Pro gaming and the future

I remember telling a friend of mine about 10 years ago, that professional gaming was going to be huge in about 10-15 years. The timing right now is killing me.

  I've been watching some footage the last couple of days of tournaments of various games, and it strikes me, that someone in the right position could make a real move.  If I had the resources, I'd jump into it MMA style promotion wise.  Given the widespread nature of games and gaming at this point, I do think there is enough of a viewer base to support a really well made show/coverage of it.

I watched the heck out of the original Tribes international matches broadcasts, and it’s still to this day one of the best ‘sporting’ experiences I’ve ever had as a viewer.

It would be interesting for someone to design a multiplayer game from the ground up with the tools built in for coverage from a non participant, ala the camera setups in Tribes for example. If you could cover the entire match recording each players full playthrough, and then edit afterwords, you could put together a really polished looking sports show.

I’m absolutely convinced this is going to happen, if only I had a bunch of money lying around…

Was your friend Korean?

Aren’t you more or less describing Starcraft II? The multiplayer component seems to have been pretty much designed from the ground up with e-sports in mind. The observer/replay tools are some of the best I’ve seen in a game. I’ve even started trying to use some of the controls when I watch movies before remembering, “oh, right. This is a movie player. It doesn’t have all of Starcraft’s features.”

Granted, it’s not the be-all-end-all. There have been some bad problems (such as the final, decisive match at the recent MLG tournament crashing and then being suspended for 2 hours because the game doesn’t support LAN play and the battle.net connection broke.) Overall, though, I’ve been enjoying watching SC2 matches more than, say, any American sport on TV.

There’s so many SC2 e-sports tournaments and pro matches being cast on streams right now that I am watching games every day and still not keeping up. All the big ones broadcast live for free, and the announcers speak English, even for the Korean ones. GSLs are month-long, every month, which is awesome. GSL2 and the last MLG Dallas tourney just finished; GOM-TV’s SC2 All Stars is currently in-progress; Dreamhack and GSL3 are about to start; Day[9] streams practically every day and is always worth checking out, and he just started Wednesday Night Fights which is going to be every week.

Blizzard obviously isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m enjoying the Starcraft frenzy right now. It’s good to be a geek.

I hope you’re right and more game devs jump on this. I nominate Monaco for a league.