Dead and Gone

BY Andrew Miesner / April 2, 2009

Are the good old days of gaming ‘dead and gone?’

Written by Jordan “analyze” Schultz

(This is an editorial piece. The opinions in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of compLexity Gaming or its parent company.)

“Dead and Gone” is a new hit song by Justin Timberlake and TI, as I am sure all of you have heard. I am not here to talk about music, but more about the state of professional gaming in the United States and North America in general. Where has the competitiveness gone from NA in the international scene?

The North American scene has been lacking that extra step to compete internationally. Yes, we do have good players and good teams, but obviously not good enough. What is lacking?Even MIBR suffered some horrible losses over in Germany for ESL Extreme masters (Yes, I know they aren’t NA but they are quite close). Has counter-strike 1.6 just had a major revolution that NA needs to adapt to? Is it the fact that the CGS came around and wiped the 1.6 scene in North America? Okay, I am sure you have probably read hundreds upon hundreds of opinions on this topic, but I am here to share mine in sheer disappointment.

The North American scene has been lacking that extra step to compete internationally. Yes, we do have good players and good teams, but obviously not good enough. What is lacking? What happened to everything? Well, the CGS came around and took those fantastic players we all used to know and love in the 1.6 scene and threw a new game at them. They practiced hard for this game thus it was their job. Imagine not playing counterstrike for months on end, but then add in another game that is the same in a sense, but not even close. Source is a completely different game no matter what anyone thinks. The play is much faster pace, and not as footstep reliant as 1.6. But back to the point, do you think you could just come back and compete at the highest level again? If you do, you are wrongly mistaken.  I think it will be two or three more months until we can officially call every single player back to themselves that is if they ever get there again…

Others may say it was not all CS: S’s fault, and more the fact that the game has revolutionized. What I mean by ‘revolutionized’ is if you look back in the day, 1.6 was all about the strats. Yes aiming was definitely required, but a lot of American teams (Old coL) were very choreography based. Every flash, every smoke, every position of every person were down to perfection. Now-a-days it seems like strats are called ‘on-the-fly’ depending on each situation. American teams are still trying to do these crazy complex strats, and it does not seem to be working for them. Times have definitely changed, it is up to us to adapt to them. Frod stated in an interview something along the lines of, “We only focus on ourselves; we don’t worry about what the Europeans are doing.” Well… I guarantee their competition at ESL Extreme masters were definitely focusing on them. If you are just entering back into the international scene, why wouldn’t you go watch some demos of current European play? I am not trying to bash EG nor Frod, I am just proving a point. In my opinion, pros need to get their skill back to where it was before they start competing internationally again. Once your skill is there, start analyzing your opposition and get a good view on their current play and ADAPT!

This brings me to my next point… I remember the good ol’ days of professional gaming. Those days where you stay up til 2 am watching the United States teams compete overseas in some intense, long drawn out battles. Or those days where you roll out of bed bright and early to cheer on your favorite team.  What happened to those days? Are they “Dead and Gone?” All I have to say is there are a lack of LAN events, not just in the USA or NA but EVERYWHERE. The CPL needs to start back up to give us something more. It used to be 1-2 times per month you could watch your favorite teams duke it out for a large sum. Now you are lucky if you get to see a big LAN one time per month, or even once per every two months.

 I don’t know… It really disappoints me what everything is coming to. It seems as if everything is slowly but surely coming to a halt for the 1.6 scene. We all know if the 1.6 scene dies, CPU Competitive gaming will surely follow. Now, as good writers do, I am going to try to mimic. I will leave you pondering this article with a question. Is the NA Counterstrike 1.6 scene “Dead and Gone” or more along the lines of “Redemption Song?”