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Managing an Elite eSport Team 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the icing-thumbs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ever wondered what it takes to run a world class stable of pro-gamers? In a new profile, 4Kings general manager Jason Potter takes the time to explain his duties — they're remarkably like what's required of other sports managers. It's up to Potter to manage a team of FPS gamers scattered across the continent, getting them to events, arranging sponsorship, and even making sure they play nice together. 'It's a 24 hour job,' Potter says. 'If there is something that needs to be done, you do it.'"
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Managing an Elite eSport Team

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  • by GregC63 (1564363) on Monday June 03, 2013 @01:49PM (#43898059)

    I still find it difficult to believe someone can get paid for gaming...

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday June 03, 2013 @01:51PM (#43898085)

      How do you feel about people getting paid for playing other games?

      It seems people who are good at playing games is already common. There are leagues for all kinds of games. A lot of it is even aired on TV.

      • > How do you feel about people getting paid for playing other games?

        Largely a waste of money.

        Society would rather be entertained for a few few minutes/hours rather then give a shit about investing in the future of its country (children) by supporting the most important people in any society: Teachers and fix a broken indoctrination system.

        i.e.
        http://johntaylorgatto.com/underground/ [johntaylorgatto.com]

        --
        Only Cowards use Censorship

    • by Antipater (2053064) on Monday June 03, 2013 @01:52PM (#43898095)
      People got paid to play chess even in your day. What's the difference?
      • The quality of some of the games being played? Chess takes skill, and a bit of dastardly cunning. There are a few computer games I've played where the gameplay can become akin to a high speed game of chess once both players are seriously good (Streetfighter 2 - alpha 3, springs to mind). However, on the whole, most games just aren't that challenging, and often luck and net latency are the biggest deciding factors in who wins (and I say this as a game developer myself). Then of course, if you mention compute
        • You missed on small point. Perception. Some people are better at it than others. And games that play on perception can be fun.

        • And the "most games" that you're describing wouldn't have pro scenes. AFAIK there are no professional angry birds players out there. The latency argument is why most of the big-name events are done over a LAN rather than the internet.

          As for patching, I don't see how that's a bad thing. Different, yes. Personally, I like that games have become dynamic. Chess hasn't changed in hundreds of years, and so its strategies are pretty well thought out by this point. The grandmasters of today simply build on th

      • The difference is that no one owns the rights to Chess or Basketball, while companies own exclusive rights to Tetris and StarCraft. It's as if there were a Basketball Company LLC that could sue a city or school district for copyright infringement for putting a basketball court with correct dimensions into a city park or school gymnasium.
        • Um...

          Yes. So what?

          • by tepples (727027)
            Building a league around a non-free video game gives the game's publisher the power to shut down the league at any moment. The Tetris Company has done this to several online falling block game leagues.
            • Well, that's unfortunate for those falling-block league players. But the original post was "I find it hard to believe someone can get paid for gaming." The ability of the game's creator to shut down an unapproved league doesn't really affect the concept of people being paid to play games. Many sports are illegal by law (gladiatorial combat, for example), but that doesn't mean that nobody plays any sports - they just shift to legally-approved ones. Instead of gladiatorial games, they play ball games. In
              • I don't see how these "approved StarCraft leagues" can have any longevity. Blizzard could kill them after a decade once StarCraft 3 comes out. Baseball, on the other hand, is stable enough to last generations.
    • by Jstlook (1193309)
      New world problems.
    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Really? Where are you from? I grew up seeing it happen, and my parents tell me that it was going on since LONG before they were born. I know it seems odd, even more odd that some of them command salaries that put them strongly at major CEO levels.

      Surely you have run into this phenomenon, you have heard of Michael Jordan? The guy didn't just get paid for gaming, he got endorsement deals for shoes and other merchandise.

    • I agree, getting paid for playing games is rather mind boggling. Do you know that people get paid for playing baseball?

      • by icebike (68054)

        I agree, getting paid for playing games is rather mind boggling. Do you know that people get paid for playing baseball?

        And there it is! The false analogy. [wikipedia.org] Flopped out on the floor like a dead fish.

        Baseball, and virtually all pro sports have audiences that pay to attend, advertising deals, television deals, and ongoing source of income.

        First Person Shooter games? Not so much.

        When did you ever see advertising for such an event, a paying audience, a loyal fanbase, TV coverage?
        Most gaming events of this nature are more akin to self supporting bingo games where all of the money comes from
        the entrance fees by the players thems

        • by devman (1163205)
          There are big purse events that are usually invitationals with corporate sponsors and not "pay to play".
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 03, 2013 @02:19PM (#43898337)

          I felt the same way until my son showed me a new world.

          Have a look at Twitch TV [twitch.tv] for a start. There they have live streaming of gaming "events", with commentators, advertisers, sponsors, recaps, replays... It is truly no different than professional sports or these televised poker competitions.

          I find it a sad little world, watching other people playing a video game(especially such lame ones), but it does exist and is increasingly popular. Truth be told though, I don't feel very much different about professional sports. Sitting and watching other people play a game is of no interest to me, unless I have some attachment to the game like my own son playing. I'd rather read obfuscated javascript than watch NFL football.

          But millions of people love watching NFL football and a rapidly growing number like watching "professional" video gaming.

          • But millions of people love watching NFL football and a rapidly growing number like watching "professional" video gaming.

            The difference is that American football is old enough (forward pass 1906, current scoring by 1912) not to be under copyright.

            • http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html [copyright.gov]

              Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in litera

              • by tepples (727027)

                I was referring to this story from a year ago:
                US District Court: Game Elements In Tetris Clone Infringe Tetris Co.'s Copyright [slashdot.org]

                If football were copyrighted, the copyright would be in the dimensions of the field, the shape of the ball, the shape of the goalposts, and the like.

                • Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game.

                  You could copywrite a rule book defining those things. But that does not mean someone couldn't just get another author to write one and call the 'field' the 'playing square' instead. Particularly if the rules are sufficiently paraphrased I don't think there would be too much of an issue. Call it the "grid". Or even use things that can't be easily trademarked. There were

                  • After reading your article I can see were your coming from. I am not a lawyer but I would rule the shapes of the blocks in tetris to be "devices" in playing the game. I disagree with the ruling. But that doesn't invalidate your point. Tis sad in my opinion to see the laws used this way.

          • I find it a sad little world

            People will get fun from whatever they get fun from; I don't understand a lot about watching sports or e-sports, but I'll try to share what I do.

            My whole family played tennis while I went through high school. We'd sit and do homework with tennis on in the background. It's an easy way to learn plays, terminology and observe proper form. I got involved in local poker tournaments as a place to hang out with people, in a game that involves a good deal of strategy, but found I did not have the patience to watch

            • I would add, I never thought about it, but I got better a SC2 after watching pros, and hearing the build order mentioned. I found out I had jumped pas my friends, and I didn't realize it. Watching reply's like the pros do does help.
        • I don't know about whatever game that 4Kings plays. However, League of Legends has a functioning league, complete with player salaries, endorsement deals, ads, and yes, a large and loyal viewer audience. And don't get me started on the Koreans.

          The "akin to bingo" system is true when there's no audience. But as gaming grows more mainstream, the audience comes with it. With the audience come all the other bells and whistles you mentioned with regard to baseball.

        • by Synerg1y (2169962)

          Starcraft's GSL league had it's own channel in S. Korea.

          As far as American culture goes, you're right though, I watched a Halo tourney once and couldn't finish it because it was just well... boring. Playing Halo = fun, watching "pro's" play it = boring. Some Starcraft games were fun to watch on youtube back when I played it.

          They also have several major multi-game pro-gaming tournaments. People show up to those like to events such as comic con for example.

          I think, it's got a future small time, but will ne

          • Starcraft's GSL league had it's own channel in S. Korea.

            What would have happened to such a channel had Blizzard objected to the public broadcast of its copyrighted video game?

            Some Starcraft games were fun to watch on youtube back when I played it.

            Nintendo has begun to "monetize" YouTube videos featuring its games, and for a while, Sega was DMCAing every YouTube video it could find that even mentioned the Shining Force series.

            • by Synerg1y (2169962)

              Same thing that happens when the mlb, nhl and nfl pro sports organizations do, the broadcast is taken down one way or another.

              • If the MLB ceases broadcasts, another baseball league can in theory start broadcasting. If Blizzard shuts down all StarCraft (1) leagues in favor of its new official StarCraft II league, no one can until most of us are dead.
                • by Synerg1y (2169962)

                  The MLB actually owns the copyright, ceasing broadcasting is not enough, they'd have to relinquish the copyright or grant permission for somebody else to do it. Same thing applies to Blizzard & the GSL. Blizzard has given permission to the GSL to do its thing.

                  • The MLB actually owns the copyright

                    On broadcasting games between MLB teams in MLB venues. A parallel league would have non-MLB teams in non-MLB venues, just as the pre-merger American Football League, the USFL, and the XFL ran alongside the NFL. Or do you claim that MLB actually has some sort of government-enforced exclusive right over the game of baseball itself and that all minor-league, collegiate, high school, and Little League/Wildcat baseball teams are licensees? If so, I'd love to see a citation.

                    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

                      The GSL is a "pro" league the equivalent of pro baseball, are there other pro baseball leagues besides the MLB you're aware of?

                      If say the Yankees wanted to play in another league, they wouldn't be able to under the Yankees and players would have to term their affiliation with the organization as MLB owns the copyright to that before they could be broadcasted in another league on another team.

                    • are there other pro baseball leagues besides the MLB you're aware of?

                      There are the minor leagues. The American League arose from one of these minor leagues in 1901 and existed as a second major league alongside the National League for just shy of a century before the NL and AL finally merged into MLB in 2000. Most minor league teams have a farm affiliation with an MLB team, but there are independent minor leagues [wikipedia.org] especially in the northeastern United States. And there are leagues in other countries, which would be forbidden without MLB's permission if baseball were copyright

        • by Shinobi (19308)

          Hmmm, there's plenty of advertising for Dreamhack.

          CS:GO is televised, as is Starcraft II. Pricesums etc come from sponsors. Players at the top level are salaried, either full-time or part-time, teams just below that level still receive sponsorship for travels etc.

          Oh, you're in the US? Well, that scene is FUCKED, because people there feel that they shouldn't train before they have sponsorships. Add to that the fact that you have teams like Evil Geniuses, which is a pure entertainment company. They are always

        • When did you ever see advertising for such an event, a paying audience, a loyal fanbase, TV coverage?

          South Korea is where it hit critical mass with every one of those elements first, some time ago. Very few cared about basketball until about 50 or so years ago, and hockey wasn't popular in the US until after the Miracle on Ice in 1980. All popular sports start somewhere.

          • BTW, it took the NBA 14 years to land a season TV deal after they formed the league. Multi-player FPS games didn't even exist until 1996, much less professional leagues around the genre.

            • Multi-player FPS games didn't even exist until 1996

              FaceBall 2000, an early first-person shooter, was on Super NES in 1992 supporting two-player split-screen play. It was a port of an Atari ST shooter released in 1997 called MIDI Maze that supported over a dozen players.

        • Baseball, and virtually all pro sports have audiences that pay to attend, advertising deals, television deals, and ongoing source of income. First Person Shooter games? Not so much.

          You fail to understand your own logic. If there was no money coming into the system, there would be no money to pay the players with.

          Economics 101.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      I have a hard time seing organizing a community that looks down on "tryhards".

    • You phrased it wrong, which is why so many geniuses are replying with things like "i camt believe people get paid for playing baseball."

      Nws flash: they dont get paid for playing baseball. They get paid for putting paid butts in seats. So, basically, i fully agree with the sentiment that i am amazed that there are people who would pay to put their butt in some seat to watch somebody play a video game, no matter how good that person may or may not be. Would i look in on a very good player? Maybe for a f

      • by neonKow (1239288)

        People also pay to watch people pretend to be other people every week. I don't see anyone questioning TV actors and actresses getting paid.

        And marketing is a finickey science. I may not buy something simply because a pro endorsed it, but I could easily see why associating a player/actor I like with a product could make it stand out among a line of 10 other ones. Then, when I go consider which one to buy, it's quite likely that it would be one of the 3-5 products I consider (as I probably won't compare all

        • > I don't see anyone questioning TV actors and actresses getting paid.

          Riiight, because no one has ever questioned how the majority of society pseudo-lives through a fake virtual life (TV/Movies) instead of focusing on a living real one.

    • How do you feel about stock brokers and actors and baseball (insert other silly kid's game that people take way too seriously) players ?
  • This is not a story. It's an ad for one of the older energy drinks.

  • Esport? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Holi (250190)

    What the hell is an esport?

    You mean gaming? Because gaming is not a sport no matter how you try and word it.

    • Re:Esport? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) on Monday June 03, 2013 @02:25PM (#43898407)
      Challenge accepted. Wikipedia entry on sports: Sport is generally recognised as activities based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity. Wikipedia entry on dexterity: the coordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes. Moving a mouse, clicking a keyboard, and using a controller all require dexterity. Therefore, gaming can be considered a sport. You can also look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport#Definition [wikipedia.org]
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Personally, I look at how much training is required to compete among the elite of the sport, and how far off from the elite the average player is. For games like Golf, its amazing how much better the pros are than the average Joe who goes golfing every weekend. Most golfers will never break 100, which puts them about 28 above par. Which is just dismal. Compare that with something like darts, billiards, or bowling, where it's not uncommon to see a "pefect game". To me, the whole concept of an achievabl
      • Wikipedia entry on sports: ...

        If you are trying to justify your assertion by quoting Wikipedia entries, you've lost the debate before you even started.

      • I always thought of it like this. No ball/no finish line...no sport. But I am not a snob about it...or at least I don't think I am. I am not passing judgement on anyone's pastimes...that just makes the most sense to me. (Ball and finish line has a very wide meaning here.) Something can be a game and be just as difficult or require just as much/more mental discipline.
        • No ball/no finish line...no sport. [...] Ball and finish line has a very wide meaning here.

          Older computer mice had little rubber balls. First-person shooter characters shoot little lead balls at each other. Capture the flag has a ball (the flags) and the finish line (the goal area inside your team's base). Deathmatch has a finish line as well: first to defeat enough opponents that their fainted bodies can be lined up to cross the finish line wins.

    • by Njovich (553857)

      All sports are a game no matter how you try and word it.

      And there is a bunch of computer games that should qualify for being a sport in terms of physical skill required, competitiveness and sometimes even physical stamina more than a whole bunch of olympic sports.

      • All sports are a game no matter how you try and word it.

        But all games are not a sport, no matter how you try to justify it.

        • by Njovich (553857)

          You say: all games are not a sport

          Football is a game.

          Football is a sport.

          Boom you are wrong.

          I guess you meant not all games are a sport? Did I claim otherwise?

          • by Holi (250190)

            Your logic is broken

            No all sports are not games.
            and not all sports are games.

            A marathon is not a game but it is most certainly a sport.

            Monopoly is a game but in no way is it a sport.

               

            • by Holi (250190)

              >No all sports are not games.
              >and not all sports are games

              Think I may have screwed that one up.
              Not all sports are games and not all games are sports.

      • by Holi (250190)

        Very wrong. for team sports maybe, but try and claim running is a game.

        • by Njovich (553857)

          You mean running as a sport? Obviously it's a game, there are even competitions for it!

    • Because gaming is not a sport no matter how you try and word it.

      Maybe its art then?

      But seriously, who cares? How does the word we use to describe the thing change the concept of it?

  • My rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:36PM (#43899109)
    If you can drink while playing it/competing in it, it is not a sport. Sorry golf, curling, gaming, etc.
    • by tygt (792974)
      I suppose Bicycling and Running aren't sports, then, either? While we're at it, rule out Mountain Climbing, Hiking, and probably numerous other mere activities. No sport for you, nidi says so. Ever see a runner grab a cup to drink as he passed by an aid station? Ever see a bicyclist reach down and grab a water bottle and drink?
      • by travdaddy (527149)
        GP meant drinking as in beer/alcohol, which is OK for Curling and Golf like he said but a very bad idea for Mountain Climbing, Running, and Bicycling!
        • which is OK for Curling and Golf like he said but a very bad idea for Mountain Climbing, Running, and Bicycling!

          Drinking while running is basically the point of Bay to Breakers, right? You'd be surprised, [coolrunning.com] a lot of distance runners also seem to like drinking heavily from time to time. From the link:

          "alcoholic mile". you take 4 shots b4 it starts and wait about 30min. then you start and every lap you take another one. by the time we finished I ran about 2miles w/ swerving and whatnot!

          As far as drunk cycling, check this guy out [drunkcyclist.com]. Notice the guy missing teeth in the pic halfway down. Does that count for anything?

  • some games have cut lan play so the game makers can control Esports with there games.

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