TLEP #025: A Minor Thing

Would you look at that? MLG–I mean–Activision Blizzard will be running another official CS:GO tournament! In today’s podcast I go over the announced details for the upcoming Americas Minor and I briefly explore why ATVI getting more work from Valve wasn’t as shaky a proposition as I originally thought.

An episode list and subscription options for the lowercase esports podcast are listed on the podcast index.

Weekend summary rant for the #illuminati Slack: for 26 January 2015.

I’m not sure why I ranted the way that I did, but I can attribute the spark for this series of rants to a #profellow posting a link to a DailyDot story about the new flags in the LCS studio. The rest, is history nonsense.

what they should do is get a better live producer so they can yell at their camera operators for getting shit shots all of the fucking time and their stage manager for not framing the TV stage properly to the rest of the fucking arena
I was expecting to be astounded at riot’s production
holy shit, that PTL show is basically sportscenter with one too many opinionated morons
i mean, sjokz, or however you spell her handle, is the most professional personality they had on PTL and she got fucking trampled by the two other guys circlejerking their opinions and killing the flow of the broadcast

also, LEL MLG trying as hard as they could to bring cod coverage style to csgo
they could have piped in more of the in-game comms but probably didn’t because they weren’t in english
fucking morons
fifflooorin wasn’t the worst combo to throw it out to, though
and one of the casters had a burr up his ass the whole time trying to correct the analysts
adding eliminated competitors to the casting for the later stages of the tournament was a nice touch though

also i finished dragon age inquisition this weekend, played through as a male warrior hit level 22 after 85 hours, with the templars and exiling the gray wardens, and the ending WAS A CATERED, FANCY GODDAMN PARTY IN MY CASTLE

also boo hoo cbble is an official map according to valve
SOLUTION
TOURNEY ORGS SHOULD FUCKING GET A CLUE
AND DROP THE MAP THEMSELVES
/micdrop

Yeah, there was a lapse of activity here right after I promised a lot of activity here. Turns out my mind was considerably less vacant and available for freeform brainstorming and thinking than I thought it was—and for no reason. So now that I’ve sorted that out, time to get back on the writing train like I promised myself around the new year.

Fuck sleep. Bring back the long nights.

Destiny is pretty much all I’m doing lately.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.00.17 AMIf you’re playing Destiny on the Xbox 360, check out my profile (image-linked to the right) and send an application to my group. I’m trying to build out a small group of folks who don’t mind randomly helping other members with quests, and want to run harder level missions and strikes, all the way up to the goal of making weekly runs of the Vault of Glass.

It’s the second time that I’ve really tried to gather a collection of gamers for any sort of constructive purpose (although that pirate Ragnarok Online server I ran nearly a decade ago barely counts as a first attempt). I’d really like for SOLR to work out.

A full account of what I think about Destiny is proving to be difficult to compose. I think it’s because of the massive proportion of the hoping/wishful crowd were disappointed that the game is not being made available to them at launch. Bungie’s said that they have a decade-long plan for Destiny, and while I don’t think it’ll span ten years in the end, it should be expected that they would slowly distribute a considerable amount of content that they have produced over the accepted year-long cycle of a mainstream console shooter.

That’s not to say that I can’t write out my full thoughts on Destiny as it presently is, but that it’s proving pretty difficult. I can understand some decisions that Bungie made in developing the game as more of a platform, but others seem to be disharmonious from that same goal. It’s not the easiest thing to wrap my head around securely enough to pull out a logical thought. I am working on it, though. Expect to see something in the coming weeks.

In unrelated news, it seems that the Columbus studio is real and MLG is going to start using it. How interesting…1

MLG’s backup plan for StarCraft 2.

https://alpha.app.net/bcarr/post/11531410

How weird is it that MLG is looking to get back into the SC2 scene? I guess it was going to happen at some point or another, but I would have thought the search wouldn’t have taken such a public angle.

Then again, with his heart-on-his-sleeve history of interacting with the game’s community, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised at all.

MLG has a fond place in my esports heart because it was the first real event that I made an effort to attend. SC2 was important to it over the last couple of years and being the only real American event series that makes an effort to survive has a lot to do with it. It wasn’t as important as the Korean league or the Dreamhack series, but being all things to nearly all of the English speaking community raised it up to the level of the other international successes.

This afternoon, Sundance briefly clarified his original tweet:

Now the original call makes more sense. MLG certainly has the reach and the reputation that could make it an appealing venue for an up-and-coming SC2 league based in the North American region, or even one-off events that fail to realize being able to hold multiple events.

Here’s hoping that one of the two people that actually asked Sundance for contact information over Twitter (or anyone that has his info, really) can give MLG something to put on stage that it can be proud of.

Another day, another esports scheduling crisis averted.

A short message posted to Twitter this past Tuesday could have turned the middle of next June into an interesting threesome for competitive gaming.

The announcement was regarding Major League Gaming’s Spring 2014 finale, traditionally hosted in Anaheim, CA, informally referred to as MLG Anaheim 2014. In the past, this event is one of the biggest live spectator events in esports and an event that I’ve personally attended in 2012 supporting ESFI’s on-scene coverage of the event. It was awesome.

And then, one of their European counterparts looked at their calendar.

The Dreamhack representative went on to reference this press release published in May 2012, two years in advance and also mentioned that the date was included in last year’s post-event release for Dreamhack Summer 2013.

Slasher, reporting for Gamespot, was the first to publish the story in a relatively proper context. Most notably, he made the mention that the date also conflicted with another favorite video game industry pastime—the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

With hints from Twitter posts following Adam’s informal announcement, one could conclude that there would have been some backchannel discussions taking place between MLG and the Anaheim Convention Center crew, and, presumably, the publisher/partners who would be lending their games to the show to find an alternative date.

Today, only two days after the initial announcement, a revised announcement was made via the MLG executive’s Twitter account:

Not a bad turnaround for an organization that seemed to be losing favor with parts of its audience because of the company’s switching games based on business decisions. Personally, I don’t have a problem with MLG playing favorites when it comes to making money and keeping their business afloat so long as they don’t start fixing tournaments or begin catering to a younger audience for the sake of advertising dollars. It’s a business decision and they want to create some cool entertainment that a wide-sepctrum audience can watch and enjoy, and maybe even pay for.

All of this is more impressive when you consider the following, as SirScoots points out:

I don’t think that MLG simply called up the folks responsible for scheduling the Anaheim Convention Center out and politely asked for the dates they previously arranged to have changed without a legally compelling reason, unless Blizzard or another publisher was at the table with them. I could be wrong about that, but my read on the situation is MLG had to work pretty hard to change the dates for the convention center deal they made for this next summer and the public was clued in by MLG’s SVP out of a need to appeal to their potential audience that they no longer have to decide between one of the best produced events in the business and one that isn’t. It comes down to business.

Though I also would have thought that Twitter isn’t exactly the best way to publicly announce something as big of a deal as MLG Anaheim 2014. I could be wrong about that, too.

It’s as if Blizzard and MLG are playing chicken instead of negotiating details of a live event.

For over the last month, when the North American StarCraft 2 community would have normally heard about details for an upcoming MLG tournament, MLG has been silent. For reference, the last credible communication that was given before this week was a comment made by a certain League Operations Manager on Reddit stating that details about the event would be surfacing soon, save that those details were not released in that timeframe.

Someone posted a question to /r/starcraft community this past week asking if there had been any new information about SC2 at Anaheim. Nothing.

A popular Boston-based BarCraft organizer shared that their event was in jeopardy as their typical event hub required a month’s notice for large parties like theirs.

Practically zero communication from MLG (or Blizzard, though it’s not entirely their place) on either of these concerns.

And then… Continue reading

A short rant about the state of WCS America.

To preface this rant: I’m just upset that the whole WCS thing feels rushed out the wazoo and that Blizzard is content to just sit back and throw money at folks who actually do most of the work. I have decided not to publish more scathing rants than this, if only because as much as I don’t like what’s going on (from what I know), I still want this all to succeed for the good of the game.

That having been said, let’s get on with the ranting.

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Blizzard pulls a Riot in Korea; Slasher makes a deal.

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.

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