As a person who has followed the eSports scene for over a decade now. I can't help but think the rise of Evil Geniuses is exactly what this community needs. Don't get me wrong, Evil Geniuses has always been a force in the North American esports scene. But, it was never quite as marketable and dominant as it is in the SC2 scene now. Earlier memories of EG are their CS team that always stood in the shadow of other foreign teams like Complexity and 3D.
How is it different now than it was then? The only thing that would make sense is the obvious thing in business. They made the right decisions at the right time. Number one on that list was picking up Greg 'IdrA' Fields early on. Greg was an enormous personality (still is) early on in the game. Whether it be from his results at MLG or from his character that seemed to attract lovers and haters alike. He is big. People like to watch Greg because he was a top contender in the scene at the time. On top of it all, they never knew what they were going to get from him. Lets face it, a vast majority of people follow Greg and its not always to see him win.
Pair good business decisions with great timing and it seemed like the evolution of Team EG was bound for success. They have an organization that could essentially never net a single result and still command a larger following of fans than most (if not all) Korean and foreign teams. I understand Korea and their fans are the father of this scene. But, what has it done for foreigners so far? Brood War had a foreign scene, no where near as massive as the Korean scene. What did it do for eSports globally? Looking back in the scope of things, not much. You could argue that without the Korean Brood War scene, none of this would be possible. Those people would be 100% correct. But, that doesn't subdue the fact that the numbers dwindled in the foreign scene; Different cultures, different interests- fair enough. But, we NEED foreign teams like EG to expand our scene.
But, what do we want as fans? The stage has been set for a surge in this industry that we haven't seen before (Twitch.tv, smart televsions, generations growing up playing video games). We have more odds stacked in our favor now than we ever have. The idea of watching a pro gamer isn't exactly as taboo as it used to be. Blizzard getting involved may of screwed things up with tournament structures right now. However, that doesn't change the fact that these cooperate giants in the game industry are starting to support the idea of eSports a bit more actively, which is absolutely paramount for its success. Soon television programming may not be the goal, since getting a spot on TV may be unrealistic. The evolution of technology seems to be heading in the direction of internet based television. The marketing is the same and its going to be cheaper and more readily available to eSports based on the age of a growing technology, while being able to cover the demographic that has the most interest and easiest access. As a whole, whether it be through LoL or SC2 views on twitch.tv are on a significant rise.
We could literally be on the cusp of a paradigm change. That still doesn't make the future of eSports even remotely close to a guaranteed success. We still need to have those teams who can be marketable. In the end, this can't just be about players watching professionals. There needs to be attraction to the scene based on players and teams. There needs to be that same structure we see in successful entertainment now. It may be enough for us that people are playing SC2, but will it be enough for the person who hasn't?
This is where a team like Evil Geniuses excels. They are the definition of marketable. They may not have the quality of player, as a whole, that you see on Korean teams (there are exceptions). What do they have the most of though? Players you WANT to watch. You may want to see them win, you may want to see them fail. But, you want to see them. Thats the difference between Evil Geniuses and any Korean team. Koreans draw you in with their skill, EG draws you in with their personalities. A person observing this community can't help but notice EG understands the same thing, which is the bigger picture.They have the means to contract the biggest personalities and they do so. The charisma of their players shine through any performance, or lack there of.
For eSports to break those barriers, we need more personalities and teams like EG. We need to catch that 'WWF' persona, in a sense. You don't always watch it for the action. You watch it to see whats going to happen next. Could you imagine another team with the resources and pool of personality EG has in eSports? It could only stand to attract those viewers who've never seen SC2 before. Hell, it could even spawn a realty television series.
In the end, its pretty obvious. The TL community will watch SC2 to see players who are great at the game. But, those aren't the only people we need to consider. As a whole, we need to attract those viewers who wouldn't typically just turn on a SC2 tournament.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how I'm an idiot or how you agree!