With 2018 drawing to a close, we've asked some friends to look back on the past year in esports and share their stand-out moments. Here's Luckbox Director of Esports Sujoy Roy with his thoughts on the past 12 months and hopes for 2019
What was the high point of the year?
Having international esports events in the UK for both CSGO and Dota 2 was breakthrough as it makes esports tangible for the local audience. Bringing it home was a high point for my 2018.
I was so glad to see the UK audience getting into the spirit of the show, particularly at ESL One Birmingham since it was the first big Dota event we've ever seen in the country.
And the low moment of 2018?
There have been too many negative stories again this year, but the worst for me was the Jacksonville shooting. As a Londoner who has lived to see many tragedies, I can be quite thick-skinned to bad news.
Unfortunately, Jacksonville was different because it felt like the victims were members of my own community, gamers that love to compete and take part in a social setting. While we were all shocked and saddened, I do think there was good solidarity among esports communities and I appreciate the general trend in 2018 to be more open about mental health.
Storyline of the year?
While we've seen some of the greatest stories in esports this year, I have no doubts over my favourite. It can only be Team OG and their breathtaking run against all odds at The International 2018 to win esports' biggest prize.
I've followed N0tail and Fly since 2014 when I spent a couple of weeks with the duo during the legendary TI4 EU hub. So seeing Johan finally get legendary status was so satisfying. It's bittersweet since there's a breakup between good friends involved too, but I hope when the dust has settled they might be friends again one day.
What were you playing and watching in 2018?
I spent more time playing on mobile in 2018, particularly Clash Royale and now the new Brawl Stars game. When I did sit at my PC, it was for the odd game of Fortnite, CSGO or Dota 2. I do have a kick-ass system so every so often I have to dazzle myself with 240fps gaming action! With all the work there was to do in 2018, I spent most of my free time watching esports, rather than playing. I watched mostly Dota 2, with sprinklings of CSGO and others in the downtime between games.
What would you like to see in 2019?
With new players in the esports industry, I'd like to see good decisions made for the benefit of the community. Companies like Epic are pushing esports heavily for their games and they'll get a lot of mainstream coverage. If they do a good job it could be a boon to esports in general, seeing a much-needed infusion of new blood.
My biggest wish, however, is that TI9 runs without a hitch in China. We've had many problems with Chinese events in the past from long delays to patchy broadcast. If the Dota 2 team can run a flawless TI9 it would make huge strides to maintain Dota 2's place as a tier-one esports title.
Esports 2018 reviews: