Tag Archives: esports

In Response to Grubby’s Open Letter

(A friend of our’s, Liam Harper, wrote up this great response to an open letter written by Grubby in regards to the state of the StarCraft II eSports scene. I wanted to share it here with everyone because I think it’s a great response to a very interesting letter. Enjoy)

Earlier today I was browsing my Twitter stream when professional Starcraft 2 player Grubby (@followGrubby) tweeted a very interesting letter.
 “Open letter to the community about viewership tournament fatigue in sc2 eSports

This is an attempt to see if there is a possibility for a concerted effort to help improve upon an aspect of eSports, in this case StarCraft II eSports. There are so many theories that come to mind, but each has its merits and disadvantages. Recently and regularly I read descriptions of problems in our world of SC 2 eSports. That is happening because of our community’s PASSION, which is great. One problem I’ve read about (whether the majority sees it as one or not, I find that hard to accurately judge) is “viewer tournament fatigue”. Just to explain, the concept here would be that the scene is suffering (yes, suffering, not blossoming) under the stress of too many tournaments; of oversaturation, and thus in extension suffering of a reduced significance of any one tournament. Is this a problem, or not? And if it is, and should be done about it, if anything? If you care about the eSports scene, or care to add your voice, I’d love to read your opinion (point 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6: other).
Public discussions have been had many a time over this topic and other topics similar to it, but because of the complexity of the problem, I’d like to absorb your input and maybe come up with a comprehensive plan, or just keep it in mind so that I may see what I can do to improve the scene by, at any point in the future, like nudging it into the correct direction. I could try to accomplish solutions behind the scenes, or thru airing opinions on vblogs, I don’t know yet. For now, see this as a survey or even a school sociology finals exam question (it’s starting to look like one). Heh, hey, maybe I’ll grade your answer!For this item, public discussion is allowed, even encouraged - hell, you’re a free (wo)man - but for the purposes of this I’d like to request an answer to my email address contact@followgrubby.com so I can keep the discussion pure and without input or fear of judgment from 3rd parties. So if you want me to reply - though a reply is not guaranteed; I can’t predict the response size from the community - I will only do so by email. Looking forward to your reply!


Your name and nickname:

Q: Let’s for a moment say that tournament fatigue of the viewer is a realistic problem. What will improve SC2 eSports the most according to you, and help fix this problem?

(1) more quality and quantity tournament coverage is needed on TeamLiquid/ESFI World/other sites so that the tournament and player stories get developed more. I can still choose to watch tournament A, B, or C or all three; when I do, I can easily find previews, power ranks and results as well as interviews and pictures.

(2) We need to have less tournaments around. Delayed gratification will make the next tournament that much better. With too many tournaments around, I don’t know what to follow anymore.

(3) tournaments need to become more well rounded; the time that *just* providing a proving grounds for top players for 1-4 days was enough, is over. The responsibility lies not with independent coverage, but in the production value, post-production value and pre-hype and side shows that tournaments themselves deliver. I will watch a lot more tournaments and streams if only every tournament had the production, self-generated hype or ‘feel’ of (for instance WCS EU).

(4) The same points as in point 3, but adding the following:
Every party has a responsibility to improve the viewership experience for the audience. This means a fan needs to tell his friends about SC2/tourneys/eSports; a tournament organization needs to raise her own production value; a player needs to go above and beyond “just playing” by becoming actually involved; would-be writers, people from the community with passion need to start covering tourneys; etc; basically anyone who can do anything needs to start doing it.
The theme of point 4 is: “We dont have time to let the hype and growth of (SC2) eSports die off or decline before *maybe* it gets super big in the year 2030 after our own active followership.”

(5) There is no problem of oversaturation. The market of supply & demand will sort itself out eventually. Tournaments that don’t provide enough quality or have enough improvements will concludingly have low viewership, therefore die off and make room for the new. The same with players who don’t perform; they, too, will be replaced by the new. The circle of life will naturally work itself out, as will the circle of eSports life. No amount of theorizing is going to change anything about the direction that eSports is going to be taking, whatever that may be.

6) other. The solution is: <your solution>



Personally I don’t see Starcraft 2 as having too many tournaments. If people want to watch tournaments 24 hours a day and 7 days a week then they can, but they only want to watch the big tournaments they can do that too. The two biggest problems are as follows.
A) The SC2 scene seems to be too chaotic. Whilst I don’t believe that there are too many competitions I do think that perhaps the scheduling could be improved. The best comparison I can come up with is that the SC2 scene is like the tennis world. You have your “majors” (WCS and MLG to name two) and then you have tournaments all the time too. In tennis you also have that and people don’t complain about fatigue (well apart from the players), so what’s the difference? I personally think the SC2 eSport scene would benefit from a so called “governing body”, one that a company would apply to before being allowed to run a tournament. The governing body could then look at available dates and assign one. The fact that some of the “smaller” tournaments could clash wouldn’t be a problem as it might give some lesser known players some exposure (as what happens in tennis). The dates for the majors would be kept clean just for them. Yes it would give them a higher seat at the table BUT they are the ones who put the most effort into the production and the overall “product” so in my opinion they deserve it.
B) This brings me onto my second thought. Right now I think the scene is too fractured. There are tournaments here, there and everywhere but there isn’t one particular place to catch them all and to be updated on the smaller competitions. So why not set up a dedicated SC2 channel? If there isn’t enough content for that then an eSports channel covering other games such as League of Legends and DOTA2 as well? On this channel could be live events from the “majors”, highlights from the other competitions, plus news, interviews, analysis etc.
Granted this would be a massive undertaking to get going and I know the majority of the tournaments are on Twitch but think about everything that has been said in the above two points. With a central governing body that brings the Starcraft scene into some sort of order and a dedicated station backing it up, surely this would improve the scene without affecting the players? “Hmm according to the schedule, ASUS ROG is on this weekend at x time. I’ll tune into eSports Central and watch it” “Oh what’s that? There’s an interview with Stefano going out at 9pm? I’ll be home for that” How could this not benefit not just Starcraft but eSports itself?
Personally I don’t think that the Starcraft scene or eSport scene is as over saturated as some make out, but that doesn’t mean improvements can’t be considered, right?

Golden Joins Quantic Gaming

Just days after NaNiwa announced his departure from Quantic Gaming, the eSports team has announced the arrival of Cho “Golden” Myung Hwan, formerly of LighT eSports and SlayerS. Golden joins the current squad with such members as TheStC, Apocalypse, and team captain Sase.

“I wanted to join a foreign team because I really like playing in foreign tournaments and think they are a good experience,” Golden said in an interview with Quantic. “I came back to Korea on Monday and will be living here… for now.” Golden also indicated he plans on moving back to the US into the Quantic Training Facility in the future.

For now, Golden says he will be focusing on Korean tournaments before he returns to the US. Golden will be attempting to qualify for the GSL Code A Season 4 tournament soon.

The MadCast Open Tournament LIVE Streaming on Observer ESports

That’s right! The GKick Netowrk’s sister site, Oberserver eSports, has joined alongside our good friends in MadCast Gaming to provide you today with live streams and casting of this month’s Open Tournament from the MadCast Gaming crew as well as the good folks over at The Killing Blow! Head on over now to Observer eSports and follow the streams for your fill of all things League of Legends!

vVv Gaming Cuts it’s Fighting Game Arm

In a sudden move that caught much of the fighting game community off-guard, vVv Gaming has cut their fighting game team, leaving RTD, REO, CD Jr, and Romance without a team. The announcement was made on their official site earlier today. vVv RobZGod (VP of Operations)  stated that:

“We sponsored our fighters throughout the road the evo, but their representation of the organization diminished as time went on. From forgetting shirts at multiple events to ignoring texts about interviews and opportunities it got to the point where we were put in this position. I agree that they are fun to watch and cheer for at events, but when it comes down to the numbers and value they just aren’t a good fit for the direction that we are moving towards. ”

Keep in mind, this comes a day after vVv posted a glowing statement of their players, congratulating them on their recent successes by saying that, “The road to EVO was a long one, ending with our vVv Fighters accumulating numerous top 4 finishes, major tournament victories, and garnering the respect of all in attendance at the biggest fighting game tournaments of the year.  For those who had their doubts, our fighters are the real deal, and it would be a mistake to not look out for them in the future.  We’d like to thank everyone that tuned in to support the vVv fighters this past weekend, and a huge congratulations to our fighters for once again showing that they came to compete, and played to win.”

Why vVv’s attitude went from “…our fighters are the real deal,” to their value not being “…a good fit,” is curious. CD Jr took 2nd place at EVO and CEO for MK9, RTD took 1st at CEO for Soul Calibur V, REO got 1st at the CEO MK9 tournament, and Romance got 2nd for KoFXIII at CEO.

Sounds like a pretty successful team to me. But maybe remembering your shirts and answering texts is more important.

Blizzard Offers HoTS Beta Keys for Help With Arcade 1.5

People that want to increase their chances of getting into the Heart of The Swarm beta-test have a great opportunity avaliable to them for the next couple of days!

From now until the 29th, Blizzard is offering players that help them test out their Arcade beta 1.5 additional chances to win a key, one for each day they test! That’s an additional 3 chances!

“If you want to get in on the action, playing the Rate the Game beta contest is easy. First, visit your account management page, download and install the Arcade (1.5.0) Beta product you see in the game accounts section, then hop into the Arcade. To enter the contest, simply play, rate, and review an Arcade game. The first time you rate and review a new game each day the contest is running gives you another chance to win, so it pays to visit every day until the contest ends. At the end of the contest period we’ll randomly choose 500 eligible contestants to win StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta keys!” -Blizzard

Go here  to opt into the Arcade (1.5.0) Beta.

Remember! You can come back each day from now until the 29th to rate a game and get another chance to win a Heart of the Swarm beta key! There are only going to be 500 winners, so every day you play will really help!

Good luck!

Starcraft: Brood War Legend “NaDa” Retires

NaDa, among the greatest and most well known Brood War players, has officially retired according to an announcement made on compLexity’s team-page. The news was officially posted on June 19th.

The following is a statement made by NaDa to all of his fans:

“I wanted to apologize to my overseas fans, compLexity teammates, and everyone else involved that I had to retire early. I was not able to make it to an event due to military service issues, and my biggest regret is that I was not able to see you all one last time before leaving. Thank you for always taking care of and treating the players so well through online skype.

Due to my financial difficulty, current poor state of health, pending military issues, as well as some family issues, it is difficult for me to continue on. However, I feel the need to continue running towards my dream. One of my greatest qualities, in fact, is having big dreams.

I also hope that you will continue to cheer on my fellow Korean players in compLexity, because they are my kind-hearted, hard-working and lovable younger siblings. I also truly regret not having interacted more with the other players from overseas.

One thing I really noticed at compLexity was not only the importance of good scores, but the true family-like atmosphere which I loved. Thank you for taking good care of me, Jason Lake and Scott Ford!

I have one last thing I would like to say to my foreigner fans. It is a joyous thing that I am leaving. Why, you ask? Leaving is not a sad thing after all - because it’s just the start to a new beginning.

Thank you! Good bye .. I LOVE YOU MY FANS”

-Lee Yun “NaDa” Yeol

NaDa was one of the most successful BW players of all time. He won three consecutive KPGA tours in 2002, and is one of only four players (also the first!) to receive the Golden Mouse (awarded to players who have won three OSL championships.)

It’s a sobering moment for followers of the scene.

All things that ascend to the Heavens must eventually find their resting place back on Earth.

You’ll be missed NaDa!

Blizzard’s Heart of The Swarm Multiplayer Preview

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard about Blizzard’s two HoTS Multiplayer VODs. Casted by Day[9] and Rob Simpson, the two go through a full ZvT and ZvP with most of the new units. There are definitely a lot of new tactics and strategies avaliable, with Zerg even getting what appears to be a new late-game unit composition.

One thing to keep in mind is that the balance team has decided to start the units off really strong, and then scale them back as need be as opposed to starting weak and scaling up. This means the damage, ranges, or even abilities could be changed or removed. It’s still in the testing phase so anything seen in the video might not be there or might be changed once HoTS finally drops.

Here are a few of the high-lights from the videos:

Hydras: These things are fast. It’s kind of ridiculous now. Once you hit Hive Techyou can research a movement speed buff that makes them just as fast off creep as they are when they are on it. They are now really easily micro-able, reminiscent of how they were in Brood War. They look really powerful, doing hit an runs with their amazing DPS and escaping easily when the enemy arrives. Looks awesome.

Vipers: The new Zerg caster unit. Abduct looks awesome, able to pull key units of your opponent into the jaws of your swarmy army and take them out. It works especially well with Lings and the new faster Hydras, preventing the units from retreating back to their friends. The Blinding Cloud ability is only usable against biological units, but it’s going to help a lot when Terran starts massing up Marine balls.

Swarm Host: This is the new Zerg siege unit. It’s an interesting take on the role, as this thing does slow sustained damage by spawning small, free ranged units rather than doing bursty damage like the Siege Tank or Colossus. If you can get enough of them together, combined with spines they seem like they’ll be able to lock down positions really well.

Widow Mine: This thing looks a little ridiculous right now. It can one-shot queens, they do AoE damage, and they are only 75min 25gas. Luckily there is a 10 second or so delay before the mines actually explode, so microing your army to make the mines less cost efficient shouldn’t be too hard. Still, if you aren’t careful you can lose valuable units like Queens or Infestors to a cheap factor unit. You can also build them 2 at a time with a Reactor.

Oracle: Protoss’s new economy harassing unit. It’ll be interesting to see if they change this one. Right now they can move into range of mineral patches, and use spell to lock them down with a shield, forcing the opponent to break them down before the mineral patches can be used again. In the ZvP video, spines were used to that the player didn’t have to manually tell his units to break the shields. It looks a bit powerful right now if you aren’t paying attention. It can also cloak your units, but it has to stay stationary to work.

Tempest: It’s a flying 22 range siege unit. And it flies. \ o.O/

Over all it looks pretty awesome. More units means more options. Excited to see what changes and what stays the same!



Win PAX-Exclusive League of Legends Champions/Skins from Observer Casting!

To celebrate the launch of GKick Network’s latest site, Observer Casting, we’re giving away two rare League of Legends champion skins. Of course, if you don’t already own these champions, you’ll unlock them WITH their special skins for free!

What are we giving away? PAX Sivir and Riot Nasus, and we have two of EACH!

How do you enter? Just head to the link below, register on Observer Casting and post a comment with your Observer Casting username in the thread! If you win, you’ll be notified via private message on Observer Casting, so stay on that site!

Questions? Let us know! Otherwise, good luck and thanks for entering!


E3: TwitchTV Coming to Xbox 360

The streaming network of choice for the GKick Network (cheap plug!) is coming soon to Xbox 360. As hinted at during Microsoft’s E3 press conference, you will soon be able to watch TwitchTV streams from the comfort of your couch or bed, or wherever it is that your Xbox is plugged in.

While no details have been announced yet, the feature will likely function similarly to YouTube or Netflix but no word yet on if an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription would be required to view TwitchTV content through your console. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.