Esports Nutshell News | August 19, 2016

Welcome to Esports in a Nutshell Live, giving you the breaking news in Esports then opening up the conversation to you guys in the twitch chat… Let’s kick it off

  • One million viewers chime in for Rocket League’s Championship Series averaging 40k concurrent viewers. There are now over 20M people playing the game and they’ve increased their prize pool accordingly from $75k to $250k.
  • NRG co-owner Andy Miller says Street Fighter is not worth the investment but eluded to… if players streamed more often and the audience for streaming Street Fighter grew they could sell sponsorships on that. But is still looking to build out their Smash 4 division.
  • Red Bull expands their Proving Grounds tournament series from LAN to online with hopes for more participation from unknown talent to have a shot at competing in the Capcom Pro Tour North American Finals this October.

 

Facebook partners with Unity Technologies to create a new PC gaming platform for Facebook to become a potential competitor of Steam as there are 650M players on Facebook Games Arcade platform right now. Developers are applying before August 31st to work with Unity 5.4 Alpha to build their game on it. Unity is also working with Facebook to develop games for Oculus VR. The platform would be able to run on any operating system.

Will Facebook beat out Steam in the PC gaming market?

They’ve got a darn good shot. With Blizzard partnering up with Facebook to stream all of their matches on Facebook live, their commitment to building their Esports division by hiring veterans like Stephen Ellis, investing billions into Oculus VR, and having 650M regular users on their Facebook Games Arcade right now… they are positioned to be a powerhouse in the gaming world. But let’s elaborated on that, the CASUAL gaming world… which is HUGE. Even Huger than Esports but it’s a different market than what Valve Steam is the king of… hardcore gamers who like their PC’s overclocked and covered in Linux. While Facebook is the king of your mom… no but seriously Facebook users love their games shiny, distracting, and casual when they’re not showing you how great their life is and how many emotions they felt today.

 

Valve releases a statement about their recent decision to restrict Counter Strike coaches’ interaction with their players to only; warm up, halftime, and timeouts. Valve says “teams having coaches are not in line with our goals, one of which was to make it possible for new teams to emerge and compete at the highest levels…Teams are in fact, transitioning away from fielding players that have a wider breadth of skills… instead relying on coaches to handle some of that work. We intend the Majors and Minors to be events that can be won by any team of 5 players that demonstrate excellence in all skills of CS and this adjustment is intended to ensure that this remains true. Activities such as keeping track of the economy, calling plays, and general situational awareness are important components of CS gameplay. If a person is performing these actions, we consider them a player. The goal of our events is to identify the best five player CS teams that exhibit the best combination of all CS skills, the current participation of coaches in the game is not compatible with that goal.”

Does eliminating coaches in competitive Counter Strike tournaments help the…greater good?

Forcibly reducing the ability for coaches to coach a team is bad for the coaches and makes it harder for organizations to have consistency in gameplay when trading players. It does help Valve with their goal of cultivating players that have a wider breadth of skills instead of relying on coaches to handle that work.

They are going the way of the Dota… the reason Dota is one of the most popular Esports titles of all time is because of how difficult it is to master, making it more competitive. Having a coach does make life easier because thinking about the economy and calling plays doesn’t occupy space in your mind, making it easier. So by removing that from the equation it makes the game more difficult, making the mastery of multitasking complex strategies on multiple fronts almost impossible. But that makes for more competitive gameplay and appreciation of the struggle to attempt mastering the many skills it takes to win in Counter Strike. Their argument of doing it to make it a more level playing field for players is weak, but their argument of making the game harder to play does makes it more entertaining, that’s the leg they should be standing on. Because we don’t want to watch checkers, we want to watch someone playing checkers, while smoking a cigar, waxing their moustache, foot juggling a soccer ball, throwing a dart, while singing the star spangled banner. Now that’s a game we can get behind.

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