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.

KeSPA sunsets ProLeague

Korean esports cornerstone KeSPA announced today that it is suspending the StarCraft 2 ProLeague effective immediately.

KeSPA chairman Jun ByungHun dropped the mic in an eloquent statement. His reason for ending the 14-year-old league may not be surprising but it’s still gut wrenching to read.

[…] the drop in the number of ProLeague teams and players, difficulty securing league sponsors, and match fixing issues have made it challenging to maintain ProLeague. As such, KeSPA has come to announce the discontinuation of ProLeague and its operations of the five out of total seven StarCraft professional teams that participated in ProLeague 2016.

You can read the rest of this post over at lowercase esports.

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.

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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