[NASL Season2] - Excelente critica al evento

[NASL Season2] - Excelente critica al evento

Notapor pR0gR4m3R » Mar Dic 06, 2011 10:43 pm

Basicamente viene a decir que hay que seguir a Darwin y dejar que la naturaleza haga su seleccion. Bajo esas premisas, la NASL no pasara de su proxima 3ra edicion

http://adamfindlay.co.uk/blog/2011/12/n ... selection/

It’s on everyone’s minds. It echoes all the way from the popular forums such as TL and /r/starcraft, right down to hidden mesh of Skype chats and IRC channels that make up our community. NASL is a failure. How could something with so much potential, enthusiasm and not to mention money behind it fall so hard? They may have money sitting in bank account somewhere to fund another season, however unfortunately mindshare and popularity are not something you can buy.

Let’s take a look back: It’s Wednesday the 9th of February, 2011. In typical “Announcement of an Announcement” fashion, United StatesGeoff “InControl” Robinson posts a thread on TeamLiquid titled [Showmatch] Clash of the Titans. In it he tells of a showmatch planned for 2 weeks from then between quite arguably, the 2 greatest non-korean players in the world: United StatesGreg “IdrA” Fields and SwedenJonathon “Jinro” Walsh. The big buzz however is that after the game, there will be an announcement which will the world of Starcraft forever. The Internet explodes. In a simpler time back before MLG was anything worth caring about, before IPL was even a speck in David Ting’s eye, and the only way to see high level Starcraft live was to do destroy any semblance of a normal sleeping pattern to watch the GSL, this was big news.

An image which over the following months would come to be synonymous with low quality production

The date of the show match arrives, 30,000 eager fans tune in to a video stream on a small corner of the Internet in anticipation. They are disappointed. Far from the grand show they were promised, the fans were met with lackluster casting, low production quality, and to top it all off, the entire thing was a pre-recorded VOD. The announcement on the other hand, was everything it had been hyped up to be: The North American Star League. The problem was that the disappointing precedent set by Clash of the Titans cast doubt over the competency of the production crew. How could you possibly expect to run a quality 3 month long tournament when you can’t even get a single Bo7 showmatch right? This was further compounded by the fact that any time legitimate questions or concerns were raised regarding the league in public, they would respond by claiming that the issue was either being fixed with little or no details as to how that was going to happen, or even worse, cast it aside entirely claiming it wasn’t a problem; the start of a continuing theme throughout the following months. Despite these glaring issues, most decided to give them the benefit of the doubt – myself included – and decided to buy our Season 1 ticket to “support esports”. Forums were ablaze with discussion, even going as far as to discuss the hypothetical demise of the GSL in favour of the NASL. Could they live up to the hype?

Nearly 2 months pass, and we find ourselves arriving at the first broadcast of NASL Season 1. There is much hype, and almost as much pessimism surrounding the event, but on the whole, Starcraft fans worldwide cross their fingers and hope that this could finally be the last ingredient required to push esports into the mainstream. We had the right game, the right community, and the right people in the right places. As a brit, I unfortunately had to wait until the European-friendy re-broadcast later that night, however from what I had read while at college that day, the outlook did not sound promising. I rushed home, got the needful done, and prepared to have dinner while watching history unfold in beautiful 1080p. 2 hours later, I felt a little betrayed. I decided to load up /r/starcraft and see what others had to say. All the usual suspects had said their piece, the optimists, the pessimists, the pitchforkers and the “support all the things” brigade, but one thing was for sure; no one honestly believed it had been a good show, simply varying degrees on how bad it had been and how likely it was they would improve. Not at all promising.
/r/starcraft posts

A regular day on /r/starcraft

As the season went on, things improved very little. United StatesIncontrol and United StatesGretorp’s casting abilities were starting to improve, but they were still far from what you’d expect from a premier league with a $100k prize pool. As had been pointed out before, the league’s division style format made it very hard to care about the results of every match. The editing was never quite right, the casters camera remained awkward, the transitions were badly timed, and best of all the famous skype interviews with players using $3 bargain bucket microphones while still sitting in their pyjamas. To me, that perfectly summed up the amateur hour that season 1 represented. And to top it all off, the initial turn around time from games being played to be aired was 3-4 days, but as the season dragged on this turned into 3-4 weeks. Nothing about the league so far had made it worthy of it’s name, nor my $25. Ironically, the only real saving the grace the league really had was it’s phenomenal 1080p stream quality, quite possibly the easiest thing possible for a league to get right.

3 months later, we arrive at the end of the season. Ironically, of the 16 players progressing through to the finals, there was only a single American (United StatesSheth). For the incredible organizational catastrophe the regular season had been, the NASL had at least got their finals right, or so it appeared. A live Friday-to-Sunday event, emulating the “esports weekend” format that had been so successfully created by MLG. If the league was ever going to be redeemed this was their golden opportunity. Seeing this, the big guns were pulled out. Along side their regular duo, the incredible casting Archon of United StatesTasteless and United StatesArtosis were brought in, with well known community figures United StatesDay[9] and United StatesDjWheat. United StatesAnna Prosser was brought in as emcee with outside figure United StatesLindsey Sporrer also to provide between-game content and entertainment. To top it all off, one lucky player was going to walk away $50,000 richer. On paper, this sounded like it would be exactly what was needed… On paper that is.

The event was lackluster. While the weekend left us with some incredible games and memorable moments, it was ruined by an either inexperienced, incompetent production crew, terrible scheduling, and a myriad of other issues. Worst of all despite having probably the 4 best casters in the world available it was decided the final should be casted by the leagues own United StatesIncontrol and United StatesGretorp, much to the behest of every single Starcraft fan in the english speaking world. The sound issues and awkward interviews to this day remain a testament of how not to run an esports event. Again, the league’s management had shown they were completely out of touch with the fans, a moment typified when Lindsey Sporrer asked a member of the crowd for their opinion on “ZvG balance”. Vows of vast improvement were made for the following season, but quite frankly there weren’t many ears still listening.
Lindsey Sporrer Quotes

A few of Lindsey's insightful questions from her TL fan club

NASL had lost the faith of its real stakeholders: the fans. Work went on between the seasons, Incontrol announced he would be leaving the NASL shortly after the final, while Gretorp – widely agreed to be the weaker of the two and one of the most vocally criticized aspects of the league – was kept on. Then quite possibly the worst the thing that could have conceivably happened, happened. The Koreans were withdrawing from the league. Although it is almost redundant to mention to the particular viewership of this article, the koreans are to starcraft, as Europeans are to Soccer. They dominate. hard. They represent the top tier of the scene, and it shows. The top 8 earners in Starcraft II this year are all Korean. As season 2 approached, what we were now left with was a league clearly out of touch with its fans, lacking any notable qualities which would give anyone reason to tune in over any other tournament. Despite small but definite improvements over for Season 2, there were often points where popular streamers such as United StatesDestiny and UkraineWhite-Ra were pulling several times the viewership.

Despite being an avid Starcraft fan, I admit to not actually having followed NASL Season 2 at all until the finals. I can’t say if that’s a reflection on myself or on the league, but I can remember on many occasions deciding to watch Destiny’s stream instead of NASL, however based on viewership I’m certainly not alone. Similarly, I was hit last week after Dreamhack with the realisation of “oh, is it NASL Season 2 finals already?”. I admit that I hadn’t actually had much intention of tuning in this weekend, but after a friend started talking about it, I couldn’t help but watch. After watching the previous NASL in 1080p, An MLG 2 weeks prior in Ultra and Dreamhack winter in 720/1080p, my first impression was something along the lines of “holy shit balls 360p is bad”, and it was. In this day and age – especially with TwitchTV around to play host at zero cost – having a stream that isn’t at least 480p for your event is almost inexcusable. I’d hazard a guess that single decision cost them tens of thousands of viewers over this weekend. As Tasteless always likes to remind us “the vehicle of esports is technology”. The fans only interaction with the event is through that stream. If that stream is terrible, then the fans are simply not going to watch. For every person you saw complain about it this weekend, there are probably another 10 or 20 who just didn’t watch it for the same reason but didn’t post about it.
Dimaga on NASL Red Carpet

The embodiment of badass

Next, the crowd. I don’t even know if it’s fair to blame NASL for this considering the huge number of big events like MLG and Dreamhack going on recently. Equally, the venue itself appears as if it had the potential to be one of the best spectator events this year. On the other hand you reap the seeds you sew, and NASL set up a venue for 3,000 people when Dreamhack Winter didn’t even fill that with over 10,000 gamers already in attendance across the road. This made the potentially awesome cat walk + music set up for the players go from probably one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen at an esports event, to being uncomfortably awkward. Again we had the horrendous sound issues, awful camera work (what on earth was that strobe effect about), the awkward silences between games, and so on.

NASL could have been great. At its inception, it had untold potential. But from start to finish its just been incompetence, bad decisions and more incompetence. Honestly, I think it’s time to let Darwin do his thing. In almost any other game, the NASL would likely have been the biggest best cowboy in town, but with such huge competition, I don’t think it’s possible for them to recover at this point. We know they have the funding for another season, and that’ll chug along and give some lucky foreigner a nice big paycheck at some point. However we all know it’s not going to advance Starcraft and we don’t need it to either, we’ve already got a host of other organizations doing that for us. Unless there is miraculous success with their new title for Season 3 “Tribes: Ascend”, I don’t see a 4th season on the horizon any time soon.

Farewell friend, we barely knew ye…
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Re: [NASL Season2] - Excelente critica al evento

Notapor Miohko » Mié Dic 07, 2011 12:15 am

Tribes Ascend no es es nuevo FPS F2P?

Como sea, gracias por el arcitulo, a decir verdad, cuando vi ese publico en la final, sabia que esto ocurriría XD
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Re: [NASL Season2] - Excelente critica al evento

Notapor PiLoKo » Mié Dic 07, 2011 12:51 am

Creo que es la sensación general de la comunidad, sinceramente no debería ni haber una 3ra temporada si no pretenden hacer algo radical, como cambiar todo el formato.
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