Saturday, April 28, 2007

Esports - Bigger And Better?

Some interesting news recently on the eSports front.

The CPL (Cyberathlete Professional League) has partnered with Sierra Entertainment for the 2007 World Tour, bringing two games: Fear on the Xbox, and World in Conflict on the PC with stops in Europe, Australia, and South and North America and a total purse of $500 K (GotFrag, Amped). After years of supporting games like Quake and Counterstrike the move was routinely ripped apart by the eSports community and GotFrag had a satirical post announcing the demise of the CPL. Interview with Angel Munoz at Amped.

The reason is likely the 800 pound gorilla in eSports now, the CGS (Championship Gaming Series) which has sponsors with big pockets, TV coverage via DirectTV, and $5 million in salaries and purses. The suite of games are more along the lines of what is typically found, although their league structure (each team will have players for each of the games - selected by a draft) is rather bizarre. Competition from CGS and WSVG is putting severe pressure on the CPL.

Gaming News announces a dedicatedUK eSports television show XLEAGUE.TV. Not sure yet if this is part of a league, tournament, or just free for all competition. There's a large selection of games there, including some for PS3.

Personally I think having 20 or more games spread across four or five leagues/tournaments is not going to do a damn bit of good for eSports. Games like Counterstrike require some dedication on the part of the audience (and the broadcasters) in order to get up to speed on the complexities of the game. Changing the games every year in order to make the sponsors happy
is just short-sighted. In a few years I suspect there will only be a single league with a monopoly on eSports.

1 comment:

Anonymous said... will run on-going leagues, play offs from these leagues, and tournament on each game. Tournaments will be staggered, so you've never have 2 tournaments running at the same time. Certain tournaments will be televised.