5 key moments at ESL One Birmingham

ESL One Birmingham 2020 has concluded with the commanding victory of Team Secret. Last time we wrote about ESL One Birmingham, we commended Secrets dominance this past month. They continued in similar fashion for the entirety of this event. Despite being hosted online, the tournament garnered approximately 6 million hours of watch time and had a peak viewership of 228K.

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and roses as Online player brought its own set of problems affecting teams’ “well being” throughout the event.

Key Moments at ESL Birmingham 2020

© ESL One

Admins and Rulebooks

The ESL event recorded the highest cases of unreasonable forfeits. Most players are playing from home or the team facilities, instead of the typical event venue, connection issues have been largely abundant.

Ivan “VANSKOR” Skorokhod, took it to Twitter to express his discontent about ESL’s “non-existing” rule. In their second game versus Vikin.gg, VANSKOR’s teammate had connection issues and could not reconnect in time. Instead of resuming the game, the ESL admin concluded that Team Unique takes the default loss due to having insufficient players.

A similar incident occurred at the North & South America regional, where Thunder Predator was forfeited from the series against Evil Geniuses. What’s worse is Thunder Predator already had a game in the bag. Dota 2 betting sites also suffered, as a good amount of canceled or nullified bets came over the rulings at the event.

“They disrespected my boy, s4”

A little rivalry can go a long way for both teams, and that’s partially the case here. Some beef between Alliance and VP.Prodigy spawned during the Pushka League last month. In a post-game interview with VP.Prodigy, they called Gustav “s4” Magnusson a washed-up player and captain.

Fast forward to the semi-finals between the two. After a dominating second game, NikoBaby performs “fake attacks” on his Radiance as their foes watched helplessly as Alliance swept the series.

While the play may seem childish, it takes precision to not accidentally destroy your item. After the game, NikoBaby was put on the phone, where he gave a shoutout to VP.Prodigy.

NikoBaby’s post-game interview: “They (VP.Prodigy) had something to say about the enemy team and they disrespected my boy, s4. Now they get a slap back in their face”.

EternalEnvy’s offensive GG

Meanwhile at the South and North America regional, EternalEnvy baffles both his opponents and teammates. In the first game versus Evil Geniuses, EternalEnvy (who played for Business Associates) massacred EG heroes in a bloody team fight.

It certainly was an impressive play, but was quickly downrated after he “accidentally” typed gg in all-chat. According to PPD (who was the caster), that should have been an unforgivable event and by the ESL’s rulebook, and Business Associates should be forfeited from the game. However, the ESL admin somehow let that pass rather conveniently after EternalEnvy’s swift apology.

Nevertheless, EternalEnvy’s teammates had to pause immediately after what he wrote as they too were confused. EternalEnvy amends his mistake by apologizing and claiming that he actually wanted to pause in a later tweet.

Team OG’s early exit

The 2020 team OG roster was introduced with soaring expectations from fans and pros alike. Despite their dominance at the Los Angeles major qualifiers earlier in March, the team is overcome with doom and gloom ever since.

At Birmingham 2020, team OG lost 6 out of 7 series they played in the groups. The team obviously didnt make Playoffs, an oddity for OGs standards. Fans commented that the new players aren’t playing like their former selves. As if they were trying in vain to replicate the former champions’ glory. We already wrote a piece about the possibility of OG bringing the old roster together, as its the only way to make OG look good nowadays.

Nigma’s unjustified forfeit

Nigma, led by Kuroky, has been on a row in Birmingham 2020. With an 85% win rate in the groups, fans expected them to reach the grand finals and potentially claim the championship. Yet, in their lower bracket series versus Team Secret, Nigma player, Gh, had connection issues.

Although Nigma already prepared a stand-in to play, once again ESL admins decided to forfeit the series entirely. This resulted in giving an “undeserving” win to Team Secret. According to Gh, ESL didn’t even bother to warn or communicate with them regarding their decision. We could only imagine how Nigma would crush the series after they forced Team Secret to call a 13-minutes GG in game 2.

With the Birmingham 2020 concluded, the next stop for the squads is the BLAST Bounty Hunt, kicking off later today. We hope the admins will be more lenient to connection issues this time around. We are all playing in strange and unpredictable environments this past few months.

Read next: ESL One Birmingham 2020 Europe – Where Online is spicier then LAN