I've started to realize that the majority of lower level players in this game have never had any notable involvement with amateur competitive gaming. I see this as a big problem because I think its a key component to growing the game as a esport, as well as pushing the community to new heights.
Yeah, I love this game. But how much can a guy ladder against strangers day in and day out when he has no real aspirations of becoming a pro player? The game is so big, that laddering and getting matched up against anonymous opponents for hours every day leaves out a key sense of community. Sure you could message people after games, practice with them, chat with them etc. But theres little to no sense of community at this level.
Personally, it also hurts my ambition to practice. What am I practicing for? Hopes of going big in the scene one day? Do I really need a reason to practice, or should I just play my heart out in the search of "becoming a better gamer"?
This may well be where people disagree with me, but I need more. I need to make friends. I need to be involved in a larger scene. I need to make enemies. I love to talk shit, all in good fun. I need competition that I can work for and look forward to. Whether its being streamed and casted, if theres money on the line. That shit does not matter to me.
I played counter-strike for years and years. I played it like crazy, practicing with my same 5 person team day in and day out. Why? Because we loved the thrill of playing matches. It didnt matter that no one watched.
There was no money on the line, just bragging rights. The fact that if you did good, people would start to know who you are. People would recognize you in IRC, in scrims, on GotFrag or the cal forums. You would get a reputation. You keep winning and you get moved up a division, now you're playing even better players. The people that you're playing against now are the beasts that you looked up to when you were just a scrub in the open divison. You're playing against the hot shots that wouldnt even let your team scrim them because they considered it a waste of time.
It was the most beautiful, exciting competitive atmosphere i've ever been a part of.
I think shows like day daily and the like are a great idea, to help players become better. But there seems to be this idea that there is the pros, and there is everyone else beneath them all on the same team, helping each other out and being ridiculously nice to each other in hopes of one day maybe becoming pro gamers together.
I personally find that boring and bland. I want to compete against people that I see posting on TL. I want to talk shit to people that are around my same skill level.
I just need a competitive outlet in this game. I'll never be a pro gamer, but why does that mean that I have to spend all my time laddering alone and watching streams of these idolized keyboard warriors standing on pedestals because of some tournament win that got them a big name sponsorship?
I love watching tournaments, and high level competitive play. But why the fuck is following these teams like a reality tv show how I spend my time opposed to being a member of a community that ACTUALLY COMPETES AGAINST EACH OTHER. Being mannered is great and all, but I just want to be able to stomp some nerd in a match, post the results on a website for all to see, and maybe JUST MAYBE talk some shit to him on a forum.
I'm rambling and way off track by now, I doubt any of you even care about how great I think amateur competition was in cs.
Basically what I'm saying is that I think this game really needs one or two well run, competitive amateur leagues/tournaments. Something that encompasses an entire community for a while, where you have prominent figures that aren't being paid salary by sponsorships. People who can speak their minds, and for the worse players to look at and want to beat. I think that something like this is entirely achievable and would benefit the community in great ways.
If theres any interest in this at all, feel free to send me a PM. I have a lot more ideas and a lot less complaining. I just needed to get this off my chest