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Televised e-sports in 2008


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#1
Jarett

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I enjoy watching sports, particularly ice hockey, tennis, and StarCraft. The skill level of professional athletes and the gameplay strategies that evolve over time are fascinating to me. It doesn't have to be a live broadcast or a mainstream sport either; back in the Zero Hour days I could spend hours watching ClanWars replays and have an absolute blast. Yet while e-sports are booming in North America, I'm left feeling more and more bummed out instead of excited. I love gaming, I love competing, and I enjoy watching sports - so why is it now that two big pro gaming leagues are being broadcast on TV, I have no drive to watch either? Sure you could blame it on the fact that I don't actually have cable or watch TV, but the truth is I have little to no interest in these leagues because of their choice of games.

The CGS 2008 (DirecTV): FIFA '08, CS:S, Forza 2, and DoA4. Two of the four games are merely simulations of real-life counterparts, and are never going to gain mainstream spectator interest for that reason. We don't need to watch simpler, polygon versions of sports that have been around for years. We're talking about video games, where we have the freedom to laugh at death, control entire armies, shoot fireballs from our hands, or any of the other millions of fun things we can't watch people do for sport in real life. If I want to watch realistic looking soccer or racing on TV, I'll look to reality. Dead or Alive 4? I know it's largely a matter of personal taste, but to my person DoA4 tastes like bland, slow-paced, button-mashing that bores me when I play it and as a spectator sport makes me want to leap to my death from my balcony. No, not even 2 guys bumping chests in a WWE-level display of testosterone is going to change my mind. CS:S was an obvious and necessary choice without which I would have put their selections in the realm of "bad joke".

The MLG 2008 (ESPN): Halo 3, Gears of War, and an unreleased Tom Clancy shooter from a franchise I'm half-convinced no one actually plays seriously except the Frag Dolls. The entire league this year is so far comprised of three Xbox 360 shooters. That's one genre on one console. Let me be blunt here - I think console shooters suck balls. Again, a personal preference, sure, but one that I happen to share with every human being I've ever met that first experienced FPS on a PC.

Of course there's some other big'ish leagues over here, like CEVO, which has CS1.6, CS:S, CoD4, TF2, and AA.... But I guess it just doesn't have enough team-based FPS to gain my interest. There's also the CPL Sierra World Marketing Tour. For brevity though I'm restricting the scope of this post to leagues currently broadcasting on TV.

As an oldskool hardcore gamer who's been dreaming of mainstream competitive e-sports in North America for the last 20 years, I expected something more... relevant. I assumed they would generally contain a variety of genres and platforms that test more than just the narrow skill-set FPS does, or have games selected based on their natural competitive community growth instead of 720p compatible broadcast resolution and/or publisher funding. "Real" sports, like football, hockey, or baseball, aren't where they are because they broadcast well in HD, or fit a convenient TV time-slot. Their popularity grew organically over time because more people loved playing them and watching them be played than the alternatives. You can't force a sport's adoption on the mainstream, all you can do is usher along its natural growth. Unless we want pro gaming to ultimately be the next beach volleyball, where the tiny audience is there less for the sport and more for the eye-candy, someone needs to step up and either choose the games that naturally work well as e-sports, or develop games from the ground up with that intention. Fun to play, fun to spectate, and with a skill-depth that takes a lifetime to master. I mention StarCraft frequently because I think it's the perfect example of an e-sport evolving naturally in a culture, with televised play being the result of the sport's popularity and not the other way around. CS1.6 is also a great example of a massively popular competitive game that is huge on its gameplay merit alone. Neither of them will ever meet modern western broadcasting standards.

Fortunately televised e-sports development this year isn't entirely sour for me. The news of Tasteless' move to South Korea where he'll be shoutcasting pro StarCraft matches in English had me micro-dancing with joy in my living room.

#2
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I enjoy watchin E-Sports too they helpful and can teach you some stuff. I like to take notes rofl icon_biggrin.gif

QUOTE (CoMMie @ Mar 23 2010, 08:10 PM)
I wonder what kind of big favor he wants.......because I'm not blowing him

#3
Weiman

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I thought the CPL was like, dead? icon_razz.gif

But yeah, I'll be tuning in live for sure to watch Flash vs SaviOr, should be awesome icon_biggrin.gif


QUOTE (Weiman @ Apr 5 2009, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is exactly what has been going on through the entire thread, and it's not the first time either.
You come to us for advice..you just spell out what you want to get, and then ask us if it is okay, and we have to explain why it isn't. That's the world upside down.. If you would just say 'hey guys, I have an X amount of money, what should I buy?' Then this would be over in 2-3 posts, not 2-3 pages.
QUOTE (Kazzerax @ May 21 2009, 09:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Every time someone goes against Weiman's sig I feel like they should be bludgeoned for a few minutes in the head to feel the headache I feel when I realize someone really IS that dense.

#4
pickupstix60

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QUOTE (Jarett @ Feb 16 2008, 07:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Let me be blunt here - I think console shooters suck balls.



<3


Seriously though, great post. I remember searching around for some of your interviews to know more about the gamer behind Jeremy, but I like these posts since one can (at least in my case) organize and explain ideas better.

I've never been into watching pro gaming on T.V., watching replays and youtube videos is pretty fun though.


Also, hockey owns. icon_smile.gif


#5
Zanzibar

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Hmm, whats the chances the console one is the most watched? rolleyes.gif

I'm happy with my low res youtube replays and crappy fraps videos for the time being. As I guess the majority of the hardcore gaming community is. I say keep television out of gaming all together.

Anyway, I've never watched e-sports much for the same reasons as most, it's shite. If they step their game up a wee bit then maybe, but at the moment I guess it's simply back to the hoping and dreaming we all seem so good at.

QUOTE (Jarett @ Feb 17 2008, 12:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Let me be blunt here - I think console shooters suck balls.

While I agree wholeheartedly, do you know that you've just done?! There was enough PC>Console elitists going around already, you just gave the bastards fuel! icon_wink.gif

#6
Weiman

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QUOTE (Jarett @ Feb 17 2008, 01:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I mention StarCraft frequently because I think it's the perfect example of an e-sport evolving naturally in a culture, with televised play being the result of the sport's popularity and not the other way around. CS1.6 is also a great example of a massively popular competitive game that is huge on its gameplay merit alone. Neither of them will ever meet modern western broadcasting standards.


Indeed, <3. I hope I'll be watching the same vid at the same time as teh_pwnerer tomorrow icon_razz.gif


QUOTE (Weiman @ Apr 5 2009, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is exactly what has been going on through the entire thread, and it's not the first time either.
You come to us for advice..you just spell out what you want to get, and then ask us if it is okay, and we have to explain why it isn't. That's the world upside down.. If you would just say 'hey guys, I have an X amount of money, what should I buy?' Then this would be over in 2-3 posts, not 2-3 pages.
QUOTE (Kazzerax @ May 21 2009, 09:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Every time someone goes against Weiman's sig I feel like they should be bludgeoned for a few minutes in the head to feel the headache I feel when I realize someone really IS that dense.

#7
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Awesome post on e-Sports and why it's becoming shit. I'm finally getting Halo 3 on my TV. HOLY SHIT HALO 3 OMFG. That's SO much better than getting Zero Hour VoDs, hell, even CnC3 VoDs!. icon_sad.gif. Only half decent RTS league is CPL, and that's just shitty WiC.

#8
Lord Panzerfaust

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I agree there should be more RTS games in e-sports but its either team based shooters like CS or some crap game thats there because the sponsors have sponsored said event and wanna advertise their games.


Also lets bring back Quake 3 icon_smile.gif

#9
wolf_1

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That's right, fuck CGS. fuck them for fucking with Capcom and the SRK community.


CGS has got nothing on the tougeki super battle opera.
Will dead or alive ever be in a prestigious event such as sbo??? not even a chance.

To bash on CGS even more, hearing the music that they play in their broadcasting makes me want to beat the crap out of everyone in that organization.

#10
PTrain

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Maybe these leagues are waiting for Starcraft 2's release. It will be nice and flashy for the non hardcore gamers and it looks like its going to be a just as good as a competitive game as the original Starcraft.


#11
Thermal

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I dont think I would like watching e-sports. It guess it could be helpful for strats but others are watching aswell therefore making them redundant. Id rather be part of it rather than watch it. Its like playing a one player game and waiting for your turn. (unfortunately in this case it never comes)

QUOTE
Unless we want pro gaming to ultimately be the next beach volleyball, where the tiny audience is there less for the sport and more for the eye-candy, someone needs to step up and either choose the games that naturally work well as e-sports, or develop games from the ground up with that intention. Fun to play, fun to spectate, and with a skill-depth that takes a lifetime to master. I mention StarCraft frequently because I think it's the perfect example of an e-sport evolving naturally in a culture, with televised play being the result of the sport's popularity and not the other way around.


I completely agree with this.

#12
Onishiro

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It would be awesome if the likes of Virtua Fighter 5, Tekken 6, Street Fighter Alpha 3, SFIII, Soul Calibur 3, Guilty Gear XX and other good fighting games could get some E-sports exposure. Tekken's quite popular in Japan, Korea and North America, and matches are quite entertaining to watch.

#13
Visionz

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Good read and i feel the same way about the games they are going to broadcast on TV in the USA. Competitive Sport simulations are just dumb and WoW is plain trash. The only exception is that I enjoy competitive Halo 3 (MLG) so that will be pretty entertaining for me.

#14
Pyroguy

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Yeah you pretty much spread down the truth hard with a butter knife on this post. Although, I doubt pro gaming will really ever get the right kind of coverage, considering the market is a very small circle of people. We will have to stick with YouTube for a long while.

What's the story behind that YouTube video of you "Micro dancing" anyways? That was pretty hilarious.

#15
PwnDaddy123

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I have a hard time watching people play a game cause what's the point of watching when I can play? Unless shit gets really competitive and crazy then I'll watch.

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#16
Coconut

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QUOTE (Pyroguy @ Feb 16 2008, 09:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's the story behind that YouTube video of you "Micro dancing" anyways? That was pretty hilarious.

If I'm remembering correctly, that was from their 'E3 Special' video.
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#17
Uberman - SpecOps Kerrigan

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I'm right with you. Well, recent news says CPL is closing it's doors, but CAL is staying open. I am perfectly fine with that. I'm glad to see you agree with my decision to not allow MMO's other than possibly Guild Wars PvP only characters, or something similar if people were interested. (for The VESL) There are too many variables invloved with those games, where it's more who can spend the most time, not who is actually a better player. All the games that are to be played in The VESL are from suggestions, and show of interest. I plan to keep it that way.

I completely agree that televising sports simulation games is F***ed up. icon_razz.gif

GG, and I like all these opinions you guys have posted lately, some of the best reading on the internet imo icon_smile.gif Keep it up!

p.s. check out some of the e-sports videos on xfire, haven't watched in a while, but some of them are edited really well, (mostly 1.6 videos from teams). Look for ChX (Choual History X) http://www.xfire.com/files/366/

Edited by Special Ops Kerrigan, 16 February 2008 - 10:37 PM.

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#18
Vishamon

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Why you gotta hate on beach vollyball? As a fellow player of badminton, I can't see why you would do that to such a similar sport which has the appeal of minimal equipment. Although, I don't really see why it's played competitively. That's like playing WoW compe-oh... I guess I see your point. pp_smiley11.gif
Keep it up Jarett!

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#19
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It's your destiny to set this up Jarett, the right way. *sagely nod*

#20
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