Cobx Masters, which concluded on 7th April 2019, had participation from top teams across APAC, tier-I international talents presenting the games to the audience and broadcast on SonyLIV, and had a total prize pool of $200,000 for CSGO and DOTA 2. We look at how the event fared on some basic yardsticks of a good event.

Production

The production for COBX was different than most Indian tournaments and up there with many international events. For the first time in Indian esports history, POV cameras were deployed at a major international event to enhance the user experience online and at the venue. The cameras enabled the audience to feel more immersed and aware of the emotions of each player in real time.

In what was a first, COBX also designed a game status reporter. The game status reporter helped the audience in keeping track of the entire game with relevant stats being displayed for each of the ten players at the same time on separate adjacent screens.

Broadcast

For the Indian audience, COBX collaborated with popular streaming platform SonyLIV and provided a 1080p60 English stream and for the global audience, they streamed the event in English on the Beyond the Summit Twitch channel. The stream on SonyLiv was really choppy and occasionally had frame drops which was really disturbing for the viewer. They also had a Russian stream through their broadcast partner UCC so that the content generated in India was also distributed worldwide.

Teams & Talents

Cobx Masters witnessed the participation of top Dota 2 and CS:GO teams from APAC. The participating teams for Dota 2 were Detonators, Tigers, Signify Dota 2, Exclamation Mark, Aachen City and Entity Gaming and for CS:GO were MVP PK, Alpha Red, Grayhound Gaming, Boot Letou, Signify CS:GO and Global Esports. The games were cast by Austin Walsh and William Lee for Dota 2 along with James Bardolph and Daniel Kapadia for CS:GO. For analysis of these games, they had a panel which had Shane Clarke, Gareth Bateson and Clemens Wloczka for Dota 2 along with Jordan Mays, Sudhen Wahengbam and Rami Rahman for CS:GO. The event was hosted by Pinda Rika Dorji and Alvaro Sanchez Velasco.

Hospitality

With top International teams making an appearance, hospitality was an important part in the event for all teams. COBX provided accommodation at Westin Mumbai, along concierges that were available at all times. The teams and talents were also provided with separate lounges at the venue.

Event Timeline

Day 1 of Cobx Masters was scheduled to start at 10 AM. However, it was delayed and the event eventually started at 12:30 PM. 3 out of the 4 scheduled Dota 2 matches and 2 of the 4 scheduled CS:GO matches were conducted on stage with English casting.

Day 2 started at the scheduled 10 AM time and all the matches were broadcast with little to no issues. The CS:GO semi-finals and one Dota 2 semi-final took place on stage as per broadcast schedule.

Day 3 followed suit and was executed as per the schedule with one Dota 2 semi-final and the grand finals of CS:GO and Dota 2 being conducted.

Conclusion

In our opinion. the event was really well managed by COBX throughout the 3 days. There were glaring technical issues in the 1st day that led to many matches being delayed, but it was sorted on Day 2 and 3 and the flow of the tournament was as expected.

One of the big takeaways was that the production quality was one of the best in India. For an organisation that was executing an international tournament for the first time, the experience for the audience was brilliant. The venue, stage, flares and the overall production was top notch. COBX had especially built a UI that was more immersive and informative for the average viewer to enjoy. The presence of top International teams made the event rank even higher.

Apart from the technical glitches on Day 1 and the poor stream quality, the only other complain we had was the inability to pull audiences. While the management said that their first priority was production quality and not marketing, the lack of audience and the hype surrounding the event took out the sting in what was an otherwise excellent event. Nevertheless, the event puts down a great marker for future organisers to plan and execute an event of this scale.