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StarCraft 2 January Discussion Topic: eSports

This month’s discussion topic might be less interesting and encompassing than the last one, but it is still an important issue that Blizzard requires feedback for. StarCraft is the most popular competitive RTS game in the world, and has been that way throughout the 9+ years of its existence. The Korean phenomenon is especially mind-blowing, considering the fact that Korean pro-gamers are de facto “E-Athletes”, and the huge impact StarCraft has had on Korean culture.

StarCraft gamers in Korea have a huge fan followingPro-Gamer TossGirl

Another curiosity worth a mention is that, apparently, StarCraft pro-gamers make excellent professional poker players – some have already collected winnings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here’s what Daniel “Rekrul” Schreiber has to say about this subject:

StarCraft and poker are similar games. I like to say they are both games of missing information. You have to figure out what your opponent is doing, then use that information against them. If you’re good at StarCraft, you’re likely to be good at poker.

 

While most casual players aren’t very interested in this topic, it is obvious that Blizzard is gearing StarCraft II to follow the same path as the original game.

Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, posted a thread about the topic on battle.net:

Blizzard has a tradition of supporting competitive play. We have seen our games thrive to become popular eSports titles played in leagues worldwide. For StarCraft II we would like to continue in this spirit and offer you an enjoyable experience as a spectator, shoutcaster or participant in tournaments. We’d like to hear your opinion on eSports!

Here are Blizzard’s official questions for this topic:

* How do you experience eSports?

 

* What should a game offer to make it a good eSports game?

 

* What would you like to see in StarCraft II to enhance the eSports experience?

 

* Additional Feedback you would like to give

Additionally, here are the SC2 Blog’s questions for this topic:

1) Should Blizzard be directly involved in professional tournament and league management, or should it leave it for others to handle?

 

2) Will the added automation in StarCraft 2, compared to the original game, hurt its competitive potential?

 

3) Should Blizzard attempt to make StarCraft 2 a competitive, eSports-compatible game, or focus on making it the best game it can create, overlooking eSports considerations?

As usual, your feedback will be sent to Blizzard. See if you can top the “feedback” these Korean fans provided.

Feedback!

Edit: SC2 Blog Question (1) has been replaced.

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7 Comments to “StarCraft 2 January Discussion Topic: eSports”


  1. Rob — January 16, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    yes you’re right. a VERY less interesting discussion topic than usual! hope they will appease us with something REALLY nice the next days as i’m dieing to see the zerg vid

  2. Martin — January 16, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

    I don’t wanna top anything, I just wanna be on top… :P :)
    They all look really nice, lined up like that :)

  3. Lonia — January 16, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

    * How do you experience eSports?
    I watch videos from Korean channel. I am pretty much beginner in actual game but i enjoy watching.

    * What should a game offer to make it a good eSports game?
    Balance is one. second point is that the game should be fun to watch(units, UI, and overall look) It should be easy to start play for beginners but hard to master. i know this may be hard to accomplish but SC1 have done it before.

    * What would you like to see in StarCraft II to enhance the eSports experience?

    I think that game should offer a good view and easily navigateable for spectators/cameras. Warcraft for example, i think the units were little too big for a screen.

    * Additional Feedback you would like to give

    Additionally, here are the SC2 Blog’s questions for this topic:

    1) How interested are you in the StarCraft and WarCraft eSports scene?

    2) Will the added automation in StarCraft 2, compared to the original game, hurt its competitive potential?

    SCVs, i can understand and so as medic but it should be a selectable choich by user to decide. in case of smart casting, game won’t know if the user wants to concentrate the power or distribute it over the area. I don’t see that MBS should be much problem in competitive play because you will make what you want to make in the end.

    3) Should Blizzard attempt to make StarCraft 2 a competitive, eSports-compatible game, or focus on making it the best game it can create, overlooking eSports considerations?

    In my belief, eSports will naturally follow if the game is fun. of course company can really attempt to do so but i suggest that just make the game good then eSports will find a way to put it on TV.

  4. Joe — January 16, 2008 @ 4:27 pm

    * How do you experience eSports?

    Regarding the eSports side of Starcraft, I’m usually a spectator from afar (Australia) – so I am usually watching pre-recorded starcraft videos on Youtube.

    * What should a game offer to make it a good eSports game?

    I’m not sure! I just love Starcraft :)

    * What would you like to see in StarCraft II to enhance the eSports experience?

    - Hmm, I think there should be an option to allow spectators to join at any point after a game starts.
    - Some kind of built-in ladder or tournament system for multiplayer that displays details of previous games and provides a structure for games to come, so that small offices can have their own lunch-time tournaments over 2 weeks or so without having to scribble on sheets of paper.
    - Auto-record function – Or at least auto name the recorded games with time stamps.
    - Mini-map preview of recorded games – so that selecting a recorded game shows the mini-map view over the course of the game in 8xSpeed. It would be a cute feature.
    - Offical community page (maybe wiki style) with popular maps, recorded games and strategies, etc.

    * Additional Feedback you would like to give

    It would be so, so good if Blizzard were to provide the Starcraft 1 experience in Starcraft 2, purely as a multiplayer option :) I think Starcraft 1 deserves it, purely for the graphical update.

    I would greatly prefer this to the inevitable option of some third party mod created by fans that is likely to blunder.

  5. Ken — January 16, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

    Holy Effin’ Mother of God!!!

    Who are those girls?!? Blizzard Promo Girls?!?

    crack!!! sizzling ass hot!!!

  6. Charles — January 17, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

    * How do you experience eSports?

    On Cable TV and on YouTube but not as much these days.

    * What should a game offer to make it a good eSports game?

    I think the most important factor is that there is some level of skill (as opposed to luck) involved in the game. While it’s fun playing a game that’s solely based on luck (i.e. guessing whether a coin lands heads or tails), it doesn’t do much for repetition. Hopefully the game has a level of basic strategy and deep strategy.

    * What would you like to see in StarCraft II to enhance the eSports experience?

    Nothing really groundbreaking but I think it’s probably going to be linked to Battle.Net and how matches are set-up, ranked, etc.

    Right now they’re doing great so far with replays and the like although there are minor improvements that can be added to them.

    1) Should Blizzard be directly involved in professional tournament and league management, or should it leave it for others to handle?

    Could go either way. I mean it’s not like Blizzard hasn’t hosted their own tournaments. I think the biggest consideration is whether they’re willing to dedicate the resources (more manpower, marketing, research, etc.) to do so.

    2) Will the added automation in StarCraft 2, compared to the original game, hurt its competitive potential?

    Honestly, not really. On one level, automation can lead to deeper strategic play as players can focus on other tactical decisions aside from micromanagement (or even the option of when to use autocast and when not to use autocast). I mean how useful really would the medic be if it didn’t have autocast? On the other hand, those who focus on the minutae can just turn the darn thing off and micromanage all they want (I mean would any serious player honestly turn on autocast with psionic storm if there was an option?). Automation won’t beat player precision after all in much the same way that race car drivers drive manual vehicles and not an automatic.

    3) Should Blizzard attempt to make StarCraft 2 a competitive, eSports-compatible game, or focus on making it the best game it can create, overlooking eSports considerations?

    I think they should focus on making it the best game it could be. However, since Starcraft is a multiplayer game, values that enhance the multiplayer experience tends to increase its compatability as an eSports game.

  7. chrysrobyn — January 18, 2008 @ 11:16 am

    Other comments to share?
    1v1 matches are interesting to watch, but so are 2v2 and up. I’d like to see less of a benefit to kill stealing (ks) and last hitting (lh), similar to how Xwing vs TIE Fighter did it: in order to get credit for a kill, you had to put in 2/3+ of the damage, credit for an assist, 1/3+ of the damage. In base Starcraft, this wouldn’t play much of a role unless someone like Soul Hunter was brought back, but access to variables like this would have a big benefit for mods like DoTA.

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