he puts forth a pretty even-handed overview of the first season, considering everything.

Nevertheless, slowly but surely, as the league stage transpired, I was won over by NASL. The format of the regular season was the closest to a real sports league that we’ve seen outside of EPS (ESL Pro Series). The daily broadcasts (and re-broadcasts for us Euros) made it feel like a real league with an on-going story. It’s a shame they didn’t make more of the fact that they had the most genuinely sporting format around, but you can forgive people for not having a perfect first season, right?

Not for twenty-five smackers…I don’t think.

I hadn’t really realized this until I read this: they did indeed have ‘the most genuinely sporting format around,’ however it was a format best suited for a team sport. Once again, esports gets it bass ackwards. I think it was preferrable to a drawn out single elimination fixture, but still…in both economical and logistical considerations, solo sports are best suited to tournaments and tours, whereas team sports are best suited for seasonal leagues. It just makes sense.

The commentary even got decidedly better over the coming months. Granted, Gretorp still doesn’t seem to be able to speak English, and InControl still only has a vocabulary of about 50 words. Granted, they still bitch way too much about being called biased (which nobody seems to have actually done), but it did improve. Mostly because of the guest commentators – notably Mr. Bitter – but it did improve.

Here’s the thing, commentary is hard. I’ve been at it for six years now and am nowhere near as good at it as I want to be. Did either of these guys do even a half year worth of preparatory shows and commentary before embarking on this? I’m pretty sure they pulled an O’Reilly and decided to do it live, and it showed.

I can read the trolls now…‘you couldn’t cast SC to save your life.’ You’re right. I wouldn’t dare attempt it before immersing myself in the game for at least a year. And that’s the difference between me and these guys. Pick any sport; most great commentators couldn’t be players, and most great players couldn’t be commentators.

And then came the finals. Suddenly all the good will that had been built up over the previous four months was dissolved in a few short hours. The track took a dip so sudden that the wind rushing by made it impossible to hear. Okay, I’ve milked that metaphor enough, but the technical difficulties were pretty catastrophic.

Yea…look…live audio is actually not that difficult. This garbage was inexcusable. From day one, this was about hype - how the league looked in a sales pitch - and not about the actual product.

If they can just put a bit more effort into their production (I’m sure as hell glad I didn’t pay for a season ticket) and come to their own finals event prepared, maybe season two can be a vast improvement.

Then again, they did just randomly add HoN, so I won’t hold my breath.

That’s a wrap.