For two short seasons, The Championship Gaming Series tried to transform the sun-starved denizens of musty, Cheeto-dusted basements into glorious "e-sport" cultural icons. The scheme of making video game playing a legitimate sport had its fair share of obstacles. For instance, there's some trouble in that watching a TV …
Is that it's more fun to use your time to actually play games, rather than passively watch someone else playing games. Sites like Prizefight have got a better idea, in that you're effectively betting on your own gaming ability.
Vicarious enjoyment doesn't really apply to video games. If they want to make money out of it, they first need to understand why we play the games in the first place, and to me it looks like the CGS didn't have that figured out.
I bloody hope so
What a naff idea. Nothing more boring than watching your mate play on the computer.
What ridiculous idea, when clans etc already exist, and a few years back in the UK Bravo had a similar show which blew hard featuring Gadget Show founder Jason Bradbury talking to some overweight no hopers whilst playing CS Source.
I *really* want e-sports to work
But they just don't get it.
Not once have I ever seen an e-sports program done right. They just have some random people playing a game, demonstrating zero teamwork typically (In FPS at least, I haven't watched things like e-football) and they never show the tactics and battle lines (EG they will play on a map you don't know, but give no indication of how it is laid out and where people are)
If they would only try and use a tactical shooter (Maybe BF2 or even better BF2:Project Reality) and have coverage that actually shows the ebb and flow of the battle, then it could be interesting. As it is, all we get to see is run and gun combat on a small maze level.
Plus they always seem to only use live commentary by people who have little to no skill. THAT JUST WONT WORK!! You need to record a "timedemo" (ie log xyz of each player, not record video) then go back and edit it and commentate on that. This will also enable you to render everything in uber-high quality, maybe even mess with the models (Map players faces onto models' faces for example) and get whatever angles you want.
Honestly, I could do better, I *have* done better than any of the "professional" e-sports channels out there.
The one that did show promise was the one that used Total War, but they screwed up cos they got non-gamers to do it. If they had gamers (Or people who were interested in that historical period and the tactics employed in it) play it, it would have been a much better show.
I have hope though. Google for "DarkFall" - this is an FPS/MMO hybrid coming out soon, and the devs are building relationships with e-sports networks. A game like this would lend itself very well to e-sports and, being a persistant hardcore PvP world (You can kill anyone anywhere and take their posessions) with city building and seiging, it could lend itself very well to an ongoing story where death has consequences, thus generating some emotional buy-in.
An idea whose time came too early?
Well it was bound to fail if they think the idea was ahead of its time. Have they not heard of the internet? If you base a gaming competition round TV deals you have failed to actualy understand who your target audience is. Doesnt help that the results are going to be posted on news sites before its shown on TV so while watching people play games on TV is boring enough when you know the result its a total non event.
They also tried to make superstars out of gamers, that aint going to work either. In every sport there are armchair fans who think they are better than the pros, with gaming though most of the armchair fans are going to be better than the pros. Add to that the majority of the pros are all about the same age, have no responsibilities and live with their parents. People the same age resent them and people older than them think they are dicks.
So you have a group of people nobody likes competing in a tournament closed to the majority of players and the whole thing is shown on TV after the results have been posted on the web. Yeah thats going to work.
Gaming can and will work as a sport but unlike any other sport all ages, sexes, races, and lard asses can compete on the same grounds. It will never create huge superstars that sponsors will like and it wont be a massive spectator sport. But exploit the fact that anyone can compete and organise it over the net and you are on to a winner.
Paris, as she can handle a joystick better than anyone else
I'm really not surprised
I never expected this to take off. As a massive gamer myself I would never watch - if I had the time I would be playing myself. Most of the games played were not interesting to me anyway and I'm sure most gamers would agree that they might like to watch one or two of the games but not all 4. I never saw this making money I'm afraid to say.
Idea not ahead of its time...
...it's one that never should have seen the light of day. Masturbation is more of a sport than computer gaming.
Paris, for no apparent reason.
...of The Last Starfighter, that a gangly nerd could find fame and a plausible physical relationship with a member of the opposite sex by excelling at Galaga, has finally been struck to dust. So many broken, slightly damp, dreams...
Perhaps now B3@stSl@yr can set aside the ErgoCombat Keyboard and 12,000dpi mouse, and get back to making sure George Lucas understands how obvious it is that Phantom Menace R2D2 is nothing like Empire Strikes Back R2D2 and also how the ILM website isnt W3C compliant, and can he have a job because.. you know ...no one else was fan enough to notice the R2 thing?
With the natural order restored, perhaps the time of the Buffy'esque El Reg commentard groupie is at hand? I have a really good job that allows me three to four hours of solid El Reg commenting, and at least 2 or three good anonymous Slashdot rants. My turn-ons are pulling on underpants fresh, straight out of the drier, and Sinclair computers up to, but not including (never, ever, including), the QL. My turn-offs are irrelevant if you are even passably Buffy'esque and still reading up to this point... Call me.
Please.. call me.
Lord, I am so lonely ... I think I go will tell Slashdot what I think of the "new" Battlestar Galactica again - that always cheers me up.
Humanoid Cylons, my arse!
Could never really see the point
When you watch sport on TV you always shout and rant that given the chance you could do better, but you know deep down you probably couldn't, you're unlikely to get the chance. However with games, you can rant and shout that you could do better, with the added opportunity that you could, given enough time, prove it.
There's still Major League Gaming. Looks like that's still going at the moment.
Seems to be mostly Xbox360/PC.
Video games as a sport?!
I enjoy games as much as the next man, but they are merely a distraction. Anyone who takes them THAT seriously needs a good talking to.
Apart from that, watching OTHER people play video games is about as much fun as a fire in an orphanage.
Am not at all surprised to hear that Microsoft had a hand in this ridiculous venture. When are they going to learn? You can't polish a turd!
Mines the one with the well thumbed DS in the pocket.
"The league featured a handful of games during its two season run: Counter-Strike, FIFA 07, Dead or Alive 2, and Project Gotham Racing. The second season swapped the latter two for FIFA 08 and Forza Motorsport 2."
So they ended up with FIFA 07 and 08, and no beat'em'ups at all?
I've seen some of the gaming proggies on some of the more obscure satellite channels and, when the commentary is decent, it's actually quite enjoyable!
Says it in the first paragraph....
....watching someone else play videogames is so dull I might even consider Antiques Roadshow as a rival.
And those salaries for a brand new league....where did that come from? Americans still need to learn, respect is earned not bought or forced.
I think the fact it was such a big FAIL might have something to do with the choice of games. Their target audience, the real hard core gamers, don't play Fifa, Dead or Alive, or Project Gotham. Those games are PR games and nothing more, they look fantastic but play like an eighty year old granny.
FAIL FAIL FAIL.
"CGS modeled itself after the US National Football League"
Ah - that was their mistake! 15 minute breaks every 30 seconds as the over-paid nancies mince around in over-sized cycling shorts and their girly-girl padding?
American Football - it's rugby for pansies.
Not even trying
The main problem with these events is that they've made no effort to make them interesting to watch. Even a World Cup final wouldn't be too exciting if it was viewed via cameras locked onto a closeup of one of the players from the side, or simply pointing in a random direction.
Games like Counter-Strike could be vaguely interesting to watch, with a couple of virtual cameramen and a director focusing on the bits of the action which were relevant at any given moment, and picking camera angles where you could actually see what was happening.
Oh, and btw you might want to proof-read the article's first sentence, unless you're implying that the league was trying to turn basements into icons.
Should have looked at South Korea
They've been doing it for years with Starcraft and a few other games, and it makes a fortune over there.
That being said basing anything of American football and concentrating on Counterstrike was bound to fail.
Now if they'd used Tribes 1 or 2....that could have been a lot more interesting.
Did anyone, anywhere ...
... really think this would make a profit over a long period of time?
People over 16 years of age, and not marketing people, that is.
Try too late
This concept was already tried, though in a slightly different manner, in the movie The Wizard. It was a pretty stupid concept then, and it remains a stupid concept. In theory, it's just as normal or strange as any other sport; it's just that with video games, you're using your brain more, and your movements are much more subtle.
The problem is, as this article points out, watching other people play video games is incredibly boring for most people. Most people would rather be playing the video games than watching somebody else play them. Contrast that with physical sports, in which the spectators usually have nowhere near the abilities of the professionals.
That's not to say there aren't a great number of people who do enjoy watching others play video games. I'm sure there are. But there aren't enough to make it profitable. People will gladly pay upwards of $400 to watch the NHL Stanley Cup finals or the MLB World Series. People will not be willing to pay anywhere near that to watch other people play video games. I'd go so far as to say that most people who would be interested in watching a video game competition probably don't even have $400 of disposable income without robbing their savings account (provided they're lucky enough to have anything in savings in today's economy).
CGS is nothing compared to Tasteless
It may be known over in the stats but pales compared to something like Tasteless:
That is what real computer gamers dream of.
Obviously, this clears the decks for...
Pro-celebrity Air Hockey! No? Ho about Pro-Celebrity One man And His Dog? Jethro , from Settle with his dog Blackie vs Paris Hilton and some dishrag thing in a purse? OK, how about Pro-Celebrity Boxing? Obviously, we can't match the current prize funds in pro boxing, but perhaps we can tempt a few retired boxers back into the ring. It'd be a smash! Who wouldn't pay to watch Mike Tyson vs Tara Palmer-Tompkinson?
this is why we can't have nice things.
I find it ironic that you have probably the exact opposite opinion towards something such as NFL or NBA. The problem with that the streams of a pro circuit for Major League Gaming (MLG www.mlgpro.com) had over four million live in just the 2008 season. You are making statements over a topic you are very unintelligent on and I recommend you do your homework before blogging about your stereotypical rant over something beyond your dim witted mind's grasp of something more important than you may believe. As for your comparison to chewing "Tin foil" is slightly less entertaining than watching a broadcast of competitive video gaming. The same could be said for people who competitively play football "It's basically throwing an oblong ball around and running away from the opposing team out of fear of getting a multitude of men on top of you." Yet you call that entertaining and involving talent when they are successful at outrunning someone? I'd say a touchdown is equivalent to a game winning kill when it's 49 to 49 kills tied on a pro game of halo that may decide who gets a check for a $100,000 tournament. As well as your insult towards people that play games competitively that they live in basements and eat poorly and don't go outside. That's just people like you that are uncultured in Major League Gaming, seeing as there is a minority of overweight gamers that are professional as you claimed the stereotype "Cheeto dusted" and that most of them are in great shape and they fly all over the world and go on vacations to places. And you claim everyone that plays video games lives in basements yet most professional gamers can afford nice houses, which odds are, you cannot. As for video games being of no skill to play with professionals, I would love to see you play a game against a professional gamer in Halo 3, and see just how many kills you get on him/her. My guess is 25 to –1; the -1 being you... Just a guess. And to let you know a rising MLG star, Tom “Tsquared” Taylor is now the icon for Dr. Pepper. His face will be on 175 million bottles of Dr. Pepper. No one cares though. (Howard, if you see this; i want extra credit... k, thx, bai.)