The Week in eSports (3/23/12)
Obviously, the biggest thing happening this week is the MLG Winter Championship tournament, which is getting started right now in Columbus, Ohio. You can find more on that here, with links to the details about how you can watch it. If you miss the start of the tournament, never fear, this handy schedule will let you find your way to some quality matches tonight.
What else has been happening? Evil Geniuses took first-place in the joinDota Masters tournament over Next.kz, but the real story of the tournament was an 86-minute siege against Mousesports. You can watch the entire match above, in which caster Tobi Wan nearly has a series of massive heart-attacks.
The Global StarCraft Team League (GSTL) season took an unexpected turn as the powerhouse Incredible Miracle team and the SlayerS team faltered against upstarts FXOpen and New Star HoSeo. I missed these matches, but you can see a great write-up and analysis over at the invaluable esfiworld.com.
Day had some interesting things to say to Forbes about the future of eSports and the proliferation of competitive leagues. Plott's big takeaway:
'I think it is a mistake to see IGN as a mere competitor to MLG or to regard one as cannibalizing the audience of the other. The fact of the matter is that we are seeing the emergence of an entire eSports ecosystem in response to audience growth. Right now, we are enjoying a period where there is more appetite for eSports content than any one provider can fulfill.'
He also points out something I wonder about, which is whether 'seasons' really exist for anyone but the leagues. Plott's response to the MLG's use of 'seasons' seems to be on the money: 'I think the jury is still out on that. Right now there are so many tournaments being offered that pro gamers are beginning to have to choose between them. Quite frankly, I think the pro gamers are just going to view these as another bunch of tournaments and not see them as a season at all.'
I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's great to see more good competition, but is the drama really there if there are four championships each year, in addition to all the other prestigious leagues running their own tournaments?
Of course, none of this is set in stone. MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovanni would be the first to admit they are still figuring out how MLG should coexist with other leagues and championships.
As always, be sure to give shout-outs in the comments about other worthy eSports events happening this weekend, and any highlights we should revisit from the past week.
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