If you look through the VOD history you can find a lot of stuff from the very first ESOC tournament as well; might be interesting for some people.
holy cow that's some strong nostalgia there. that tourney was stacked, just flipping through the vod a bit
Stacked? That's just nostalgia painting a better picture of the past. The tournament was a bit of a joke, especially after the amazing spring tournament. The level of competition was low and because the tournament was hosted in the summer period, viewer engagement was lower than expected. The targeted prize pool of the 2015 winter tournament could not be fully funded after the summer tournament ended. ESOC has never hosted another tournament in the summer since (well, unless you host it in October and call it a summer tournament).
The summer tournament in 2015 was also the last tournament to be played on the RE patch. During the summer tournament, development on the ESOC Patch was started and knowledge about this was made public after the summer tournament had ended. The winter tournament was played on the very first EP version. Even if this patch arguably caused a divide between the casual and competitive playerbase, EP greatly encouraged the development of the competitive community. We would not be here if we had been playing ottoman and hauds mirrors for the past decade.
Discord killed the forum for sure, not sure it can be stated it was a negative for aoe3 since I don’t think you can quantify all the “good” that discord generated relative what the forums used to do. I don’t think you can really say it’s a migration from long form to short form either. A platform doesn’t necessarily necessitate content being long or short form, there used to be and still is a lot of short form content on YouTube even after they spun off YouTube shorts specifically for short form content. There’s plenty of long form content on discord and plenty of short form content on the forum, discord is simply designed better, easier to access, and “live”, which is why it killed the forum.