Nine o’clock rolled around last night and I fired up the LiveOnThree stream, as I had set an alarm to remind me to stop what I was doing and sit down to watch some esports history. Fingers crossed, I watched the start of the show. iNcontroL was brought in as a guest host and was a fairly cool customer for the opening segment. He might be a fan of other esports, but he knew he was there because of the Blizzard announcement and he kept his cool. For anything that followed, no one can blame him for anything.
Meanwhile, Slasher explains some of the other news that the show covers in its first forty-five minutes. Everything is fairly standard at this point and the ravenous crowd in the chat is waiting with bated breath for any SC2 news to come out of that Blizzard press conference.
ESFI and TeamLiquid were the two other organizations (that I heard of) that were covering the event in anything close to a live style. They were busy translating what was being spoken to the press conference audience. Little did they know, they were about to be one-upped by Blizzard’s chosen mouthpiece.
Slasher makes a deal
Slasher had cut a deal with Blizzard to show all the information about the deal. The non-disclosure agreement restricted him from speaking of specifics until 2145 EDT.
Just before he announced that he was previously under NDA and ready to spill the beans, he made a comment about not being in Korea for the announcement proper for a honorable reason.
By the way, I could not go to Korea. We were offered to go to Korea, but GameSpot is not allowed to take trips from developers or anybody, really. So.
iNcontroL, being the good personality that he is, asked the obvious question about ethics and got this reply:
Yes, so if–so there’s no owing anybody anything and there could be no bias [ed.: something something I have no idea] either side so we can’t accept trips so I am not in Korea right now.
After telling everyone he can’t make deals with Blizzard because of a commitment to operating in an ethical way, he discloses that he had made a deal with Blizzard to keep quiet until a certain time on a certain date in which he had coincidentally scheduled to broadcast a show which he hosts called LiveOnThree.
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. What a perfect set of coincidences.
Blizzard pulls a Riot in Korea
As far as the announcement itself, it was about as much as we could hope for. Blizzard’s investment into the organized SC2 scene will definitely be a big deal for esports in general, especially when MLG and ESL has been elevated to the level of GOM/OGN as far as partnership with Blizzard goes. There will be three simultaneously running leagues culminating in a regional final, and then an international final in the three remaining quarters of this year.
It’s time that Blizzard start dumping money into its competitive scene. What’s even better about all of this is that the press event proved that it doesn’t think the NA and EU scenes aren’t worth spending money on, after all.
With the Korean division beginning play this evening, and the other regions beginning shortly, I do have a bit of hope that the lesser two regions will find some immediate success with the plan.
I also have to admit that I’m hoping that they will use this instance of working together to spark some more cooperation for some other titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. It would certainly be nice for the good European CS:GO teams to come across the pond more often and the good NA COD teams to cross the pond towards Europe.