By: Andy ‘Fro’ Popkin
(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.)
Is it me or is eSports getting boring?
Over the last like month or two there has been this weird aura around gaming to me. Usually I am on mIRC all day just hanging out talking to a few friends. Lately all of our channels have been dead, which leaves me with surfing the internet. I’ll check out some gaming news and it’s rare that I see Gotfrag updated. This site does a pretty good job for news stuff so I’ll check here too. Anyway, #compLexity is not hoppin’ like usual, gaming sites are dead, and LANs keep dropping off the schedule. What is all of this getting at? CS 1.6 is on its death bed.
Time to Diversify
I don’t know if he wants me to talk about this stuff, but I’m going to anyway. (Sorry, Mr. “I redefined the term ‘rockstar.’” Sorry for finding that pic of you from ’91 too!) So after a few weekly convo’s with Jake, every time it seems like the main topic of discussion is that CS may be on its way out, and expanding to different games is the only way to survive in international gaming. I’m not talking about coL.cs going to ESWC and winning, I’m talking about having a gaming organization that is the best in the world. Sure a few years ago and even today CS 1.6 is one of the biggest factors that determine whether or not a team/organization is the best.
For example, Fnatic has a badass CS team, but their WC3 and other divisions rock too. Do I consider them the best? As an organization, sometimes, but as separate squads, each team gets its deserved glory. Look at SK. They have like 4-5 WoW teams, but one 1.6 squad.
Maybe diversification (and a smaller focus on 1.6) is the way of the future? I would rather see franchise/CGS style gaming get really big than to see great competition die out. Plus the multigame teams are the ones who make the big bucks now.
For the last 4 months or so CS 1.6 has been trying to make a comeback. After CGS and Source stole 90% of the American CS talent, Europe kept playing 1.6. They fuck us up now, to the point that it’s a waste of money to fly across the pond and “compete.” Obviously teams like EG, x3o, and coL will attend LANs and give it their best, but with only 4 months of 1.6 under their belt it’s pretty tough to do anything in international competition. CGS wasn’t the catalyst in this slow death, but it didn’t help. Online leagues are helping the players regain their skills, but when you’re playing against hackers with your 65 ping it just doesn’t feel like you’re playing good competitive 1.6. Ask method…
With the fact that players are moving from team to team faster than ever, CS 1.6 in America (and even the world) doesn’t seem like it has a chance to regain its crown. Shoot, EG.ca just left EG, x3o has seen changes, and WinOut’s team came and went. With unstable teams that can’t get gain chemistry, it’s impossible to create an American powerhouse team. Players are money hungry now, but I don’t blame them. They are used to having many more profitable tourneys to play in, plus it’s almost a rule to pay players nowadays. All of the good experienced players are getting too old play video games all day and not be able to pay their bills. But then you got this economy where they won’t find a job anyway…guess we’re all screwed in the end.
The economy isn’t helping
Speaking of the economy, the current state of affairs is obviously shitty. When companies like General Motors are getting bailed out to stay open, you can bet your ass gaming is already well on its way to fucked street. The government doesn’t care about our niche; it’s a luxury not a necessity. If they realized that gaming brings in massive amounts of dollars, maybe they would help us out. But there also are not that many jobs IN gaming, except for the companies that sponsor teams. The government knows that GM can make shit loads of money off selling cars, and employ tens of thousands of workers. So why would they waste their time and tax payers money? Gaming is a money pit (see: CGS, cyberX, CPL, WSVG, ESWC). Companies are not as willing as they used to be when it comes to sponsoring gaming teams with loads of cash. Even the amazing euro teams are losing sponsors, dying, and players are moving all around. It’s a bad period in CS/gaming. If teams can not settle down, get some cash to spend, and work hard then I got a feeling 1.6 will be gone before 2010 is over.
What do you think? Is 1.6’s era of dominance over?