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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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  • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:50AM (#9074132)
    but if you want to get people more hyped over gaming contests, it'd be cool to see a playback option in FPS's where you can replay the entire battle. It'd increase the competative analysis, plus it would be fun for spectators.

    And during live events, it'd be nice if there was a seperate spectator server where people can login see the activity from the match in real-time without directly affecting the match.
    • 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.
    • As another poset said UT 2004 has a "broadcast" type function where many people can connect and watch the match without causing much server lag.

      Also Painkiller has a "demo" record function is which games can be recorded and played back by otheres who own the game. Very cool stuff. I think maybe it's time to try out some ladders ;)

    • Been there, done that. These were both available for Quake (the original NetQuake), at least as far back as '97.

      QuakeTV is a relay server you could connect to for viewing. It had one client connection to the real server.

      Demo recording became standard practice in these games a long time ago. Each player would record their perspective, and observers would record too. It became the definitive way to view a match.

      • As for the second point, I was thinking more along the lines of Warcraft 3, which saves ALL the data from the session and play with the playback at one's pleasure. But you're answers were informative and interesting.. Ok, now lets get an external viewer so ppl don't have to buy the games / have all patches the same, etc... to see it.
        • 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, sin
  • well.. (Score:2, Informative)

    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.
  • Hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:54AM (#9074190) Journal
    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...

    Well, that's a reality show waiting to happen. Although I suspect all those Blue Crush meets Big Brother shows last year had more attractive cast members to work with, but who knows?

    (Does anyone else remember when Red Hat promoted the 6.0 release by having a bunch of Linux users live in a house and have adventures? And the poor marketing person in charge had to deal with constant "I can't go water skiing -- there's a new kernel release, and I get sunburned and I'm allergic to jellyfish!"?)

  • A. Large numbers of tickets are sold to the events.
    B. Average Joe buys team-related merchandise.
    C. Non-computer companies sponsor the teams.
  • by metalhed77 ( 250273 ) <andrewvc@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @12:23PM (#9074539) Homepage
    What could counter-strike possibly showcase in hardware? A 400mhz PII can run that game perfectly smoothly!
    • Counter-Strike is well balanced for team play, is fluid, intense without being nausea-inducing, and has an established fan base. And apparently you haven't played CS in the past year. Valve's STEAM program has forced everyone to upgrade in order to play CS. I get 100 fps most of the time, except when multiple smoke grenades have been deployed in my POV, and multiple models are shooting. CS can bring a PC to it's knees.
  • 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.
    • Lies! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tickenest ( 544722 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @01:32PM (#9075295) Homepage Journal

      In a football game, there's really only one thing that you absolutely must concentrate on at any given time to follow the action, and that's the ball. Sure, there's plenty going on otherwise on the field, but seeing the receiver leap up and snag a long pass is more exciting to watch than the left tackle blocking a rusher.

      But what do you focus on in a FPS? You can follow a single player, but you miss a lot of the action. You can focus on a spot, but again, you miss a lot of the action. Even as a free-floating spectator, there's too much going on to take it all in. Even if the game has objectives like places to plant explosives, you can't just focus on that one spot, since most of the action is away from there, anyway.

      And in a RTS? Well, the early game buildup isn't terribly exciting. At least you can focus on a spot when two armies clash, so RTSes have that going for them. Still, it's a long way from football.

      I think the essence of the problem is this: most FPSes and RTSes have a large element of deception, or at least concealment to them. You try to avoid revealing your location to your opponent. The problem is that this makes it more difficult for a spectator to watch because he doesn't know what to expect. In sports, there's much less concealment. Oh, sure, they try to keep their opponents from knowing their gameplan, but you at least know where the players are. If you want to make a FPS watchable, you need to stick all the players in a space where a spectator can see the whole area at once without much obstruction, while still being able to tell what's going on. Naturally, this might ruin the game itself, but that's hardly the point, is it?

      • Re:Lies! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fireduck ( 197000 )
        computer gaming as a mass market spectator sport probably won't succeed for the exact reasons you cited: lots of action spread out with no obvious focal point. However, I think post-game editing can make viewing computer games an enjoyable pasttime. An initial run through of the playing field and commentary on what to look for in specific zone. Some nice split screen action showing how each team is advancing; full screen shots with alternating point of view at conflicts, etc. Essentially turn the game
        • Re:Lies! (Score:3, Interesting)

          lots of action spread out with no obvious focal point

          Exactly why I can't understand the fascination with watching golf. I enjoy playing it and would give a kidney to be able to do that for a living but I'd rather watch grass grow than watch pros play it on TV. Regardless, there's still a mass market for it, so who knows, maybe today's PS2/XBox raised generation are the TV mass market of the tomorrow for professional video gaming.
        • The essential thing here is an commentator who knows the game and is smart enough to figure out what just happened.

          I play Counter-Strike and when a cunning plan to take out the enemy works, it's one of the greatest feelings in the world. If we could somehow convey that feeling to an audience then it would be very popular.

          I have seen an edited replay of a quake 3 match, and that is indeed the way to go because it was much more enjoyable than a live match. Slow motion analysis of some of the action and the
          • You are correct that football commentators often use a telestrator to draw lines on a replay of the previous play. But aye, there's the rub!

            A game like football works so well on television because after each play, there's a stoppage of 30-45 seconds, giving the commentators plenty of time to discuss what just happened and bring in any other information they want/need to. This sort of discussion happens in a soccer match, of course, but often several seconds of action are missed.

            But if you cut away fro

      • In Counter-Strike, there is a spectator option to enable a "picture-in-picture" window. If you are spectating a player, the window will display a map of the level, with both teams's players represented on said map. If you switch to a map overview for your main window, the P-I-P switches to either a chase cam or a first-person view of your last targeted player. This way, you can see all the action whenever.
    • Here's a video [gamespot.com] of a Korean Starcraft spectator event.

      Also, Starcraft Cheetos and Doritos [unfix.org].

    • Sports may not be popular on Slashdot, but lets get real. Football is probably the *worst* game you could have picked as an example of something you'd rather not watch.

      Maybe it's simply because you've never taken the time to sit down and learn the rules, but Football - at least, American Football - is an incredibly complex mental game, perhaps moreso than it is a physical game. Choosing plays, defenses, substitution packages, and everything that goes into the mental game is just the beginning - then, there
  • Sweet, they get the latest hardware to play, uh, Counter-Strike on...
    • Counter Strike is without a doubt the biggest and most popular online shooter. Because it's so large and well established, it's the obvious choice. Most gamers have at least a passing familiarity with it, much in the same way that most people have a passing familiarity with the common TV sports.

      People know generally that a baseball pitcher throws a ball at the batter, who hits it, and then the batting team gets to run around while the fielding team gets the ball. (I even know this and I'm aussie). Likew
      • Actually, I was simply referring to the fact that Counter-Strike isn't exactly what one would call "cutting edge" technology and doesn't really benefit from having the latest equipment.
  • I've played and beat probably close to 50 people in various WI game tournaments for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! I always see prizes and big contests for FPS, but I've won little more than I've put in if you added up the value of the prizes. Professional gaming will come of age as soon as its more than just PC deathmatch games getting big prizes.
  • <sigh> (Score:2, Funny)

    by rubicon7 ( 51782 )
    a 6-member professional Counter-Strike team

    So, they're really good at playing a video game. Okay...

    You know, I'm really good at cluttering up my apartment, and procrastinating - maybe I can pick up a sponsor!
    • by RotJ ( 771744 )
      a 14-member prfessional basketball team

      So, they're really good at tossing a ball around. Okay...

      What's your point? Skill is skill. There are professional chess players and professional Scrabble players and proffesional sword swallowers. The only difference is whether there are enough people willing to watch it on TV and buy tickets and buy merchandise. Bowling somehow managed to get on TV. So Counter-Strike isn't out of the question. Actually, G4TV already has a show [g4tv.com] airing video game matches.

      • So, they're really good at tossing a ball around. Okay...

        Basketball, like many sports, also requires ATHLETICISM in addition to skill. Thus, joe schmoe at home is in awe of the sheer athletic prowess that these men (and women) posses. Unfortunately, with video games, it is soley twitch reflexes and strategy but ZERO athleticism. Basketball is not just tossing a ball around, but playing videogames is just playing videogames.

        • by RotJ ( 771744 )
          I don't want to get into the athlete vs. non-athlete argument. I was pointing out that Rubicon's comment showing his disdain for prizes and sponsorships given to gamers could be applied to anything. If enough people are sufficiently interested in and are willing to watch something, somebody will be willing to sponsor and give prizes to whoever does that thing best. If a lot of people are interested in watching someone good at cluttering their apartment and procrastinating, he could probably get a sponsor
        • by JeffTL ( 667728 )
          Basketball is not just tossing a ball around, but playing videogames is just playing videogames.

          So you are a SELECTIVE reductionist? Very interesting.
        • I don't like physical sports because there's a lot of cheating going on there.

          There is a lot of cheating going on at "e-sports" as well, but there is none at high-level LAN events because the players only play on pre-checked equipment and everyone can check their screens for wallhacks etc.

          Doping in physical sports can be taken without getting caught. Any speed cyclist who wants to have any chance at all will have to take doping. That's what it takes. I think even sports with a good reputation like tennis
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by obeythefist ( 719316 )
          I've seen some of these players go at it. I've played a few rounds of CS in my time, I'm not a bad gamer, better than most of my friends, but I'm certainly not a pro.

          So I would say that I am in AWE of these players, because they are so much better at something I enjoy than I am. They deserve some respect for this.

          Skeet shooting is an olympic sport. It's serious, standing still and shooting clay pigeons is one of the mainstays of the contemporary olympiad. Is it a sport? Yes. Does it require athletic
          • Skeet shooting is an olympic sport. It's serious, standing still and shooting clay pigeons is one of the mainstays of the contemporary olympiad. Is it a sport?

            Under my definition of sport, certainly not.

            Standing up and pointing a gun is not particularly athletic, but it does require tremendous amounts of skill. Only the best in the world, the absolute elite amongst humanity can win a gold medal. Would you then say that these people, much like video game players, don't deserve to compete in a recognised co

  • by The Kow ( 184414 ) <putnamp@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> 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.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein