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AMD Sponsors Pro Gaming Team 54

Dillon Hamilton writes "AMD has chosen to sponsor Team NoA, a 6-member professional Counter-Strike team, with their latest hardware along with other unspecified support. NoA (Norwegians of America) is composed of three Norwegian players, two Americans, and one Canadian. All but one of the players (the newest addition and a Norwegian) currently live together in California to practice for the upcoming Cyberathlete Professional League championship tournament in Grapevine, TX, as well as the E-Sports World Cup in Toulouse, France. AMD will presumably be flying Ola Moum, the new member, from his home in Horten, Norway to the States as part of the deal. This is definitely a huge step forward for the concept of professional gaming, not only in the United States but worldwide. With teams like Team 3D and Schroet Kommando getting sponsored by bigger companies, (Subway, NVIDIA, and Shuttle in 3D's case) who knows where this might be in the next few years?"
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AMD Sponsors Pro Gaming Team

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  • well.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by no-arg constructor ( 775215 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:53AM (#9074174)
    most modern fps games have demos you can record and play back the entire battle. actually most events post these games on their websites. counterstrike demos have been out for years, and also unreal tournament, quake 3, and even rts games like warcraft 3, starcraft, and the age of empires series have recorded games where you can watch from one or both players viewpoints in its entirety.
  • by jiffah ( 685832 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @12:04PM (#9074297)
    CS (and all other half life mods) can use HLTV [hltv.org] which supports up to 128 spectators, without affecting the match (30-60 second delay, players don't see text, not a bandwidth hog). HLTV can also record the entire match. Gotfrag and other sites host a lot of HLTV demo's from playoff matches. I'm not sure if newer games have an HLTV equivalent yet or not. I'm a nerd.
  • Korea (Score:4, Informative)

    by yotaku ( 26455 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @12:34PM (#9074678) Homepage
    Actually Pro gaming has already taken off in Korea. This story isn't really news, as AMD, Nvidia and Intel have been supporting Counter-Strike (and various other games) clans for years now. These events are huge in Korea. On the other hand it is slowly gaining momentum here in the US and in Europe which I think is a great thing. I'd much rather watch a game of Warcraft 3, than a game of Football. Personally I think it makes a much better spectator sport. I can't wait for pro gaming to make it to ESPN, maybe then it'll be worth getting all those 100s of sports channels.
  • by chrismcdirty ( 677039 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @12:41PM (#9074764) Homepage
    I believe UT2003/4 have UTV. And most games that are based off of the engine are capable of it.
  • by The Kow ( 184414 ) <putnamp@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @03:34PM (#9076526)
    Before the Dotcom burst, there were a number of 'esports' teams getting sponsorships. After the economy tanked, the whole process slowed down a bit, but it's been an interesting barometer to notice that a lot more teams are getting sponsorships lately, some with old companies, some with new.

    Also interesting is that most of the sponsorships I've seen go to teams in Europe, like the bevy of top-notch German and Swedish gaming clans. The reason for this is that gaming there is a far more common thing. Gamers view LAN tournaments as the ultimate competitive venue, because of the low latency, the presence of tournament computers that generally eliminate any framerate issues that one's own PC might have, and because there are often prizes for gatherings such as that. The close proximity and population density, combined with the greater popularity of competitive gaming in these regions leads to a lot more corporate attention.

    The LAN tournament scene is only recently looking to pick up lately in the US. Before the only tournaments you could find were for Counterstrike, and generally run by either the CPL, or by the WCG (an Olympics style competition, with a limited number of entrants per country, making it very difficult to qualify). So far this year there've been 2 relatively large ones here on the West Coast, both featuring flavors of Unreal Tournament and the Battlefield series (BF:Vietnam and BF:1942), as well as Call of Duty. There are few more that I am aware of planned for the summer, as well as one in Colorado and a particularly large one in Kentucky.

    All of these tournaments feature some notable prizes. The NVidia tournament featured $4000 prize machines (which I think are actually worth more like 2.5-3k, not that anyone's complaining) as well as $500 cash to the first place winners. On a more realistic level, Newegg.com held one with P4 3.2 GHz CPUs, motherboards, and a $100 gift certificate for first place.

    So you can see the money flowing into these events, and the question a lot of people ask is 'Why?'. The reason companies are so interested in gaming and gamers is because video games are notorious for pushing computers to their limits. Because of this, hardcore gamers tend to seek out the highest-performance equipment they can get their hands on. This makes them perfect opinion leaders for the rest of the hardware market.

    Of course there are some doubters and nay-sayers who question whether 'esports' is really a legitimate venue for competition because it doesn't involve a bunch of steroid-hyped testosterone-appealing dudes in uniforms. The simple fact, though, is that competitive venues will thrive wherever they can sustain themselves. Magic: The Gathering tournaments weren't big by accident. There were people who wanted to play it. Similarly, e-sports has been a competitive platform of its own for several years now. First with the PGL, and through various incarnations to the CPL, as well as other tournaments such as the annual World Cyber-Games (WCG) which have a HUGE following in Korea, and will be having their first event hosted outside of Korea this fall in San Francisco, and smaller tournaments such as the aforementioned NVidia tournament hosted alongside the GeForce 6800 unveiling, the Newegg tournament(s), Million-Man Lan in Kentucky, PDXLan in Portland, and so on.

    If it were all a big joke, people would be laughing, but they're not. They're shelling out money to travel to these events and compete and hopefully come home with some pretty respectable prize purses.
  • by molo ( 94384 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @05:41PM (#9077878) Journal
    You can do that in Quake too.

    Record the demo on the server, and you'll have all the information. You don't want the clients to have this ability, because then it can be used for cheating (sending everyone's positions instead of just the people that are visible).

    If you want to edit your demos and change perspective, use KeyGrip.

    As for not having to buy the game.. the Quake engine is GPLed.. but you still have to buy the games to get the maps. Any demo playback engine will also have to have the maps, since the demo data doesn't contain rendering information.


In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982