The past decade has seen a surge in the popularity of eSports. Millions of people tune in to watch different tournaments each year, with the number steadily rising year over year. Just a few years ago, there wasn’t enough demand and there weren’t enough professional players for world tournaments.
Today, new tournaments are routinely announced that are almost guaranteed to overtake their predecessors both in terms of number of players and prize money pay-outs. The next decade in eSports is set to see the industry come into its own, with more growth and professional players able to base careers in eSports.
In the article I take a look at what is for me the 5 most interesting story lines at QuakeCon 2016's duel tournament. Hope you enjoy it and feel free to let me know if you got questions or criticism.
I meant to post it on 4th, before the event but experienced some technical difficulties I couldn't fix in time since I was planning to post it just before the tournament starts. I hope it is still enjoyable read.
HoQ TDM 4v4 Spring Season 2016 is starting tonight with first three Div 1 matches being played at 21:00 CEST! Until then, entertain yourself with interviews from the clan leaders and their predictions on today's games.
Keep checking this page as I'll be adding more interviews from div 2 and div 3 clans. Also I would like to wish a Happy Easter to all those who celebrate it! Besides that, I would like to thank all the clans for letting me interview them, and who have shown that the QL scene consists of really cool people, who enjoy playing their favorite game. Don't forget to check the streams for tonight's action.
Yesterday night, at 21.00 CET to be exact, saw HoQ CA 4v4 Spring Season 2016 kicking off with four matches being played. Some matches have been rescheduled and some teams have used a wildcard but overall it was a great CA night with interesting matches. Some very close games were featured. You can check them out on funnyb'sYouTube playlist, as he has uploaded most of the VOD's if you wish to review any of the matches. Furthermore, I have interviewed most of the clans that have played yesterday. If you want to know their impressions and opinions on the games they have played continue reading. Be sure to keep an eye on this article as I’ll be adding more interviews!
Tonight is the night! As it was already announced the HoQ CA 4v4 Spring Season 2016 kicks off tonight at 21:00 CET with first CA matches of the season. A total of 21 teams, across three divisions will be battling to crown themselves as the HoQ CA champions.
To keep you entertained before match start, I set on a quest to get every team's predictions and thoughts about the league and upcoming matches. I have conducted interviews with team leaders spanning all three divisions. I managed to cover almost all of them. Some couldn't be reached, some didn't want to participate but overall it was an interesting experience. I've been working in fifth-gear for the past 24 hours to get this done as soon as possible, so please excuse any mistakes or typos that you might encounter while reading. I'm still editing on-the-go and getting some more interviews in. So keep checking this page.
Other than that, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all who agreed to be interviewed and to those who have helped me along this hectic journey. I have met many new and interesting people along the way and have really enjoyed interacting with you all. I hope you had a good time doing this as well as I did. Thank you again! Furthermore, each page of the article represents a Divison, so page 1 is div 1, page 2 div 2 and so on. Well... What are you waiting for? Start reading and enjoy!
Probably the hottest news in the IT industry at the moment is Virtual Reality (VR) related. Basically, every IT news portal is being swarmed with articles about VR development hardware and software wise. One might find themselves caught off guard when it comes to the new technology and with so much information being released, you might as well feel overwhelmed by it. That is the reason for the creation of this article. To get yourself acquainted with the new 'hot stuff', giving you an overview as to why VR is so popular right now.
G. – Honestly, you first somehow managed to make us worry about your readiness today when playing in the beginning vs k1llsen and having lost to him 2-0. We were about to think you were not in shape. Tell us about your first games with him.
B. – Those were still the group matches and by the moment I sort of forgot the idea of playing it right vs k1llsen. The last time I’d been playing against him was the previous league in December. He was in the beginning similarly winning 2-0 but I managed to do a come-back then. It takes time to get adjusted to his very cautious play style. He is prone very often to merely stand still and keep waiting. This time the first map was Delirium and I had again to get accustomed to his style. Notwithstanding my efforts, he was yet stronger on this map, even then again during the grand-final games. When playing on Cure, he managed to grasp the control over the map while I was ahead by only three frags and then he succeeded in catching up with me and win. During the grandfinal I managed to win because I was keeping all the time quite large a pool of frags ahead of him and turned on the plus-back mode after he managed to overcontrol me. To cut it short, during the grandfinal while playing on some maps I was using the strategy of standing still to even a larger extent than k1llsen himself. So to speak, when I felt k1llsen was playing immobile again, I was doing that myself trying to spam him out. And k1llsen doesn’t like when somebody plays vs him in that manner. He gets quickly irritated and starts rushing. Right in this way I was lucky to stack up my frags when starting playing on some maps. He rushed too very often, even though it was very painful for me at times as he hits hard.
G. – Ok, well, tell us now something about the semifinal game vs evil, as it was even a bigger sensation for everybody since people got used to take evil as a champion figure
B. – Hey, why, we had already played with him quite often on plenty of occasions, including some bo3 recently at some league when he had won 3-2 very narrowly in fact. Have to acknowledge though, my arms were shaking strong that time, simply because I kept in mind the idea of him as standing too high there. During the current event I felt myself much more relaxed and even looked ‘emancipated’ according to the commentary by iddqd. Well, honestly, I believe something was not right about evil this time. His dodge skill today was uncharacteristically not as good as mine.
G. – Well, you see, we were here thinking when watching evil play vs other players right before he played against you, that he looked real strong and warmed-up, entitled to win.
B. – I heard he’d recently been experiencing troubles with his mouse and config. Might have affected his efficiency.
G. – But those problems were valid as far as a week ago. And he must have had all things fixed up by the moment. He didn’t happen to complain about things today. Even the pings were alright.
B. – I was talking to him before the tourney and he mentioned he was playing recently not from his place. This must have influenced him in a way. In any case, I felt it like he was not really himself today. His dodge was definitely off, might it be because he was distracted by somebody or thinking about some other things or something else... have no idea.
G. – What did look odd by the way, he had a banner of Sweden, not Russia. Might that be because he is currently far off there...
B. – No, he’s playing sitting at some office or like. Might be the reason for him playing not that good. Anyway, those shouldn’t be my problems, right?
G. – Of course, not. He looked pretty good to my thinking. And you were hitting really hard.
B. – The point is that my tactics of playing with evil is based upon extensive use of rockets. You see, when playing with k1llsen I usually resort to plus-backing and shafting. With evil, I can’t rely on the lightning-gun since you can’t normally expect to win against his shaft. At such moments, he’s dodging very much in that specific manner that I can’t shaft him as much as he does. K1llsen is easier to deal at that because his pattern of movement is back-forward-back-forward just as if he had no the keys to move left and right. To play with evil, I was deliberately seeking for a server with the ping close to 8-9 to have a lan type of connection, to be sure my rockets land momentarily. Nico first gave me a good server link, located in Saint-Petersburg, though I failed to join it. But without a doubt I wasn’t going to play at any high-ping servers. The 8ms ping would be ideal to rain rockets at evil. So to speak, I managed to win against evil exclusively by virtue of nicely placed rockets. Besides, there were a few moments when he was failing with the timing which let me steal some items. Would you give him a full control over the map, he’d feel himself free to turn into a machine which can’t be stopped. I can’t stop him when he’s controlling the map. His rushing pattern is very specific in that he’s doing that using the technique of calculated micro pauses and strafes which are almost impossible to be read ahead. K1llsen is easy to read because he rushes ahead in a linear manner, quite opposite to evil. Keeping that in mind, I was trying to maximally stack my armor up. There was an occasion on Sinister while the score showed 2-2, when he was coming out of the teleport being stacked 200/200, I luckily managed to stuff him up with rockets. Were it not for that episode, I’d definitely lose in the end. So as to display the importance of a good server choice. With k1llsen I had a higher ping, and had to rely more on my shaft rather than rockets. Shaft works very well in such circumstances effectively hitting the player’s model. And railing was also a right choice. By the way, k1llsen had a surprisingly weak rail today. I was watching him play vs proximo: he was showing much sweat at his forehead missing his rails here and there. Later on I managed to exploit this fact when having less than 80 hp with the shaft in my hands while k1llsen trying to rail me. I remembered at the moment he was missing his rails often today, and dared to risk my butt having fragged him as a result. All these details can be very deciding in the meantime, and I was trying to exploit them as much as possible.
G. – I remember many situations when evil was fragging you very narrowly or fleeing from you with a few hp.
B. – This is quite normal for the pro-level. You see, the pattern is usually as follows. One player is trying to play number two, running and stacking himself up with minor items. The second player is trying to actively attack. The number two is always seeking to hit the attacker as the latter is nearing major items, shooting the place in advance. The number one can choose not to do it straight-forward but, still trying to follow the item spawn cycle, to be more patient and spam around to decipher the enemy’s location by sounds. As a result, when they finally meet, the winner is usually the one being highly stacked. Hard overshooting by one another between players is quite rare on the pro-level. The decider might also be a good splash hit causing an uncontrolled movement. The time when strenx was dominant at overshafting other players is long gone. Everyone is hitting today quite alike. If we take k1llsen, he shafts in fact very good, but he often doesn’t use lg effectively. I mean the situations when he was trying to race me down. He was using rockets and rails while lg would be a much better choice. That’s his problem as I see it. Back to the topic, it’s absolutely normal to have a few hp after encountering an opponent. This number usually reflects the stack difference between the players right before they meet. The main idea is about finding a way on being respawned anew to use this opponent’s low stack to hunt him down. Having a full range of weapons, he won’t try to catch you at picking weapons but will try to stack back little by little while moving around silently. So you have an option either to try to kill him, or to take a position at a major item.
G. – Did you have specific goals or expectations before the tournament today?
B. – The group was very difficult. I was quite afraid of not getting through at all. I remembered that spart1e had won recently two games against me. Oh, by the way! I was recently playing using a different config and sensitivity. So, I got tired of that everyone was winning when playing with me, and rolled back to my old config (av3k’s one).
G. – You did that today!?
B. – No, not today. A day before yesterday [both laughing]. Not that much of a difference honestly. The sensitivity is the same: 2.5. What I changed (from av3k’s config): added the acceleration which I set to 0.1, and changed m_yaw down to 0.14 (0.154 before). The main effect of course was about implementing acceleration. Besides, there was a different mod. Well, this is just my thingy – fine-tuning the config. So, I got tired of losing with this config and rolled back to the old one. For the two days-off I was trying to get used to this change. Of course it wasn’t a big problem because I’d been utilizing it before for as much as five years. So, I was afraid of not taking one of the two top places in the group. Once again to mention, spart1e won against me twice in the last two Sunday Cups, even though those were only bo1’s. Agent regularly wins when playing with me. And the same thing with k1llsen who currently practices very much. So my fear was about not getting through the groups at all. Besides, in case I would get through after all, I wasn’t expecting to meet evil next. Frankly, I somehow didn’t get right the rule according to which the 1st place in group A is to play against the 2nd place in group B. And here he is, evil himself. But I somehow felt the map very well. When I had the acceleration on, I felt it like I couldn’t hit ideally since I couldn’t predict the accel behavior well, my brain was failing at that. But now, without accel, after the two days of practicing I feel like I have the full control of the mouse. As a result, I wasn’t even thinking about an option of not hitting, well maybe except the games vs k1llsen when the ping was high and hence the rockets were not as good.
G. – Were not you trying to find a sever with a lower ping?
B. – Well, I wasn’t allowed by Nico. There was a low ping sever but the ping difference between us was bigger than the lower ping itself. But, in any case, it wasn’t that much critical at the moment since the game was not versus evil, so no need to rely on rockets as much.
G. – Any plans for the winner prize? Gonna buy a new keyboard in place of the one being held in the freezer?
B. – Nope, no new keyboard for me. Perhaps, will go to Moscow to visit some museum with my wife…
G. – Hold on. Don’t you live in Moscow?
B. – Not exactly. I live in the vicinities of Moscow. The rest of the money I’m going to save. International financial analysts always recommend saving 10% of one’s salary. And 20% of any other earnings. I’m going to spend the 50% of it and the rest is meant for saving … (couldn’t discern the rest)
G. – The next question is about your wife. What does she think about you hobby of playing quake and taking part in the tourneys? [both laughing] I believe many people would like to know that.
B. – I can’t honestly say she supports me at that. She has just nothing to do with quake. And of course this looks a bit weird: a guy constantly sitting and playing… Well, not constantly, but, for example, during the weekend like today, all day long. She understands I’m participating in the tourney and am willing to play. One has to accept things at times as they are. What would she do in fact? Besides, I’m not at some unknown place drinking alcohol and such. It’s just about me wishing to do what I like. I will do the things I like, like any other normal person. Especially, as long as it doesn’t affect my health.
G. – Any plans for new videos or something alike?
B. – If talking about game streaming, my computer is not powerful enough to do that. And honestly I don’t even have such a desire. Regarding making videos, sure, I’d be glad to. It’s just all about spare time. For the last days I just couldn’t do that having invested all my time into training. I have a job of course which consumes the most part of my time. I really do love to create various video stuff. Besides, I have to covert my wedding party. A lot of projects I’m having in my mind waiting to be realized. I simply like to do this, just for myself.
G. – Let’s get back to the games. Regarding agent. Seemed like you did everything easily there. However I expected to watch quite sweaty battles.
B. – I have sort of an explanation. I hold him honestly as a genius of a quake player. He is prone to not play for a long time. Like this time, when he didn’t play for a week. Quite naturally he’d be not as good in timing, feeling the map and the game. He didn’t ever practiced delirium before, that’s why he kept forfeiting it in 10 seconds after the first frag. On dm13, he easily outplayed me. So we had then a one-by-one score. On t7, I just managed to hit important rails. Couldn’t understand why he was strafing at those moments, well, he was just running by. So I hit those rails, having taken the control… well, I just have no idea. I believe he just wasn’t prepared. He usually practices very well on the eve of tournaments.
G. – I have a question about Delirium. No one playing it, kicking it off. And you, you were playing it tough, real tough.
B. – In fact, I was practicing recently to play on it. For the last 4-5 days. 5 days ago I and nitrino started playing it together. Nitrino made me run a lot. Then, it was… I don’t remember… was it z4muz… he… she… durapha… I don’t remember.
G. – I saw somebody with that name on the server.
B. – To cut it short, he was good at playing the map. He played it with k1llsen and with me. He was winning vs me often. I had 20-30 games with him there. Well, I don’t really like the map. All the fights there are alike. No wow-effects like come-backs. Very long corridors, not very nice. No cool staff like on t7 for example, where it’s possible to shaft an opponent jumping to the mega. Or like on Sinister, when I stuffed one with rockets. No such things for Delirium. Everything is based on an override. The respawn system is also not to my liking. And no way to make a full item cycle. Almost impossible to collect all the items in line. And there are places to hide either up or down in there. I don’t like it at all.
G. – Here is a weird question in the chat. A guy asking whether you were jogging before the tourney wearing some sauna-suit. He’s writing you’d understand.
B. – Oh, you don’t know the stuff? In December, when playing the league, I jogged then on purpose to sweat as much as possible thanks to wearing the sauna-suit which prevents any oxygen coming to your body. As a result, having done that right before the tournament, during the event itself I wasn’t sweating at all. Well, for today, I haven’t done the procedure. It’s hot here in my apartment by its own.
G. – I honestly thought you were simply great at how you were playing vs evil. And was afraid of that you’d get exhausted later on, having invested all your effort into that. I was worrying you wouldn’t keep on par with k1llsen then. But you proved otherwise.
B. – No, I didn’t give all my efforts away for evil. I felt myself quite ok. Well, k1llsen… The moment I won bf exploiting that special ratty style I understood I could do the rest, just using the ‘stand still’ technique.
G. – Didn’t you have the feeling after having kicked evil off the tournament, that the remaining part with k1llsen would be easier?
B. – Certainly not. K1llsen is very strong, champion of numerous Zotacs, champion of IEM 2010. His experience is much bigger than that of mine. Well, this time I was playing very calmly and my brain worked good. Just in a few moments my hands were trembling.
G. – Listen, do you really have all those timings in your head when playing? Or how do you play? By hunch maybe?
B. – After playing numerous games it’s happening naturally, no need to think. On the pro-level it’s very important to track the timing for red and mega exactly the second they spawn, to make it possible for example to plummet down at it precisely the moment it’s appearing. When you play real much, you learn to keep in mind the whole picture regarding possible location and route of an opponent. As a result you have the overall picture of possible successive events regarding the enemy and items. Agent does that ideally, counting items and reading the opponent’s mind, because he has an enormous playing experience, so normally one just can’t overthink him at that. Personally I can’t overthink him, only overshoot.
G. – Regarding nitrino. You were saying you played with him recently. What’s about him, why doesn’t he play tournaments?
B. – He sort of retired. He doesn’t practice at all. It was just a rare occasion when I played with him on Delirium.
G. – I believe, every player has his weak spots, be it agent, evil or k1llsen.
B. – Yep, sure.
G. – In the chat, many people are wondering whether you have any plans for Quakecon.
B. – Well, it’s complicated. Sure, I’d be glad to participate. This would be great. I haven’t still attended such big events so far. Besides, I started playing good quite recently as a matter of fact. The main problem is about the ruble being devaluated so much recently. So the expenses would be enormous. I understand of course that the prize money is not small and so on. But one can’t be confident enough to be able to take one of the first three places to make it up for the money spent. This is the first, financial point. The second moment regards an option of making a donation pool. But I can’t go alone there, I’ll take my wife with me which doubles the expenses. Furthermore, I don’t want to take a responsibility like once cooller, pavel, latrommi. They collected donations but failed in a way to deliver. They looked quite strong of course but… I just don’t want to burden myself with such a responsibility. Some people would invest in the fund which brings naught in the end. I don’t want this. I’m not ready to take such risks.
G. – In general, do you have any predictions for the Quakecon? What can there be of interest?
B. – How the heck would I know? Everything depends on how much one has practiced before. This time k1llsen and myself practiced quite hard. As a result, we are top two at the moment. Proximo also practiced hard. But, you see, he lacks experience. His skills got increased very much to date. He could have even reached the final this time. He played with k1llsen and had the 2-2 score before the 5th map. He played it in an arcade manner though… Ooops, I’ve lost my thought… …Ah, the predictions for the QC. You see, I don’t know how good rapha is at the moment… I can’t really prognosticate. The top is always the same. Evil, rapha… Evil, I don’t know, he loses against rapha all time…
G. – Do you watch demos by other players like people did often before? Or your own demos?
B. – No, quite rarely. And even if I do, those are my own demos, to find my mistakes. But I’m watching the streams.
G. – Do you play something else, not quake-related?
B. – Yes. But not recently. Right before, I played Red Alert 2 with my brother. I like WarCraft 3. Watching some foggy playing it. The guy advertised at Goodgames. He plays real much, doesn’t work, doesn’t study, plays real hard. It’s very interesting to watch a guy who is a professional cyber athlete. His goal is to go to China and get a place in top 15 on China ladder. It’s interesting for me. I played Warcraft myself before. Other than that. Only quake. Red Alert. I don’t really like single-player games. Doesn’t catch me anymore. As an exception, to play Sega, some Battle Toads… that’s it.
G. – Well, ok, don’t want to delay you anymore. You were awesome today. Congratulations!
Knowing how you guys "love" year recaps, I'm posting about another one. Yes, yes it gets kind of boring reading all this 'stuff' but bear with me as this one is worth your precious time.
The biggest gaming streaming service, Twitch, has released an interactive look-back on their work in the year 2015. So let's crunch some numbers.
With an average of 1.7 million broadcasters streaming every month, together they have streamed in 241,441,823,059 minutes in total (that's 459,366 in years), while averaging 550,000 concurrent viewers. Applying those numbers to the countries across the globe, we end up with a list of countries based on viewership. When it comes to the Americas; Canada and the US are leading the north and Brazil the south; Europe has five countries leading it and those are France, UK, Germany, Poland and Sweden; the rest of the world comes down to Moscow in Russian Federation and Taiwan in the South Eastern Asia.
Now let's check the tech. Twitch likes to boast with their Peak Concurrent Viewers and Peak Concurrent Broadcasters. First one noting 2,098,529 viewers recorded on August 23rd at two events ESL One: Cologne and the LoL NA LCS Finals; and the later noting 35,610 broadcasters in November last year, thanks to the launch of Twitch Creative and the Extra Life Charity event.
Now comes the real fun part. Top 10 most watched games list!
1. League of Legends
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
3. DOTA 2
8. World of Tanks
9. World of Warcraft
10. FIFA 15
I guess the Top 4 is a given and there's nothing out of ordinary here. But it is quite interesting that among all eSports titles and events that follow those games, four non-eSports games managed to enter the list. Basically, if you have a big player base, a big fan base follows suit and therefore a great amount of viewers who want to see and learn different approaches to the game they play.
Looking at the hype certain games have shown on their launch days, three titles stand out. The first being an expansion for the game Destiny, it quickly became one of the Top 5 games for the next two months since the launch date. The runner-up is Fallout 4 and third one being Rocket League, a car soccer game, which went from 165th place to the top 5 in the first month of its release.
As of recently Twitch is moving across platforms and that of course means it's becoming more mobile. Viewers on mobile devices now make up 35% of Twitch's viewership every month. Considering there are 1,000,000+ mobile installs of the Twitch app last year alone, mobile devices are becoming a force to be reckoned with. As far as other platforms go, the web takes up 56% of the viewership; while consoles 7% and other means of viewing only 2%.
Tournament wise viewership records were beaten several times. Last year's most popular events were: ESL ONE - CS:GO in Cologne with 27 million unique viewers on Twitch; Evo 2015 an event focusing solely on fighting games; The International 5 a DOTA 2 event; LoL NA LCS and Blizzcon where the StarCraft 2 finals between sOs and Life took place.
Some notable fun facts! Total Twitch chat messages sent in the year 2015 counts 9,169,726,092 (that's 17,446 messages per minute)! Emoticons had their ranking as well, Kappa being the most used emoticon on Twitch chat.
If you wish to go into detail and see more cool facts about Twitch, I definitely suggest you do so, as it is done in an interactive and fun way.
A research company named, Newzoo, has published a global eSports market report for the year 2016. It's an 80-page report with details on the global and local eSports markets, since this report is not publically available and needs to be purchased; Newzoo, however, did release some interesting facts to the public eye.
According to the Newzoo's last year report, the revenues for the year 2015 were $325 million worldwide. This year's prediction sees the revenue growing to $463 million, which correlates to a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 43%. According to their long term prediction in the year 2019 eSport revenues will reach approximately a jaw-dropping $1.1 billion! The number of eSports Enthusiasts watching their favorite games will be 131 million, in addition, another 125 million Occasional Viewers will tune in mainly for the big international events.
Looking at it region wise, North America will strengthen its lead in terms of revenues while Asia will continue its explosive rate of increasing numbers in audience. Digging into the numbers, the US will see $175 million generate through merchandise, event tickets, sponsorships, online advertising and media rights. What is significant here is the fact that most of the revenues will flow back to the game publisher, earning them additional profits from the same game. Basically, one might not care, but only if it implies the publisher is ready to give back to the community and support their game in eSports through prize money, as we have seen recently done by Valve. Looking at Asia, we can see China and Korea leading the Asian region with 23% of global eSports revenues, totaling $106 million prediction for the present year. Viewership is rapidly picking up in Asian countries, more specifically that being 44% of global eSports Enthusiasts.
Esports remains an industry with great potential for the years to come. Esports is a very diverse space, and for established and worldwide esports brands like Fnatic, it’s vital to follow the developments using reliable and complete data. Our partnership with Newzoo means that we can both stay on top of our game.
• There were 112 major esports events in 2015 and they generated an estimated $20.6 million in ticket revenues. The total prize money of all esports events held in 2015 reached $61.0 million, a 70% year-on-year increase.
• The global Esports Audience was 226 million gamers and the number of Esports Enthusiasts reached 115 million in 2015, a YoY growth of 27.7%.
• Global revenues in 2015 reached $325 million, a growth rate of than 67.4%. North America accounted for $121 million of this.
• Online advertising is the fastest growing revenue segment, up 99.6% on a global scale compared to 2014.
• The average annual revenue per Esports Enthusiast was $2.83 in 2015 and is expected to grow to $3.53 this year, still a factor four lower than a mature traditional sport such as basketball, which generates revenues of $15 per fan per year.
• The Esports Audience boasts a very valuable demographic, skewing towards consumers with a full-time job and relatively high income. The report shows that they are also big spenders on digital media subscriptions, hardware and mobile content including games.
As is with all predictions, it is debatable how accurate they are but we can safely conclude that eSports is on the rise, especially business wise. It is now more evident than ever that the main focus of event organizers and game publishers will be on media coverage and advertisement. With streaming services reaching smartphones and other 'smart' gadgets you will seldom find yourself unable to follow your favorite eSport game. We can already see some traditional media companies entering this market and with Twitch being the biggest streaming service at the moment, it is going to be interesting to see how things will develop in the upcoming years. If the companies like ESPN and Red Bull start screening eSport games on TV, we might witness a big shift in the way eSport coverage will be handled in the future.
Ever wondered what the prize pools for Quake III Arena, Quake 4, Quake Live and DOOM 3 were? What game out of the four previously mentioned had the most tournaments? Who was the top earner?
Those were the questions that got me started on this quest to write the article. With the help of esportsearnings.com website I was able to compile data to find the answers and some interesting facts. Out of the vast amounts of data available on the website, for the sake of readers attention, I have gathered what I think was most important and entertaining. So if you have the desire to dive in more deeply, be my guest, I thoroughly recommend it.
When it comes to eSports this site has mainly been covering the games themselves, Quake being at the forefront. But eSports is becoming a lot more than a "game" someone is competing in, be it offline or online, at an event or tournament. Stepping back and looking at eSports you will notice there is a lot more to it and most notably it's becoming a business.
Red Bull eSports did an interesting live panel concerning the business aspect of eSports at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies in Washington, D.C. The panel was moderated by Sean"Day"Plott with special guest panelists Chris Radtke (Ziff Davis), Ben Goldhaber (Twitch) and Rod"Slasher"Breslau (former ESReality journalist). Topics range from, where the money comes from, business models, jobs and roles in eSports, presentation of 'numbers' and many more, these just being the basics. The guests give insight with their own experiences and opinions on the subject with some general advice on business itself.
The panel is divided in 5 parts on YouTube and is about a 100 minutes long altogether. Some interesting points being, speakers mentioning Quake as their eSport game and furthermore "Slasher" mentioning ESReality as the start of his career as a journalist.
Business of eSports Panel w/ Day 9
Part 1 - Topic: Business model Part 2 - Topic: Where the money is coming from Part 3 - Topic: Jobs and roles in eSports; Slasher mentions ESR @ 13:13 mark :) Part 4 - Topic: Presentation of 'numbers' and getting funding/sponsors Part 5 - Questions from the audience
Even though being a year and a half old now, still some valuable information was presented at the panel and I strongly suggest it to anyone, even remotely interested in this side of eSports to, well, watch it.
This may be not the most popular of subjects when it comes to eSports but I feel that there are people who might find it interesting. To elaborate further this site, better yet, community has shown some very interesting individuals who are prominent in the eSport industry, be it a caster, event organizer, journalists, game developers etc. So in the future I'll be focusing to bring in more content from the eSport industry, as it might interest certain readers. Hopefully, someone who has never researched this subject might find it engaging, and who knows, might just find a new interest.
Edited by viaIImaximus at 14:13 CST, 15 February 2016 - 4476 Hits
Quake-Con 2016 is getting closer day after day, every year we see players compete for the title of the best Quake player and win a trophy. Talking about trophies, today we invite Brett " cobalt " Barrow, the guy behind those awesome Medals and Trophies since 2009, to do an interview and tell us more about himself, how he got into making trophies for Quake-con and many more. Here is a preview :
L33genD : How did you get introduced to idsoftware guys ? and how did they accept to let you make the trophies of the biggest current Quake tournament ?
cobalt : I hadn't gotten to know any of the Quakecon staff of id Software folks at that point, but I came up with a trophy proposal for Quakecon 2008, which T-Dawg delivered on my behalf. That proposal was denied, so when Quakecon 2009 planning started.......
Posted by dem0n @ 11:48 CST, 26 January 2016 - iMsg
I have been conducting a research lately around esports and have therefore had the chance to interview some (familiar) faces of esports in search for a better understanding of the phenomenon. At the start of it all, I made clear to my interviewees that their responses were not at first hand meant for wide publishing. However, now that I'm done with using the data, with their agreement, I have the possibility to release it as a series of interviews that can be, in my opinion, an interesting read for many people. So, here it is.
You will notice that the core questions are the same for every interview minus some more personal or situational questions that I thought were relevant given the context or the very own experience of my interviewee. The interviews are raw, I haven't edited them so if there is any mispells or weird sentences, don't be freaked out.
Themes: esports definition, esports origins, women in esports, the sport debate, new technologies, esports audience, esports prospects, upcoming challenges...
Today, I will be releasing the #3 interview notes with Kevin "Strenx" Baeza. The interview did not need translating, as it was done in english by Strenx leself.
Tell me a bit about yourself, what is your personal approach and your own experience of esports ?
Good morning ! My own experience about esport was quite different from the other actually. In esports, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I had to fight everyday in order to prove my innoncence. To summarise briefly, I was known as a cheater against my will. I couldn't prove it, so I had to wait 4 years on a tournament to show them wrong. You can see my history through this article : https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/15ox...ro_gaming/
My personal approach of esports would combined years of experience of hard work and never give up, such as sport in fact.
What is esports actually ? How do we define it ?
I have made a research thesis about it. As far as I remember, I had a research to make about the difference between sport and esports. What is sport ? It's an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
From this sentence, one word stands in my mind. This word is "physical". From different books, I have come to understand several facts. For the counter strike players, their vision acuity were as fast as the worlds best ping-pong players. Moreover, after several hours of practice, they felt exhausted, mentally and physically. I've been to the Philippines once for MSI, and I saw an ex fnatic player (Sen) playing Starcraft 2. He played so hard that his fingers were bleeding. It was quite impressive to be honest. From a business standpoint, it has also the same caracteristics. Indeed, you have sponsors who put money into it, even when the sponsor has nothing to do with esport (Hello youporn).
I digress briefly, sometimes sponsors such as youporn could be a huge progress for impressive gamers that did nothing else good than playing a game. I've seen so many good players being so confident but acting like a "Silver I" in front of girls. Youporn is the future.
In conclusion, I would define esports as a renewal of what we've always known with 2 important words : passion and competition.
How does one actually make a living out of esport ? Not just the competition aspect but more generally around video games as a whole ?
From an objective perspective, it's very uncommon to make a living out of esports, unless you are famous or you compete at the top on the most famous games (League of Legends, Counter strike GO). Otherwise, it's a lot about streaming, you create a personnality, and people either like or hate you. You do not really need to be good as long as you are funny and you provide contents.
To be honest, it is good to see this kind of effort, but it seems that it is easier to win money from gaming (not esports) now. People tend to act cocky because they made a name and they think they made it by their own, it's not. They always forget that they are what they are thanks to everyone.
If I could make an aside again, I wish I could bring a lot of viewers in order to get a lot of donations. Why is that, you're gonna ask ? From my experience, I always wanted to do something. I stand sometimes as a volunteer on a techno party in order to give free food to people who do not have the chance to have it. You dance, you pay your ticket and you bring 3-4 foodstuff. I was so happy and amazed to see that everyone was part of it and you could have in one night more than 200 boxes worth of food. So here was my idea, each week, I would make a donation day in order to gather all the money possible to buy everything I can for them and make a video out of it (If the donators want it or not).
Esports is huge and you can win a LOT of money from it, so it's good to use your reputation from it. Don't be like the 3% multi billionar. Btw don't give to the romanians, they piss me off (I'm joking).
How have the constant evolution of new technologies and faster internet helped esport grow to such an extent ?
15 Years ago, it was impossible to play on good conditions unless you were on an offline event. Nowadays, internet has improved so much. You can actually fight against any countries without a huge disadvantage. Sponsors can see the potential of any players, and they can afford everything he wanted in order to compete.
How do you see esports in the future, say 5-10-20 years from now or even further ?
I am pretty sure that espots will be considered as a sport everywhere in 10 years. Back in the days, you couldn't think that France would be about to consider esports as a sport. But this dream is happening.
I'm just afraid that esports is about to be a money pump (if it were not already done). World is all about money, and I'm expecting huge taxes on the competition in the future. The funniest thing is that if you remain optimistic, it can be good. Why ? Because the country can have an improvement if it's about preparation of a recovery or restructuring plan thanks to esports. (Countries are so indebted). Nonetheless, world is shit so they would put all these taxes in order to give more comfort to the politicians, and we will still be the pawns, as always.
What about potential new technologies yet to come, such as virtual reality ? How do you think these would find their place into esport and video games in general ?
Everything in its own time. In my opinion, that would be sad to put sport on a virtual reality. Esports belongs to the computer at his own way. If you start to remove the authenticity of sport, it would be a disaster.
A lot of recent studies have shown that contrary to before, more and more women play video games, albeit arguably different type of games or usage of them. But what about esports ? How do they fit in ?
That's a question of "embarassment" and without sounding like a macho man girls have understood that. And what's sad is that there's a lot of bad faith from them. To summarize, they pretend to say that they're there because they're strong. But the truth is that those who will make it will always be the ones that are pretty or those who hang out with male stars of the moment. Welcome to this shitty world.
Those who really deserve the attention and the "esports celebrity" status are rarely the ones who get their deserved praise. I saw that fact on a documentary on TV some time ago where the reporters were following the girls from Millenium. They were supposed to follow the Millenium girls but when they were interviewing girls in the pool they were interviewing the swedish girls instead. I'll let you guess why. They claim for equal rights but they do not respect it in the first place
How far do you think esports can go in terms of viewership and mainstream recognition ? Could esports be one day as popular and common as, say, a tennis grand Slam or a football/soccer world cup ?
You just need to watch League of legends final to see that esport can be as popular and common as basket or other games. During the S3, more than 32 millions people were watching the finals. It's 3 times more than France-Ukraine during the Euro qualification. The problem is that the old generation do not become habitual of esports. It's all about standpoints and perspectives.
It will never be as famous as football in my opinion, but there is no doubt that esports will play an important part on this matter.
What are the main obstacles and barriers that could prevent esports from growing even more ? What are the challenges still lying up ahead ?
Some countries such as France have a hard time to consider video games as a good thing or as a world progress. There is improvement, but still not enough. I guess some countries need to improve slowly but surely, step by step
Have you had any bad experience(s) while beeing a professional player ?
I've been a professional player for 1 year and half only. I define a professional player as someone who makes a living out of it. I just can't understand someone saying that he's professional gamer when he lives with his parents and earns 400e max/month.
Anyways, even if I had very strange stories in my gaming career, it always ends positively. I've learnt many things in life thanks to esports. (Promises, trust, business). In my opinion, all these mistakes that I could make is a good experience that I can share to the youngers. At least, they won't do the same shit !
Have you got any plans for the future in esports for yourself ?
I'm planning to try overwatch and practice a lot. But I'm getting old and I studied a lot so I could have an important job. At the moment, I was accepted into a big company in order to be a wealth management advisor (I've never worked into a mayonnese factory, but I commend its people who made this rumour).
Anyways, I'm going to practice and do my best in order to do something good in this game.
Name the three things that you love the most about/in esports, and the three things you hate/dislike the most.
From at least 5 years of experience in esports (maybe more), there is two things I love in esports : Competition and meeting new people that can be your friends in the future (Hi alex, hi maciej, hi sebastian). I do not really need to explain why it was such an intense experience in my life because you can understand that you don't have words to describe it.
But I can describe what I dislike the most in esports, because I was like this myself (Maybe not that much but I was sometimes doing it on purpose and I had fun doing it).
What I dislike the most is the "arrogance ignorance" (I created this term my self). I've started to see it from Shootmania and especially Overwatch. Nowadays, being very good in a game (new games) is very easier than it was. You do not really need to have a specific huge talent to be the best. If you practice h24 every day, you can reach the top. In itself, it's good because it gives motivation and there is more competition.
Because of it, people tend to be cocky, uberconfident, and they look at you like you were a piece of shit because they feel stronger than you. They will never question themselves because they think they are over anyone. They forgot that they never reached the top in their own game. Now they can, so they want to act this way in order to have all the recognition they never had in the past. It it what I blame because I realised it too late that it's sad to act like this. It's useless and you won't gain anything from it. If you could use this uberconfidence somewhere else, it would be so great. I'm sure I bring at least 4 uberconfident guys into a party, they won't even say one single word to a girl because they won't have anything else than "I have a very good mouse and pad". You pieces of milk (Ok I troll a bit, but you know me now :)).
But what I like in esports, and what I like in sports is something that you can't reach, even if you tried hard. (If you can reach it, it's good and you were lucky to born this way). Let me give you an example, Tennis. You could tryhard and practice since you were 3 years old without drinking, without smoking. In the end, you did good, you are one of the best players in your country, you are a professionnal player and you managed to qualify to the Roland Garros cup. Now you have to play against Nadal (the guy you followed all your life). You pracced so much to beat him and you did everything to be in your best conditions. In the end you lose 6-1 6-2 6-0. Frustrating isn't it? You try again, it's the same. I don't say to give up, never give up.
But you know, there are players you can't reach, no matter how hard you try, these guys have something we don't and that's why they are loved. Having the dream of being one day like him is beautiful. In games (except for some), this dream is too easy to reach, you only have one way. It's same for Quake, I've never seen one guy playing quake live for so long and managed to be at the very top. You can do everything you want, you won't reach Cypher or Rapha level. Same for Usain bolt. It's realistic and you can disagree with me.
Could you explain to us how do you think France regarding esports as a sport is a good thing ? If there are any pros and cons about this decision, what are they ?
In the beginning, I was not really fan of it for several reason. It is a fact, but esports is a temporary thing. Moreover, you could invest 24h/24 in a game to win maximum 1000 dollars per month without any studies or a prospect of future. All these things could be a problem. Now, you have stream, you can have contacts and you can actually have a job after playing a game. France is not that stupid (contrary to the cliché), they know that esports is an increasing market, so they would have a greater interest in operating on this.
What would you say to a teenager who wants to become an esports world superstar today ?
To listen to the older, we know this thing, we were like you, you are not different. Do your dream, but do not forget your life goals. Gaming is a lot of sacrifices, it is also a passion, but do not sacrify everything for it (That's why I don't agree with fatal1ty). If you really want it and you know that this game can make you go further, stop your studies for 1 year. But one thing, never forget your life career and ask yourself the right questions. Don't be stubborn, listen to the others, and be less arrogant than any other, because we are all arrogant. Some are more than others (I know what I'm talking about).
Don't be a dick with people who want to learn, you didn't make yourself by your own. Try to reach your goal, believe in yourself and accept that you can lose, as long as you understand your mistakes and be better than him in the future. Acting this way is always something that will grant you in the future
I've seen so many person sacrifying all their life in order to be good in a game. For what? Not being the best and win max 600e/month ?. What are your goals in the future? CS:GO starts to be good, but does training h24 to win 1100k/month is worth it? That's why I said, ask yourself the good questions. You always need a plan B, always.
What would you say to a younger Strenx. Would you do it all the same over again or would you have done things differently now that you are older and more mature ?
In kiev against cooller, I would look at this strenx and tell him to check the screen before starting, like cooller did. So at this moment, I would know the timings and win this moment smile emoticon.
More seriously, I would tell him to not care about everything. Trying to stay calm and to stop to prove that you can be someone +50-0, it is useless and you don't win anything from it. If there is a kid who wanna act like a dick, ignore him. It's hard to win an argument against a smart guy, but impossible to win against a stupid one.
I would tell him to have not stop quake for 1 year and play zotac over and over, so nobody would see evil win this much. Moreover, I would tell him to act less arrogant in the past and to stop focusing so much on the others. I really needed a coach I think, my biggest enemy was myself.