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Gamers Unite for Video Game Olympics 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the greatest-game-ever-made dept.
The Hobo writes "About 700 of the world's best gamers began battling it out Wednesday, as the fourth annual World Cyber Games got underway in San Francisco. The five-day annual event is a culmination of national competitions held around the world and pits the best players against each other in a variety of widely popular games like Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, Halo, Starcraft and FIFA Soccer.
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Gamers Unite for Video Game Olympics

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...the line "What are you wearing, baby?"


    mailto:3dinfo@maficstudios.com [mailto]
  • by dnixon112 (663069) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:13AM (#10458063)
    Despite some early rumors of accomodation problems, this should be a great tournament. Here's some pics of the opening ceremony.
    Gallery 1 [gotfrag.com] Gallery 2 [gotfrag.com]
  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The-Bus (138060) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:14AM (#10458064)
    The incentive to win is high: in addition to total cash prizes of about $400,000 US, winners get global bragging rights and could go on to professional careers, like Canadian Guillaume Patry. Five years ago, the Quebec-born Patry became the Starcraft world champion and was offered a job as a professional game player in South Korea, initially making about $100,000 a year. His annual salary is now estimated at about $500,000 and, as the star of a Korean Starcraft TV program, he needs bodyguards to protect him from his fans.


    Well done. Didn't think there was that much money in videogames.

    In other news, the word "Cyber" hasn't been cool since 1988. Please don't use it anymore.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lisandro (799651) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:33AM (#10458103)
      Seriously, more power to him. But who exactly pays him a salary? No pun intended, i've always wondered - it seems quite a sum for sponsorship of a relatively niche "sport", and i always thought the ones who decided to try making a living out of computer games aimed at competition prizes as their main income.

      And, Starcraft? I know South Koreans are crazy about that game, but still... does people still gather arround to see someone playing it? I always thought that was one of the main problems with "cybersports"; if you play soccer, you're pretty much playing the same way people did 50 years ago. If you play Counterstrike and pour man-hours into it, who knows if you'll still be playing it the near future.
      • Re:Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "But who exactly pays him a salary?"

        Money comes from the audience and sponsors, just like with any other sport.

        "does people still gather arround to see someone playing it?"

        Yes people are watching games live and on TV.
      • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DigitumDei (578031)
        Well in South Korea obviously it is popular enough to make a ton of cash off advertising since enough people watch the games. Once you have that, it is always possible for a select few to make a small fortune off playing a game.

        Funnily enough if you watch any old soccer matchs, the game was indeed quite different. Strategies were different, a few seemingly minor rules differences can mean a complete change in strategy. Now in the last 10 years games that were popular have changed immensly. But with the rel
      • by Domini (103836)
        Soccer vs. Starcraft?

        For one thing the life-expectancy of a soccer career will be about 10 years... pretty much nearly as long as Starcraft has been around.

        But that is not really the point I'm trying to make... if you've played one RTS, then you've played them all. Once you understand diffrent armour types, damage types (piercing/splash/etc) group tactics, queueing, build orders, build trees, then they are all basically the same game.

        Same goes for FPSes... have a sure hand, know the map, move fast, time
        • Same goes for FPSes... have a sure hand, know the map, move fast, time the power-ups, and if you play in a team, work well together... then you should be able to swop between different games easier. With perhaps the exception of Quake3, which is unique in it's movement skills. (but has rather limited uncomplicated weapons)

          Given, the game mechanics are similar, but i was refering to the, um, mastering of the game, if you will. CS and UT2k4 are both FPS but are played in a complete different way; i've se
          • by Domini (103836)
            Um.

            And what about game series?

            Like Starcraft Warcraft and possible follow-ups? They are all similar... then there is also Quake 1/3 and the future of 4. A new counterstrike?

            Sure, crossing boundaries may be difficult, but not quite as difficult as switching from soccer to bowling. I know many national players personally who do very well playing CS after they were pretty good at playing Quake3. (But then being good at Quake3 makes it easier to master other games, but not the other way around...)

            Can't wait
        • if you've played one RTS, then you've played them all.

          I don't believe in that. The strategy you take in a RTS is more than knowing the armors, units and such. The mechanics of different games are so different that there is no uinque formula to play them all. In StarCraft if you waste the resources, soon they will finish and a single unit of the enemy will be able to take down the whole city of yours. But in a game like Total Annihilation, the resources are infinite and simply sending 100 units (yeah, 100s

      • by SamSim (630795)
        I always think that the main aspect holding back professional competitive videogaming is the spectator aspect. Videogames have always been designed (with greater or lesser success) to be entertaining for the players alone. As yet I'm not aware of any videogame that is also designed to be entertaining to watch, even for a non-gamer. Spectating a game of - for example - Counter-Strike is insanely confusing for someone who has no idea what is going on, especially if the map is far too large to perceive all at
        • >>Spectating a game of - for example - Counter-Strike is insanely confusing for someone who has no idea what is going on...

          Spectating a game of - for example - baseball is also insanely confusing for someone who has no idea what is going on. Most people who spectate at any event/sport have some prior experience with it. How many middle aged men watching Monday night football didn't play on their high school team?
          • by pdo400 (86490)
            Lots. Lots and lots and lots. And have you ever been to a sports bar during Monday Night Football? How many of the women there even played football on the playground as a child?
    • by julesh (229690)
      In other news, the word "Cyber" hasn't been cool since 1988. Please don't use it anymore.

      I think people should feel free to use it, as long as they use it in a way consistent with its actual meaning. (For those who don't know, it refers to controlling physical processes.)
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dot.Com.CEO (624226) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @06:00AM (#10458157)
        Well, for those who don't know, "cyber" comes from the greek verb "kyvernein" that is also the root for the word "government". It means, oddly enough "to govern".

        "Cyber" has been used in its present (non)sense since some obviously idiotic academic or journalist thought it sounded cool. Other such idiotic words were "Matrix" as a superset of the internet and I, for one, am glad they are dead. Leave them there.

        • What about William Gibson's coinage of the term "cyberspace" in his 1984 novel, Neuromancer, which referred to a massive cooperative hallucination, often also called a "matrix" of data?
    • Re:Wow (Score:1, Funny)

      by MobiusClark (728561)
      Not bad for a Canadian, eh?
    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      £400,000 sounds impressive. But that's the total prize pool. Split it maybe three of four ways, to reflect the fact that there are several games being played. Then, in the cases of the game with the biggest prizes (Counter-Strike), divide it by five to reflect the fact that this is a team game. You'll find you're left with less than $40k per player... probably significantly less. The CPL and the WCG are the only competitions with any prizes of note. You'd need to win both of them in one year to make a
    • by sgant (178166)
      This is more proof that the Korean Peninsula is a real real goofy and wacky place!
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by z0ink (572154) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @06:27AM (#10458220)
      Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of kids squander all their money on video cards (the primary promoters of large events) and half a dozen crappy titles a year - hoping to become 'a pro.' This really is a big scam. In racing, golf, any other sport the payouts roll all the way down. In gaming, typically, only the top 3 get payed. Airfare and a week of living in a hotel is not cheap. Not to mention it takes either knowing somebody with a lot of cash or already being a top team to get a sponsorship - but even then you'll be hard pressed to break even.

      This stuff isn't all just a bunch of having fun on the internet either. The serious competitors work like dogs to get to where they are at. I like games as much as the next guy, or perhaps even more than, but once you start playing something 8 hours a day it becomes a second job -- one that you have to pay to work at.
      • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Excellent post. If I was at home, rather than work, and had access to my mod points, I'd mod you up. I've seen countless gamers burn their lives away in the belief that "going pro" is just around the corner. The vast majority of them, and even then only the very skilled, will never earn more than a couple of $50 vouchers for games and hardware. And yes, if you want to play these games seriously, you need to put a hell of a lot of time and effort into them. 12 hour days are pretty much a must, which when you
        • Let me just say that I think your anecdotal evidence that "countless gamers burn their lives away in the belief that "going pro" is just around the corner." is off the mark.

          As someone who is familiar with the Counter-Strike 'pro' scene I can say that the vast majority of people play for the fun of competition and are well aware that only the top few can make a living and that their best bet is to stay in school. People don't drop school to play video games, they play these games for entertainment, and if
      • by jebell (567579)
        In racing, golf, any other sport the payouts roll all the way down.

        No. In racing and golf, the payouts go SOME of the way down. In most other professional sports, the players are paid salaries with various incentive-based bonuses. There's a ton of kids out there who work their asses off in various sports, believing they'll be the next Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods but never make it even close to the pro level. This is not to imply that participation in sports is a waste of time - quite the opposite.

      • If it sounds like a job to you that probably explains why you don't do it. Some of us enjoy spending long hours practicing.

        And your analogy of all the money going to the top 3 is related more to the fact that there isn't as much money in eSports (as they're often called) yet. Quake hit the scene in late 1995/mid 1996. Actual tournaments started up around then. That was the first real exploration into what we now know as eSports. The PGL, Quakecon, and events like this were less than 10 years ago. Gol
      • I live up about 8 blocks from there.. I didn't wanna bother with competing though.. i mean.. what's the point when there are SOO many people? It almost seems like it'd lose it's fun..
  • by BaltikaTroika (809862) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:15AM (#10458070)
    So would overclocking be considered "performance enhancement"? ;)

    BaltikaTroika

    • To be honest, if you're sad enough to play computer games for a living (says here sitting at a Linux workstation at university trying to organise a meeting for the computer society) then you will probably never need "performance enhancement" :)

      Geddit? No? Honestly, wasted! Wasted I tell thee!
  • Finally (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:16AM (#10458072)
    We can reach world unity and peace... through bloody virtual conflict!
    • This is modded as funny, but should actually be insightful or interesting, as there certainly is more to the sentence.

      Although most psychos or school-shooters had contact with bloody computergames, it doesn't mean that every computer gamer is a psycho (also applies to terrorism and islam).

      I think that the more people play games, the less they are likely to go out and actually kill somebody. Not that I'd ever wanted to really kill anybody, but after a hard-working day, nothing can calm me down better than

    • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cap'n foolsy (635911)
      it's not so farfetched. if we worked out our aggressions by playing games instead of actually waging war, wouldn't that be so much better?

      Gamers for Peace!
  • Machines specs ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mirko (198274) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:24AM (#10458081) Journal
    So what are the specs of the machines ?

    Do the players have to bring theirs or is it considered fairer to have them all use the same ?
    • Re:Machines specs ? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Did you look at the photo gallery? All of the machines are already set up using the exact same parts, even same keyboard and monitor.

  • by perler (80090) <pat&patsplanet,com> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:32AM (#10458101) Homepage
    in a german games television show they had an interview with a german warcraft player who qualified for the WCG but it's visa to the US was rejected. the only problem was (as he described it) that he had the german /and/ the turkish citizenship (which is quite usual in germany, we have some 3 million turkish immigrants (out of a population of 80 million)).

    i think the US is shooting it's own foot if they continue to behave this way. a lot of people here already wait with their holidays in the US in the hope, that the obligatory fingerprints when entering the US will go away sometimes (which i doubt personally)

    PAT
  • by asuzuki (305049) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @05:35AM (#10458108)
    From the article:
    Five years ago, the Quebec-born Patry became the Starcraft world champion and was offered a job as a professional game player in South Korea, initially making about $100,000 a year.

    His annual salary is now estimated at about $500,000 and, as the star of a Korean Starcraft TV program, he needs bodyguards to protect him from his fans.


    Thanks, that made me feel really bad about my job.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      he needs bodyguards to protect him from his fans.

      OMG ZERG RUSH!!!!!
    • If my parents had bought me a computer like every other kid in my neighbourhood, and paid me some cushy allowance so I could upgrade it, then all those nights of sitting in my room until 7 AM would have paid off!

      How am I supposed to hone my skills if she's always nagging me to 'get a job'? That's what I'm doing! Sigh. Parents these days just don't understand.

      And no mom, I'm not a terrorist. They have the ugliest skins.

      --Dan
  • by ayjay29 (144994)
    I wanna see "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog" there...

    The Star Wars premiere was great, but i bet he could really rip into these guys.

  • Why oh why are they playing FIFA?

    All true football fans know that Pro Evolution Soccer [pes3.net] is by far the better game, both in terms of realism and depth. Sure, FIFA may have the licenses, but PES is the most accurate simulation, and offers much more competitive and enjoyable multi-player. I for one can't wait for PES4 [gamespot.com], as I believe it'll be playable on XBox Live (and I may even be tempted to purchase an XBox just to play this single game). I could always stick to the PS2 version with a multi-tap and some beers
    • Has far as I know thats mainly because Pro Evolution Soccer lacks decent network support, which no matter how good it is as a game by itself, makes it pretty much unusable for any kind of eSports and internet gaming.
    • Not only that, Pro Evo 4 has acquired the licence to IIRC 6? european leagues, so it will be even better!!

      Oh the hours i've wasted on that game, bit worried that PES4 is going to be better, i need to get some work done at uni!!!
    • Winning Eleven far surpasses anything FIFA tries to do. No one in the states will play winning eleven because konami does't market it. Also, just because FIFA has 3 million teams doesn't mean its better. FIFA can make all the changes it wants to their series, but it is more an arcade soccer game than Winning Eleven, which is simulation.
    • Well, everybody knows that Operation Flashpoint has the best simulation by far yet everybody plays Counter Strike.

      I guess they picked popular games, not realistic ones.
  • by Cybertect (85900) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @06:05AM (#10458170) Homepage
    We notice that your recent story titled "Gamers Unite for Video Game Olympics" contains an unauthorised use of the word 'Olympics', a trademark that is owned by the International Olympic Committee.

    Cease and desist immediately. Failure to do so will result in legal action seeking punitive damages.

    Yours sincerely,

    IP Freely
    Partner
    Sue, Grabbett and Runne
    Solicitors for the IOC
    • We notice that your recent post titled "Dear Slashdot" contains unauthorised use of the words "cease" and "desist", and furthermore is a cease and desist notice. As I am the holder of the patent for "Method of causing cessation and desisting of activities by a third party via the means of sending a 'cease and desist' notice" I require you to immediately cease and desist in your use of cease and desist notices.

      Yours spuriously,

      Sue Eweblind
      Pardner
      Yee-Haw Legal Cowboys inc.
  • by Moo Moo Cow of Death (778623) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @06:11AM (#10458182) Journal
    Anyone remember Fatal1ty? Quake player from a long time ago? After winning all those tourney's and being declared Quake champ and all he started up his own little shop selling stuff with his name on it and the ever famous "fat pad" an extremely large mouse pad because of his ultra low mouse sensitivity.

    Anyway, he comes by every now and then and hangs out with us and tells us what he does. He plays video games for 8 hours a day to practice and does endorsement deals. That's right, he plays video games for a living (and drives around in a painted alien vs. predator hummer he won).

    I only wish I was half that lucky :)
  • Wow, It was only last month that I ran into some guy from Norway who was here for the world championships of Magic the Gathering [sfgate.com].
    San Francisco is in danger of losing it's hip image and turning into some sort of nerdly paradise!
    • "The card game mixes elements of chess, fantasy baseball and role-playing strategy."

      There is NO role-playing in professional Magic. That's like saying there's role-playing in professional Poker!
  • are we going to have drug testing? no caffeine?

    are we going to have boycotts? the muslim world boycotting all civilization iii competitions because cities can build cathedrals instead of mosques?

    are we going to have cities competing to host? i think seoul will host the next 25 olympics then, considering their massively superior bandwidth infrastructure as compared to the rest of the world

    are we going to have sports no one watches? minesweeper for example? ;-P

    are we going to have judging scandals? are we going to have overwhelmingly nationalistic audiences? etc.
    • are we going to have cities competing to host? i think seoul will host the next 25 olympics then, considering their massively superior bandwidth infrastructure as compared to the rest of the world

      From 2001 until this year every WCG finals took place in South Korea. However, starting last year cities do in fact compete to host the WCG, and San Fransisco was succesful in their bid and got to host this years event.

      are we going to have sports no one watches? minesweeper for example?

      Yes, Halo and FIFA a
  • Where's DEE DEE ARR? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bega (684994) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @06:46AM (#10458255) Homepage Journal
    I'm kind of, sortof, disappointed at this event and having no Dance Dance Revolution (or other dancing game) competition, while it's name is "Video Game Olympics".
  • Bemani? Argh! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bi_boy (630968) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @07:03AM (#10458304)
    Missing? Three words. Dance Dance Revolution.
    • "Dance Dance Revolution."

      Only in America and Japan.

      • Europe also.

        There known as "Dancing Stage." Exact same game, just different name.

        Konami also released Dance Dance Revolution in Korea to directly compete with Pump It Up, licensing Korean pop songs even for what came to be known as Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix Korean and 3rd Mix Korean Version 2.
        • " Europe also. There known as "Dancing Stage." Exact same game, just different name."

          And whenever you see them, they're forlornly alone and unloved. That's the thing that I was getting at.

  • It is possible to make a living, a very good one at that, playing StarCraft in South Korea at a top competitive level. Guillome Patry (mentioned earlier in this thread) did so for an extended period of time; however, he recently has retired from professional StarCraft because he wasn't making enough, and was living off of his savings. Guillome Patry first became famous when he won the Blizzard Brood War Ladder championships two seasons in a row as X'Ds~Grrrr..., taking home twenty thousand. The top playe
  • After Playing unreal Tournament, Playing Halo will be like running knee deep through syrup.
  • When I first read the headline, I read it as "Campers unite for Video Game Olympics." Probably amounts to the same thing ;)
  • The games should have (unless I missed it there in the article) an old-school gaming competition, with arcade games such as

    --Atari Star Wars (the sit-down vector game with the sharp controller)
    --Street Fighter
    --Tron (Playing this game had applications outside, where that trained fast-twitch finger that shot spiders also worked wonders on the naughty bits of women. Girls have a special button of their own, if you know what I'm sayin'.)
    --A few pinball games
    --Atari Lunar Lander
    --Tempest
    --Bererk
    --Robotron
    --Def
    • How about live Robotron 2084 for the real Olympics? I'd say we've reached the point morally and socially, where it might be a worthwhile and acceptable idea.
      • > How about live Robotron 2084 for the real Olympics? I'd say we've reached the point morally and socially, where it might be a worthwhile and acceptable idea.

        A few years ago, someone told me about a show called "Survivor". Believing that we'd finally reached the "Running Man" stage of society, I wondered how the legal arrangements, and concluded that they used a shell corporation and some small country that would change its laws for the right price. Five minutes into the premiere, when I discover

        • I too am bummed that the idiots on "Reality TV" aren't being "weeded out of the gene pool" via much harsher penalties or competition.

          Inevitably, there will be televised "death contests/matches" sometime in the near future. People will be unable to not watch.
  • Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, Halo, Starcraft and FIFA Soccer.

    That's like if the real Olympic events were pole vault, another pole vault, another pole vault, and boxing.
  • or the ones with teh most money and closest proximity to CA?

    you will never find The Best at a tournament, cause we play for fun ;)

  • ... don't only Koreans play that game? Why is it in the World Cyber Games? :)
  • Finally, they get to play in the US.
    South Koreans and Germans beware.
    Not going down so easy this year.
  • Did they advertise this anywhere? When Unreal Tournament was at the peak of it's popularity (2000) I played for #1 on the OGL 1v1 Deathmatch ladder, and I never even heard of these video game olympics.

  • I looked into this since I am going to be int he bay this weekend and thought I might swing by. They are not even playing Counter-Strike, they are playing Condition Zero. Now that's just lame!! Hardly anyone plays the damn game. Valve/Sierra?? must of offered some insentive for the tournement to have Condition Zero and not Counter-Strike. It's a shame....I would of really liked seeing some of the best CS players going at it. Sigh...
  • A final round, where they introduce an as-yet-unknown FPS or RTS game. Perhaps just a nicely customized map that nobody has played might do as well.

    Real skill comes in how you adapt to a new situation, the rest is practice (this applies to more than just gaming, of course)
  • Maybe I'll finally have a chance at winning a match in UT 2004 now that all the ringers are offline playing in a tournament :-)

    "Monster Kill", here I come!
  • by zr-rifle (677585) <zedrNO@SPAMzedr.com> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @02:02PM (#10462525) Homepage
    I work for the Italian GSP in charge of selecting the our country's national team and sending them to San Francisco. A lot of the hassles came from the young age of the partecipants (some of them only recently turned 18) and the fact that, for the first time, it was going to be a BYOC LAN. For this reason we had a hard time finding sponsors willing to give the team some decent hardware on which to play. We didn't have any luck so the players had to scout ahead and fin a place where to rent some monitors. Good luck in finding a place where to warm up and practice a bit.

    Another problem was that the hotel is no way in a decent walking distance from the place where the games will be played. So players not only have to drag along their stuff to the battlefield, but also have to walk quite a bit to get there.

    Fortunately, our guys seem to be quite positive about it. It's great to travel so far and represent your country. Even if it's videogames we're talking about. And, believe me, you get pretty popular with girls about the whole thing. "What? You came all the way from Italy to play... videogames? charming!"... hehe, pretty amusing stuff.

    Anyway, check out the pics [www.ngi.it]

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