All Work, All Play Recap
Firstly I just want to thank all whom caught up with some of the Silicon Sports team for the pre-drinks! It’s always a pleasure to see familiar faces and some new ones for events such as these.
All work, All play is an ESL supported project which predominately covered Season 9 Intel Extreme Masters for League of Legends.
From the start we were greeted with a game of the new Archon mode in StarCraft 2’s upcoming expansion Legacy of the Void. The teams consisted of Huk and Qxc versus InControl and Puck. Was definitely an interesting watch, with InControl and Puck taking out the game as Protoss. Puck noted during the post-match interview that they decided to have one individual manage the macro and the other manage the micro/battles. I think we’ll see some interesting game play moving forward with the new mode for StarCraft 2.
Queue the documentary. As expected we were greeted with a montage mainly pertaining to the uprising in popularity of eSports, with Michal “Carmac” Blicharz’s IEM 2014 Katowice introduction following. We were then presented with a back story of Carmac’s history with hosting his own Unreal Tournament competitions at home, and his rise from being an eSports critic in his journalist days and then finally his invitation to become the managing director of the ESL. We were then treated to some interviews from well-known ESL personalities with various views on how they started and their thoughts on the ESL and eSports in general.
The main bulk and the remainder of the documentary focused heavily (if not only) on the IEM Season 9 for League of Legends, where we were given a brief overview of the tournament arrangements from its beginnings for Season 9 and the ultimate end in Katowice for the finals, with what it would take from each region to reach.
First we were provided a high level overview of the League of Legends map and how the game operates, with footage shown of xPeke’s infamous nexus backdoor, which was explained in very high detail with it being reiterated that it was an extremely memorable moment in League of Legends history, if not eSports history.
We then changed gears to the team house overviews, first with fnatic and interviews from rekkles and even xPeke’s mother. It wouldn’t be an eSports documentary without Korea featuring. We were given a brief history lesson regarding Korea’s eSports scene and were then given interviews and an overview of GE Tigers. Next up was Cloud 9 and Team Solo Mid featuring various player interviews and insight from Cloud9’s manager/owner Jack Etienne. The American aspect was given a lot of screen time, which came as no surprise with an American film maker at the helm.
We then shifted back to IEM Season 9 being hosted in San Jose and further commentary and insight from Carmac regarding how critical it was for ESL to get a foot in the door in America and that the San Jose tournament needed to be successful. Queue coverage focusing predominately on both American teams Cloud 9 and TSM and their progress, as well as rekkles time in Alliance.
Lastly, it came to the Katowice finals, with insight to the set up process and the sheer amount of work put in by the ESL team and Carmac’s realisation that he had helped shaped such a massive and successful eSports tournament.
As noted earlier, the focus remained on the two American teams, and reaching the ultimate end that was Team Solo Mid being crowned the IEM Champions for Season 9.
There was a brief Q&A session with Carmac, the film director of All Work, All Play Patrick Creadon, Will “meteos” Hartman and Cloud 9 owner Jack Etienne.
The questions were a bit bland, and it seemed as though Patrick wanted to grab his 15 minutes of fame and spoke heavily for the roughly thirty minute Q&A session.
In a nutshell
I guess I was expecting a bit of an overview based documentary for people not “in” the scene, but it honestly came off more of an advertisement for League of Legends and eSports in America. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but felt as though it could have been a bit less bias and a bit broader.
The other thing that really annoyed me was other than the new Archon mode featured at the start, StarCraft 2 was mentioned when relevant throughout the film and I believe Hearthstone once, but Counter-Strike and Dota 2 didn’t get a single mention or screen time. We saw the ESL One Katowice stage for the Counter-Strike event & queue some cuts of the teams, but no game play, no overview.
That said, I’m the first to tell you I’m not a League of Legend fan, so I might be a bit critical and biased towards the documentary, I guess I was expecting a broader documentary featuring more than one game.
If you have the opportunity to see the second screening, I highly recommend it regardless of my recap, I hope they release it online once the screenings have completed so it’ll reach a greater audience.