Anfield has been the host to many iconic sporting moments, but maybe none were so exhilarating as the phenomenal performances put in by the PES League Season 2 EU Regional Finalists. Okay, maybe that’s not true, but on the 29th April 2017, I was lucky enough to be invited to Anfield, Liverpool, to witness the second regional event that PES League hosted. The last was Barcelona and that went down brilliantly, however this event surpassed even that.
To think of where PES League used to be, the scale of it, to then compare it to where it is today? The difference is unimaginable. Konami have given PES a massive boost in the e-sports arena. They have massive prizes to give out, 20,000 USD was on offer to the winner of the Regional events alone, at the World Finals there will be an incredible €200,000 to play for. That is life changing money, and it means that the e-sports community is taking notice. The very best PES players all realise the enormous chance they have to make a name for themselves and win money that can legitimately change their lives.
Along side this, the players are treated as athletes, looked after by the Konami team as if they are precious commodities. Along side all of the PES League swag that they get (hoodies, shirts etc) they each get private cars, received a tour of Anfield stadium, got to travel on the Liverpool coach, among much more. They create not only a competitive stage for these gamers to compete on, but an experience they will never forget.
Even down to the video packages produced as the groups were announced, the professional feel and nature of the entire event blew me away. To be involved from the outside as I was, it felt like an unmissable event. I can only imagine how incredible an experience it was for those competing.
Of course the story of the finals was the emergence of Ettorito as a legitimate contender for the World Championship in Cardiff. He started off the tournament with a 10-2 obliteration of his opponent, but then lost the next game in a stunning defeat. However that seemed to only motivate the young Italian more and he went on to win every game afterwards in dominant fashion taking away the $20,000 prize and a place in Cardiff.
My take away from that weekend is this, Konami has made astronomical strides in their PES League campaigns and it is only going up from here. I wish to send a massive congratulations to everyone involved in that event as it is truly remarkable how amazing it was, especially compared to how it has been in years gone.
If you feel like you are up to the task of taking on the worlds best, make sure you play the PES League game mode on PES and make your way into next years regional finals.