Tags Posts tagged with "E-Sports"

E-Sports

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wtf
I’m a chink, therefore Jackie Chan.

Yesterday, I left you folks on a cliffhanger. I’ll simply fess up and say that my ravings went on for too long, so I had to make this a two-parter. While I can make a part three because I ended up rambling on even more, let’s just end it today. Now, to answer the question: why won’t local e-sports tournaments ever work out?

That’s because of our player base. The so-called “next generation” of cyber athletes  are a bunch of weak-willed cowards. Throughout my employment in promoting Crossfire, issues about small scale cafe tournaments refusing entry of prominent competitive teams was a thing. Nobody wanted to play against the top dogs because they wouldn’t stand a chance.I’m going off the chain here again to say what kind of bullshit reason is that?

FG.Wolves drank so many tears in Point Blank.
FG.Wolves drank so many tears.

I won’t lie to you. I haven’t been keeping up with the local competitive game circuits so feel free to correct me if everyone is out for the top team’s blood but I doubt anything has changed much since I dabbled in that world. The person being criticized is not even the “current generation” of cyber athletes. As far as I am concerned, if you are over 25 years old, you’re considered a veteran, yesterday’s news, an old guy in competitive gaming because of this thing called hand-eye coordination which deteriorates over time. I also am not familiar with the MOBA scene here but I’m positive that there are only a few top teams and boat load of people who provides them with endless tears to drink.

In a competitive environment such as e-Sports, everybody is aiming for the top. If you get a chance to fight the champs, you will jump on that opportunity, that’s how you get better. The top teams in my time were more vilified than they were beloved. It could have been because of the way the top teams carried themselves rubbing people the wrong way or how other people couldn’t stand how they couldn’t beat said top teams but I saw more bashing than I saw competition. It wasn’t “put up or shut up”, it was cry till’ you had no more tears, pause and drink water, then cry some more.

In the history of bad ideas in the world of online games one stood out the most and it wasn’t the P1 million rope-a-dope Operation 7 tournament that never happened by E-Games. The honor goes to a game publisher (also E-Games) sponsoring their own e-sport team and parading them around for all the country to see, be envious of, and start bashing them out of butt hurt. Despite being the team to beat, people despised them because they claimed that the team was given preferential treatment in tournaments. As far as participation in tournaments and in-game items, sure but everything else was fair game and yet they complained. This is why we can’t have nice things. Everyone but a select few want it easy… in a competitive environment.

Yes! This image again because it's hilarious!
Yes! This image again because it’s hilarious!

The local game publishing industry also shares the blame in killing its chances at making e-Sports work. Most of it is actually self-inflicted due to several bad eggs in the industry. As if petty shit like ripping competitor posters and uninstalling their games wasn’t enough you had greenhorns in the online games industry in charge marketing with big salaries and big budgets during the online games bubble. They were squandered on ineffective yet costly marketing attempts which more than anything, insults the intelligence of their intended audience, celebrity marketing. Just as you would market consumer products. It took them a while to actually learn from their mistakes and when it came down to crunch time, they had to blame someone for their poor performance.

It’s not surprising nobody wanted to owe up for being a colossal moron so let’s blame the competition. The “illegal aliens” who were “illegally” taking away their player base… by setting up a game publishing company in the Philippines and offering games the same way they do, minus the idiotic marketing. What’s wrong with this picture is our government being protective of idiots while companies who actually can do much better and actually generate jobs for Filipinos are harassed to no-end or are prevented from doing business in our country. Several foreign owned companies were issued cease and desist orders but only Gameclub was “raided” by questionable means because they posed the biggest threat. It didn’t even pan out for the raid’s instigators. Does the E-Games brand still exist? Not anymore, case and point.

The punch line is the fact that Level-Up has gone through several owners: a South-African IT comapny, China’s Tencent, and finally Asiasoft. It’s public knowledge that Asiasoft is not a local company and yet there are no cease and desist orders or raids on game severs. There are obviously loop holes which can be used to skirt the law and this is not sour grapes, okay. I’m not secretly wishing for the downfall of Asiasoft-owned Level-Up, I think it might be a good thing considering the huge list of games under Asiasoft’s belt. They can actually provide Filipino gamers more games than anyone could ever have offered. But you can see as clear as day how our laws and law enforcement agencies could be used as a satellite targeted ICBM to ruin things for everyone.

The Hounds of Justice!
The Hounds of Justice!

Compound all that dirt above and more undisclosed in this already long post and you get a loss of consumer trust. Sales are down across the board for all gaming companies? Maybe they were traumatized with all that crap and just moved on to globally published games or games on Steam, like DotA 2. RIP local gaming industry. I don’t really mean it and as dire as things look now, I have friends in the online gaming industry and I wholeheartedly hope that they will achieve success and do print a substantial amount of money. I salute them for still  trying to fight the good fight.

As if the original DotA wasn't already a problem for online game publishers...
As if the original DotA wasn’t already a problem for online game publishers…

Things would have been different if shitheads like Don “the bald fucking shit eater” Jocson got a brain aneurism before he put his plan in motion. Words aren’t enough to describe what a horrible person he is so let’s just go the potty mouth child route.

Players wanting bigger prize pools or complaining about the prize pools I had for my own tournaments annoyed me to no ends. Even the so-called money grubby behavior some of the top teams displayed popped my nerves from time to time but is it really about them or more on my frustration at not being able to afford a bigger prize pool? It’s a shitty feeling when you look at our neighboring countries coming up with huge prize pools that make your grand prize look like a consolation prize. But do you think these so-called “money-grubbing cyber athletes” got to where they are just by counting prize money? Then again, what prize money? I doubt anybody in this country could even subsist on the collective prize pools of all tournaments made versus their expenses for playing and training for each respective game.

The player in scrutiny is someone I know and have personally acted as their team’s handler for the 2011 World Cyber Games. Jupiter Mars “Elgee” Gaboy has been playing games competitively since the Philippines received its first invitation to the World Cyber Games. I believe it started around 2002 or 2003 so that would mean he probably has over a decade of experience in e-sports.

How many people would have dedicated that much time to playing games. Granted that he has not made a career out of it until recently, you would have to imagine what sacrifices he made to be the gamer he is. You can also question his sanity and priorities for sacrificing so much just in an attempt to make a career with playing games. He along with the other players during his era are still at fore front of the local FPS scene usually losing against each other in tournaments but almost always placing at the top. Why? I can only think of one reason. Because they are the ones willing to put in the most time and effort even if deep down, they know they’ll never make a career out of it and I can guess most of them are pretty burned out already. Call it whatever you will but that’s doing something “for the love of gaming” right there.

The guys from Cristal (now MSI Evo.GT or something I guess), Fairview GamingWolves, Loko, WaraPWND, among other teams  people were loud, very emotional, and blunt when it came to their opinions but they sure did their work when it came to preparing for tournaments. You cannot ever take that away from them no matter what people say or think about them. They have continued to raise the bar in competitive gaming for this country time and again by giving each other a run for their money and wowing everybody in international competitions by becoming fan favorites and placing in the top three at times.

There were more notable teams but I forgot their names because I am getting older already, for that I apologize.

It is stupid to call out one of them out for one outburst which isn’t even remotely damaging or derogatory to the tournament’s organizer. While I think this is a case of too much butt hurt from the community manager of Assault Fire and a couple of ignorant/flunkie bloggers, Elgee’s biggest mistake was to allow himself to come under scrutiny by opportunistic albeit idiotic people. Remember kids, when you’re a public figure, there will be a lot of people after your head, just because they can. How is it that some people can be so deluded as to be offended at a statement which reads to me as “the prize money is not attractive at all”? I believe the tournaments 101 already explained the role prize of money.

Here is my advice to future game operators: When someone complains about cash prizes and you know the deal behind why it is as such, just apologize that it didn’t meet their expectations and then assure them you will make one that is more attractive in the future as part of your planned events. It doesn’t matter if your game will actually not be around to see that time but we all have to keep our appearances. How hard is that?

As far as making a career out of e-sports in this country, I think it’s a bad idea but nothing I say or do will prevent people from trying anyway.

In hindsight, maybe Point Blank players didn't really hate the whole team. They just hated this hipster for rocking an undercut before it even became mainstream. Peace z3r02! ,\/,,
In hindsight, maybe Point Blank players didn’t really hate the whole team. They just hated this hipster for rocking an undercut before it even became mainstream. Peace, z3r02! ,\/,,

In the off chance (more like certainty) that people will be offended with the feature image, allow me to explain #Pinoize. It is basically the summation of what we believe is undesirable behavior in Filipino nationals which includes taking a studio/group pic with gang signs.

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Micro-Star International (MSI), an established manufacturer of PC hardware (motherboards, video cards, etc) and notebooks is inviting all gamers and pc enthusiasts to their celebration of all things gaming and more: “MSI Beat It! 2013: Overdrive Reloaded“. This event will be held at the 4th floor annex event area in SM City North EDSA. This event will feature highly competitive tournaments, exclusive hands on previews of their latest gaming hardware, and a lot more activities listed below:

Feature Tournaments:

  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive will  be featured in a qualifying tournament brought to you by MSI and it’s pro-team partner: Fnatic where the winning team will be flown to Shanghai, China to compete in the global grand final where USD 10,000 will be awarded to the grand champion.
  • Mercenary Online (Massive Gaming) will culminate it’s Third Person Shooter League (TPSL) at MSI Beat It 2013 where the champion will walk away with PHP 50,000.
  • Dragon Nest (Cherry Credits) will feature its first King of the Arena PVP tournament where the last player standing will take home PHP 30,000.
  • Assault Fire (Level Up) will host a Pro Tour qualifying tournament c/o Mineski.

Official Tournaments:

  • Defense of the Ancients 2
  • Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
  • Avatar Star (Cherry Credits)

Other Events:

There will be a Dragon Nest/Avatar Star cosplay competition in MSI Beat It 2013 where the best cosplayer will be awarded PHP 10,000. Other cosplayers are still welcome to join in the festivities but you get no prizes.

MSI will also be showcasing exclusive hands on previews of their upcoming gaming notebook, the MSI GS70 Stealth. What is being claimed as the world’s thinnest and lightest gaming notebook. Looks like the big boys are starting to give the Razer Blade a run for its money.

Aside from lean and mean gaming machines, MSI will be colaborating with Simulation Racing Pilipinas and Techsim in a time-attack challenge featuring the MSI GX60, the only gaming notebook capable of handling Eyefinity (triple screen). Having said that, you’re going to experience simulation racing with an Eyefinity set-up.

MSI in celebration of this event will be selling gaming series motherboard and video card bundles that will be available in authorized MSI hardware retailers up to September 15, 2013 only.

Last but not the least, what is a PC gaming event without a LAN Party? On top of a rig modding competition, the participants will be making functional use of their pimped out computers for one big LAN party.

“MSI Beat It! 2013: Overdrive Reloaded” is presented by MSI in partnership with Intel, SteelSeries, Aerocool, Plextor, Massive Gaming, Cherry Credits, myDSL and SM North EDSA.

About MSI

Founded in 1986, MSI designs, manufactures and markets technology solutions and products, including Tablets, Notebook PCs, All-in-One PCs, and PC components including IPCs, Servers, Motherboards and Video Cards. Committed to innovation and style, MSI products are available in more than 120 countries and employ more than 14,000 people worldwide. To learn more about MSI’s complete line of products, visit: www.msi.com; or follow them at www.facebook.com/MSI.Philippines.

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We’ve already established that watching horribly-broken versions of popular videogame and anime characters battle it out in an equally-broken game makes for some compelling viewing. Now, take that same concept, amp it up to eleven by making the match-ups even more ridiculous (seriously, I’m watching Raditz lay the smack down on Barney the dinosaur right now), and add a seedy online gambling component and you get Salty Bet, the latest bit of absurdity the prolific FGC (Fighting Game Community) has spawned. Originally created as a betting site for larger-scale tournament matches (think EVO and the like), the site has found its niche thanks to its “Dream Cast Casino,” a 24/7 stream that features randomly-generated bouts powered by MUGEN, a freeware 2D fighting game engine where you can essentially make your own characters and stages.

No need to soil your pants, random agents of the DTI that happen to be reading this blog: all bets are done with Mickey Mouse money; no real cash is exchanged or gambled away. Users start off with 400 Salty Bucks to gamble away at whatever match is going on at the moment, of which odds are assigned and determined on the fly. If you win, great; if you lose, no biggie, it’s fake money anyway. Lose too much and you end up in the Salt Mines, sadly churning away with the rest of the poor losers, trying to catch a break on an upset. Fascinating stuff, and worth a look even just to gawk and laugh at what kind of weird matchups the virtual bookers put together.

Oh, and they aren’t kidding: always bet on DBZ.

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Following a well received e-Sport tournament last year dubbed “MSI Overdrive 2012“, PC hardware manufacturer Micro-Star International (MSI) has announced the first title of their 2013 e-Sport festival’s (MSI Beat It! 2013): Defense of the Ancients 2 (DotA 2). This DotA 2 tournament has a total prize pool of over PHP 100,000 which will feature eight teams coming from the following legs:

  1. Six (6) qualifying tournaments to be held in the following locations:
    1. TheNet.Com (P. Noval) – July 28 (Sunday)
    2. TheNet.Com (R. Papa) – August 4 (Sunday)
    3. Minesky Infinity (Las Pinas) – August 10 (Saturday)
    4. Live and Wired (Dapitan) – August 11 (Sunday)
    5. Minesky Infinity (Katipunan) – August 17 (Saturday)
    6. PAD Cyber Cafe (Morayta) – August 18 (Sunday)
  2. One (1) online tournament qualifier (details to be announced)
  3. and one (1) “wild card” entry (details to be announced)

The online tournament  and wild card competition is open to all countries in South-East Asia so it is possible to our neighboring countries to participate in the grand finals which will be held here in the Philippines. Details on the actual date and venue for the grand finals have yet to be disclosed. In line with that, those interested in the DotA 2 tournament or other possible game titles to appear in MSI Beat It 2013 can follow MSI.Philippines on Facebook for more details on their tournaments and side events.

About MSI

Founded in 1986, MSI designs, manufactures and markets technology solutions and products, including Tablets, Notebook PCs, All-in-One PCs, and PC components including IPCs, Servers, Motherboards and Video Cards. MSI products are available in more than 120 countries and employ more than 14,000 people worldwide. To learn more about MSI’s complete line of products, visit: the official site; or follow them on Facebook

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Believe it or not, the US government officially recognizes professional gamers as real, professional athletes, and in effect can be given visas (although the terms, such as if single or multiple entry are not specified, but I guess it’s assumed that whatever athletes are granted, gamers will be too). You guys can thank League of Legends for that, or specifically, its creator Riot Games. I don’t know how they did it, but they pulled off something that in my opinion Apple has done: made themselves somehow more universally relevant and created their own market through ingenious creativity.

imagesThis sets the precedent as to what things can now be considered as “sports” these days. After all, the game of Chess is a recognized sport by the International Olympics Committee, but yet millions still find themselves sitting down and watch two people with wooden pieces and doing boring shit like staring, thinking and looking smart. Chess is the real life sport equivalent of Dragon Ball Z at the premise that it takes several episodes for characters to stare at each other and smirk, whispering to themselves “this is getting interesting” before actually beating the crap out of each other. I don’t hate Chess, but I don’t necessarily love it. Then again, I still find myself playing Magic: The Gathering for hours, so who am I to judge? People dig these quiet, “boring” things, card game or otherwise. If you do insist on chess, may I interest you on a game of Star Wars Chess?

imagesAnyway, E-sports aren’t necessarily new. The World Cyber Games was inaugurated at South Korea at the dawn of the new millennium (2000) and is being participated by 17 countries, the Philippines amongst them. These “video game olympics” events are big hits in South Korea, and professional e-athletes (gamers) are at equal footing/tier to the country’s most popular celebrities. If once again, you don’t believe me, National Geographic made a documentary about it back in 2005, which can be conveniently watched online on Youtube. Starcraft is serious business.

JaceHall-Picture_193donothotlinkJace Hall Show writer Paul Nyhart (Jace’s the big buff guy on the left) wrote an article about it, and I can’t help but agree with a lot of his points, notwithstanding the fact that I myself am a gamer. The flak online is relentless and unforgiving, frequently bringing up all the idiotic stereotyping of gamers being obese, pimply, glasses-wearing, basement-prowling losers.  The main beef that people gamers and non-gamers alike have are that “video games aren’t a sport because it’s not physical“. This is their rallying call, and yes, it’s bare-bones simple in concept, common sense kumbaga.

Nyhart makes argues that the premise of sports being physical in nature was derived from the fact that past civilizations have primitive or perhaps non-existent technology, and hence the proving ground for anything “sport-like” would most likely be something physical in nature. We live in an advanced age, and hence we design our activities, heck, our daily lives, based on what we currently have. Ancient times don’t have computers, or even electricity, so it makes sense (to me at least) but one can be cynical enough to ask why writing isn’t a sport, but that’s a debate for another day.

He says that people are not looking at the right thing. Instead of re-classifying what “sports” are, we need to look at other elements, in this case the one performing the action… the athlete. Now think back as to why Chess is a recognized sport, despite the extremely minimal physical activity involved. Whatever the reason was for doing this, I certainly would like to know. Nyhart’s closing remark is, and I quote “Gamers aren’t suddenly more athletic; being an “athlete” has just grown to have a wider and more relevant meaning”. Whether you accept his statement or not is up to you.

imagesHowever, a quick search on Wikipedia will merit you a list of known recognized sports and surprisingly, if you scroll down you will get to see the term “Mind Sports”. Although I neither establish nor claim Wikipedia as the sole authority of correct, concise information, what makes an activity a sport in my opinion goes down to old fashioned marketing. In blunt terms, how well you’re good in BSing other people to agree with you that what you’re doing is a sport. Riot Games did it, Wizards of The Coast did it (Magic Grand Prix),  who knows what’s gonna follow. Regardless on whether you agree or not, gaming is now considered a sport (by them), and you can’t do squat about it.

Either way, I really hope I live long enough to witness the era of the sport of Raspberry Blowing.