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Some comments from the lot of you folks from the last few weeks…

If you have a thought you’d like to share in this space, or something you’d like to hear my comments on (for whatever reason), just drop me an email, address at right. I’ll continue to maintain the policy of reposting all correspondence I get from readership, unless it’s requested otherwise.

Hey there once again,

so on http://www.wcg.com/6th/fun/news/news_view.asp?keyno=C11030410001 you can read about the games being played at WCG 2011. Some upsets there, with SC:BW being completely replaced by SC2, League of Legends being played without having a competitive scene, while neither DotA nor HoN are considered, Tekken 6 being chosen over Street Fighter IV, and no Quake.

Might be of interest to you.

:)

Best regards, Franz Hahn

This whole game selection rigmarole that circuits go through every year, and the corresponding heavy breathing the scene does around it, has never made much sense to me. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the maximization of profit, as determined by sponsors. What do we run that will generate the most attention, and thus the most theoretical return-on-investment for them? That’s the only question being asked. If the sponsors would determine that Hello Kitty: Island Adventure would satisfy that equation best, that’s what would be played. The End.

The only way to change that is to form sanctioning bodies around single games or game series, but that would require gamers to get up off their asses and think of something other than who their next ex-sponsor is going to be. I’m not holding out much hope for that actually happening.

Hey there, just stumbled upon something you might find interesting.

Team Liquid announced today that GomTV, the broadcasting station for the GSL in South Korea, will work together with TL and broadcast the TSL 3 to Korea with korean commentary. Gisado will be commentating this world premiere of live broadcasting an international Starcraft 2 tournament in Korea.

This to me sounds like great news for the e-sports community, Don’t you think?

Best regards, Franz Hahn

I find it interesting that the traditional prime exporter of Starcraft content has taken on an import, but I don’t think it’s indicative that we’ve passed some major milestone. The TSL’s are always well produced and feature great matches, so it makes sense, but I don’t think there’s anything larger to extrapolate from this story.

can you do a blog post on your thoughts on ESEA.net? maybe how it fits into current competitive gaming and where you see it headed. the good and bad! big fan of your blog, thx :] sean portis

Cheers.

Maybe a few thoughts in this space here…

I could probably start and end with the thought that they’re quite possibly the only organization in my neck of the woods that has consistently been in the black. If you want to see where the equilibrium point sits between comfortable profitability and running VC-fueled deficits, ESEA’s mass is the standard.

I haven’t agreed with everything they’ve done. They’ve made some huge missteps with communities I’ve had affinities with, and have a complete inability to simply admit when they’ve fucked up. I think that their LAN events are grossly unnecessary, if only from the fiscal standpoint of invited teams, and I don’t think there’s anything that ESEA provides for the top CS teams that those teams couldn’t provide themselves by forming their own league. But from a macro sense, it’s hard to fault what they’re doing. Post CGS bubble, they’re all the NA scene has going for it, and they’ve managed to produce a sustainable model in the competitive gaming sector that’s not completely predatory or cannibalistic.

ESEA has a massive blind spot in the area of content production. The argument that it’s not part of their business model, as a company that provides services to league participants and not onlookers, is a valid one. But that means that ESEA isn’t necessarily helping the scene grow, they simply exist to monetize the current mass of the scene, whatever that might be. Their stance seems to be that everyone interested in watching CS and TF2 content are already on the HLTVs anyway, so any investment in streaming is wasteful; I think I soundly disproved this stance when I was streaming TF2, and consistently matched or beat the HLTV numbers with my stream population for matches we were streaming. Having Wheat do one SC2 match per week isn’t a reversal of this stance, it’s still just providing the bare minimum to allow people to watch.

In the long run, ESEA will be an important engine for the amateur scene, as a proving ground, a sort of ‘minor league’; the focus is, and will likely continue to be, providing a league service for players, and providing a meaningful experience for spectators will continue to be an afterthought. The only people making money in the NA gaming scene will continue to be ESEA exclusively, as long as the top teams continue to hitch their wagons to it, happy as consumers of a league product instead of producers of a sport product.