We've had time to review the PPSL situation and the community response to it and I felt like we should clarify some more issues in the interest of being open and honest with the community, as well as talk about our future plans for our regional events.
1) Why did we pick PPSL to run our SEA Qualifier for IPL 4?
When we were planning IPL 3, we heard that the PPSL was going to be doing an event that same weekend, with Tastosis and Korean players coming in. In order to allow players to play in both events, as well as making sure the community could watch both events, we entered in negotiations with the PPSL to shift their date for their event, even though their broadcast times would only slightly conflict with ours. We agreed to pay them to move their event and also we wanted to support the local Filipino eSports scene and thus went further and became a sponsor of their event. This was not a case of us picking them over anyone else.
2) Will we be able to swoop in and make everything right with the PPSL aftermath?
I wish we could just come in on a white horse and right all the wrongs, but we want to share more inside info why that's difficult. Our sponsorship of the event was only $14k, of which we gave Gus 50% before the event. To ensure that the event would be successful, we withheld the remaining $7k. This will not pay for even half of what's been reported he owes. We will work on evaluating where to best allocate the remaining funds.
3) Will we ever do an event in the Philippines again?
I cannot answer that either way right now until we evaluate our plans for 2012. If anything, the vigorous defense of the Filipino eSports scene from the Filipino fan base to this situation has only helped the cause to come back at some point. We've talked to both Dox and Mineski already about potential events in the future.
4) What does this mean for future IPL Regionals?
What kind of passed by the wayside without too much notice is we actually did similar things with the Devastation event in Arizona in October. Devastation had decided to include StarCraft 2 in its lineup this year and was run the same weekend as IPL 3. We talked to them and worked out a deal where we'd take on sponsorship for their event in exchange for letting us borrow Sir Scoots as a consultant and them cancelling their SC2 portion of the event. Devastation went extremely well and as a result, we actually brought in their senior leader, Robb, to our core team. This gives us the belief that we can successfully sponsor and partner with regional events and have them be successful.
Coming up in two weekends is Multiplay's i44 event in the UK, which is another regional qualifier (more info can be found here: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=277765). We've been working with them for several weeks now and they proactively reached out to us immediately when they saw what went down on the first day with PPSL. We are working closely together to make sure this is a successful event that is enjoyable for live spectators, online spectators, and the players. Their staff is experienced and while we do not expect our regional partners to be able to create something like IPL 3, we do believe they can create something that is worth your valuable time to watch. We've helped them build an event chock full of top players - Grubby, WhiteRa, Thorzain, Bling, Hasuobs, StarEagle, Cloud, Sase, Stephano, Lau, Adelscott, Demuslim, Darkforce, Minigun, Ryung and Tails thus far - so please do not give up on our regional partners based on one bad experience. The best thing the community can do is watch each regional and give the organizers feedback to make each event even better. We are in this for the long term and we expect to see long term growth and quality increases from each of our regional partners.