first official match to their rivals catching up to their level and Team VeryGames taking over their spot as top team was all part of EMS One, showing that there’s never just one team you need to beat to make it in a big tournament.

The EMS One events of 2013 were widely said to be "setting a new standard for CS", always bringing up new topics to talk about, interesting interviews with a wide variety of teams and top-notch matches where the likes of Josh "steel" Nissan made a name for themselves, in his case as "the one who never misses a frag". In short, EMS One events proved to be enjoyable for players, fans and us at ESL alike.

EMS One: Breaking all the records

The influence that EMS One had went beyond the eSports world. With your help, we grew the audience for competitive CS tournaments time and time again, resulting in a new all-time high in playing numbers during this year’s EMS One Katowice as well as around 250,000 concurrent viewers worldwide.

Spodek - This amazing crowd saw the Grand Final (more photos on Flickr.com)

This increase of players of over 50% from the all-time high after DreamHack Winter 2013 gives Valve a clear signal that supporting eSports is key in making CS:GO an even bigger game. Supporting the game you love by getting stickers, opening eSports cases or simply playing isn’t only fun for you - it also helps us to bring CS:GO to the point where it can be enjoyed by everyone.

EMS One is now history, having gone out with a hell of a final match between the best teams in front of the best audience, leaving us all with some powerful emotions and memories. However, now it's time to make room for ESL One, its first event being ESL One Frankfurt and a US$150,000 Dota 2 tournament at the end of June 2014.

There is still plenty more to come, and we’re glad that, while EMS One was technically the last event of its kind, it was not the end!

What was your favorite moment of EMS One since it's launch in early 2013? Tell us in the comments!


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