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Posts from October 2012

The eSports Ryder Cup

 October 01 by Denis Dervisevic

I'm a big e-Sports fan as you might know, but I also love golf. I don't watch a lot of golf, but tune in to some of the majors. But i couldn't miss the Ryder Cup. Fresh in mind i had to write about similarities in e-sports, and i've been thinking about this for a while. The Ryder Cup is claimed as the 3rd most watched event on television. It sparks a huge rivalry between the US and Europe. It's a 3 day event where individuals play as a team and represent not themselves, but their country and continent. To read more about the Ryder Cup, check this out. To see an amazing recap of what happened last night check here.

For a long time I have tried to explain the similarities between golf and Starcraft 2 to people i know. There are many similarities such as individual performance, played on weekend, majors, individual sponsorships, equipment barriers of entry and so forth. And a while back i was thinking about the GSL World Championship. It's actually very similar to the Ryder Cup. It's the very best individual players coming together as a team, with a strong captain. They play both as a team in team leagues (foursome and fourball in Ryder) and individual games. They unify under one banner, korea vs the world and USA vs Europe. In this regard the presidents Cup is more similar, as it's USA vs The World.

The Ryder Cup is played every 2nd year on alternating field, so once in EU and then next time in USA. The WC is this time played in Las Vegas unlike last time in Seoul. I think that's great, and that perhaps every 2nd year is too long for e-sports with an ever changing landscape.

What's unique for the Ryder Cup in golf is that the players put everything aside for the competition. They receive no compensation from the Ryder Cup and there is no prize pool. They play for their country, continent, team and pride. Unfortunately i don't think that e-sports is in such a place. With so many young players that aren't as well off as golf players you can't take a weekend out of practice or another tournament to battle for pride.

So the GSL WC is close to it, but just today Robert Ohlen, CEO of Dreamhack AB tweeted all the major league heads, lightly about an e-sports Ryder Cup. David Ting and others responded with interest and after i mentioned this, Ting noted that it would be interesting with something collaborative for 2012. What if we could make the GSL WC, or something similar to it as big for SC2 as the Ryder Cup is for golf. I remember cheering for World Team harder than for any individual player, a team is something very different. I don't know what will come in 2013, but I'm looking forward to it.

Sorry about the weird order and collection of thoughts, I'm not a good writer and just wanted to jot this down to see what people think. What do you think?

eSports E-sports, Starcraft 2, Golf 0