Kabir Vega Castellanos
HAVANA TIMES — With October just starting and the country still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma, the Cuban DotA League has kicked off again.
Unfortunately, the “Hola Ola” local was one of the venues that was destroyed by the floods caused by the hurricane. However, this misfortune led to players having access to the “Central I.T. Palace” in Central Havana.
The “Resplandor Naciente” event continues within the Palace’s impressive rooms with computers that have a much greater capacity, no overcrowding and there is even a magnificent room dedicated to spectators who want to watch this competition live.
Not only are the participants eager, but the organizers of the event are too. After starting up the tournament again, the growing quality of the show has encouraged them to even add a commentary to recorded matches; a detail which gives these battles a comical and fresh touch, although it implies more work.
Of course, the event is still in the works, but, I along with my team have been participants and witnesses to a very encouraging experience. The opportunity to interact with so many fans of eSports is very pleasing. Even the teams that haven’t been practicing for too long and didn’t qualify as Category A can enjoy watching the more experienced competitors live. They won’t be simply kicked out of the tournament; they will have the opportunity to compete in Category B events and continue to master their skills.
While Cuba is taking its first steps to legitimize E-Sports, it is not only normal to find tournaments for every game with million-dollar prizes, but, just like the Oscars or the Grammys, there are now award ceremonies dedicated to the world of video games: the “E-Sports Industry”.
Individual players, whole teams, as well as commentators, journalists, even Hardware suppliers, as well as everyone else involved in this world, can be nominated and given an award according to their specific category.
This digital underground is currently one of the vortexes where more and more attention and resources are whirling around.
Cubans are still far from being able to take part in this event like we would like to. However, you have to recognize that even though the ADEC (Cuban Electronic Sports Group) can’t give birth to events of such magnitude, it can slowly plant the roots of this culture. Thanks to them, Cuban players have found their space to shine and are slowly burying prejudices that accompany virtual games.