2015 is old news as we’re more than a full week into the new year. I took a very nice vacation and time away from the computer (but not my iPad, still had to hit legend!) so I apologize for not getting this out in a timely manner.
The eSports industry moves at a breakneck pace. Heck, any part of adult life tends to go at a blinding speed compared to when you’re stuck in school counting down the minutes until class is dismissed. But when you’re bombarded with event after event, it’s hard to digest it all and process wtf did we actually see this year.
Linkin Park closing BlizzCon 2015!
In light of GosuGamer faithfully following the scene and handing out their yearly awards, I too wanted to do like a 2015 Frodan awards of “Best Player” and “Best Team”. However, I feel like it’s redundant to pick the obvious choices like G2/Nihilum, even though all their recognition this year is desreved. Nor do I find it particularly interesting to redundantly discuss things that you can find out yourself with a bit of Liquipedia research and reddit browsing.
Instead, I’m just gonna write down random stories of the year, reminisce about my favorite moments, games, conversations, and other things.
Warning: This blog ended up getting massively long (4k+ words). At this point, I’ve sunk so much time into it that I won’t be doing much editing. Sorry!Continue reading →
It’s been years since I seriously competed in an event. The last one I can remember was for Halo 3 at MLG Anaheim 2009. I had forgotten everything which made me love eSports in the first place — the thrill of experiencing intense competition. Sure I had done other sports in middle/high school, but there is nothing quite like the indigestible feeling that the entire world is watching you play versus the best. It’s like a burning thirst which can be quenched by victory alone. Desire to win is not enough and losing will ignite the flame even more. The worst part about this bloodlust for glory is that once you taste it, you want to feel that again. That’s what gives me the drive to compete…or used to drive me.
Me [green shirt] and my two buddies LANing it up with H:CE back in 2006.
I had lost much of this feeling over time as my priorities shifted into commentary, production, and behind-the-scenes busy work. Casting still has some performance pressures, but usually get many chances to prove yourself throughout a tournament. Even better, you have the wonderful luxury of even correcting a mistake by simply explaining what you meant or having a co-caster playfully banter to pull you out of a hole. There is rarely such an opportunity as a player. Missing your chance means you stand in the background celebration pictures clapping for someone else who took your trophy. It sucks. I hate that feeling. It’s often said that many greats have a stronger hatred for losing than a love for winning. I identify with this sentiment completely.
So I stuck with commentary. I was better at talking than playing and after five years or so, I still love doing it.
However, for one magical weekend, I decided to give competing at SeatStory a second try where the atmosphere is laidback and very player-friendly. You always get a chance to go to the couch and talk about what you were doing or what you were trying to accomplish. It’s one of the best events to do it.
As a caster, you naturally are a people pleaser meaning you are extra vulnerable to the heavy criticisms. It’s extremely rare for a caster to successfully take the mic off and step into the player booth. Usually it’s the other way around! But Hearthstone is one of those games where anyone can win. I’ve hit as high as top 10 legend before and won some practice series against teammates so I knew I had at least a little bit of good stuff, but boy was I not prepared for what happened at all.
There will be two parts: the background of competing in the event and the lessons I’ve learned from it.
What makes someone want to watch others play video games?
To some, it’s the level of play demonstrated such as a ridiculous no-scope headshot from in an FPS. To others, it’s something they can relate to since they don’t really play or care about traditional sports. In the future, fans might even care solely due to culture, which is what Dreamhack has achieved. Pretty much everyone around that part of Sweden goes to the Elmia because it is one of the most fun and epic social events of the year.
Today, the vast majority of fans are drawn by one thing: the story lines of the players/teams and the rivalries behind them. Continue reading →