Frankfurt was basically "home turf" for me, so I was a little sad ... but bought a ticket and hotel anyway and checked out Hamburg!
Sadly the first stop into the fun was already beforehand: After three years of taking pictures from the event, I was not allowed to bring my SLR to the venue "only press". So I lowered my standard a lot and just went with my mobile phone and a normal (and quite old) digital camera. So I have to say sorry for the bad pictures! You will find better ones around!
On the other hand, maybe the pictures are good enough for my old gallery on my website
If you don't care about my words I will now spend on the review, just go there and look a bit. (if you are not terrified by the pictures)
But back to the event!
A second thing happened "before": A LOT of people (me included) were not allowed into the venue; because we had some small backpacks! Because I waited in the line I couldn't take a picture, but I think there were over 1000 people waiting to drop off their bag. Also: When I was sent to the booth, it was said that it is "no charge" ... and at the front of the line I had to put down 2 Euro ... thanks a lot people!
I searched the 17 pages of "FAQs" we got a few days before. And I found a hint about this: in an additional link to the website of the venue! I don't know how many people read through that (I did not)... so you can say: "our" fault, to not read. On the other hand at least a little hint in the direct text would have been great...
For some people this waiting was a good test for getting signatures at the signing sessions:
And this happened while the ESL did a really good job of "hiding" this "second" (and third) venue! The main building was just the stage and seating. All the sponsors, activities, Secret shop, ... were in two additional buildings. You could only get there by going outside (Saturday was _really_ bad weather...) and back down. Seriously, were there no alternative ways to get to them? Also they had a "lane system". Once in you had to go out on the other side. And maybe because of me (sorry), that stumbled at first entrance to the ice stadion, they changed the entrance and you had to go inside in the middle, "squeeze" to the side and enter the area here. Also there was the exit... confusing!
The only time I was allowed to go outside, where I got in, was when I took a test run with a Mercedes!
Ok, I got a "broken" car (something with the exhaust pipe) and the tour was just inside Hamburg, so not much usage of the 400 PS... sad! Would have loved to check this "4,8 seconds from 0-100 km/h"
But back to the main building and the games!
The good seats in the non-premium area were gone really fast! It was full!
ESL changed the venues, because the soccer stadium just looked empty (and there were more people, than here in Hamburg!). Now we got a really cool, full atmosphere and the teams got a lot back! Even a Happy Birthday song for Kuroky!
Especially the first day had some really great matches! Back and forth and one of the biggest was the comeback of Newbee and some people had to switch their allegiance.
And of course we had Cosplay:
But everything good has to come to an End! And we all know now how that did work out: Welcome our Russian Overlords! Solo even won the MVP-award from the Mercedes-Voting! So double winnings there!
Overall I had a nice weekend in Hamburg. haven't seen that much from the town but maybe next time! There were quite a few things to improve and could be better next time! So I will switch now to this Email from the ESL where they want feedback...
Have fun and here, again, the link to the rest of the bad pictures.!