Esports tournament organizers ESL is the topic of debate again after their release of the ESL One Katowice 2018 schedule for Dota 2, where only a total of four matches will be played in front of traveling audiences.
Details of the Katowice scheduling was released last week simultaneously when the groups had been drawn.
Although initially few seemed to either realize or bring to the forefront that the playoffs would be held only over a period of two days, many have taken to social media and reddit to express their frustration with the information, with complaints come regarding the cost to travel, accommodations and ticket prices for only two days worth of matches.
This, coupled with the similar but different scheduling compared to ESL One Genting notably escalated matters. The event in Malaysia was the same as Katowice albeit taking place over six days, and the playoffs being held from January 26-28th including one full day of quarter finals, one full day of semi finals and the grand finals being held on the last day.
It would also most certainly pose problems if ESL choose to make abrupt changes to scheduling as tickets to Katowice that were released for sale on January 30th saw 90% of the premium tickets already sold at the cost of approximately $117.00.
Additionally, even weekend passes cost approximately $29.25 and while there is a free option for fans to attend, it does not include signing sessions, is a late entry of two hours after ticket buyers and entry is via long waiting line for any available seats.
Still, it remains to be seen if changes after the community had revealed their vocal displeasure against the scheduling — with ESL responding on reddit promising to look into some options to fix the situation for fans.
This also marks the second time in the space of a month ESL was called out for controversy, after the the organization announced their exclusive streaming deal with Facebook for all of the Pro Circuit events and started to ban and remove any stream outside of their official broadcast, a case which led to Dota 2 creators Valve to take action by claiming exclusive rights to DMCA takedowns.