- The WePlay AniMajor successfully grabbed the hearts of esports and anime fans alike
- A huge part of its success was the sincere passion on the organizers' and casters' side
- The two talked about their experience with hosting the AniMajor
The AniMajor is over with PSG.LGD is the winner. The event was delightful as it masterfully managed to combine esports with anime.
Combining Two Different Worlds Into a Spectacle
The WePlay Dota 2 AniMajor just had its winner – PSG.LGD defeated Evil Geniuses and claimed the champion's title. The Chinese team took the prize of $200,000 and will head home with Tiny Airlines in wait for TI10.
The AniMajor was undoubtedly a successful event, and a part of its success was the anime vibe that was present throughout the whole tournament. Some people were skeptical about the theme, but in the end, it was really well received – society as a whole has warmed towards youth entertainment such as esports and anime. Moreover, even Dota 2, the main reason for the AniMajor in the first place, recently received its very own Netflix anime: DOTA Dragon's Blood. The latter was adored by fans, which serves to show that the audiences do overlap to an extent.
Dominik “Lacoste” Stipić, who participated as a caster, confirmed that. He added that Dragon's Blood was a great way to popularize Dota 2 to anime enthusiasts and anime to Dota 2 players, bringing both of the two even closer.
The CEO of WePlay Esports Oleh Humeniuk, revealed that the anime was first pitched by Valve:
“When we heard about the DOTA: Dragon Blood series, it became clear that sooner or later, we would host an anime-themed Dota 2 event. We are very excited to be able to have it as a Dota Pro Circuit Major. WePlay AniMajor is one of the greatest events in the Dota 2 scene in 2021, and we wanted to make this tournament remarkable and memorable for all.”
WePlay put some seriously hard work into hosting a major tournament with this scale and managing to keep the theme consistent. It was also a challenge to ensure that the AniMajor lives up to the expectations of both esports and anime fans. The organizers' efforts did not go unrecognized and won them the fans' favor.
Humeniuk revealed a bit about how the company handled things to create such a beloved event.
“There is a set of requirements that applies to any successful esports event nowadays. Those include but are not limited to having well-known teams, an exciting talent crew, a professional production setting. However, if you want to be a successful leading esports media holding, you need to stay one step ahead of the rest of the industry. We believe that very soon, all major esports events will be done like this, with a special twist.”
A Healthy Balance: The Key to the AniMajor's Success
It was important to balance out the content well, which WePlay did masterfully – teams and talents had anime-themed intros with appropriate Japanese songs and anime music. The talents of the event even wore intricate costumes. However, the anime aesthetic was just a flavor, and there was nothing to distract from the tournament.
Shannon “SUNSfan” Scotten, another caster during the AniMajor, said that despite the challenge of staying culturally appropriate when wearing a costume, the team managed to do it well.
“I think we've done a good job making sure we don't cross the line. I think my current outfit is the most comfortable one among those I've got during the three events I've been to with WePlay Esports. When I'm at home, I prefer to wear something comfortable like pajama pants all day. When you're able to dress up for a broadcast and still keep that level of comfort, I appreciate that a lot.”
Even with no audience at the venue, the AniMajor managed to exude that particular big event atmosphere that fans had missed for a long time. With the anime theme in place and the efforts on WePlay's and the casters' side, the AniMajor made for a very satisfying tournament. Speaking of casters, WePlay decided to go against the flow, and instead of limiting the number of casters, like most other events during the pandemic, it upped it and made the event worthwhile for everyone.
Caster Stipić said that he adores events with many casters not because he has to work less but because he gets to meet and work with many other interesting people.
“Each person can get different things out of you,” Stipić elaborated, “If you need to be analytical, they will get you up with someone who ranks high in the game. If they need you to be goofy on the panel, they will get you someone like Richard “Rich” Campbell. The more people there is, the more variety the event organizers get. This way, it's just better for the show.”
The AniMajor was a spectacular event for both Dota 2 and anime fans. It brought excitement and hope that events will slowly start returning to the way they were before the pandemic and that The International 10 will be just as exciting, if not more.