Dundalk’s Oriel Park was the setting for a whole new level of competition on Wednesday, March 14th, with the first battle of the Three Ireland’s EStars League.
The latest spell of stormy weather didn’t prevent the Dundalk crowd from turning up to the stadium to marvel in the shadow of huge mobile gaming arena truck Big Betty and see the action from the first night of Ireland’s biggest ever esports tournament unfold on board.
Three Ireland’s EStars is competitive esports on a scale never seen before in this country. Ten teams, representing nine League of Ireland football clubs including Dundalk FC and main sponsors Three, of the country’s best gaming talent will fight it out over eight weeks of gruelling competition. At stake, a place in the Grand Finals at the 3Arena on May 13th, where the winners will walk away with €20,00 and a trip to Las Vegas. This is not a game.
Despite inclement weather conditions, Dundalk residents arrived at the stadium for the first top-level competitive gaming to go on the road, sheltered in the cosy lounge of Oriel Park to watch the action unfold on the big screen, while some fanatics braved the weather to watch direct from Big Betty.
The night opened with presenters Connor Phillips and Holly Hamilton introducing percussion troupe The Hit Machine Drummers, stunning the crowd with an electric performance, before the first four teams faced off for League of Legends, the biggest strategic team challenge in global esports. St. Pat’s were definitively victorious over Limerick, while Cork City were surprise winners over early tournament favourites, Shamrock Rovers. Next up, Sligo Rovers prevailed over Derry City, before sponsors Team Three dispatched the challenge by Bohemians. The final game of the night saw Bray Wanderers secure victory over home side, Dundalk.
As expert “shoutcasters” explained the unfolding action, soft drinks partner Lucozade, main sponsor Three and new retail partner Peak were on site to add their support to the rising stars of Irish esports.
Mags Byrne of Three Ireland’s EStars said: “The first league night in Dundalk was nail-biting. The competition has already proven fierce and we can’t wait to see what the next face-off will produce. With the best gaming talent from across Ireland in our teams, we know Three Ireland’s EStars tournament will have us all gripped until the finals at the 3Arena in May.”
Karl Donnelly of Three, Ireland added that the telecommunications company were delighted to kick off the sponsorship of the Three EStars league activity this week in Dundalk’s Oriel Park.
“With this partnership, we are further enhancing our offering to customers in the gaming community and to celebrate the launch, this week we are offering an online exclusive of €70 off our Razer smartphone as well as a complimentary ticket to the Three Ireland’s EStars final in the 3Arena this May,” he said. “At Three, we are committed to enhancing the lives of our customers by continuing to provide the latest technology innovations which, in addition to our All You Can Eat Data offering, enables our customers to truly make it count.”
Follow the progress of all teams when they head to Cork this coming Wednesday night and the road to the 3Arena in May at www.estars.pro.