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Thread: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

  1. #1
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
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    Default Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/view...opic_id=107854

    DailyeSports had a discussion with Boxer about the past 10 years of eSports and its future.

    Interesting excerpts (the full discussion follows):

    "Honestly, nowadays fans are leaving...Even looking at ProLeague now, things are awkward for players."

    "One reason that fans are leaving is that the biggest chunk of eSports, StarCraft, does not have a big market globally...I felt the limit as I won WCG twice."

    "Replay is a big problem too. The retirement of old progamers was influenced by replay. Even when Nal_rA and others pulled off an interesting strategy, copying it a day or two after is possible because of replay."

    "When I was practicing in ACE, an army officer took a kid to the practice room and asked me, "He's so into gaming. Please tell him to stop playing." "

    "Korea has better driver experience, but China has better engine. You can't ignore China."

    On the past 10 years of eSports

    It's a big accomplishment to have a market this big, from nothing. In the beginning, players worked as freelancers trying to win the competition prizes. It was the time when a sense of professionalism and teamwork didn't exist. It was basically playing for fun and going on to tournaments when they came around. After that, the team system was established because practice partners and a system were necessary. Still, there was nothing but the tournament prizes. Back then team managers didn't have other revenue models and things went on like that.

    Then ProLeague started and corporate-sponsored teams were established. There was salary for players who aren't necessarily good or win tournaments. It was a good period as the team system got implemented.

    Honestly, nowadays fans are leaving. When the time was good we should have pulled more corporations, embraced the existing fans, and attracted new fans. Even looking at ProLeague now, things are awkward for players. It's a feeling of not perfectly modeling it as a sports. It's the positioning of a half of sports and a half of entertainment.

    One reason that fans are leaving is that the biggest chunk of eSports, StarCraft, does not have a big market globally. It's popular in Korea and there are tournaments, but oversea there isn't much attention. I felt the limit as I won WCG twice. It didn't feel great even after I won the gold. Not much attention from Korean media either.

    The scale is different for basketball or other sports. Fan service is different, and with cheerleaders, gifts, and events, fans are totally occupied. You can even eat in stadiums. eSports stadiums don't sell food, and there's no entertainment beside watching the game. Fans concentrate when games are exciting, but when game are boring they lose focus. eSports is emotional, so more investment in fan service is needed to grab audience's attention continuously.

    Replay is a big problem too. The retirement of old progamers was influenced by replay. Even when Nal_rA and others pulled off an interesting strategy, copying it a day or two after is possible because of replay. As the old progamers went down, fans left. More effort was needed to hold them, but such effort is insufficient nowadays.

    When I met the former Korean president Roh, I asked for a government support to grow eSports. But the government said that since Korea is eSports' home and it will grow on its own, let's just watch it. No special attention.

    I hope that government helps it grow more. Instead of just supporting baseball, basketball, and soccer which came from abroad, I hope that the government supports the domestically-grown eSports. Instead of just growing it in Korea, I hope that those who had their foot in Korea go abroad and help develop eSports. There's no answer unless things go globally.

    On StarCraft 2

    I haven't played it. But I hope that it spreads globally. When StarCraft 2 comes out, or even some other game gets to be competed internationally, it might be bigger than StarCraft-oriented eSports. When PC cafes are spread, popular games get support, so when StarCraft 2 comes out and other countries open more PC cafes, people might play it more. I'm worried that even if StarCraft 2 leagues are developed, they become a Korean thing after couple years.

    On the gaming culture

    Society's perception on gaming is still not good. When I was practicing in ACE, an army officer took a kid to the practice room and asked me, "He's so into gaming. Please tell him to stop playing." I was in the army, but it was awkward because I was still a progamer. It's not enough for me to tell him to keep trying, but how could I tell him to stop. Parents know that it's a tough path and they know about the income distribution of progamers. It's difficult for reporter-loved progamers to come out either. Fans are diminishing too. It's a bad cycle.

    On SKT T1's Chinese player

    The company had expected much, but he didn't meet the expectation. Even before that, bringing in non-Korean players for Hexatron failed. Unless eSports becomes really a sports, I'm worried that we might have to buy some broadcasting rights from China. Talking about it isn't enough. Specific plan needs to be laid out. Korea has better driver experience, but China has better engine. You can't ignore China.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    Accounts that make it into the top two starcraft ladder levels should get replay locking options.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    I may hate Terran, but I've always liked Boxer.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcherofAiur View Post
    Accounts that make it into the top two starcraft ladder levels should get replay locking options.
    There really is no point to it. This argument completely fail because even if you can't download a starcraft replay you will always be able to watch video replays. This is something that can't be stopped if you're going to broadcast e-sport. Honestly his idea of replay is pathetic. "I'm the one who invented this strategy so I'm the only one who should be able to do it"... That's not the way the world works. It doesn't matter if it's a video-game, a real sport, or anything, as soon as someone develop something new, there will always be imitators and those people have the rights to use a success story to develop their own and improve upon it. This is how society progress. Instead of crying because other players are using his strategies, he should be honoured that his strategies were good enough to be spread around players and that he is recognize for being the one who invented them.

    Anyways, just copying strategies won't make anyone a pro. He of all people should know that.

  5. #5
    Pandonetho's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    There's a difference between actual replays and video replays. It's a lot harder to analyze a strategy from a spectator's perspective. The problem is that you spend hours or even days developing a strategy, but the moment it's out with an actual replay counters are already developed within a day.

    Personally I don't care about b.net players, but I think whoever is in charge of e-sports tournaments for SC2 should prohibit releasing replays to other teams.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    There really is no point to it. This argument completely fail because even if you can't download a starcraft replay you will always be able to watch video replays.

    You can stop the first person VODs that have the vital information of what the player made and when.


    And were not saying other people cant try and copy their strategy. But people who invent new techniques should be able to profit from them for a period of time before others figure out how to do it. This leads more individualized play styles and a better spectator sport overall.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    The problem is that you spend hours or even days developing a strategy, but the moment it's out with an actual replay counters are already developed within a day.
    This has been a huge problem in similar games. Chess players must hide the logs of their games, lest other players steal their strategies. Can't have other teams recording plays at a football game either; they might steal our strategies. No teams in pro football can have individualized playstyles without this.

    If StarCraft can't work as an eSport in a public environment where records of games are distributed fairly widely, then this is a problem with StarCraft, not eSports. That would suggest that strategic play is rewarded only in so far as the opponent hasn't seen it before.
    "When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C. S. Lewis

    "You simply cannot design a mechanic today to mimic the behaviour of a 10-year old mechanic that you removed because nearly nobody would like them today." - Norfindel, on the Macro Mechanics

    "We want to focus the player on making interesting choices and not just a bunch of different klicks." - Dustin Browder

    StarCraft 2 Beta Blog

  8. #8

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    Nicol theres a difference between the other team seeing your plays during the game and seeing your playbook.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcherofAiur View Post
    And were not saying other people cant try and copy their strategy. But people who invent new techniques should be able to profit from them for a period of time before others figure out how to do it. This leads more individualized play styles and a better spectator sport overall.
    And they actually do. It's true that you can figure out a counter in a day like pandonetho said but it's not true that you can master this counter in one day. In fact, zerg players are so good nowdays that players believe that pvz might be imba. While the imbalance might be true, this is still a proof that counters are not that easy to come up with or master. Of course they'll be easier to figure out when the game is new (like when boxer was the king), but once the game is older and a lot of stuff have already been tried out, it's harder to come up with counters.

    It's a lot harder to analyze a strategy from a spectator's perspective.
    This is true for specific build orders but Boxer was not recognized for his build orders, he was recognized for all his cheesy moves/micro. Seeing a dropship micro is something that you can quite understand the moment you see it. In any case, even if it's slightly harder with a video than a replay, it's far from being impossible.

    Nicol theres a difference between the other team seeing your plays during the game and seeing your playbook.
    Barely in this case or if there is any, please state them.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Boxer On eSportsí Past and Future

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    There really is no point to it. This argument completely fail because even if you can't download a starcraft replay you will always be able to watch video replays. This is something that can't be stopped if you're going to broadcast e-sport. Honestly his idea of replay is pathetic. "I'm the one who invented this strategy so I'm the only one who should be able to do it"... That's not the way the world works. It doesn't matter if it's a video-game, a real sport, or anything, as soon as someone develop something new, there will always be imitators and those people have the rights to use a success story to develop their own and improve upon it. This is how society progress. Instead of crying because other players are using his strategies, he should be honoured that his strategies were good enough to be spread around players and that he is recognize for being the one who invented them.

    Anyways, just copying strategies won't make anyone a pro. He of all people should know that.
    Watching VODS is completely different from watching replays.

    Its not even comparable. Not to sound elitist or anything, but if you try to make this claim on TL.net, the response will be epicly hilarious. Its unanimous agreement among all high level players that the difference is huge.

    Boxers right to some degree, making replays of top level games always available decreases the need to innovate, and makes for a stale metagame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicol Bolas View Post
    This has been a huge problem in similar games. Chess players must hide the logs of their games, lest other players steal their strategies. Can't have other teams recording plays at a football game either; they might steal our strategies. No teams in pro football can have individualized playstyles without this.

    If StarCraft can't work as an eSport in a public environment where records of games are distributed fairly widely, then this is a problem with StarCraft, not eSports. That would suggest that strategic play is rewarded only in so far as the opponent hasn't seen it before.
    Part of Starcrafts fundamental gameplay features components not seen in Chess or Football. One crucial concept is fog of war. In football, you are suppose to be able to see your opponent at all times, and certainly in chess. In starcraft, you are not.
    Last edited by newcomplex; 12-16-2009 at 07:12 PM.

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