The Emotional Side of Esports: ELEAGUE’s Journey to The International

ELEAGUE’s Dota 2 Series Explores the Reality of Esports Disappointment

The upcoming episode of ELEAGUE’s televised Dota 2 series, “The Road to The International,” takes a candid look at the aftermath of esports disappointment.

In the previous episode, we followed European superteam OG and North American veterans compLexity Gaming as they prepared for The International 7. While seasoned fans may have found some of the content unnecessary, such as team house tours and footage of the compLexity team swimming, this episode focused more on the struggles each team faced before the $24 million event.

The story primarily revolves around the relationship between OG’s original players, Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “n0tail” Sundstein. After winning two Valve Majors, the team faced a devastating loss to Filipino squad TNC at The International 6. This defeat motivated them to concentrate on the mental aspects of the game, determined to overcome their biggest failure.

In one memorable scene towards the end of the segment, n0tail calmly expresses his expectations for the upcoming event while acknowledging the uncertainty of what lies ahead. The episode concludes with a lingering shot of n0tail’s face as he briefly looks away from the camera, lost in thought.

On the other hand, compLexity’s time in the episode exposes the stress and despair of facing failure. Despite a significant upset in the North American qualifier, the team ultimately succumbs to the eventual winners, Digital Chaos.

A particularly emotional moment occurs when Moo, compLexity’s carry player, reacts with profanity-laden anger after their elimination. Team captain swindlemelonzz follows Moo out of the team house to offer consolation. While it may not be glamorous or inspiring, this raw moment reflects the genuine turmoil experienced by teams that fail to qualify for The International, making it a standout moment in the series.

The second episode of ELEAGUE: “Road to the International” will air on TBS at 10pm ET on Aug. 11.

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