A short documentary featuring Paul “Redeye” Chaloner looks into how Katowice went from a far-flung destination to Europe’s esports home.
Katowice: Esports History in the Making
The Polish city of Katowice has transformed itself into a hub for esports. Hosting several ESL and Intel sponsored events and offering the IEM Extreme Masters a place to hold this year’s festival starting today, Poland’s esports fame precedes the country.
“Katowice: Esports History in the Making” is a short film starring resected esports caster, personality and analyst Paul “Redeye” Chaloner. Presently part of the advisory board of esports betting company Luckbox, Mr. Chaloner attended last year’s ESL One, joining the crowds at the Spodek Arena in Katowice as a caster.
Mr. Chaloner is satisfied with the progress that has been achieved in esports throughout the years, and the progress in Katowice and Poland in particular:
It feels like it’s the European home of esports. You could argue for others but in terms of a stadium in Europe that people go back to and flock to every year, it has to be Spodek.
The Spodek-based competition has managed to transform itself into one of the most iconic events not only in Poland, but in Europe as well. As Mr. Chaloner rightly notes, it’s been the longest-running tournament to be held at the same venue worldwide.
The documentary features cameo appearances from several Dota personalities, including: Austin “Capitalist” Walsh, Jorien “Sheever” van der Heijden, William “Blitz” Lee, Alan “Nahaz” Bester, Toby “TobiWan” Dawson and Kevin “Purge” Godec.
Even though the documentary is only 13 minutes long, it has been a lot of effort to paint the full picture of Katowice and the city’s esports potential. As Mr. Chaloner himself noted:
We spent a long time recording this stuff in Katowice last year and reflecting back as I head to Katowice for my seventh year in a row, it’s kind of nostalgic in a way to look back on it. I hope everyone enjoys it.
This year’s IEM Extreme Masters features a number of exciting events, including Dota, CS:GO, StarCraft II and a last-minute Fortnite event, part of Epic Games’ plan to involve more third-parties in developing competitive events.
Poland has really developed as an esports hotspot. The country has a lot of talent in the form of players, business and esports powerhouses. Some of the top Polish esports athletes in the world compete in organizations, such as Team Liquid and Team Secret.
The country’s own focus on competitive video gaming has been quite pronounced. When I attended a graduation ceremony at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw earlier this year, some of the students had wrote thesis about esports, which only goes to show that Poland is a true trend-setter when it comes to video gaming – and that’s no bad thing.
Make sure to check out the ESL documentary.