Undoubtedly one of the most popular halls at this year’s gamescom was the ESL CM Storm Arena, which housed four main stages showcasing professional tournaments from some of the most popular eSports games. The sold-out five day event, which was well attended throughout, reached its boiling point on Sunday when Hall 8 (ESL CM Storm Arena) was forced to temporarily close its doors due to the sheer number of people eager to experience eSports competitions live as they unfolded. The competitions hosted by ESL were some of the biggest tournaments in eSports, with notable mentions being the Regional League of Legends Finals, StarCraft II’s World Championships as well as the Season 2 World of Tanks European Finals.
“Over 340,000 people stormed the gamescom this year, forcing officials to close the doors to Hall 8 when capacity was reached on Sunday.”
The League of Legends stage alone attracted so many trade fair visitors that officials were unable to contain them to Riot Gaming’s allocated stage floor. Fans from all across the world crowded the area, overflowing into the Bistro and down the walkways in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the action relayed over the mammoth screens, that in some cases was several tens of yards away.
Those unable to attend the sold-out five day event, were able to watch the eSports tournaments online. ESL TV, who stream most of the European professional and semi-professional leagues, reported several hundred thousand concurrent views across all streams. In recent times ESL TV have reported a 400% increase in broadcast reach with numbers expected only to grow as the eSports scene expands, overtaking many long-established traditional sports in more than just popularity.
If you can’t quite work out just how busy that would look, here is a photo we took on the Friday when it was “very busy” but not at it’s 340,000 capacity. Keep in mind this is just one of 10 10 hall ways that joins 2 of the 12 halls at the event!
Thank you Turtle Entertainment for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of eTeknix.