I don’t really know who all frequents this place, if anybody. I apologize for the lack of new stuff lately. I’ve been caught up the past few days with typical stuff, work, school, etc.
However, some extremely interesting stuff has gone down as of late in the casting world that deserves a few comments; it all centers around GotFrag, and it’s got the communities around the major competition platforms at CAL buzzing.
GotFrag on Thursday announced plans to launch ‘GotFragTV’ in a few months. Behind this new branch of GotFrag, a company that up until now has specialized in online print content exclusively, is a deal with the CPL in which they bought the streaming rights to all CPL competitions, including rights to matches played through CAL. How much the deal was worth or any further details haven’t been annouced, including what games they’re planning on covering or who they have staffing the outfit (if anyone at this point).
This deal is not only something that is going to alter the shoutcasting scene in the short-term but sets a precedent that will change the dynamic of the industry permanently. A tangible ceiling has been set for anybody just trying to put together their own independent stab at the whole shoutcasting thing. Sure, you’ll be able to cast the low profile stuff, but if you want to get anywhere in terms of major LAN tournaments which equates to the kind of exposure any casting company would set as their goal when setting out, you’re gonna need some capital to get there.
The effect that this will have on the esports world as a whole is immense. Coverage of major events are moving away from hobbyist sort of endeavors and towards more polished, serious, commercial efforts and will soon be considered as much as a profession as the actual gaming being covered. Frankly, I think it’s about time. It’s not that those involved in esports media have entirely gone unpaid to this point - it’s not unheard of - but this is a clear sign that the industry is moving in a very new direction.
This direction is a good one if GotFrag is responsible with spearheading it. It’s gonna take getting the right personalities in there for the casting, making sure the production quality of the video and audio is extremely well done, and that everything is absolutely solid on the techincal end. If they fail at any one of those things, they’re going to be faced with a very surly competitive community that already have their favorite casting companies or personalities elsewhere, and who are going to be extremely pissed if GotFrag wedges in on something that another company can outshine them in. In BF2, for instance, if EGLN and TGBF continue to cover CAL (which, honestly, I wouldn’t do considering some of GotFrag’s new stipulations on CAL coverage by other entities that I’ve caught wind of) and are doing the same quality work that both organizations are known for, and then GFTV (GotFragTV) trumps them out of the playoff matches at the end of the season, they’d better make sure they’re doing a damn good job of it or it’s not going to be good for GotFrag or for the CAL. It’s much the same thing that I discussed in my first post on this blog regarding TsN and the WT.
I’m not trying to ensue that GF will screw this up. They’ve been around for around 4 years now and have done extremely well; I have relative confidence that they’ll do the job that they’ve now required of themselves. However, no company is infalliable; this industry is no different.
I guess all there is to do now is…wait.