Esports in a Nutshell | June 23, 2016

Welcome to Esports in a Nutshell having fun with the world of Esports one week at a time.

 

  • I am your host Mark Register. I have a delightful show for you with this week’s top stories: TSM & Dream Team battling over Biofrost, Jason Lake’s plea for Gabe Newell to pardon Braxton Pierce, and Twitch & YouTube combat bots & bullies. I answer the big questions of the week, hit every Esports News story of the week and give a play by play of the Counter Strike DreamHack Zowie Open Summer Immortals vs Godsent game. Now…

 

For this week’s top stories

 

  • Team SoloMid and Dream Team duke it out over player Vincent Wang Biofrost and go to Judge Judy and Executioner, Twitlonger, for justice. Andy kicks off with his Twitlonger saying: Dream Team’s accusations of TSM poaching BioFrost were not valid due to Dream Team failing to pay BioFrost for 2 of the 3 months he represented the organization at $2k/month. Keaton Cryer General Manager of Dream Team responds in his Twitlonger: BioFrost accepted the $2k payment and was not due any other payments as he decided to try out for TSM instead of fulfilling his Letter of Intent Contract with Dream Team. Andy Dinh Reginald is quote “using his brand to bully us and we will not allow it. He is misconstruing facts and manipulating statements. We are not going to stand for this and will take legal action.” end quote.
  • Jason Lake founder of Complexity Gaming writes an open letter to Valve founder Gabe Newell on behalf of Braxton Pierce who received a lifetime ban for match fixing says quote: “I absolutely abhor the idea of match fixing. It undermines something very dear to me: the competitive integrity that is the necessary foundation of all esports. I find lifetime bans to be completely appropriate for responsible adults who would callously erode that foundation while seeking personal gain. Now that this precedent has been established, I would expect no less punishment for future offenders. However, I feel this specific case needs to be addressed again. Braxton was not an adult who was thumbing his nose at the rules while being fully aware of the potential consequences. Braxton was a minor who made a foolish decision for which there was no precedent in the Counter-Strike world. He was young and easily influenced by his older teammates…In the future, no Counter-Strike player, regardless of age, can make this claim. Everyone now knows the punishment for this ‘crime.’ However, Braxton did not know. Braxton does not play for my organization. It’s easy to ignore a situation and not give a damn when you don’t stand to benefit from the change. However, I choose to give a damn. I sincerely ask that you and your team give Braxton’s case another review.” end quote.
  • Matthew DiPietro Senior Vice President of Marketing at Twitch addresses Artificial Viewers, Followers, and Chat Activity that are used to inflate a person’s audience or harass other broadcasters. He explains Twitch uses technology and moderation to remedy the problem and now to add to the fight, Twitch is taking legal action against the top 7 most active sellers of viewbot services citing those companies are helping Twitch users break the Twitch terms of service. Looks like the sheriff is gettin off his high horse, gettin his boots dirty and cleaning up this bot infested town.
  • YouTube updates their terms of service clarifying what Harassment & Cyberbullying means and if you do either of those things your account will be terminated. YouTube explains Harassment includes: Abusive videos, comments, messages; Revealing someone’s personal information; Maliciously recording someone without their consent; Deliberately posting content in order to humiliate someone; Making hurtful and negative comments/videos about another person; Unwanted sexualization, which encompasses sexual harassment or sexual bullying in any form; and Incitement to harass other users or creators.

 

Each week some questions rise up around the Esports industry that I make up and answer them in a conversation with myself. Shall I get started? I thought I would never ask.

 

  • Andy Dinh & Keaton Cryer duke it out over their ownership of player Vincent Wang Biofrost & Jason Lake appeals to Gabe Newell to give lifetime banned player Braxton Pierce a pardon. Why are so many people going public with their disputes and why will Gabe Newell ignore Jason’s plea for Braxton’s pardon?
    • People are going public with their disputes because swaying public opinion in your direction can help you get what you want. But it comes at a cost. You open yourself up to examination, backfire, and tarnishing your public image. Everyone loses in public disputes because you see the worst of both sides. But as a spectator, we love disputes and judging people it’s incredibly entertaining and makes us feel better about ourselves because of course we would never do those things, and that’s the basis of Reality Television and Courtroom shows. Now as far as a plea for action, they are less damaging and more of a hail mary. Worst case scenario people start ignoring you because you’re perceived as whiney, best case scenario, you inspire and rally the troops and get the result you set out to do. To delve into Jason’s plea for Braxton’s pardon, he’s right Baxton should be charged as a minor but…Jason puts a hole in his argument when he says quote “Now that this precedent has been established, I would expect no less punishment for for future offenders” end quote and Jason that’s where you ruined your chance for Gabe to change his mind. By definition setting a precedent means taking an action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances. So if you think all future offenders including minors should have a lifetime ban then to establish that precedent Braxton Pierce’s ruling needs to remain permanent.
  • Twitch sues the top seven companies selling bot services that are often used for harassing other broadcasters & YouTube updates their terms of service clarifying what Harassment & Cyberbullying is. How much of a dent will this make in the battle against online harassment?
    • When Twitch wins all of those cases, that will help curb many new companies from starting new bot selling services, but what’s really going to push the bot problem for Twitch to the acceptable threshold is following up with continued legal pressure on bot service companies. It’s expensive and time consuming but will make their platform more enjoyable for everyone. Twitch strategically wrote their terms agreement to make it clear bot services are against the rules so cases like these are simple open and shut. YouTube is doing the same thing to combat individual harassment by clarifying what harassment entails in their terms agreement and that it’s against the rules. YouTube gave their warning shot, but to really make a dent and even a paradigm shift they need to match their bite with their bark banning accounts and taking legal action in extreme cases when death threats and revealing personal information is involved.
  • NBA Championship brought in a peak concurrent viewership of 44.5MM in the last ten minutes of the game, the peak concurrent viewership for last year’s League of Legends World Final SKT vs Koo Tigers brought in 14MM. A lot of viewership numbers get thrown around, where does Esports viewership really stand against traditional sports broadcasts?
    • Of all the Newzoo & other stat site numbers that get thrown around this is one of the most concrete apple to apple comparisons. Let’s zoom out a bit to get a better perspective on this conversation. 700MM people watched the 2010 FIFA World cup Spain vs The Netherlands. 600MM people watched the 2008 opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, hundreds of millions regularly watch the ICC Cricket World Cup Championship, and in 2015 The Super Bowl Seahawks & Patriots game brought in 114MM viewers. Got that perspective, good. Let’s move back to the baby step goals for Esports. Basketball is a very popular sport and League of Legends is the most watched Esport game so Esports’ leading League, League of Legends World League roughly brings in a third of the audience that the NBA League brings in. So when you hear all of these big numbers remember to zoom out for perspective then zoom back in to see the great milestone made by this growing industry.
  • Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan gives an 11 minute overview of the changes they are making thanks to community feedback including being ranked using a 1 to 100 Skill Rating, extending season length from 1 to 3 months, new skins like golden weapons, and plans to make Sudden Death matches less frequent. What can Riot & Valve learn from this?
    • They can learn vulnerability. Jeff Kaplan has a team of people collecting feedback that their entire development team lays out, picks apart and works with to make changes that their community wants. The list of user requests become a do to list. Then, Jeff, the director of the ship comes up and gives us our generation’s fireside chat letting us know what we said was heard and is being worked on. Riot and Valve are listening and responding but having the leader of their game take a step in front of their community’s firing squad would go a long way in showing vulnerability which is not easy, in fact it’s emotionally exhausting, but that would make Ice Frog & Tom Cadwell more responsive to community feedback and in return their community more loyal to their leaders.

 

And now here’s the rapid fire rundown of everything that’s happening in Esports to give you a table of contents if you’re feeling scholarly or just the cliff notes.

 

  • Tencent buys up 84% of Supercell, Developer of Clash Royale & Clash of Clans for $8.6BB
  • Twitch removes all emotes that include the word butts, twitch user LIRIK had this to say.
  • Ed Boon co creator of Mortal Kombat announces their $50k prize pool for their EVO tournament
  • Midland University appoints Ben Nabity as their first Esports coach to coach their League of Legends team.
  • Stephen Ellis will work alongside Ginger Larson and will report to Guy Cross Facebook’s head of games partnerships for NA.
  • AlphaDraft announces their World Fantasy Esports Championship for League of Legends for the fall with a $50k prize pool.
  • Overwatch officially becomes the most played game in Korean PC Bangs beating out League of Legends showing signs of a Starcraft trajectory.
  • Heroes of the Storm player Fury gets kicks off team Gale Force Esports for letting his relationship with his girlfriend interfere with his work.
  • Thiemo Bräutigam for Esports Observer reports Twice as many Russians watched ESL One Frankfurt Dota competition compared to the rest of the world.
  • The rapping community embraces Street Fighter with Lupe Fiasco leading a group of 9 rappers for The Next Level: Rappers vs Gamers tournament.
  • Bill Walton shows up at E3 for ESPN and gets naked all in the name of Esports. Bill says he got fat in his ripe age of 63…Bill, if that’s fat at 63, Fat sounds awesome…let’s get fat.
  • Will Green from Esports Betting Report reports ELeague Counter Strike Skin betting hits $33MM in total bets over the first four weeks of the tournament. & the betting handle size is directly linked to viewership for the matches, but remember, correlation does not mean causation.
  • AMC International Networks Iberia and Machinima launch their subscription video network “Many2Many Service” available for pay TV, smart TVs, and mobile devices in Spain & Portugal including their programming of Street Fighter: Resurrection & Esports reality series Training Camp, The Bacca Chronicles.
  • Samuel Lingle for Daily Dot reports 17 year old Korean player Gegury is accused of cheating by two pros who said they would quit if they were wrong in their accusation, she plays on camera and shows how good she is, then rightfully tears up when discussing the stress of competing and the death threats she receives. The two pros who made the accusations quit the scene.

 

And now for the good stuff the games.

In Counter Strike DreamHack Zowie Open Summer Immortals vs Godsent

  • Game 1 Round 7 – Felps busting through that vent takes out Pauf, but znajder ends him.
  • Round 8 – How do you give a shoutcaster a heart attack? Pyro!
  • Round 11 Hen1 hits the high, he hits the low for a double. Lucas in the 2 on 1 so very carefully creeps around getting ready to make his kill…and it’s thwarted.
  • Round 16 Heni go “ahhh” berzerker, kills Pronax but then his teammate Lucas stabs him in the fog of war.
  • Round 18 Felps wins the Darwin award by throwing a molotov accidentally bouncing back on top of him killing himself, Lucas shakes his head in shame and realizes he has to carry the team so he gets in the game and gets a double kill on Pronax & Twist.
  • Round 19 Lekro in the 2 on 1, preps his attack, misses his shot on Lucas, swings around to get the kill on Boltz, takes a breath, slowly creeps up and tries to find his opening and finds it winning the round.
  • Round 22 Pronax gets once, twice, three times a flash bang, and still manages to get a double kill on Felps & Lucas.
  • Round 23 Lekro recovering from his flash bang, takes care of his yard when he mows down Boltz, Lucas, and Shoowtime until Hen1 shuts him down.
  • Round 27 Hen1 hits znajder in the vent to give Immortals the win for Game 1.
  • Game 2 Round 9 Twist in a 2 on 1 gets the goldeneye award hitting the clutch but not in time for the bomb.
  • Round 16 Shoowtime blind in the smoke swings his knife to get a double on Twist and Pronax, gets taken out by Pauf but still wins the round.
  • Round 27 Lekro, HO! Headshot Boltz.
  • Round 28 Boltz all by himself gets taken out by Lekro giving GodSent the win for Game 2.
  • Game 3 Round 2 Shoowtime throws the grenade pushing GodSent out as he picks off Pauf & Znajder, steps back and asks, did I turn off the A/C before I left…yup. Picks off Pronax for the triple and the round.
  • Round 4 Lucas, watch his perfect execution and steady hand as he takes out Znajder & Twist on their left unknowingly shuffles left to get Pronax & Lekro but Pauf ruins his 5 man perfection.
  • Round 5 I don’t know what shoes Twist is wearing but I gotta get me a pair because Shoowtime has NO idea that Twist has his left flank, no make it rear flank and no need for guns, now that’s a knife, and my new rifle.
  • Round 10 Pronax lines em up and knocks em down.
  • Round 24 Znajder…technically you have a chance, but you don’t. Immortals take Game 3 and the Match. Congratulations on the win Immortals.

Well that’s it! I hope you learned and laughed a little and I’ll see you next week.

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