Has anyone gone back and watch games from early WoL? Watching these games feels incredibly different. Some things I’ve noticed:
The game is almost unrecognizable by today’s standards. Yes it’s still SC2 but it has an incredibly different vibe to it. It almost feels like I’m watching an SC1 game. It’s slower paced but still has it’s moments of heightened excitement.
Players don’t seem to be as obsessed with “metas”. The strategies are varied and unique.
Players and casters are genuinely more enthusiastic about playing the game.
While sponsored tournaments weren’t a new thing, and there is still some sense of hype around some pretty well done event, esports hadn’t yet turned into the absurdly corporate enterprise it is today and it’s clear that playing games competitively is still a niche activity participated in by players and fans that aren’t yet the pop culture nightmare that it is today.
I also watched some Warcraft 3 tournaments from 2007. The same holds true here as well.
My conclusion from all of this? That eSports going mainstream really killed the fun, both in the events themselves and in the games being ever more designed to appeal to an eSports demographic and it’s mainstream emergence.
Perhaps it’s okay that AAA studios are abandoning games like SC2 and are retooling for mobile game development. It will leave room for smaller studios to make games fun again, and more grassroots competitive communities to take back the excitement that was competitive gaming from the pop culture mainstream.
I was never really into GSL a more interested in the regional tournaments. So MLG in NA is more my speed. But yes, it would be cool to watch it all chronologically too.
Something that was more fun for me back in 2010/2011 was that the tournaments were more of an infrequent event that only happened every couple of months or so. I remember using them as special weekends where I would watch them with some friends over on the big screen in the living room. One time we even had MLG at the office projected onto a really big wall while we all enjoyed some beers. That’s not really a thing anymore which is kind of a bummer.
I was a fan of NASL, which I felt was a nice change of pace from the larger infrequent tournaments. More like a season of football then the weekend tournament. But mainly it was just the enthusiasm and fun nature of it rather then the big overblown production that esports eventually became.
The pace was slower because players were pretty bad and slow back then.
Wrong, there was varied strategies until someone started doing a better one, I started playing early 2011, I watched some MLG, Slayer’s team started doing hellion drops, that week all the T started doing hellion drop.After every tournament people did what happened on these tournaments, and there was period with extremely rigid meta to the point you knew who would win just by looking at the map and minute.
Infrequent events???, there was too many tournaments, some weeks even had overlapped tournaments.Part of the reason some tournaments declined was that there was so much content people started missing it and then it became non profitable. According to liquipedia, during 2011 there was 31 premier events, compare that to 2020 with 19 premier events. The same ratio goes for major and minor tournaments.There was so much content that you could safely say that every week there was a premier event.
I don’t know about the players, but I prefer casters from today, except Artosis, is clear that the guy stopped caring about the game, he used to know every detail about KR scene and its players and his predictions were always on point, nowadays he constantly makes wrong predictions and even is surprised at the outcome of the fights. The only persons I miss from the old times were Total Biscuitt and Day9, and the rare Naniwa+Morrow duo,these two were peak casting for me, similar to Hartem+Lambo combo but without even more banter, they were constantly joking about missplays, beautiful fungals/storms and their predictions were always 100% true.
I think I missed that because of work and the league might have been ending around when I started watching E-sports. I used to see NASL Sound Guy spammed in any SC2 twitch chat if there was a sound problem.
Probably still doing it to this day. So I guess they didn’t have the best sound there? The only other thing I really know is iNcontrol used to cast for them.
The players who were playing then had been playing competitively in SC1 and Warcraft3 for nearly a decade (if not more) at that point. They weren’t “pretty bad and slow.” It was slower because the game was designed in a way that made for slower game play. Mostly because, in my opinion, they weren’t trying to appeal to the mainstream “esports” audience.
I’m not talking about the ladder.
MLG happened 3 maybe 4 time a year. Outside of Korea, what other events were happening more regularly then every few months?
I saw only couple videos… most of them just trash. There were TvP with 200/200 BC against Stalker, Archon, HT and MOTHERSHYT - yeah Vortex and win for Bronzetoss. Another game - there were droppable cliffs next to natural expand… so Terran dropped a Tank there an ,GG, because it was also next to exit from both bases. Plenty of things was only pulled from SCBW without even thinking. Storm is too OP in SC2 due pathing, Mutas and Ultras are trash. But also plenty stuff is better.
But you can see a clear trend to more macro games similar to the ones we have today. And back in the day many players didn’t know the streghts of the races, see how many protoss players started with non optimal builds like two gate expand with no wall, it was later when they learned that they could start with forge, expand fast, and then get upgrades and enough units to defend against Z. Remember the spanishiwa build?, that was when Z realized they could get away with queens instead of wasting larva to defend, they could spread more creep, and get a eco boost because they delayed the gases and made extra drones.And T stopped doing weird builds with many raxes,remember TLO’s 7 rax.
In a couple of years the players were already playing faster and more optimal games.
Well, if you only followed one single organization, then yes, you could watch only some events per year, but if you followed the overall scene, then the amount of premier content was massive, see the liquipedia page, each week there was a premier tournament, and during the week many running major tournaments.The scene schedule was meesed up, too much overlapping.
I wasn’t talking about the ladder, which also got infected by the blue flame trend.You need to understand that the metagame was beng developed, so as soon as some strat looked strong, the players followed the trend because they gave them the edge on the matches against inferior styles, the reason wasn’t to appeal the e sport audience, the reason was because they wanted to win games. 2010 was a clown fiesta era, was during 2011 when players starting doing the basics of the meta, and by end 2012 they were already playing pretty optimal styles that revolved around solid builds.
I just don’t have any interest in watching Korean Starcraft. I prefer watching something closer to home where I can more easily identify with and appreciate the more regional player scene.
Also, I’ve never really been interested in the “best of the best” style of spectatorship. When I watch sports, I don’t really care what the best team is doing, I’d rather watch my hometown team, even if they aren’t having a winning season.
They were. This is well known fact in sc2 community(or even in gaming community in general). Like Diogenex said, protoss players didnt even wall properly. Heck even terran players didnt wall correctly with depots Have seen so many early game wins just by lings slipping through. Even casters make fun of the level back then. But its completly ok because back then you couldnt really make a living with esports or like really only the best of the best could. Nowadays its much better and has a way way bigger playerbase for a potential superstar like for example serral reynor and clem. Also we have more than 10 years experience in sc2 and i think wardi yesterday said that m3 players could own the pros back then because they knew nothing about build orders.