This past weekend saw the first major competitive video-gaming event take place in Austin, TX as the Red Bull Battlegrounds took over the Moody Theater for two days of StarCraft 2 action. A 16-player invitational hosted by Day, DJwheat, Husky, and Rob Simpson, the event was a resounding success for a non-major-league (MLG or IPL) live event. I decided to only attend the second day (Sunday) of the tournament since the first day featured a round-robin tournament in which an absolute deluge of games were played. Day 2 took the top 8 players from the previous day and seeded them into a single-elimination bracket to fight for over $40k in prize money.
I had opted to buy the cheapest $10 balcony seats since I knew the Moody Theater was small enough to see all the action with ease. I was extremely lucky to have my ticket upgraded to a VIP pass by the Texas eSports Association (TeSPA) and Red Bull Gaming. I gained full access to the VIP suits, the “best” seating in the venue, and free drinks (Red Bull was obviously an option). So rather than having to drop money for expensive food, I got to sit around enjoying all the action. It was quite awesome to finally see these world-class players in person rather than from the confines of my apartment on a livestream. The atmosphere of live competitions, regardless of the event, is always superior to watching from afar. It’s absolutely incredible to watch the entire audience erupt into celebration as a competitor emerges victorious with hands held high. Combined with the great production of the Red Bull team and the awesome acoustics of the venue, Battlegrounds was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Check out more picture on Flickr.