Bitter

First of all, my main PC crashed. Buying a new HDD today to hopefully solve the problem.

On topic: I was just accused of being bitter. Well, I am pretty bitter, but that’s beside the point (my logic is amazing). I was ranting a little about how SC2 the distribution of stream viewer numbers is horseshit.

My argument is this: I think it’s a fundamental flaw in the StarCraft 2 scene that the popularity (read: average viewer numbers) on a stream are rarely correlated with the players skill. Of course there are exceptions: IdrA being a prime example. When IdrA turns on his stream it’s usually surrounded by fanfare and hundreds of comments on /v/ and reddit and TL, along with ~10k+ viewers. IdrA streaming, however, is a rare thing. The habitual streamers, like CatZ, Destiny, TLO, iNcontroL, Dragon etc all pull very large numbers on average. But why is this bad? Because, relatively speaking, these players are bad.

They get stream viewers because they are ‘enjoyable’ to watch, or are quite… unique (especially in Dragon’s case). Sure, I sound like a no-fun nazi: “stop watching things you find enjoyable”, but when this far and above trumps the players with actual amazing skill, I find it to be fundamentally problematic. You don’t watch pee-wee baseball because it’s cute and fun, you watch Major League’s because it’s the best of the best. You don’t watch a 10 year olds soccer game, you watch Serie A and the EPL. Why should StarCraft be any different? I’m worried that when the bubble bursts and the novelty that is esports starts to fade, the infrastructure won’t be able to support a blow and will collapse in on itself.

Bringing people into the game showing them Day9 casting bronze league 3v3s spamming memes, or Destiny going on a rant and making pornstars cry, or Dragon winning a game and doing a funny dance is NOT beneficial for the longevity of StarCraft II. If people really want this to succeed, introduce your friends to the game to be able to appreciate the game when the ‘celebrities’ of toady are gone in 12 months.

With more and more Koreans starting to stream, including pretty much of all NS호서, SlayerS and pretty much everyone else, we’ll have to see what people want to choose.

SMM

What a complete failure.

“SMM plague [sic] with technical difficulties” reads the GosuGamers headline. No kidding.

I’ve had the stream open for about 5 hours, and for the first 4 hours and 45 minutes I saw 1 WoDota clip which was apparently criticised by the organisers because the players were watching that instead of playing their games, and the hero draft of EG vs LGD, which was meant to start 4 hours ago. The draft happened, then “P” and LGD paused, saying “delay”. Yep, delay on LAN.

When the PCs are crashing in every game (read the article) and there are either wins given on a stupid basis or remaking games that were being won by a team, you can start to feel sorry for them. Except that SMM is meant to be the biggest and most important DotA tournament in the world. SMM is where the best gather to play for the most prestige and bragging rights. When the games are crashing nonstop I can’t find a fibre in my body that feels sorry for this event.

The stream had 11,000 viewers when I tuned in 5 hours ago, and now has 15,000 – each and every single one of us staring at an almost static picture of a crowd looking far less than impressed. It might as well be a mirror, because this simply isn’t good enough.