Category Archives: Sports

The uprising of E-Sports and what it means for competitive gaming

The rise in popularity over the last few years in respect to competitive gaming or e-sports as its becoming commonly known is quite amazing. When you sit down and watch a football game you can hear the cheer of the crowd, possibly some commentary in a set of headphones tuned to the radio with all the excitement and atmosphere that goes along with that. Competitive gaming is the next frontier of sports, and boy has it changed.

I remember about 5-6 years ago competitive gaming was very ‘underground’ and not many people really knew all that much about it. Back in 2004 I actually went to compete at the world cyber games qualifiers held in Melbourne playing Warcraft 3, I didn’t do too badly but not well enough to advance but back then there were a few major sponsors of the event but not a very big turn out of people came to watch the event. When I talked to friends at the time, some who were into gaming and some weren’t didn’t really know much or anything about the WCG or what competitive gaming really was all about.

Around the early days ~2000-2001 there was an interesting thing taking place in Korea where they would televise starcraft and starcraft brood war touraments across the country. Very soon Starcraft became almost like the national sport of Korea and it only looked like a matter of time before it started really getting a grip in North America and Europe, then finally the rest of the world.

Fast forward to 2009 and competitive gaming really started to see a momentum swing. With the launch of the StarCraft 2 beta most notably a crowd of esports followers really started to build, and a big part of that momentum had to do with a rise in popularity circulating replay’s online from tournaments and perhaps more enjoyable was watching those ‘in the know’ online commentate these replays. These types of people eventually became known as ‘casters’ or ‘broadcasters or competitive gaming’.

I’m mostly talking about competitive gaming in relation to RTS (real time strategy games) with this article, but that is not to say these types of games are the only games played competitively. First person shooters were really one of the first genre’s of games people started playing competitively, especially with games like CounterStrike on the PC and Halo on the XBOX.

People like HuskyStarcraft and HDStarcraft on YouTube really propelled the movement forward around the StartCraft 2 beta days posting videos of their commentary of Starcraft replays from big tournaments. Both these two eventually got enough support behind them to host a tournament of their own which was a big success and helped both commentators subscription base on YouTube explode.

With the release of StarCraft 2 in 2010 competitive gaming really exploded. Sure it had gained plenty of momentum well before this but since the release of starCraft 2 until today the number of competitive gaming leagues around StarCraft 2 jumped from 1 to 4-5 today. Most notably:

  • GSL (global starcraft league)
  • IEM (intel extreme masters)
  • IPL (ign pro league)
  • MLG (major league gaming)

just to name a few.

In this time the number of professional sponsored starcraft 2 teams that participate in each league has increased quite substantially. Gone are the days of individual players sponsoring themselves in tournaments (although some pro’s still do) most players can receive a salary playing starcraft 2 for a living.

The ‘Team Liquid‘ starcraft 2 pro team are perhaps the most well known, offering advise on their website to new players as well as players trying to improve their skills. Their professional player list is quite distinguished, and were one of the first teams to find a good mix of Korean and ‘International’ (outside of Korea) players actually had a positive impact on practice sessions and made the team more versatile.

With big technology companies such as Intel, MSI, ASUS and others sponsoring big events it will only grow the audience of professional gaming more and more. All e-sports really needs now is to have big events sponsored by companies outside of technology such as red bull, coca cola, etc and who knows where e-sports is headed.

With more money being pumped into e-sports from an ever growing number of sources its only a good thing for competitive gaming, it brings in more players from around the world and with entrance fees to events organisers can start seeing some benefit in staging events. Every investment in e-sports, whether it be time or money can only help the sport progress.

I’m looking forward to what the future holds for e-sports, and looking forward to see how far it can go because in a relatively short period of time it has grown in leaps and bounds, and mostly because of community support.

Lingerie Football League…Awesome!

Yes there is actually a football league in the US just for the girls who love to run around and tackle each other in their bare essentials. Check out the Lingerie Football League official website if you don’t believe me!

The concept originated from the hugely successful Super Bowl halftime alternative television special called the Lingerie Bowl, a pay-per-view event which is broadcast annually directly opposite the Super Bowl halftime show. The mega-television special has become a staple of Super Bowl Sunday festivities for millions worldwide being broadcast in over 85 countries.

There were originally two teams which made up the competition, but in 2005 the league was expanded to four, now this year’s 2009 season that number will jump to 10! Yes sir, ten teams of hot football playing girlies in their delicates.

The teams as of this year are:

  • Atlanta Steam
  • Chicago Bliss
  • Miami Caliente
  • New England Euphoria
  • Tampa Breeze
  • Dallas Desire
  • Denver Dream
  • Los Angeles Temptation
  • San Diego Seduction
  • Seattle Mist

No wonder there are so many teams these days!

Top Gear Live Sydney – February 7th 2009

tglWell guys I’ve got my tickets, my bag is packed and I’m ready for a flight out to Sydney at 6am this morning (so if you’re reading this right now no doubt I’ll either be on the plane or already there) to go check out the Top Gear Live show on Saturday at Sydney’s Acer Arena.

From reading reviews and synopsises on the show’s tour so far (they just finished up in South Africa I believe) it sounds like one hell of a show. Ferrari’s and Lambo’s doing burnouts to open up the show, some stiggy boy action around the place and to top it off with some VW golf soccer it should be great.

When I get back I’ll be sure to post all my thoughts, photos and video of the trip here on my blog for you all to take a look at.

It should be a fun weekend, I’ll tell you all about it on Monday so be sure to check back in then!

AFL star collapses LIVE on TV interview

St.Kilda ruckman Justin Koschitzke collapsed and fell to the ground whilst slightly knocking his head on the way down while appearing on Channel 7's Sportsworld for an interview early this morning.

While playing a match against the Western Bulldogs in round 6, Justin (St.Kilda) collided with Daniel Giansiracusa (western Bulldogs) knocking him unconscious. He was set for a return back to in the next 2 weeks or so, but after today's shocking collapse on national LIVE television, Koschitzke's future this season doesn't look promising.

It has been reported however though that since the incident this morning, Justin has appeared to be in good spirits suffering only a slight bump on the head and minor memory loss. His outcome does look promising, but he won't be avaliable to play well after this initial 2 week period.

Socceroo fans get free ride home

World Cup Logo

The Australian soccer team qualified for the FIFA world cup a few months ago now, and since then the whole country has contracted 'soccer fever'. Australia has not attended a world cup meet since 1971 (i think) and now that we have won our first game again Japan (3-1), all eyes are now on our world cup team for perhaps the biggest match up Australia will face in their time in Germany – Brazil.

Socceroo fans packed Melbourne's Federation Square to watch the match again Japan a few nights ago and the number of eager fans to pack the square again this monday night is estimated to reach ~6,000+. The Victorian government has taken action on the lack of public transport to and from Fed. Square for the big matchup and have recently announced plans for city wide nightrider busses to shuttle fans to and from the big screen for the LIVE matchup against Brazil starting at 2am and ending around 4am.

Extra taxi's will service the Melbourne CBD and surrounding suburbs all night. This will definately be one of Melbourne's busiest times at such a crazy hour of the morning for an event Australian soccer fans could never have dreamed of this time last year.