Sitting in the audience at the San Jose Civic Center on the last day of Genesis 3, I could feel the crowd settling down a bit after watching a nail-biting best of five between C9.Mango and Liquid`Hungrybox in the losers bracket finals (or “alternative bracket to success finals”) of melee singles (ICYMI: Hungrybox lost). A fellow behind me suddenly yelled, “Get f*cked, Hungrybox!” I wasn’t sure how to react, but before I could decide, the person next to me turned around in his seat to face the guy who yelled. “That wasn’t very nice,” he commented, firmly but not antagonistically. “Yeah,” I bandwagoned, turning around slightly myself. And … that was it. There was no argument about who was right, no defensiveness or insults, no protests about whether or not Hungrybox deserved it. The yeller accepted the rebuke and didn’t do it again.
What’s the magic formula for creating a winning eSports team for team games like MOBAs and some FPSes? If you go by season preview articles or “meet the team” video interviews that pop up around large tournaments, the recipe sounds pretty similar for everyone: you win at the game by optimizing the way the players, individually and as a group, interact with the game.
The thing is, if all of these teams are basically approaching this question in the same way, then tournaments might as well be a craps shoot (or go to the team that has the most money to pay top players). How do organizations like Dignitas, Team Liquid, Na`Vi, Fnatic, or Team Vitality find the edge that distinguishes them and translates into consistently stellar track records?
Fnatic’s new League of Legends roster. Source: Fnatic.com.
[Posted here 1/21/16: https://plus.google.com/+ChristinaKelly/posts/5MagZTF5qYF]
TL; DR – This year might be the beginning of the end of StarCraft as a dominant eSports scene, or it could lead to a thousand pylons blooming all over the world as the Korean juggernaut is reined in. Maybe both. It’ll be an exciting year.
[From 1/6/16: https://plus.google.com/+ChristinaKelly/posts/CrQ5UnqKpLC]
Tomorrow, at CES in Las Vegas, Turner Sports and WME/IMG will be hosting a $50K Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship. It’s not a bad chunk of change for the teams that battled their way from a pool of 1,100 in the qualifiers in Dec 2015 (although it’s a far cry from the prize pools in top-tier professional DotA and League of Legends tournaments), but the more exciting part of the championship is the opportunity to take part in TBS’s brand new televised CS: GO tournament. There will be two 10-week tournaments in 2016 in what TBS is calling the ELeague, with a combined prize pool of $2.4M. Tournament content will be mostly available online but some will be televised as well. Check out more details here: http://fortune.com/2015/12/17/turner-esports-ces-2016/. The finals of the Championship, Lounge Gaming vs. OpTic Gaming, will be broadcast on FACEIT’s Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/faceittv.