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Five problems of StarCraft II

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Here is an article I found, which pretty much sums up issues in SC2 - and I wholeheartedly agree with some of the points. (Even touched some of them in my last videolog).

Give it a read.

Five problems of StarCraft II

Oversaturation in StarCraft II does exist. Everyone’s favourite RTS game has a great ecosystem built around it, but it has a way to go until it’s perfect. What are the current problems and what can we do about them?

OVERSATURATION

One week there’s Intel Extreme Masters, the week after there’s MLG, the week after there’s DreamHack and all the while GSL pumps out great content almost every day. There’s no chance to keep up with all of that unless all you do is eat, sleep and watch StarCraft.

Fans are made to pick and choose based on the tournament brands they like, commentators they enjoy watching, favourable event time zones and maybe their favourite players attending. Players need to carefully pick events to attend as well. What doesn’t help? The following:

25 DIFFERENT STORIES

Most tournament brands have their own qualifiers, their own event series, their own championship and their own ranking. It’s tough enough to follow one circuit, let alone see all seven or so of those threads intertwined and mixed up.

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Simple infographic explaining the esports model behind professional SC2.

There are seven CEOs and each one wants to say his event is the ultimate. It’s confusing to people inside esports and even more so for the mainstream press and outsiders. The press are sold stories about half a dozen ultimate champions each year.

TOO MANY HOT GAMES

Tournaments can be played out in group play, single elimination, quadruple elimination, best of 3, best of 5, best of 7. No one can make sense of that in the big picture. Leagues feel insecure and do what they can to bring in as many player celebrities as possible. They invite big names, backdoor them into their competitions and create systems where they are shown in as many games as possible.

As a result, we get to watch a limited set of player names over and over and over up to the point of being tired of it. Not only does it get harder for someone new to break through, but the viewers begin to be narrow-minded about new players and see them as uninteresting rather than exciting (except in the GSL).

MIDDLE CLASS IS DYING

Professional StarCraft II is too top-heavy in its rewards and the StarCraft II middle class is dying. Being a top player lets you earn $100,000 a year in prizes, but placing six spots below him on a regular basis won’t pay for your rent.

Players that aren’t good enough to win major titles but are able to challenge the NesTeas of this world and finish top four sometimes… We see them quit with beautiful announcements, or quietly. They can’t afford to play full time, but the middle class are the most important group of players.

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Select and several other players have announced their retirement recently.

Stephano won’t play any better than he does already if you pay him twenty times more than he earns. He will play many times better if the number of players that challenge him on an every day basis (in tournaments and in training) gets multiplied.

TALENTS ARE NOT DEVELOPED

It is very difficult to break through for new talents for some of the above reasons. Also, they rarely get a chance to play on the big stage without pulling major cash out of their pockets first. Secondly, when they finally do, they get beaten by better players and denied high enough tournament placings to get noticed by teams and sponsors.

It’s on the backs of better players that young ones eventually climb to the top. But they can’t reach the top if the most skilled player in the region is 16th or so at a big tournament.

tumblr_mdi0t1rLH61rq18ew.png

You don’t magically arrive at the top. You only get there in small steps.

Korean players (somehow not always ones that have sponsors) show up to major events by the dozen, take all the prize money and go back to Korea. Money’s drained out of local ecosystems by outsiders. Money that needs to stay in the ecosystem to provide a living for local pros and semi pros, ones upcoming players can learn from to get better.

All of this, and more, are the challenges ahead. Gloomy?

We are young. We will fix it.

http://mbcarmac.com/...of-starcraft-ii

Edited by vVv SalvorMallow

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I think a big problem in professional esports is how everyone expects a salary and travel benefits immediately upon reaching Grand Master league. The problem is, there's no real-world model to support this expectation. Sure you can go to a major-corporation-backed store and get a job working minimum wage working a menial job with no experience, but in gaming there are no such corporations. I think this is the big disconnect. While people whine about the shrinking middle class and make posts lamenting how good players aren't getting the attention they deserve, nothing changes.

The problem is players only see success as being the best in the world, winning that MLG or IPL or Dreamhack or IEM and getting the huge fame and a big contract with salary. That's an extremely risky way to approach a career and inevitably will lead to failure far more often than not.

The #1 problem with the SC2 pro scene right now is attitude. So many "underrated" players just want to play the game and make money by being good at the game. But without adding value and building marketable skills they are just setting themselves up for failure. Suppose they do join a team and get paid and live in a team house, what happens in 2-3 years when they fail to have success, lose their contract, and have to go back out into the real world? If all they've done is play the game, they just lost 2-3 years off their career path for nothing. That's extremely damaging to eSports.

On the other hand, look at players like Incontrol, who DON'T just play the game. It would be difficult to argue that he's one of the best players, OR one of the best casters, yet he's immensely successful. He gets up every day and interacts on twitter for part of the day. He's active in making appearances on shows, events, casting gigs, etc. He streams not just to play the game in front of an audience, but he is actively talking to his audience, reading chat, answering peoples' questions, etc. He created marketing videos for EG. He's developed such a powerful resume, that if he decided to give up SC2 or gaming in general he'd have an extremely good resume to shop around.

We need attitudes to shift. eSports can't survive if it's just players playing games. We need more people like Incontrol to develop a rich scene and create a path for success for players after their gaming career ends. Players need to embrace these things as part of being a professional gamer.

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I think a big problem in professional esports is how everyone expects a salary and travel benefits immediately upon reaching Grand Master league. The problem is, there's no real-world model to support this expectation. Sure you can go to a major-corporation-backed store and get a job working minimum wage working a menial job with no experience, but in gaming there are no such corporations. I think this is the big disconnect. While people whine about the shrinking middle class and make posts lamenting how good players aren't getting the attention they deserve, nothing changes.

The problem is players only see success as being the best in the world, winning that MLG or IPL or Dreamhack or IEM and getting the huge fame and a big contract with salary. That's an extremely risky way to approach a career and inevitably will lead to failure far more often than not.

The #1 problem with the SC2 pro scene right now is attitude. So many "underrated" players just want to play the game and make money by being good at the game. But without adding value and building marketable skills they are just setting themselves up for failure. Suppose they do join a team and get paid and live in a team house, what happens in 2-3 years when they fail to have success, lose their contract, and have to go back out into the real world? If all they've done is play the game, they just lost 2-3 years off their career path for nothing. That's extremely damaging to eSports.

On the other hand, look at players like Incontrol, who DON'T just play the game. It would be difficult to argue that he's one of the best players, OR one of the best casters, yet he's immensely successful. He gets up every day and interacts on twitter for part of the day. He's active in making appearances on shows, events, casting gigs, etc. He streams not just to play the game in front of an audience, but he is actively talking to his audience, reading chat, answering peoples' questions, etc. He created marketing videos for EG. He's developed such a powerful resume, that if he decided to give up SC2 or gaming in general he'd have an extremely good resume to shop around.

We need attitudes to shift. eSports can't survive if it's just players playing games. We need more people like Incontrol to develop a rich scene and create a path for success for players after their gaming career ends. Players need to embrace these things as part of being a professional gamer.

I could not agree more. Attitude is a huge issue, especially in higher level players. At it becomes evident when you ladder. Like getting cheesed every single game, by some Master League asshole who just wants so badly to be in GM because they think that GM status = Profit. Becoming GM does not equal fame, fortune or women and so people just become dicks to others, especially when a team wants to pick up a player but can't really pay them that much or anything at all. It's just such an arrogant attitude that Blizz inadvertently created with their being only 200 Masters in each region. It makes the game not fun at all because people don't give a shit about getting better to just grow as a player, they want to win to make it into GM, and are willing to do it in any way possible.

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I think a big problem in professional esports is how everyone expects a salary and travel benefits immediately upon reaching Grand Master league. The problem is, there's no real-world model to support this expectation. Sure you can go to a major-corporation-backed store and get a job working minimum wage working a menial job with no experience, but in gaming there are no such corporations. I think this is the big disconnect. While people whine about the shrinking middle class and make posts lamenting how good players aren't getting the attention they deserve, nothing changes.

The problem is players only see success as being the best in the world, winning that MLG or IPL or Dreamhack or IEM and getting the huge fame and a big contract with salary. That's an extremely risky way to approach a career and inevitably will lead to failure far more often than not.

The #1 problem with the SC2 pro scene right now is attitude. So many "underrated" players just want to play the game and make money by being good at the game. But without adding value and building marketable skills they are just setting themselves up for failure. Suppose they do join a team and get paid and live in a team house, what happens in 2-3 years when they fail to have success, lose their contract, and have to go back out into the real world? If all they've done is play the game, they just lost 2-3 years off their career path for nothing. That's extremely damaging to eSports.

On the other hand, look at players like Incontrol, who DON'T just play the game. It would be difficult to argue that he's one of the best players, OR one of the best casters, yet he's immensely successful. He gets up every day and interacts on twitter for part of the day. He's active in making appearances on shows, events, casting gigs, etc. He streams not just to play the game in front of an audience, but he is actively talking to his audience, reading chat, answering peoples' questions, etc. He created marketing videos for EG. He's developed such a powerful resume, that if he decided to give up SC2 or gaming in general he'd have an extremely good resume to shop around.

We need attitudes to shift. eSports can't survive if it's just players playing games. We need more people like Incontrol to develop a rich scene and create a path for success for players after their gaming career ends. Players need to embrace these things as part of being a professional gamer.

I'd most definitely agree that building a successful career isn't 100% skill dependant. But that doesn't disprove everything that's written on that article. Incontrol was a big name even BEFORE he started adding value to the eSports scene, and I really agree that we need more incontrols (hopefully 1/2 Incontrols though). But the question rises, if you've never been to a major LAN, if you are not a well known personality, if you want to add that value and you have no ways of making it count? That's where collectiveness comes into play.

For me, vVv Gaming is the answer to those questions. That's why we need to improve the ways how the people in the community understand an explain our culture. And I believe I'm going to start heavily doing that from now on.

P.S: SugarBear, now I get it. I love you.

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The attitude of a lott of high level players is definitelly an issue. They grow quite an ego and expect everyone to fall down to their knees, just because they reached that grandmaster (High Master) league. Not only that, but they also become too self-centered and take the skills they have for granted, so everyone, who is below them is a scrub not worth their time, unless they pay them money. The way I see it - That is imo why we also see very few high level players invested into helping others to raise - it means that there would be less opportunities for them, and since there already very few "spots", they do not need more competition for these "spots".

I'd very much prefer to see the higher level players being more interested in growing our game; as raising new generation of players would mean the game will keep going on, as well as we'd get to see more players on the scene. So, definitelly, the attitude needs a serious shift. But then again; there's still very little support for that mid-level class of players from the organizations and tournament organizers. That is also why we will always see the same players on the top, as breaking through to the scene is close to impossible.

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On the other hand, look at players like Incontrol, who DON'T just play the game. It would be difficult to argue that he's one of the best players, OR one of the best casters, yet he's immensely successful. He gets up every day and interacts on twitter for part of the day. He's active in making appearances on shows, events, casting gigs, etc. He streams not just to play the game in front of an audience, but he is actively talking to his audience, reading chat, answering peoples' questions, etc. He created marketing videos for EG. He's developed such a powerful resume, that if he decided to give up SC2 or gaming in general he'd have an extremely good resume to shop around.

Probably one of the most valuable players for the longevity of the title.

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