KeyTV is doing something that has never been done before in the Dota 2 tournament landscape. The first ever Nanyang Dota 2 Championships - Cruise Cup #1 featuring some of the best Chinese teams in the world will be a LAN played on the 14th deck of the Sapphire Princess from October 13-17. Four of China’s best teams will be taking to the high seas in order to win their share of the $50,000 prize pool.
If you remember, KeyTV was the production company that was fired in the middle of the Shanghai Major tournament for a multitude of problems including stream blackouts, poor audio quality, and casters who were let go for inappropriate comments on stream. However, this appears to be a way for KeyTV to become relevant again by running a tournament in a never before done location, and with all the logistical problems of running a LAN tournament on a cruise ship, KeyTV will be under intense scrutiny to see if they can pull this off.
One struggle in particular will be to make sure that the satellite signal being used for their connection to the servers will be strong enough to play the matches. In an interview with joinDota.com, KeyTV’s Wang "PsyDuck" Zilin explains, "We needed to make sure the satellite signal can support our online stream (PandaTV)and DOTA2 ping at same time, so we rented a satellite to support our online stream and rewired the whole ship to support our equipment. After completing rigorous testing with help from our partner Sapphire Princess on the Cruise ship earlier this month, we are confident to hold a tournament on it."
The idea for this tournament came about when Zilin started to think about how boring the oversaturated Dota 2 tournament landscape has become, “In China there are many tournaments now, but tournaments are almost the same, only a few can be remembered, we wanted to do something new and bring the audience a new experience. “
The idea seems novel as the saturated tournament market looks for other ways to separate themselves from one another in hopes of landing the best teams and sponsors. The Cruise Cup can already boast that they have indeed brought two of China’s best to the event.
The winners of The International of 2016 and winners of over $9 million dollars, Wings Gaming, has accepted a direct invite to the event. But the talent doesn’t stop there as Newbee, one of the storied teams in Dota 2 history, will strap on their life jackets and head to sea.
The two other spots in this tournament will be decided by a qualifier process that has been going on since early October. Teams such as Vici Gaming, LGD, and Invictus Gaming are trying to fight their way through the 16 team qualifier in order to set sail.
Could this tournament spur other organizers in finding unique places to run their tournaments? The Cruise Cup will be a huge litmus test as to whether or not the logistics are simply too much too overcome or that there are even more exotic locations waiting.