On the eve of what will be the largest e-sports tournament in the history of Peru, Marco ‘Blue’ Espinoza, a semi-retired publicist, sits in one of the environments of the Gaming Factory, a center specialized in video games located in Lynx. He no longer does it to play warcraft 3 but to talk about 4D Sports, Peruvian studio dedicated to the production and transmission of events. He and eight members of this company organize Major Lima 2023a tournament of dota 2 which is only surpassed in importance by the world championship of the same game, which fans call The Internationaland that for the first time will have a South American headquarters.
The impressive venue for the 2022 Stockholm Major, one of three Dota tournaments held last year. Photo: ESL
But how did this mega event reach our shores? 4D Sports It was created in 2019, although each of its members already had a previous history with video games. Adrian Mohmegeneral manager and founder, played Counter-Strike, StarCraft Y WoWuntil he fell in love with dota 2 in 2014. William ‘CaosFénix’ Morero played Warcraft 3 in his college days in Trujillo. Alonso ‘Gijex’ Martínez watched English broadcasts of Dota games and dreamed of doing ‘concept art’. Julián ‘Flapjack’ Carbajal is a Peruvian-Spanish talent who plays professionally and dreams of being the best. He will analyze the games of the major lime. Marco ‘Blue’ Espinoza studied advertising, but was invited to ‘cast’ (comment on games) by his Costa Rican friends a few years ago, until little by little he became known in the regional community. Carlos Cossío plays it little, while Istav Nile and Juan Pablo Concha don’t play it, but they are very fond of it.
They all came to 4D Sports At different times. And it’s amazing to see how the Dota factor impacts different people. It is one of the games that currently delivers the most money in prizes (almost 19 million dollars in the last World Cup)..
Dota tournaments in the world are among the highest paid in e-sports. Photo: ESL
The company debuted with an event at the end of 2019. Despite the inevitable pause that the pandemicthey did not stop organizing competitions, at least virtual, when many external capitals pointed to the dowry local as “unprofitable”. Over time, they reached the record for the most watched event in Spanish, until —finally— Valve began to finance their competitions. Valve is the creator of Dota 2, the multi-million dollar platform Steam and other classics like Counter-Strike and Half-Life. His founder, Gabe Newellwas a former Microsoft employee who decided to bet on that market in 1995. Now he is perhaps the most respected video game entrepreneur in the world.
Valve plan three tournaments’major‘ a year, each with its pre-established headquarters. The annual competition tour ends with a fourth tournament, the most important, called The International and considered as a world. In the 2022 edition, teams with Peruvian talent were ranked fourth and sixth in the world ranking. Also, the Peru It registers high audience numbers, and the talent of our storytellers and analysts is recognized throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
In August 2022, Valve offered to 4D Sports the organization of the third ‘major’ of 2023, to be held in Lima. After a short negotiation, Gabe Newell’s men ended up offering them not the third, but the first, scheduled for February and March. The deal was closed and everything was consummated. “We couldn’t miss the opportunity,” confesses Adrián.
From the cabins to the Costa Verde
Major Lima 2023 it will have a prize pool of 500 thousand dollars and the players already have salaries. The world of e-sports in Peru is already profitable. This long road is a reason for reflection for the boys of 4D. They remember when players faced much more adversity. Freddy ‘Smash‘ Sina—perhaps the first star player to become known in Peru—is a great example. The man from Tacna represented the first Peruvian generation that achieved notoriety at a competitive level abroad. However, that first batch was marred by a match-fixing scandal. In those years (2015-2016), Peru was already the cradle of talents from dota 2 in South America, but the incident gave way to a Brazilian hegemony that lasted for a few years. Despite this, the competitiveness and entrepreneurial culture of Peru resurfaced. The insistence of the national player to play and improve despite adversity seems to be part of our DNA. Therefore, it will be Lime -and not Rio de Janeiro— the first South American venue for this event.
Arena 1 on the Costa Verde, venue of the Lima Major 2023. Photo: ESL
There is no reason to be surprised. In Peruthe dota 2 It is popular for its strong cabin culture, something that makes us similar to South Korea —cradle country of modern e-sports—. On this, Marco ‘Blue’ Espinoza thinks: “dowry It develops a very interesting competitiveness. It was the first game that explored the strategic aspect.” The responsibility of 4D Sports now it is to offer an event of international standards and also show Peru to the world. In this last aspect there is no lack of interest or lack of conviction. The theme for the Major Lima 2023, which has already become notorious on social networks, is that of the ‘chicha’ style posters and advertisements. The reason is clear: “The dotero was always very marginalized, and there are many jokes around that image, that it is ‘cuatero’, that it only takes Cifrut, that it does not eat, etc. And when you marginalize someone so much, you force them to hang out only with their own. So, coming to the cabin suddenly is more familiar than visiting your aunt”, explains ‘Blue’.
That “element of marginalization” will be the face of this event, which will be held at Arena 1 on the Costa Verde from February 28. From the booth boom 20 years ago, when Dota couldn’t be played on a home computer, to the professional Peruvian players with salaries in today’s dollars. The Major Lima 2023 It will be the summit of this crazy and millionaire dream of dotero Peru, which will receive 18 of the best teams in the world. The appointment begins in the group stage on February 22 and tickets are already sold out at Joinnus.