Well, I gotta admit I'm pretty disappointed with E-SportZ(or video games played for money). I've played video games for years now and got into competitive gaming a number of years back. I assumed as years went bye, things would just keep growing and get bigger. I could be wrong, but this just doesn't seem to be the case. At least for the two games I've played the most, Counter-Strike and for almost three years now World of WarCraft.
Everything else in video games are mainstream now. Yet if you mention E-SportZ, most people /boggle and say something along the lines of a sports game(football/basketball/etc). What's the deal, how can this be? While there have been a number of success stories, there are even more failures.
The idea of E-SportZ is four things to me. The act of playing the video game is fun. It has some kind of competitive value(beating somebody's score/time, playing against others). The act of watching that game is fun. It has a large enough audience/user base that it's worth spending money on. Some video games, not all, meet that requirement.
The first issue we must overcome is assuming the fewer, the better. We haven't really seen anything over 5vs5 take off and usually it's less than that(I haven't really seen any single player games hit the big time in E-SportZ, the only I can think of is the movie "The Wizard" with Super Mario Bros). Mainly we haven't pushed over 5vs5 cause of room space/money paid out/time to play games/computers/etc required. 5vs5 or less is a good starting point, but in a number of years the amount of players won't matter.
The second issue is we separate males from females. There's a few reason we do this IRL. Babies, we don't wanna kill em. Body parts, we don't allow touching em. Females are usually smaller than males. Then throughout the ages females just got held back in a few cases. In terms of video games, the main problem is we don't see male/female character models/sounds/etc... With the user base of World of WarCraft, yeah, include both if you want cash, developers. Also, if we're gonna separate something, maybe age groups. But this is way into the future when we have some user bases and audiences.
It's all based on LAN and even then, companies want you to travel the world. LAN I can understand, not quite possible to cheat, Internet connections/etc don't matter, everyone has the same hardware, yadda yadda. In reality none of that poopie matters. I'm probably watching your event from my house many states away. But sure, LAN is the best. However, what's the point of having your event in Texas one month, few months later Florida, few months later New England? Why not base your company around one major gaming city and stay put? The same people will keep coming back and invite their friends. You and your company won't have to travel, pro gamers will move around this state, gamers interested in this will move to the state, after so long you'll probably get deals on locations around this area.
Picking games that haven't even sold one million copies(or even released for two months), lack a multi-player user base(modern day we consider this online play), lack online communities(websites), isn't even made by a well known publisher/developer or well known period, or have too much of a high tech requirement(pc hardware). If there isn't even 1,000 people playing the game online at any give time, how in the world do you expect to get 10,000 people to view your event? Are stats always known about a game? No. Can you sometimes use common sense? Yes. With sites like this: http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ and I dunno where the GameSpy.com one went, we can get pure numbers and facts. Judging by the Steam page alone we know Counter-Strike has the user base and it appears Call of Duty V does too(I don't recall CoD series, but I don't believe they had such a user base before?). World of WarCraft tauts millions of users so this is by far the most obvious choice. As for console games last I recall Halo had massive numbers(1/2 sold a lot, but 3 has the online user base to back it up now).
Picking games that don't even have good software. The ability to record demos, make movies, allows some kind of tv mode that people with the game can watch from inside the game, allows you to separate players, spectators, commentators from each other(we're looking at you, n00b console games), allows modders to make char models for your sponsors, maps with all your sponsor items in them, etc(we're looking at you, n00b console games), have some kind of "spectator mode" with different camera angles, HUD's, you name it.
Limiting your viewers. Using only demos, only tv mode, only one tv station, only one websites, not backing your files up so you can later have people dl and watch them YEARS later, yadda yadda. Only basing your event around one time period. Adding all kinds of neat features weeks later would be great. Cool frag movies, interviews, stats, etc.
Picking horribad developers and their games. If a company released a sequel to their game every year or two, that's a major split in the user base(X-PackZ also split their multi-player, unless it's a MMORPG, well, slightly, but still). If that company doesn't even release patches for at least a year and beyond you drop that game right this instant. Then even after all that, the company asks you for way more than you should give them. You're giving them everything, they don't need much in return.
At the end of the day, the passion is there, but the money is required. Then finally E-SportZ will be where it should be.
// Curtis Turner <IceIYIaN>
// Creator of Elements of War!