Friday, March 15, 2013

A new look at E-sports


Hey guys :) So it’s been a while since I made a post, and unlike the previous ones this one will be about the E-Sports scene, because this blog is not just about game play and theory crafting but it’s primary purpose is for critical thinking. This previous weekend’s ordeal regarding COL and BYE has been talked about to death so I will avoid the actual specifics of the ordeal but talk about the insight that can be derived from incidents such as these.
Firstly, the current state of e-sports is extremely anti-competitive and unrealistic as a whole. To elaborate, in order to become a professional in a video game such as HON you are supposed to dedicate hours of your day, day after day and at uncompromising hours as well meaning that your day is consumed by and revolves around the video game. Secondly, there is no direct correlation between time invested and a return for hours committed. What I mean by this is, in real sports when an athlete becomes drafted or signed into free-agency they are given a real contract with a real salary along with benefits.
Why does all this matter? Because if you actually want e-sports to become a real and thriving scene you cannot have a system which primarily rewards the top tier teams, SG, COL, TDM as an example. Meaning that aspiring teams will usually suffer through strife and inner turmoil as personal lives take a toll on the teams and they often fall apart and shuffle players around. The reason for this turmoil is the lack of a realistic return for time invested, a player cannot live off of unreliable payouts. How do you fix this though?
Well we could take a hint from both Dota 2 and real life sports. There should be no or significantly less prize money and players wishing to become “competitive” should enter to be drafted every X months, a period during which player contracts should be structured around, with this system teams could expand to larger rosters such as 10 man teams and have inter-team scrims to have hidden strategies and have a rotating roster. Additionally with a contractual obligation of sponsorship to their players, the players would be able to live off of the game and pay their living expenses. Players would be able to be traded, dropped, etc.
Dota 2 on the other hand has a source of “Crowd” funding for their teams, they cosmetics which when purchased help fund their favorite teams, this is something that should be investigated regardless of the prior statement of larger rosters and have a “set” amount of competitive teams.
A realistic take on this system, now you read what I’ve had to say and you wonder, “is this guy crazy?” Well the answer is no, although I don’t see extremely profitable careers for the majority of e-athletes i can see a system where they can live off of their salaries and still make a little bit of money and here’s how.

This part was convoluted as fuck so i'm redoing it. I accidently did math wrong so let me rephrase what i wanted to get across here:
10 "fully sponsored" teams in a league system. This would give 33,000$ per "team" in expenses a year, now you may not think that's a lot, but let's just say each and every player lives in europe and needs ~1k to move from EU to USA. 

so now we ahve 28,000. 28,000, let's subtract 21600 for 1800 a month for a year worth of rent. 6.4k is left over for "team" expenses such as groceries, a budget of 200$ a month per person which is a "decent" amount of a college budget, we come out to 1k a month, so ~6 months worth of groceries is paid for. 

All other budgeting assignment would be compensated with additional cash from sponsorship + supplemental income. Remember this is off of ONE season's prize pool, extra money could be made off of team cosmetics and streaming revenue and "grand prize" money from side tournaments  Also the creation of a silver waging system in the game client would give incentive people to watch streams to stay up to date thus inflating viewer counts on stream days. 

Regardless of the actual monetary figures just keep the idea in mind, this would call for another division of hontour where league teams would compete. Diamond would become a "breeding ground" for up and coming players to be drafted from. Plus the league system would more than likely be more attractive for sponsorship.

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