Team Leagues

On the eve of the return of the Proleague, I have to ask a question: Why on earth haven’t GOM decided to cut down on the individual leagues and created a proper StarCraft II team league?

Almost all Code S finals are one sided snoozefests punctuated by the occasional funny Tastosis moment, but GSTLs are recieved with huge fanfare, hype and tesnsion filled matches that can give easy player storylines (Prime in GSTL1 playoffs, CreatorPrime bursting into tears, DongRaeGu being Bisu of SC2, etc). In Broodwar there is less emphasis on the individual leagues – MSL and OSL running 3-4 per year, generally one every ~3 months. Of course, since OGN and MBC (well, until recently with MBC…) both run starleagues, there’s two chances for players to compete in individual leagues. This is ok for SCBW, because the Korean market is much, much more developed and mature and the infrastructure is set in place to allow two individual leagues.

Without teamleagues, teams are pretty much nothing more than a bunch of players training together. The lower ranked, unknown players never have a chance to be recognised as skilled players, and it gives people stuff to discuss, fantasy-play, and create content around. Maybe I’m just delusional, but here’s what I could imagine:

Let’s imagine if GOM changed to this:

  • 4 Code S seasons every year, each lasting about the same amount of time current seasons take. Broadcast the top 32, get rid of Code A and just have OSL/MSL style Survivor tournaments.
  • A ~9 month long team league, 2 or 3 times a week while Code S is on, and perhaps more days while no Code S. I’d prefer all proleague (WC3L style) rather than winners league (NGL style), but fans seem to love WL.
  • Basically, copying the SCBW format.

GOM can better use the money they throw into the individual leagues (read: ~50% of the prize money being awarded going to 2 players) by creating a proper team league. It will attract more views, more content, cost less, give money to teams  that can prove they deserve it, allow more unknown players the chance to shine in the public eye, and it will give the Code S seasons some prestige that I think it needs.

And here’s some Eric Clapton, just cos I can.

Esports somatotropin

Yep, we’ve heard it before. StarCraft II is the biggest thing this century, and everyone should join the amazing world of e-sports. This week we had ‘a decent proposal’.

People are looking way, way, WAY too short term. There is too much emphasis on self perpetuating growth without growing the infrastructure in which the industry operates. It’s like sounding like one of those hippies that protests McDonalds and stuff – injecting chickens with steroids so that they grow, but at such a rate that their bodies aren’t able to properly function and their legs break and are crammed in little cages and can’t move properly. Without growing naturally, the esports bubble is just going to burst and people are going to get hurt, both economically and emotionally.

If I got a huge amount of money to invest in esports, the last thing I would do is host a tournament of any kind. There are far, far more important things.

It really is an indecent proposal.

Misunderstood?

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good.

Basically ESFI and a bunch of others re-tweeted some of my tweets:

https://twitter.com/#!/marconofrio/status/138473801708077056

https://twitter.com/#!/marconofrio/status/138334353964015616

https://twitter.com/#!/marconofrio/status/138334735624716288

And lots of people have told me how I’m an idiot. Basically the main argument is that NaNiwa (and the other top seeds, IdrA, HuK and MMA) have earned their spot because of their past performances in MLG events. Sure, I understand your argument. I just think the way MLG implements it is terrible and unfair. I’ve already talked a little about MLG.

Yes, the consistent and successful players should have an advantage. The advantage, however, should NOT consist of being automatically placed into the top 12 and skipping literally 70% of the tournament. Other tournaments have top seeds face bottom seeds in the tournament brackets, meaning they have an easier road to victory, not a crazy shortcut to the money. After all, they’ve proven themselves to be the top players in the MLG circuit, why should they be worried about having to deal with some more players?

MVP and NesTea have won a bunch of GSL Code S’, but guess where they begin? The Ro32, just like everyone else in the tournament. To win Code S, the players have to win 14 games (well, sometimes 15 or 16 because of the stupid old group format used earlier in the year), but at MLG circuit events it can vary drasticly (from ~18 to ~40) due to the open bracket/pool play concept.

I did have one interesting FB reaction:

“You’re treating it more like a players business rather than a spectator event, which is what it needs to be if its going to grow and be desirable for sponsors. The spectators want the player stories and to see their favourite ‘white people play time and time again, rather than see unkowns rise up every season.”

Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I feel like cheating the players in favour of the audience is fucked up. In my opinion taking away from the integrity of the game is detrimental no matter how you look at it. I see it as a much more complex fire triangle, but if you screw over one side (players) then the other two shouldn’t fare well (spectators and sponsors). That’s a super simplistic thought, and maybe worth expanding on another time.

And just cos The Animals are awesome.

Damn it

No fair, I like shitting on people.

But this time, Sundance wasn’t a moron, and actually was quite insightful and didn’t talk shit. I guess my idea that “this guy seriously can’t be serious with this shit he tweets?” was somewhat accurate,  and he actually isn’t completely retarded.

The topic of Carmac’s opinions about casters was mentioned, and Sundance said he think it’s justifiable that casters are stars also, because the viewers see them more. Sure, but if the fans are watching for the casters and not the game there’s a fundamental flaw in esports.

He also said the format wasn’t bad. I laughed. Quite a bit.

Other than that it was pretty good.

Hey Dave, hey Gus

Any excuse to show a bit of Kavalee is fine by me.

Anywho, this blogs topic is about none other than CSN’s ‘interview’ with people who may have been able to shed light on the PPSL situation.

These people were TheGunrun, Rossi, Dox and of course the infamous Gus Ledesma. Gunrun basically explained he had nothing really to do with the event and helped on his own accord (and bailed out a guy for a $900 hotel bill or something). Then Dox came on and basically repeated exactly what he’s already said in his blog posts, and Rachel kindly let him talk about his history in esports in Australia. Totally relevant, right? Anyway, then Rossi came on and said that if you took out all of the important stuff then the event was great. After all, who cares about PCs not being able to run SC2, being able to hear casters, games lagging out and huge delays when you GET TO HAVE YOUR GAMES CAST BY TASTELESS AND ARTOSIS.

Then Mr. Ledesma comes on. When you’re going to have a controversial person on your show for an interview, ask them some fucking controversial questions. When they say something that doesn’t make sense, call them out on it. When they don’t answer your question in an adequate way, tell them and ask them to answer it properly. Rachel basically read from a list of questions and didn’t bother to follow up or press any of them. I daresay she should stick to event hosting, because she’s great at it, and not try investigative journalism if it’s going to be this piss weak.

Gus basically stumbled over his own words and used a boatload of ‘umm’s and ‘uhh’s, failed (in my opinion) to answer questions properly and used far too many big words he wasn’t able to properly use. The entire interview sounded like I was listening to a little kid in the headmasters office. The headmaster is super kind and soft spoken, but the kid knows he’s in shit and is trying his best to dig  himself out of a giant hole. People should be taking more out of his idiosyncrasies and the way he speaks than from the words he spoke.

http://twitter.com/#!/SeltzerPlease/status/137015762954100737

If that’s the case I would’ve preferred no interview.

Anyway, people are taking this way out of proportion also: it’s not bad on SEA esports, mainly because SEA’s esports is basically completely DotA. All this has done is shown to not work with certain people in one country.

 

PS. Site looks cleaner/easier to read now.

Providence

MLG Providence is on the weekend, and we all know what that means. Indeed, we’re about to witness the culmination of a horrible payout structure, unfair tournament format and a relatively lackluster product being rammed down the throats of many willing to be force fed it.

Really, just look at the ‘Championship Bracket‘. The top four seeds – IdrA, MMA, NaNiwa and HuK – need to win only one series in order to be in the money. The players in the open bracket must win ~20 games before they’re even close to seeing a cent in their wallet. It rewards those players who are fortunate enough to have teams that are able to send them to the (already unfair) preliminary events which have one tenth of the prize money of the finals in order to earn earn points in a top-focused self-perpetuating system.

I would rant about prize distribution some more, but Mr. Schetter has already done so for me.

How can any European or Korean team justify sending their players on a regular basis to the MLG circuit events, when they’re going to spend almost as much or more on the flights and accommodation than the money they  would earn if their player wins, which is already unlikely because of MLG’s unfair pool system. Well, the answer is, they can’t justify it. So they rarely do it. Really, why do it when the community can do it for you.

Each MLG  since Dallas has had Korean players invited (and reportedly very well treated) and directly seeded into the Pool Play, giving further reason for European and Korean teams to be hesitant to send their players to play in a marathon tournament for a puny chance at reward. Furthermore, the prize spread is still the same for Providence – only the top 8 getting paid. When you have a $120,000 tournament, I can’t fathom why you’d only pay the top 8, keeping in mind there are significant benefits for the higher seeded players, meaning they’re going to have a way, WAY better shot at making the top 8.

But hey, who cares about how unfair and uneconomic MLG is when they can provide a million billion streams with every caster under the sun. If past MLGs are anything to go by, I can’t wait to see huge delays inbetween games and low quality streams. Then again, the casters are the main stars of the show, not the players…

Eventually this will bite them in the ass. Eventually.

And just another note on the format, the player seeded 16th (is in championship braacket) has an MLG record of 39-24. The player seeded 17th (and misses out on being directly put into the Champ. Bracket) has an MLG season record of 23-51. Just sayin’.