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Managing an Elite eSport Team

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the icing-thumbs dept.

Games 163

An anonymous reader writes "Ever wondered what it takes to run a world class stable of pro-gamers? In a new profile, 4Kings general manager Jason Potter takes the time to explain his duties — they're remarkably like what's required of other sports managers. It's up to Potter to manage a team of FPS gamers scattered across the continent, getting them to events, arranging sponsorship, and even making sure they play nice together. 'It's a 24 hour job,' Potter says. 'If there is something that needs to be done, you do it.'"

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163 comments

I was born in the wrong era... (4, Insightful)

GregC63 (1564363) | about 10 months ago | (#43898059)

I still find it difficult to believe someone can get paid for gaming...

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#43898085)

How do you feel about people getting paid for playing other games?

It seems people who are good at playing games is already common. There are leagues for all kinds of games. A lot of it is even aired on TV.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (4, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43898095)

People got paid to play chess even in your day. What's the difference?

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (-1, Troll)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 10 months ago | (#43898193)

People got paid to play chess even in your day. What's the difference?

Where do I begin with this kind of ignorance?

The number of people who actually make a true living playing chess (and they still get paid today to do so) is really small. Probably not all that much different than the number of "gamers" who live by playing games. But I see a difference between getting paid to be good at a mentally challenging game and being good at playing a game where you "blow stuff up". Not sold on the "difference" there, bucko? Then tell me, exactly how many millions of dollars has IBM or a similar company invested to design a computer that can beat the best human players at what 4Kings plays? Yeah, I thought so.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

devman (1163205) | about 10 months ago | (#43898263)

It's easy to design computers that are good (or even close to perfect) at FPS, that's why IBM doesn't need to invest in it. I'm not sure what IBM's investment decisions have to do with anything though, are they the deciders of whats a valid mental challenge?

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 10 months ago | (#43898509)

Even nightmare bots that have all the aimbot data on you are able to be killed.

But people like Esports for the intellectual interaction between one or more players and the game. If you think winning consistently against skilled CTF'ers is easy. I say go play quake live in a pro clan. Heck get recruited first. To a real pro clan.

Though I wager IBM can make some pretty brutal AI. And even simplistic AI can overwhelm individual humans in swarms with ease (such that it is dumbed down to kindergarten level in most games on purpose).

Even the simple AI of Everquest was nerfed repeatedly from alpha, to beta, to expansion after expansion until it was meaningless. If you read about the tests the developers did though, they had a lot of fun. And at release the interaction between different AI's in the world made the game interesting and somewhat thought provoking. And EQ was a SIMPLE game.

I eagerly await that game with brutal AI that takes years of training and experimentation and a dedicated team to "game". Nothing beats real life yet though.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#43898617)

It's easy to design computers that are good (or even close to perfect) at FPS

I have to disagree; while it might be trivial to design the AI to take advantage of being part of the computer (i.e., able to read plot data on player position, take advantage of the physics properties of weapons/environment), I'm hard pressed to believe there is a method of programming AI intelligently, where it could outmaneuver highly skilled human players on an equal playing field, without cheating (doing things and having knowledge of programming variables the human player couldn't possibly do or know).

Notably, humans have a power that no existing computer can compete with nor compensate for: the ability to act with complete, true randomness.

That said, I'd love to see some research or experimentation regarding the topic.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#43898767)

A lot of it comes down to how fast and how accurately you can move the mouse and how quickly you could press the keys and buttons. If you made the requirement that any computer cotrolled player had to give their input through the mouse and keyboard using robotic hands, and only seeing through cameras, you would probably have a decent competition. But that's only because we don't really have robotics that are as precise as human hands. The computer would be easier to hook up to a trackball, and would probable be easier to program for than a mouse that had to be picked up and put back on a mouse pad every few seconds. If however, you let the computer "play" by sending direct inputs, even just via the USB/PS2 by being directly wired into the other computer, then the computer would win every time, as it would always aim perfectly, and never misstep.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 10 months ago | (#43898789)

Wrong, humans do not act in true randomness. Humans act in what you conceive as true randomness. Humans always do what they are biased to do, even when random. To get a human to do a true random event you need to use another tool, like coin flip or some machine.

I also think your argument is kind of ludicrous... BECAUSE... the game is one big AI. The fact you can beat the AI does not mean you are actually better than the AI. It means that the game developers let you win so that you would not get down when your ass is constantly whooped!

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898813)

I don't have any research. But the issue with modern AI is that for non-initiated players it is too good. The more skilled players result to more exploitive means to defeat really good AI. This assumes even player and AI balance.

AI that is good is AI that can see you if you have line of sight. Targets as accurately as the player. Can form up squads and flank. Can call in buddies from other parts of a level. And can swarm or interact with other AI, like avoiding hostile AI's while in combat with a player or responding. Thats as good as it gets. But it hasn't really been put into any mass produced games. Also running when injured to get help from other AI.Also good AI is able to use complex inventories and abilities fairly reliability. I have seen each aspect but never in combination.

Things that make a good AI in a modern game (never saw these implemented in a single game toghether).

Can see player with line of sight.
Can evaluate if player is a good target.
Can engage player or stalk player, related to previous. (There is a mod that causes creepers in minecraft to run away and hide if the player spots them)
Runs when attacked or low on health to allies. (Everquest)
Interacts with other hostile AI's either attacking or avoiding.
Will form squads and formations with other AI. Even providing cover.
Able to communicate to other AI it's combat state and allow other AI to join in attacking the player or flanking.
Paths to power ups and resources in an efficient manner. A lot of that is not AI though.
Good path-finding, this is hard to implement and sometimes the bugs and randomness can be better than any code could be. (I would say this is the weakest area)
Good and intelligent use of special abilities and powerups. Chain abilities. All these things are programaticle in nature. Ever been rooted, dotted snared, and than nuked to death by a shaman or druid mob? Support AI would aid allied AI always more efficiently than humans. And works quite well when set up right.

That list above is the best I have seen. Unfortunately never combined into one game.

If AI waits hidden behind cover for players to make the mistake of leaving cover without their own cover fire. The game is considered boring and not "fun". However this is realistic. And never implemented. It is easy to program though. Some games have a small bit of this. But the enemies always start out in the open and reset back to an "un-alerted state". Such as Dues Ex:HR. Were I would occasionally get tagged by enemies for being impatient and playing like a standard FPS instead of a simulation.

Many times for linear "encounter based" level design, an AI that goes straight for the target is all thats necessary to defeat players.

High-quality entropy source on computers (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43899407)

humans have a power that no existing computer can compete with nor compensate for: the ability to act with complete, true randomness

Since when can no computer "act with complete, true randomness"? Take the 48000 samples coming from the sound card's ADC every second, hash them down to 1 bit per sample, and you end up with 48000 bits per second of high-quality entropy.

Re:High-quality entropy source on computers (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#43899471)

humans have a power that no existing computer can compete with nor compensate for: the ability to act with complete, true randomness

Since when can no computer "act with complete, true randomness"? Take the 48000 samples coming from the sound card's ADC every second, hash them down to 1 bit per sample, and you end up with 48000 bits per second of high-quality entropy.

But that's a predictable result... i.e., not random. Regardless of what audio file you use, the output will be a predictable series of bits, the hashes for which will be equally predictable based on the input bits and algorithm used to compute it.

Kinda the opposite of random from where I sit... unless the term has another meaning I'm not aware of.

Noise in the mic and ADC (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43899641)

Regardless of what audio file you use

I was referring to a microphone capturing ambient noise, such as the player's breathing and the key clicks, plus the thermal noise in the ADC. These provide at least 1 bit per sample.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 10 months ago | (#43898307)

The number of people who actually make a true living playing chess (and they still get paid today to do so) is really small.

So is the number of people who make a living for playing video games.

But I see a difference between getting paid to be good at a mentally challenging game and being good at playing a game where you "blow stuff up".

Why? FPS playing is a combination of physical and intellectual skill (mechanical skill at actually shooting the enemy, and intellectual at outplaying them by finding better positioning and out-maneuvering them). If anything, the fact that eSports is more heavily reliant on physical skills makes it vastly less surprising that they'd get paid for it, considering all the people who play conventional sports professionally.

Then tell me, exactly how many millions of dollars has IBM or a similar company invested to design a computer that can beat the best human players at what 4Kings plays?

None, for the same reason IBM hasn't invested millions in a baseball playing robot. Chess is an interesting mathematical problem, and the question of how much computer power is required to beat a human consistently is an interesting question in the area of intelligence and AI theory. The actual game in question is practically irrelevant. Chess was chosen because it's fairly popular and extremely thoroughly studied, which not being so complex as to overwhelm any current computer (unlike Go, for example).

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 10 months ago | (#43898829)

eehhhh.... Do you understand the theory of AI?

A baseball robot would be pretty straight forward because the depth of the look ahead is not that crazy. What makes chess so difficult are its combinations and permutations. There is rarely a game with some many permuations. This means to win chess you need to be able to prune the tree to win. But how does one prune and optimize? That is the question and a rather difficult question. Chess is a form of poker for intellectuals.

When you have FPS games the depth of logic needed to win is not that deep. There are not that many options. Think about how the games are all AI backed and if the game designers wanted they could make the game unwinable. However they don't because that would kind of suck.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

cp5i6 (544080) | about 10 months ago | (#43899077)

You are clearly mistaken

and has been proven that it is entirely possible with today's technology to walk down near every path of a chess game. "Thinking" in this case is merely a parlor trick of computation power of decision trees.

As OP posted, if a computer can play a proper game of Go against an expert, then i'd be impressed.

But until then, his comment is pretty spot on.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 10 months ago | (#43899255)

and has been proven that it is entirely possible with today's technology to walk down near every path of a chess game

No, no it hasn't. The number of moves playable in a game keeping the game under 40 moves is ~10^43. It is estimated that the total amount of moves past that is 10^10^50. This is more than atoms in the universe (~10^80)

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Chess.html [wolfram.com]

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899313)

AIs in real time strategy games are a point of interest. There was an entire tournament where AIs fought against each other in Starcraft Brood War.

http://eis.ucsc.edu/StarCraftAICompetition

They were good but still could never beat a good human opponent. (IIRC the best AIs were something like Cs or Ds in ICCup, far from the best.)

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898343)

I will help you understand. If people are willing to pay to watch something or a company thinks that having this person use their products gets them more sales you will get paid. Doesn't matter what you do.

The mental strain or whether *you* appreciate it or not is irrelevant.

Basic economy, if people find what you do entertaining you might even get paid.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43898485)

But I see a difference between getting paid to be good at a mentally challenging game and being good at playing a game where you "blow stuff up".

And there's your problem. You don't understand the competition involved. Gaming can be "challenging", both mentally and physically. Is it as mentally challenging as chess? Well, that's a topic ripe for debate, given the amount of strategy and improvisation involved in many multiplayer games. Is it as physically demanding as football or boxing or any other athletic activity? No, but then neither is skeet shooting, which many also consider a sport.

Anyway, the whole point boils down to the question: are people willing to watch someone else engage in an activity? Competitive chess? Yes. Competitive crocheting? Probably not. Competitive gaming? Apparently so. If you don't like it, why do you care?

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 10 months ago | (#43898845)

Ok you got me, challenging "physically". Really how? Are they running on some excercise machine? For otherwise it is not challenging physically. BTW skeet shooting a sport? Many people would says, ehhh maybe not...

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43899075)

You would say "ehh, maybe not", and others would not. Hence my other point - if you don't think it's a sport, don't watch it.

As for physically challenging, do you consider fast-twitch reflexes to be physical attributes? Gamers spend hours a day honng their reflexes. No, it's not a test of brute strength, but it still counts.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 10 months ago | (#43898535)

Then tell me, exactly how many millions of dollars has IBM or a similar company invested to design a computer that can beat the best human players at what 4Kings plays? Yeah, I thought so.

I imagine IBM & others have spent zero dollars because hackers and modders have already done the work for them.
For a FPS bot, you don't even need a good AI, just situational awareness and pixel perfect aim.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about 10 months ago | (#43898625)

The quality of some of the games being played? Chess takes skill, and a bit of dastardly cunning. There are a few computer games I've played where the gameplay can become akin to a high speed game of chess once both players are seriously good (Streetfighter 2 - alpha 3, springs to mind). However, on the whole, most games just aren't that challenging, and often luck and net latency are the biggest deciding factors in who wins (and I say this as a game developer myself). Then of course, if you mention computer games these days, pay to win gaming (a.k.a. freemium) is usually mentioned soon afterwards. Other than being impressed anyone could put up with those cynical money grabbing efforts for more than 2 seconds, let alone 17 months, there really isn't anything remotely skill based within those games now is there?

The other interesting thing about chess, is that it has rules, and those rules are constant and universal (and you can usually say that of any sport, other than maybe Formula 1). It's not that often that you wake up, turn on your chess board, and a new patch has updated the rules of the game. It's not often, that you play a game of chess, and discover that you can shoot the head off the queen because you've found a bug in the collision data that allows you to fire a missile through a wall. So I think it's highly unlikely that computer games will ever be recognised as being "a fair game", in the same way that Chess is. So, good luck to those people if they're being paid money to play those games. Just don't expect me, or the majority of people in the world, to ever take them all that seriously....

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 10 months ago | (#43898941)

You missed on small point. Perception. Some people are better at it than others. And games that play on perception can be fun.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43899173)

And the "most games" that you're describing wouldn't have pro scenes. AFAIK there are no professional angry birds players out there. The latency argument is why most of the big-name events are done over a LAN rather than the internet.

As for patching, I don't see how that's a bad thing. Different, yes. Personally, I like that games have become dynamic. Chess hasn't changed in hundreds of years, and so its strategies are pretty well thought out by this point. The grandmasters of today simply build on the grandmasters of previous centuries. With a dynamic game, older strategies may or may not still be relevant, based on how the rules have changed. Improvisation takes a much larger role, and new strategies are constantly being developed. You may think that makes the game worse - I like it better. But in the end it's just a different style of game.

No one owns exclusive rights to respected sports (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43899261)

The difference is that no one owns the rights to Chess or Basketball, while companies own exclusive rights to Tetris and StarCraft. It's as if there were a Basketball Company LLC that could sue a city or school district for copyright infringement for putting a basketball court with correct dimensions into a city park or school gymnasium.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 10 months ago | (#43898117)

Really? Where are you from? I grew up seeing it happen, and my parents tell me that it was going on since LONG before they were born. I know it seems odd, even more odd that some of them command salaries that put them strongly at major CEO levels.

Surely you have run into this phenomenon, you have heard of Michael Jordan? The guy didn't just get paid for gaming, he got endorsement deals for shoes and other merchandise.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 10 months ago | (#43898119)

I agree, getting paid for playing games is rather mind boggling. Do you know that people get paid for playing baseball?

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#43898235)

I agree, getting paid for playing games is rather mind boggling. Do you know that people get paid for playing baseball?

And there it is! The false analogy. [wikipedia.org] Flopped out on the floor like a dead fish.

Baseball, and virtually all pro sports have audiences that pay to attend, advertising deals, television deals, and ongoing source of income.

First Person Shooter games? Not so much.

When did you ever see advertising for such an event, a paying audience, a loyal fanbase, TV coverage?
Most gaming events of this nature are more akin to self supporting bingo games where all of the money comes from
the entrance fees by the players themselves. The only people watching are those trounced in the first scrimmage.

The use of the term "Pro" is pretty ridiculous for someone living in his parents basement.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

devman (1163205) | about 10 months ago | (#43898323)

There are big purse events that are usually invitationals with corporate sponsors and not "pay to play".

I Was Surpised! You're Wrong. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898337)

I felt the same way until my son showed me a new world.

Have a look at Twitch TV [twitch.tv] for a start. There they have live streaming of gaming "events", with commentators, advertisers, sponsors, recaps, replays... It is truly no different than professional sports or these televised poker competitions.

I find it a sad little world, watching other people playing a video game(especially such lame ones), but it does exist and is increasingly popular. Truth be told though, I don't feel very much different about professional sports. Sitting and watching other people play a game is of no interest to me, unless I have some attachment to the game like my own son playing. I'd rather read obfuscated javascript than watch NFL football.

But millions of people love watching NFL football and a rapidly growing number like watching "professional" video gaming.

American football is old enough to be PD (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43899459)

But millions of people love watching NFL football and a rapidly growing number like watching "professional" video gaming.

The difference is that American football is old enough (forward pass 1906, current scoring by 1912) not to be under copyright.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43898341)

I don't know about whatever game that 4Kings plays. However, League of Legends has a functioning league, complete with player salaries, endorsement deals, ads, and yes, a large and loyal viewer audience. And don't get me started on the Koreans.

The "akin to bingo" system is true when there's no audience. But as gaming grows more mainstream, the audience comes with it. With the audience come all the other bells and whistles you mentioned with regard to baseball.

don't the Koreans have a players union and a legen (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 10 months ago | (#43899167)

don't the Koreans have a players union and a League that sets rules and other stuff like our pro sports are?

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about 10 months ago | (#43898347)

You've never actually seen a gaming event, have you? I can assure you, there are people paying to see MLG events, there is a loyal fanbase, there is (internet) TV coverage (people pay for the HD version of that too). There are sponsorships from large corporations, too.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898449)

And there is the ignorance. FPS-games have all that. Or there would be no pros. There are just fewer and less of everything. Which doesnt stop some of them making. Some of them live in their parents basements. But then again, most 17 year olds do.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 10 months ago | (#43898473)

Starcraft's GSL league had it's own channel in S. Korea.

As far as American culture goes, you're right though, I watched a Halo tourney once and couldn't finish it because it was just well... boring. Playing Halo = fun, watching "pro's" play it = boring. Some Starcraft games were fun to watch on youtube back when I played it.

They also have several major multi-game pro-gaming tournaments. People show up to those like to events such as comic con for example.

I think, it's got a future small time, but will never go maintstream like say baseball and football.

Obligatory analogy: football player vs pro-gamer in rugby action.

So what if Blizzard were to object? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43899469)

Starcraft's GSL league had it's own channel in S. Korea.

What would have happened to such a channel had Blizzard objected to the public broadcast of its copyrighted video game?

Some Starcraft games were fun to watch on youtube back when I played it.

Nintendo has begun to "monetize" YouTube videos featuring its games, and for a while, Sega was DMCAing every YouTube video it could find that even mentioned the Shining Force series.

Re:So what if Blizzard were to object? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899579)

Blizzard and GSL doing the league together. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GOMTV_Global_StarCraft_II_League

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

Shinobi (19308) | about 10 months ago | (#43898477)

Hmmm, there's plenty of advertising for Dreamhack.

CS:GO is televised, as is Starcraft II. Pricesums etc come from sponsors. Players at the top level are salaried, either full-time or part-time, teams just below that level still receive sponsorship for travels etc.

Oh, you're in the US? Well, that scene is FUCKED, because people there feel that they shouldn't train before they have sponsorships. Add to that the fact that you have teams like Evil Geniuses, which is a pure entertainment company. They are always waiting for "someone big" to create a scene, instead of starting it up themselves. They are continually making up excuses about why there can't be LAN scenes around the US, neglecting the fact that California alone, which is somewhat smaller than Sweden, has more than 3 times the population, yet can't maintain a LAN scene because of that laziness.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898715)

You are nuts.

http://tournaments.leagueoflegends.com/s3-eu-qualifiers

Paying audience to several tournaments in several places in the world all year long? Check
Loyal fanbase? Check
TV Coverage? ... kind of. All of the events are streamed and also later rebroadcast.

These guys are flying all over the world 6 or so times a year, practicing strats and mechanics for 8-16 hours a day, etc. They have sponsorship, and streaming ad revenue as well.

On the *low* end, those guys are making $150,000 a year. On the high end? Closer to $250,000 if they are winning several tournies a year.

The old stats: http://majorleagueoflegends.s3.amazonaws.com/lol_infographic.png

70 million registered players
32 million unique players playing every month
12 million players a day
3 million peak players at once

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898931)

Your virginity is astounding.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899117)

I'm actually married with 3 children, ages 2, 5, and 13.

Your ignorance is astounding.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898839)

As someone who's played games on TV... Actually if you hit gaming focused sites, you'll see all of the above. Apparently it's a big deal in parts of asia, where as basketball doesn't seem all that popular in all parts of the world either, so it's probably somewhat an apt comparision if you open your mind to the world outside of the USA #1 attitude. :p

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 10 months ago | (#43898957)

When did you ever see advertising for such an event, a paying audience, a loyal fanbase, TV coverage?

South Korea is where it hit critical mass with every one of those elements first, some time ago. Very few cared about basketball until about 50 or so years ago, and hockey wasn't popular in the US until after the Miracle on Ice in 1980. All popular sports start somewhere.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 10 months ago | (#43899049)

BTW, it took the NBA 14 years to land a season TV deal after they formed the league. Multi-player FPS games didn't even exist until 1996, much less professional leagues around the genre.

MIDI Maze (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43899509)

Multi-player FPS games didn't even exist until 1996

FaceBall 2000, an early first-person shooter, was on Super NES in 1992 supporting two-player split-screen play. It was a port of an Atari ST shooter released in 1997 called MIDI Maze that supported over a dozen players.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899265)

You are spot on. Except for the plethora of gaming competitions that people buy tickets to attend (not to play), that have corporate sponsorships, Youtube deals, and advertising usually on their clothing.

In other words, just because you have not witnessed something does not mean others haven't.

Re: I was born in the wrong era... (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 10 months ago | (#43898199)

You phrased it wrong, which is why so many geniuses are replying with things like "i camt believe people get paid for playing baseball."

Nws flash: they dont get paid for playing baseball. They get paid for putting paid butts in seats. So, basically, i fully agree with the sentiment that i am amazed that there are people who would pay to put their butt in some seat to watch somebody play a video game, no matter how good that person may or may not be. Would i look in on a very good player? Maybe for a few minutes, sure, just like id look in on a good mime. However, i cant see myself ever paying to watch video gaming or buying a product because it was endorsed by such a "pro." Ymmv.

Re: I was born in the wrong era... (1)

neonKow (1239288) | about 10 months ago | (#43898763)

People also pay to watch people pretend to be other people every week. I don't see anyone questioning TV actors and actresses getting paid.

And marketing is a finickey science. I may not buy something simply because a pro endorsed it, but I could easily see why associating a player/actor I like with a product could make it stand out among a line of 10 other ones. Then, when I go consider which one to buy, it's quite likely that it would be one of the 3-5 products I consider (as I probably won't compare all 10 products). If the product is good, an endorsement could certainly bring it the exposure it needs to succeed over another quality product.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 10 months ago | (#43898207)

How do you feel about stock brokers and actors and baseball (insert other silly kid's game that people take way too seriously) players ?

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898229)

Easier words to comprehend: Performers, athletes, you could even stretch to "gladiators".

Though I personally don't find these or more traditional sports all that fascinating.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899165)

I have always found it difficult to believe someone can get paid for playing professional sports. Talk about a useless profession.

Re:I was born in the wrong era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899507)

Obligatory The Far Side [redkingsdream.com] comic

Sports.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898083)

I don't know about anyone else, but I find watching "esports" about as dull as watching real sports.

To each their own..

Re:Sports.. (1)

alen (225700) | about 10 months ago | (#43898237)

for baseball you have to know what some of the stats mean, especially the newer sabermetric ones

the cool moments are watching a pitcher who gives up around 1.2 guys on base per inning allow bases loaded and then a grand slam
or a pitcher who makes $20 MILLION a year but has been average for most of his 7 year contract go out and save a team's play off hopes by giving up a few runs against the statistically top team in baseball

Re:Sports.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898493)

All I see when I watch pro sports is a massive waste of time, money, and worst of all the waste of youth.

If we spent 10% on actual eduction of what is spent to indoctrinate young kids in to the cult of pro sports we'd be having this conversation from the orbit of Alpha Centauri.

the NFL and NBA need a non college (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 10 months ago | (#43899327)

the NFL and NBA need a non college minor league system. That are a few people in sports colleges that not only are limited in taking trades based classes and they also some times get joke classes as they are on the football team.

Re:Sports.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899001)

Wait, I'm confused. The way you said all that, makes it sound like the pitcher and the batter are on the same team. Unless I'm really in the dark regarding the terminology here.

"Bases loaded" means there is a person on each base, and "grand slam" is a home run with the bases loaded, right? Unless the pitcher is trying to make that happen, saying the pitcher "allowed" it seems odd.

And "giving up a few runs" means the pitcher let the team at bat get some points, right? So unless the pitcher is also on the team at bat, I'm having a hard time understanding how that would "save [the pitcher's] team's play off hopes". You did mean the pitcher's team there, right?

I thought you just had to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898101)

...make sure they had a working internet connection, and feed them M&Ms and Buzz cola or whatever it is these kids run on.

Re:I thought you just had to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898131)

Yeah but saying that would make it harder to justify publicity whoring and taking a cut.

Agents are the same leeches in any industry.

Also "sport" lol.

Re:I thought you just had to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898527)

You are physically incapable of keeping up with the more demanding games. And I dont mean doing everything right, I am pretty sure you would not even be able to perform enough actions of any kind, let alone appropriate ones. Also, even a minor team like 4kings probably shows up to events on 3 continents every year.

Re:I thought you just had to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898917)

why do you assume all games have APM as a vital metric? there's more out there than Starcraft and HoN, you korean-pony-with-blinders you.

Electricity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898211)

We don't have electricity in North Korea, you insensitive clod!

Send from my iPhone 4.

Esport? (2, Insightful)

Holi (250190) | about 10 months ago | (#43898267)

What the hell is an esport?

You mean gaming? Because gaming is not a sport no matter how you try and word it.

Re:Esport? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898385)

It's funny you should word it that way, since dictionaries and such mark "sport" and "game" as synonymous.

Re:Esport? (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | about 10 months ago | (#43898735)

..... and some people think 'sport' involves shooting the brain out of a helpless fox with a bloody big rifle (having ridden a horse for a number of miles, whilst following the pack of hunting dogs you set on the fox earlier that morning). To me, there is a difference between 'sport' and sport, and I'd say that e-sports is definitely a 'sport'.

Re:Esport? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 10 months ago | (#43898885)

To be fair, there is a physicality to riding around on a horse. Although most people would consider foxhunting an activity, rather than a sport, it certainly is more of a sport than video games.

Re:Esport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898877)

If your dictionary implies Scrabble is a form of sport, you need a larger dictionary.

Re:Esport? (5, Insightful)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about 10 months ago | (#43898407)

Challenge accepted. Wikipedia entry on sports: Sport is generally recognised as activities based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity. Wikipedia entry on dexterity: the coordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes. Moving a mouse, clicking a keyboard, and using a controller all require dexterity. Therefore, gaming can be considered a sport. You can also look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport#Definition [wikipedia.org]

Re:Esport? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#43898667)

Personally, I look at how much training is required to compete among the elite of the sport, and how far off from the elite the average player is. For games like Golf, its amazing how much better the pros are than the average Joe who goes golfing every weekend. Most golfers will never break 100, which puts them about 28 above par. Which is just dismal. Compare that with something like darts, billiards, or bowling, where it's not uncommon to see a "pefect game". To me, the whole concept of an achievable perfect game means that the game/sport isn't difficult enough.

Re:Esport? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898771)

If you expand your horizon, you'll see that no one in bowling, darts or billiards has a perfect season of only perfect games, much less a perfect career of only perfect seasons. If someone can score a perfect game, that just means your horizon for the period over which to evaluate a player is too small. This is a recurring concept. Poker is a game of skill, but not if you look at just one game - you have to play many games before skill matters much. Repeated games makes perfection impossible and it exposes skill.

Re:Esport? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 10 months ago | (#43898753)

Wikipedia entry on sports: ...

If you are trying to justify your assertion by quoting Wikipedia entries, you've lost the debate before you even started.

Re:Esport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898911)

[citation needed]

Re:Esport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43899181)

because random uncited opinion is so much better?

Re:Esport? (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | about 10 months ago | (#43899619)

I always thought of it like this. No ball/no finish line...no sport. But I am not a snob about it...or at least I don't think I am. I am not passing judgement on anyone's pastimes...that just makes the most sense to me. (Ball and finish line has a very wide meaning here.) Something can be a game and be just as difficult or require just as much/more mental discipline.

Re:Esport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898423)

Right...hence...the new word...esport. In this way, people are alerted to the fact that it is distinct from sports.

Re:Esport? (1)

Njovich (553857) | about 10 months ago | (#43898607)

All sports are a game no matter how you try and word it.

And there is a bunch of computer games that should qualify for being a sport in terms of physical skill required, competitiveness and sometimes even physical stamina more than a whole bunch of olympic sports.

Re:Esport? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 10 months ago | (#43898717)

All sports are a game no matter how you try and word it.

But all games are not a sport, no matter how you try to justify it.

Re:Esport? (1)

Njovich (553857) | about 10 months ago | (#43899141)

You say: all games are not a sport

Football is a game.

Football is a sport.

Boom you are wrong.

I guess you meant not all games are a sport? Did I claim otherwise?

Re:Esport? (1)

Holi (250190) | about 10 months ago | (#43899623)

Your logic is broken

No all sports are not games.
and not all sports are games.

A marathon is not a game but it is most certainly a sport.

Monopoly is a game but in no way is it a sport.

   

Re:Esport? (1)

Holi (250190) | about 10 months ago | (#43899647)

>No all sports are not games.
>and not all sports are games

Think I may have screwed that one up.
Not all sports are games and not all games are sports.

The Tennis Company LLC (0)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43899571)

And there is a bunch of computer games that should qualify for being a sport in terms of physical skill required

But they don't qualify for being a sport in terms of having been created before 1923, the cutoff date for U.S. copyright. Imagine if there were a Tennis Company LLC that claimed copyright in the dimensions of a regulation tennis court and succesfully sued a city for putting a tennis court in a city park.

Mt dew (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898281)

Mountains of mt dew.

business expense (1)

zeroryoko1974 (2634611) | about 10 months ago | (#43898289)

Would Mountain Dew and snacks be considered a business expense for a pro gamer team?

Re:business expense (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 10 months ago | (#43898561)

Actually, just like real athletes, it's better if you can keep your athletes focused on the game without energy drinks and junk food. Same for any other sports - sure you can get into an amateur league on beer and hot dogs but once you get to the middle to high-end leagues, you need a proper diet, discipline and training and especially when you go into the top leagues, nobody (even the fans) would approve of beer, hot dogs or energy drinks at anytime during the game.

Same goes for e-sports, you need proper training and practice in the game, you sometimes live in a house with your team, your team practices against you and against other teams. But you also need to be physically and mentally fit, not only for the game itself but also for the extensive travel and long hours during tournaments. I don't know any e-sports champion that is an obese, basement dwelling geek.

Re:business expense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898571)

It's not an expense - you get paid to eat them publically. With that said, as someone who used to be sponsored for FPS (never salaried though) - most of the pro FPS players I know don't eat that shit. I drink a lot of water and orange juice during FPS matches, sometimes sugar-free energy drinks at LANs - but you can't risk a sugar high making you jumpy and hyper. It probably sounds strange, but regular exercise and good diet make you better at highly competitive FPS (and it actually shows, I can only think of a single pro FPS'r who was really out of shape IRL - which is I think the stereotype we get from outside the community: totally inaccurate).

eSports is a thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898507)

http://www.teamliquid.net/ --> Professional Starcraft news site.

A look into the world of eSports. The first Starcraft at one time had a team league and two individual leagues, all three of which were televised on dedicated video game networks (OGN and MBC). Team sponsors then and now include(d) telecoms, Samsung, and various entertainment companies, while tournaments were sponsored by companies Coca-Cola and airlines. Yes, eSports is a thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlKwIi0Kj8E shows the attendance for a proleague final.

This sort of thing has been going on for a while over there, and is on the rise in the USA.

Re:eSports is a thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43898543)

*companies like Coca-Cola and airlines.

I'm struggling calling gaming a sport (1)

vpness (921181) | about 10 months ago | (#43898611)

"An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others." Skill ? no question gamers are skilled *physical* *exertion* ? really ? really ? competition ? again, no question

My rule (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 10 months ago | (#43899109)

If you can drink while playing it/competing in it, it is not a sport. Sorry golf, curling, gaming, etc.

Re:My rule (1)

tygt (792974) | about 10 months ago | (#43899351)

I suppose Bicycling and Running aren't sports, then, either? While we're at it, rule out Mountain Climbing, Hiking, and probably numerous other mere activities. No sport for you, nidi says so. Ever see a runner grab a cup to drink as he passed by an aid station? Ever see a bicyclist reach down and grab a water bottle and drink?

some games have cut lan play so the game makeers (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 10 months ago | (#43899377)

some games have cut lan play so the game makers can control Esports with there games.

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