ESL Op3n Gamescom Qualifiers: Ups & Downs


SMES take a look at what went well and what went wrong at the ESL Op3n ShootMania Gamescom Qualifiers, which were held over the course of last week.

The ESL Gamescom Qualifiers were probably the most hyped online event to date, with the first big tournament organizer in ESL giving us a chance to prove ourselves on the big stage. Part of proving yourself is also reflecting on your mistakes, mistakes of the community and organizers, but also to take a look at the brighter side and see what went well.

 Joe Miller

Over the four qualifier days, Joe Miller took us all on a roller coaster ride, with some great matches each day. His casting was superb, not only giving some nice insights into the game and community, but also being very entertaining and responsive to the chat. Even though he was annoyed on several occasions, such as getting kicked from a server and having to stay up late every night, he didn’t just give up and gave the audience a spectacle. Therefore I feel we owe Joe a huge thank you! Let’s also hope he will continue to cast more games in the future. Thanks Joe!

 Viewing numbers

Viewing numbers are a big issue these days. Partly because of this, tournament organizers decide on whether they want your game to be on their tournament or not. In all honesty, I did not expect to see thousands of viewers, but I would have hoped to have a constant 500 every night, just to show ESL that even in the beta phase we had a strong audience. Nothing was less through, as we kept hovering around 200, and even the French stream did not get as much as it normally manages to get.


Even though we were with little, I feel the audience was great. Maybe the reason was because there were so little people, but everyone seemed to be in a great mood every night. There was not a lot of “Shitmania” and “This game is bad” going on. Everyone was cheerful, nice to each other, joking around, cheering for the players, and best of all, trolling Joe Miller. If this remains to be the audience of ShootMania, we can be proud of ourselves and teach other communities a thing or two about sportsmanship and humor.


ESL France was to look over the tournament, but shit hit the van quite early, with teams having no clue who to play, where to play and with rather strange rules. The first thing everyone, bar the admins, saw coming was that starting at 21:00 with 128 teams was just too late and that the tournament would go on all night. The tight time schedule also resulted in the max 8 rule, when teams don’t manage to get to 6 points with being at least one point loose. Eventually, the grand final of the qualifier was played the next day at 19:00. More problems arose throughout the tournament, such as Joe Miller having to wait 30 minutes before getting an answer to which game he could spectate, or Joe getting kicked from a server for no apparent reason. Sudden rule changes were also made. During one of the qualifiers, x6, who were in a good position, were kicked from the tournament because the ESL admins had quickly changed the rules stating that only European teams were allowed, something which was nowhere to be seen before the second qualifier started.

During the first qualifier, we actually got messages saying that ESL France were pushed back and the German ESL team had to take over to smooth things out. Let’s hope this was not the case, because if measurements like these have to be taken, you have done a terrible job. Fingers crossed that this was a wake up call for the ESL France team and that they start using a tad more common sense.

 Number of teams

Before hand I was personally not sure how many teams would sign up, but I was not disappointed. The first qualifier saw around 128 teams turn up and check in to play some ShootMania and fight for that spot at Gamescom. While the following qualifiers didn’t have as much teams, it was still good and I feel we have managed to impress ESL on this part. Let’s just hope that next time when a team loses, they will tune into the stream to make up for the viewing numbers!

That was my overall take on the ESL Op3n Gamescom Qualifiers. I thank all involved for their efforts and hope we all reflect on our ups and downs. Feel free to leave your opinion on both the article, the qualifiers and your ups and downs in the comment section below!


Editor-in-Chief at SMES
Former Editor-in-Chief and General Manager at Fnatic, now the man behind SMES. I love FPS games, but it has lacked them a lot recent years. I hope for ShootMania to revive the genre.

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  • Lanta

    Italy I was the first to be on holidays. The movement can still grow.


    France Nice read.

  • [M]Surion

    United Kingdom maybee talk about the audience on Millenium Stream, i’ve made 700 viewers all over the first tournament, and the first final casted on Millenium did 2K+ viewers ;)

    • roychez

      Netherlands Unfortunately the game isn’t going to work if it’s successful in only one country.

      • [M]Surion

        United Kingdom you right.

      • Aces.Xyn

        Germany 128 teams for a game that’s still beta is not bad at all. I’d say this game has a lot of potential to grow, as long as we’re trying to promote it internationally (along with Nadeo). :)

  • nicerdicer

    Ukraine 100+ teams every qualifier it is really good for ESL to see how many players playing this game, but admins totally destroyed qualifier for some teams, they are worst ever, and they have no idea how to admin cups, where did ESL get this newbs?

  • longas

    Spain I’d add the fact that a 1 day cup with so many teams can’t start at 21:00, teams playing until 2am and postponing the final for the next day.

    • roychez

      Netherlands Yeah I have it in there under the Admins head

  • godson

    United States all i can say is fuck the admins :]

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