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Category Archives: eSports

Greetings everyone, Badfur here again for another article.  Today it is about tournaments; I know I briefly mentioned them towards the end of my last article, and today I will be expanding on some of the tournaments that occur around the year.  There are often different tournaments for different games, and so things can get quite busy for people trying to attend them.

The first tournament to mention is the Electronic Sports World Cup, or ESWC, as people like to abbreviate it.   This tournament is 6 days long and includes events and competitions for 6 different games, Starcraft 2, Counter-Strike 1.6, Counter-Strike: Source, Defense of the Ancients, Fifa 11, and Trackmania Nations Forever.  How does one qualify for the ESWC? You compete in the ESL, The Electronic Sports League.  Yes, this does have a season, which contradicts the title and what I said in my previous article.  Allow me to elaborate.  There are tournaments year round, some tournaments, like the eSports World Cup require you to be in something like the Electronic Sports League to have a chance of competing.  While other tournaments, professional teams get invited to compete, joined by the teams that simply signed up, and then they have the qualifiers, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals.

This brings me to the IGN Pro League, also called the IPL.  The IGN Pro League is a series of tournaments.  Often only having 2 games played, the last installment of the IGN Pro League had a Starcraft 2 tournament with a $100,000 prize pool, and a League of Legends tournament with a $20,000 prize pool.

During August One of the large events in the United States known as PAX Prime, occurred. The Penny Arcade Xpo (PAX), has various eSports tournaments as well.  Taking place August 26th to 28th, there were over 50 games having tournaments throughout the 3 days.  Between Console games, PC games, Tabletop, and Handheld games, there were a lot of tournaments.  Some of the games represented here were League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, Mario Kart 3DS, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Team Fortress 2.

DreamHack occurs twice during the year, once in Summer, and another time during Winter.  This year, and next year, the Summer event is in June, and Winter in November.  Dreamhack currently holds the world record for the world’s largest LAN party and computer festival. DreamHack, has broken its old record multiple times in the last 5 years.  This year DreamHack occurred June 18-21, and will be occurring again November 24-27. In November at DreamHack Winter 2011, currently, 4 tournaments have been announced. The games for these tournaments are Starcraft 2, Counter-Strike 1.6, Heroes of Newerth, and Quake Live.

Speaking of events that occur multiple times during the year, now we take a look at MLG.  MLG stands for Major League Gaming, and has competitions during a good portion of the year, starting in April, and continuing into November.  MLG was in Dallas, April 1-3, Columbus June 3-5, Anaheim July 29-31, Raleigh August 26-28.  In October MLG will be in Orlando, that takes place the 14-16 of October. November 18-20, MLG finishes up the year in Providence. MLG this year has 3 main games, Halo: Reach, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Starcraft 2.  Although at MLG Raleigh, League of Legends did make an appearance in the line up.

Lastly, there is the World Cyber Games.  At the last WCG, the following games were present, Tekken 6, Counter-Strike 1.6, Crossfire, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, League of Legends, Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, and Fifa 2011. As of last year, 2011, World Cyber Games is the largest global eSport tournament.

There are a lot of games that are played professionally, and at the moment it is too daunting a task to cover every single tournament that is played around the world for all the games, so I have opted to go over some of the major ones. Questions, comments, or concerns? Reply, and I’ll answer anything as well as I can.

This concludes today’s article on tournaments, have a good day.
~Badfur

Greetings everyone, Badfur here bringing you a bit of an inside look into the world of eSports, to start we will begin with what eSports are exactly.

eSports is the short and easy way of saying electronic sports, which, is far more classy than saying professional video games. If you walk into a bar, and someone asks you your passion, and you say eSports; even if they do not know what that means, the fact that sports is in there will at least let your conversation start at indifferent with them. The majority of people are not familiar with what eSports are, or what interest there is in playing them.  Very few people in my experience can look at something they have never seen before and instantly understand what is going on. If you open a book you have never read before, and start reading in the middle, chances are you will be lost when people reference past events or dead fictional characters. How do you learn who they are? You start at the beginning, and the author tells you what is going on. I plan to do something similar; if no one explains something, how are we to understand it? So, I will do what I can to explain the world of eSports.

First, we will start with the basics. eSports are people playing video games professionally. There are quite a few games that are played professionally, Starcraft, League of Legends, Quake, and Street Fighter, to name a few. In later articles, I will go more into detail for each game, for now a general overview I think would be fitting. The games are spectator sports. Sit a few people down to watch a game, and chances are, there will be cheering, drinking, and betting. There may be some people passing out too, but if they did not, it would not feel appropriate. This may be a similar experience for people watching a baseball or football game, but the game does not matter. It is the crowd that matters. If you go to a bar to watch a football game, there will probably be a few others there, drinking and cheering for their teams. If during the last-minute, the ball is intercepted, and then taken 90 yards away for a touchdown to win the game, there is bound to be an uproar. People get excited when they see cool stuff, this is true for everyone. Some people may be louder than others, but it is the people who make a sport a sport, not the players. The players play the game, but if no one is watching, why pay them to play? There need to be fans willing to pay to see them play, and therein lies, truly, in what it takes to make a sport.

In sports, people watch games, and at the end of a season you have a major face-off between teams. Why stop there? There are some big differences between sports and eSports, it is these differences that change how things are done.

As Victor Goossens, the founder and manager of Team Liquid, a notable Starcraft team said in an interview, “A regular sports athlete can only train a few hours every day, and usually does not train at all the day of a match. This is not because they don’t want to, it’s because the human body cannot handle training athletic sports 14 hours a day. In gaming, however, your body will not give up on you very easily, so to be at the top of the StarCraft: Brood War (and StarCraft II as well, though to a lesser degree) scene, you would have to play 12-14 hours daily.” To be at the top, eSports players have to train and play for long hours daily, but this is partially because gaming is a mental sport. Video games do not require much physical prowess, it is mental prowess that largely determines how well a player will do. A concept that is almost the exact opposite of regular sports, which require great physical prowess. This does not mean that people who play sports are idiots, that would be rude, and likely false. Each team has a manager to take care of the mental games that get played, and to counter the opposing teams plans.

Consider this, in a football game, the players play the game against each other, doing their duties as necessary. However, if one side changes their strategy, it is up to the opposing team to counter, or lose. In this aspect, eSports are quite similar. eSports involve the player doing the thinking and manipulation in the game that they are playing. They inform their ‘side’ what to do, and the programming for the game follows it. In football, you have the coach, or the manager, or whomever it is that changes plays on the fly, to do the thinking and planning, while the players on the team follow their training, their “programming” to do what is necessary to counter. They go back and forth, changing plays and outmaneuvering their opponents on the field, while in the digital world, 2 players are doing the same thing.

How are things different then? Apart from the physical and mental aspect, and where the games take place? The competitions. Sports typically have seasons, and multiple games against multiple teams are fought for half the year. This is only because the body can only handle a few hours a day. The mind is far tougher, and can handle 12-14 hours a day doing high stress, high intensity work. Instead of many months playing against different teams, eSports does it in a weekend. What? Yes, a weekend. eSports does tournaments instead. There are many tournaments around the year that people train for to play in. While there are a few huge gaming events and tournaments, it is still exactly that, a tournament. The different ways that games are played allow for different ways of doing things.