Cross post from my blog over on duckvillelol.com please take a look to see some of my other random ramblings!
Writing this on a day that is quite a sad one for the Starcraft community; sadly the much loved SC:BW Progamer from KT Rolster, Woo "Violet" Jung Ho passed away after a battle with leukaemia. I had the pleasure of seeing Violet play in Proleague during his days of power (particularly during 09/10 when he picked up some great wins); certainly a Protoss to behold, and a player that will certainly be missed. Personally I loved that he even ventured out from the 'homeland' of Korean forums/sites, and was a small part of TeamLiquid - which from my memory was something not often seen. Thoughts are with JungHo's family and friends, RIP. To read more go here.
I was actually going to do some social media analysis on the recent events of WCS Australia and WCS Oceania, but I've decided to shelve that till (hopefully) next week. Today I'm going to rant about something that is actual a little ironic (given what I do for the community) but it's something that came up while idling in the sc2sea.com chatbox that I've thought about before. Let us dive into it, and see how deep this particular rabbit hole goes. Also known as; lets see how long I can rant about this before my mind wanders onto something different.
Let me take you back, to a time in my household when we were first presented with Foxtel (for foreigners that's essentially "cable TV"). There were many arguments for it from my brother and myself; we'd get to watch all sorts of TV shows and cool movies, all that kinda normal stuff kids think about. Of course my parents would think about the cost, and whether my brother and I would ever leave the TV ever again. At the time my step-dad brought something up that still resonates with my to this day, whenever I think about cable TV. We only have one screen, if there is something awesome available on each channel, how do you watch it all?
We did end up getting it, but of course the mantra of "you only have 1 screen" seems to pop up these days in esports. With so many things happening, be it an MLG Arena, IPLTAC, or just a live cast from your country's local scene - there certainly is no shortage of content for the SC2 community (and according to @FourcourtJester, the League of Legends community too).
SC2 viewer setups in the year 2015
How do you get the time to watch it all though? Do you schedule free time during your day after school, university or work and say "I'm going to watch 2 hours of content". Or are you a person who'll prepare for an upcoming weekend of an MLG Championship, neglecting "real life" duties/chores/appointments/friends(hah!) and sit there for the whole weekend watch every minute of content that gets dutifully sent through the magical internet tubes into your monitor?
Don't get me wrong, I know it's certainly possible to have a couple of streams on at once - given that you can have sound from one, just vision on a couple more - not to mention the beauty of having multiple screens (I have 3, it's glorious!), but do you really get to take in everything that is happening on each stream? I suppose it really depends on what you aim to get out of watching a stream. Are you watching to learn some skills from high-level pros? Are you watching just casually while you eat some dinner? Or perhaps are you just watching because the caster is fun and makes the game more exciting?
The casual watcher can probably "watch more" than the other two, given that it's just for simple entertainment value, so missing "dat battle!" on one of the streams wouldn't be as much of a burden compared to the avid watcher trying to figure out when to move out with a Squirtle Colossus push. But still overall, there is so much content that is available to us it can be hard to find the time to see everything you really want to.
Lets not forget the fact that just about everything is recorded and archived for later watching. How many times has someone come to you and said "woah dude did you see that battle between Nestea and MVP? That shit was insane!"? You've most likely had it happen a couple of times, and depending on your lifestyle replied with a simple "Nah I was busy, I'll have to watch the VoD".
Then... do you? Do you go back and watch that Hunter-Seeker missile destroying 80 Broodlords and Corruptors? Again, depending on your lifestyle and how much free time you have, you might squeeze it in - I'm sure a lot of the time you might miss out though.
You saw this... right?
I myself have this issue time and time again. People will come to me and say "Hey Duck did you see X vs Y?" - unfortunately I was working, or playing Train Simulator 2012, or cooking. Possibly even watching the other event that was on at the exact same damn time. These are all the general types of excuses I have when someone mentions an "epic moment" that I didn't get to see.
The last one is an interesting one, given the uproar any time an event is scheduled at the same time as another. MLG vs Dreamhack, which do you prefer? Do the quality of the players matter? Do the casters matter? The cost of HD? Then you get to that burning question: if you could watch both at the same time, would you? I know people have been, but again when you boil it down: 2 eyes, 1 brain for processing, how much are you really taking in? It's a troublesome thing for event managers these days, given that if you jump onto the TeamLiquid Calendar or Event Tracker, there is almost never a time when you can say "holy shit there is nothing going on that weekend, lets put my $100k event there so everyone can come/watch!". From what I understand the WCS events have been quite a quandry sometimes to setup - with all the countries having their various qualifiers and finals, there have even been some overlaps. This obviously troubles sponsors and event managers, and of course you fabulous fans.
After the plethora of live casts, tournaments, VoDs lets not forget replays! There are always massive amounts of them blasting out of team websites, fan sites and of course just generally from players themselves that go up on drop.sc and other sites. Do you get to watch those too? Being a commentator, I tend to focus on watching replays where I can, it lets me practice my observing skills, and also lets me see what players see which can help with commentating. But as this community has developed we have also "grown" fans who purely like to watch the game and in some cases - don't even own a copy of Starcraft at all. Is the myriad of content available to watch a good thing for them? Or should they perhaps play the game a little more to experience what it's like to try and perform such actions we see the pros showing with ease?
I guess the big thing it all comes down to is this: do you regret missing out on some content? Do you think you're suffering in your gameplay because you missed that game with MVP using a cool mech style that everyone is talking about? I don't think there is someone out there who can say "I see every event, every game without fail, and those who don't are missing out", because it's next to impossible given how dense this community is these days. If you do 'regret' it in some way; what would you change about it? Should we cut down on how many tournaments are out there? I don't think so personally, if you start cutting down on tournaments out there for players to join, you'll lose recognition of the game, and soon after, and respect "outsiders" have for it as an eSport.
Then after all of that is said and done - do you still get to... play the game?
Australian style SC2 commentary: youtube.com/duckvillelol || twitter.com/duckvillelol
I'm reading this because I can't find anything worth while to watch... and I'm still too tired to play (79 1v1 ladder matches since getting back from vacation < 2 weeks ago). Granted, it's an odd time of day and I'm still on summer break!
Seriously tho, I do think the amount of quality content out there is incredible! For me there's actually too much to keep track of and try to follow. I end up mostly just following my favorite players and watching the tournaments that are convenient to watch (sometimes I'll just bring up a few pop out streams so players/casters I feel are worthy can get an extra viewer even if I'm not focused)+ Show Spoiler +
old set up - can you guess who were the new korean streamers still doing 4 : 3? :D