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.

2017 is proving to be an intriguing start, as far as esports go.

Hooooo-lyyyyy shieeeeet.

I mean, just look at the esports news dated today(-ish):

Tonight I’ll be recording the first test run of the new Monday episode of the lowercase esports podcast for February, and I’ll try to offer a summary of the recent past and upcoming events of Dota 2 as well as this week’s episode of the Esports Morning podcast with keekerdc.

This weekend was an awesome time for Dota 2.

How about all of that Dota 2 goodness from this past weekend? The grand final was an awesome series. And that Ad Finem team really should stick together and make a huge comeback in the next major. I guess it’s a bummer they couldn’t pull it together in the end, but I imagine they gave OG a moment of pause in that third game. It’s a shame that OG out-drafted Ad Finem in the other games.

Speaking of the next major, how about that surprise Kiev Major announcement? PGL seems to be making all of the best bids for Dota 2, this year. Weird, considering they ran that European CSGO Minor where they directly invited teams and sort of didn’t give a shit they were screwing with standing competitive structure of the CSGO Major system.

And that patch that’s coming out today and how Valve are taking some serious cues from in my opinion, the most fun-to-play Dota-clone out there and incorporating it into a massive game changing patch? It’s sparked my interest in Dota 2 to the point where I think I’ll actually pick up the game and give it a shot instead of playing Heroes of the Storm.

What a time to be, like I am, little-to-mildly involved in esports.

TLEP #046 – Change For Change’s Sake Is Dumb

Analysis is something that Thorin is pretty good at. I happen to think his most recent take on why Evil Geniuses and Team Secret ended up finishing next-to-last at the ongoing Manila Major for Dota 2 is pretty spot on. Some in the Dota 2 community think this opinion is too simplistic, and therefore needs addressing. Today’s show is a rant on just letting some things go and also agreeing that these two teams were high as fuck when they decided to allow these changes to happen, especially EG.

Also, this podcast was recorded before Universe decided to complicate everything by announcing he’s leaving TS for EG.

An episode list and links to subscription options for the lowercase esports podcast are over here.

The International hype has quieted down, but the prize pool keeps growing.

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Feature Image - DOTA 2With just over $1.5m USD to go until the entire second set of stretch goals have been met, it sort of seems like The International is becoming an outlier to the greater esports scene rather than a leader in it.

That’s not to say that I think the achievement of giving away the most amount of money for the sake of a video game isn’t an important one, but I think that as the hype dies down about the prize pool and turns towards the tournament qualifiers and the main event, the other companies who have games out there will be beginning to implement their league’s year-end plans.

Only Riot has the player base that can compete in the crowd-funded tournament arena, but they’ve always had solid prize pools from the get-go, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Blizzard isn’t really in the conversation anymore as they’ve seemingly taken the role of an outsmarted pioneer in so far as to have pretty much started the hype train for modern esports and then having the scene completely abandon it.

Activision gets a lot of press for its million dollar world-wide championship tournament thingamabob, but let’s get real—COD is fan worship to the extreme, Ghosts is bad and Advanced Warfare looks to be worse.

EA could step up, but I’m not sure that’s possible when you consider their big games (Battlefield and Titanfall) both fell flat after their release for one reason or another. Between releasing a broken game and releasing an incomplete game, there’s not really much hope unless they get serious about a Command and Conquer reboot. And I’m saying that mainly because I’d like to see a Command and Conquer reboot.

$5m USD sure is a milestone.

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Feature Image - DOTA 2Not only is the prize pool historic, but how about a $1m USD second place prize? Regardless, Valve’s Compendium sales have allowed them to create a hype machine to rival hype machines, while pocketing over $10m USD in exchange for a few models and a new game mode.

A pretty good trade-off, I think. So when will Riot or Blizzard hop on board with the microtransaction crowd-funding train? Definitely looking forward to see how they end up promoting their leagues’ finales end this year.