VP tops SK in a seemingly half-filled arena

I watched the grand final of DreamHack Masters Las Vegas last night and I’ve got a few questions that I want to, at first, ask rhetorically then immediately revert to type by spilling disorganized prose into this post via my keyboard.

DreamHack sure as hell doesn’t give a shit about fucks, right?

Personally, I don’t mind the lack of a language filter when it comes to expressing how important a previous play was or how impossible it appears that a certain team would lose in a situation, but compared to the last big CSGO tournament, the ELEAGUE Major (which Valve are keen on identifying as the Atlanta Major presented by ELEAGUE), there seemed to be a more relaxed-yet-mature atmosphere surrounding the entire production. While innuendo wasn’t necessarily the center stage of analyst desk segments and floor interviews, I don’t think the amount of joking present in this establishment was terribly out of place or demeaning to the nature of the broadcast.

How about them Poles, folks?

Virtus.Pro proved it deserves to remain a top-tier professional team by defeating the recently reorganized SK Gaming roster to win DH Masters Las Vegas two games to one (8-16 Cobblestone, 16-11 Train, 16-13 Mirage). The $200k USD first prize is a slightly bigger payoff than the team’s second place showing at the Atlanta Major and it’s about time.

SK’s roster woes aren’t really woes, but I’m sure they’re pretty disappointed with how quickly VP deconstructed their game plan. When the Virtus-plow is on point, you get rekt. Considering VP only needed the one map to warm back up after an extended downtime from playing, it’s pretty clear that the Polish side have rediscovered the advantage to its rock-solid roster in the current meta of CSGO.

Where was the audience?

I think it’s safe to say that the attendance for such an important event for CSGO was a little disappointing. There’s so many pockets of empty seats that are shown on camera even during wide-shots of the stage between rounds.

Now, I understand the MGM Grand arena is a considerably larger venue for a States-side DreamHack event to be held in, but you’d think they would be trying to give out tickets left and right to entice people to take a winter vacation to Las Vegas and watch a premier offline CSGO tournament live.

After taking two seconds to look up ticket prices to see how expensive it was to get into the arena for the weekend, I instantly understood why the areas in front of teams were filled with so many patches of empty seats: they were assigned to the $150 Premium ticket holders.

A bit of an oversight for an event that didn’t sell out.

The WESG 2016-that-actually-took-place-in-2017 wrap-up.

Non-standard calendars and their year counting madness. How about those crazy things?

World Electronic Sports Games 2016, also known as Alibaba Spent 3.7M USD This Year To Virtue Signal Its Success To A New Vertical, is probably the closest thing esports has to a world final for multiple games. Well, at least a multi-title event that’s mildly relevant in this era of inflating prize pools not run by the usual suspects.

I keep up with events like these by going back after the fact and gathering information about the results, as well as some general statistics about the games and prize awards for each tournament. Here’s my entries regarding the WESG 2016 results (using my goto source, Liquipedia) and a little blurb about why I record the statistics I have.

  • CSGO
    • 1ST: ENVYUS, 800K USD
      • GROUP A WINNER (11PTS, 8-2)
      • 2-1 TYLOO (16-9 CACHE, 8-16 MIRAGE, 16-14 DUST2)
      • 2-1 SPACE SOLDIERS (8-16 CACHE, 22-19 CBBLE, 16-14 DUST2)
      • 2-0 KINGUIN (2ND: 400K USD) (16-5 TRAIN, 16-6 DUST2)
    • VIRTUS.PRO (3RD: 200K USD) 2-0 SPACE SOLDIERS (4TH: 60K USD) (16-8 CBBLE, 16-6 NUKE)

First: I usually don’t write anything in my notebook in lowercase unless I need to actually remember the case of what I’m writing down. Pretty ironic since the sub-title for the blog and prominent name for the podcast contains the word lowercase.

As for not recording game wins/losses and only recording map wins/losses in CSGO, the former is the only base statistic that matters without listing round wins/losses in series for group games. It’s the most basic representation of a team’s performance in a group stage without also stating the rosters’ cumulative kill-death-assist ration. In a perfect world, if you’re gathering KDA statistics, you might as well be gathering average economy statistics, too.

Knowing round scores against certain matchups, however, is a perfectly sane thing to remember. Especially when we’ve moved beyond the mundane

And let us not forget the real metric that matters, here, winnings. Yeah, I could be lazy and just write out $800K, but sometimes the currency of the award isn’t USD. Using symbols seems lame in a notebook that only I’m going to read. Might as well be pedantic if I’m going to do whatever in my magic book of personal records and notes and so on.

  • DOTA 2
    • 1ST: TNC, 800K USD
      • GROUP D WINNER (10PTS, 7-3 IN 361M46S)
      • 2-1 DILECOM (IN 114M43S)
      • 2-0 ALLIANCE (IN 75M50S)
      • 2-1 CLOUD9 (2ND: 400K USD) (IN 132M22S)
    • ALLIANCE (3RD: 200K USD) 2-1 INFAMOUS (4TH: 60K USD) (IN 126M52S)

Dota 2 is a grand ol’ game of strategy, tactics and fatigue. Typically, you could also say that League of Legends is the same thing, along with many other Dota-clones, however not all Dota-clones receive near-complete makeovers of their end-games as recently as Data 2 has. 7.00’s mid-to-late game changes revolving around its implementation of a skill tree is a huge change in game mechanics.

Match length might begin to tell us if the teams have adapted their strategies to the new mechanics in the patch and in turn optimize all heroes’ viability for all situations—which we’d see if games trended towards longer times.

OR… a trend for shorter match times could mean that matches are more often decided by the magic of a player hitting 25th level followed by a blatant, drastic steamrolling.

  • SC2
    • 1ST: TY (T), 200K USD
      • GROUPD D WINNER (8-4)
      • 3-0 STEPHANO (Z)
      • 3-0 NEEB (P)
      • 4-3 MARU (T) (2ND: 100K USD)
    • NEEB (P) (3RD: 50K USD) 3-1 SHOWTIME (P) (4TH: 20K USD)

When it comes to the top tiers of StarCraft 2 professional play, map selection, player race, and starting position might be more important statistics to track here, but I’m not a living, breathing statistics machine that is obsessed over identifying trends like this.

Maybe if SC2 was more of a major esport and not in the rut that it is.

  • RNGSTONE
    • 1ST: STAZ, 150K USD (25-16)
    • 2ND: ORANGE, 70K USD (28-15)
    • 3RD: BUNNYHOPPER, 40K USD (26-18)
    • 4TH: XIXO, 20K USD (21-18)

The only things that matter in RNGstone, since every player uses all classes of decks in a tournament setting, are game wins and… losses. Since the game is practically decided by a randomized, predetermined deck, there’s not really a reason to bother associating most of the statistics that one could reasonably derive from a game.

That statistic is average turns taken to win. With that statistic, you can identify those with the super-optimized decks and those with decks that might require longer to set up a victory condition.

Actually, yeah, sure. That statistic doesn’t help as much as I thought it might.