An E-Sporting Chance: Teeming With Teams

By ESFI World on December 12th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.


Our e-sports Eye (Of Sauron) is Jeb Boone.

In E-sports, teams come and go like the tides. Even after the e-sports boom of 2010, stability is difficult to seize and maintain.

Last week, Quantic Gaming disbanded. Quantic fielded StarCraft 2, League of Legends and Call of Duty squads that performed with relative success for two years. For teams to do well financially, it takes a bit of charity and a willingness to sacrifice.

“I got into this philanthropically,” said Mark Ferraz, CEO of Quantic Gaming in an interview with ESFI last month.

“I’ve risked my family, I’ve risked my career, I’ve risked my saving, I’ve risked my everything, everything I’ve ever cared about on the face of the planet to see this happen,” added Ferraz.

It wasn’t enough.

Just a few weeks ago, Ferraz sat down with the members of Team Orbit, a League of Legends team, at a Holiday Inn in Austin, Texas. He signed them as the inaugural members of Quantic’s League of Legends division. For those players, Quantic’s demise is devastating. For the entire e-sports community, Quantic’s downfall is a time to reflect on the things that have gone wrong after the boom of 2010.

While Quantic made its name as a console shooter team, gamers of all stripes grew to love the team. They leave behind over 100 rostered players in their Call of Duty, StarCraft 2 and League of Legends divisions.

Just as some teams fall, others rise.

DOTING ON DOTA 2

Team liquid not only partnered with Evil Geniuses for this season’s SK Planet Proleague in Korea but also formed their own Dota 2 Division. The acquisition of a Dota 2 division is quite an achievement for Team Liquid. Liquid has moved from a clan to a forum hub for StarCraft and onto a professional StarCraft 2 and Dota 2 team over the years.

Liquid’s Dota 2 team will include players such as Brian “FLUFFNSTUFF” Lee, Sam “BuLba” Sosale, Steven “Korok” Ashworth, Tyler “TC” Cook and Michael “ixmike88” Ghannam.

“Though each of these players brings something unique to the table, they do have one thing in common; they are all hardworking and respectful individuals who have their minds set on long term dominance. As we understand that it can take some time for a team to truly become united, we will give them as much time as they need to figure things out,” said Victor “Nazgul” Goossens, founder of Team Liquid.

Just before Team Liquid announced its acquisition of a Dota 2 division, North America’s premier e-sports team, Evil Geniuses (EG), made a startling announcement.

Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong would be joining EG’s StarCraft 2 division. Jaedong “The Tyrant” is heralded as Brood War’s greatest Zerg player. With eight championship titles to his name, Jaedong is without a doubt EG’s most storied StarCraft 2 acquisition.

“I feel like I’m facing a new challenge. Unlike other players in Korean eSports Association (KeSPA) it seems like I am confronting a lot more changes than others. I also feel pressured that I will be playing at the first foreign team in SPL. Personally however, I feel excited about these changes and it seems like I will be having a lot of fun as well,” said Jaedong shortly after the acquisition was announced,” said Jaedong in an interview shortly after the acquisition was announced.

For many fans of StarCraft: Brood War, Jaedong joining a foreign team would have been unthinkable. At the height of Brood War’s popularity in South Korea, foreign fans were few. Names like Jaedong, Flash and Bisu resonated in the ears of Koreans and the foreign faithful as some of the best in the world.

But Jaedong’s first appearance with a foreign team was less than stellar. In the EG-TL partnership for the SK Planet Proleague team league, EG-TL was 4-0’ed by KT Rolster, Flash’s team. Jaedong lost to Stats, the Protoss player for KT Rolster.

Flash and Jaedong, two of the world’s greatest StarCraft: Brood War players have struggled to transition to StarCraft 2. In spite of Jaedong’s appearance in the world’s most competitive league, Korea’s Global StarCraft 2 League, Flash seems the dominant player.

But the season is young – there is still time for Jaedong and EG-TL to showcase their skill in Proleague in spite of their first loss.

As they chase glory in Seoul, Quantic’s former players will be searching for teams to take them in.

More on EFSI World.

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24 Comments »

  1. Zankmam says:

    BY THE GODS
    Not a SC2 centric post?

    Nice mixture of info, keep the E-Sports posts like this.

    Why not add more stuff about fighting games and FPS games, for example?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Considering SF25th was this weekend just gone you would have thought it would get a mention…

    • ch4os1337 says:

      Some CS:GO would be nice seeing how it’s the newest big Esports title and is a sequel to the game that basically started Esports.

      • Matindo says:

        I don’t follow counterstrike anymore but from what I remember the competitive scene doesn’t touch anything other than CS 1.6. Source never took off with the competitive crowd and there’s nothing in GO that makes me think it will either.

        • Premium User Badge oWn4g3 says:

          The competetive scene has almost completely dropped 1.6 in favor of Global Offensive. Teams like NiP, ESC and Na’Vi have switched to the new game due to the lack of prestigeous tournaments for 1.6.

      • Kodo says:

        I agree CS:GO should be covered, but at the moment there’s nothing much to say about what’s happening. Some teams dissolving, bunch of transfers, all meaningless since NiP dominates the scene. Kinda boring, for now anyway.

  2. Brosepholis says:

    Flash and Jaedongs’ performance in Starcraft 2 has been both tragic and completely predictable. These guys were at the top of the Brood War world because of their perfect mechanics – Brood War is an incredibly difficult game to play, requiring insane dexterity. Because they had the basics down so well they could spend their time getting really good at the parts of the game most people can’t afford to practice. Starcraft 2, however, has had its teeth ripped out, mechanically speaking. As a result the skills they spent their teenage years perfecting are useless, and it really shows. It’s just not as good an esport as Brood War because of how much easier it is (and the current metagame doesn’t help one bit).

    • honuk says:

      There is very little evidence to support this (rather popular) supposition. Watch Jaedong’s GSL games from last night and tell me this is a player with perfect mechanics who was beaten by an inferior player due to the terrible randomness of the game he plays. His mechanics were poor: bad rallys, terrible muta control, mineral floating, bad engagements, etc. He was beaten by a better player. Flash vs. Baby was the same thing, Baby had better multitasking, better positioning, better control. Some of the KeSPA players have taken very well to the game and some haven’t simply because it’s a different game. For every Bisu there is a Rain.

  3. rawrty says:

    I don’t get the second level ‘team’ aspect of E-sports. I mean take these League of Legends guys that Team Quantic just signed. Before that signing they already *were* a team, the article even says they were called Team Orbit. So now that Quantic is dissolved what’s to stop them from continuing on playing LoL, winning money in tournaments, as Team Orbit like they were originally? Why would they even have wanted their team to be part of some other meta-team in the first place? I don’t get it.

    • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

      It’s presumably the same reason every industry tends to consolidate; a lot of things are just more efficient when done in bulk. A big meta team means that you can have a more robust support structure and can arrange things that a small 5-guys-and-a-manager type team could. If nothing else, it means that you have easy access to other teams to practice with, discuss strategy with, stuff like that.

    • MattM says:

      I think the work involved in lining up sponsorships, managing an active website and forums, and planning for dozens of tournaments all over the world is enough to make teams worthwhile. They also can cross promote across games and build a following even as players retire and are replaced.

    • KaptainKnails says:

      Organisations such as EG, Team Liquid, Mouz, and Quantic are about having a brand that people recognize which makes it easier to find sponsors. companies just don’t want to sponsor a name that no one knows. It return these teams usually pay for transport between events and cover other costs such as bootcamping before events.

  4. robotslave says:

    Can anyone suggest an esports journalism site that doesn’t start with the assumption that I, a potential fan, am already a rather dedicated online player of at least one of the games covered?

    I feel like I’m being shown the half-page of trade gossip in the back of a normal sports weekly, without any of the main articles about games, tournaments, players, coaches, strategies, training regimens, and all that other stuff that’s more or less accessible to a general audience. Would that kind of thing just be considered “fluff” in English-speaking esports journalism?

    • MattM says:

      Its not exactly journalism but the frontages of liquidpedia and leaguepedia are really good for keeping up with pro Starcraft 2 and League of Legends. They have news links, lists of completed and upcoming tournaments, and pages about most players and teams.

    • Cerzi says:

      I agree, and I’m someone who follows competitive dota2 pretty closely. I’d wager that the general RPS readership would be more interested hearing about particularly exciting recent matches, upcoming tournaments and where to watch them, and overall news focused on games rather than names.

      Anyone interested enough in e-sports to hypothetically enjoy these articles would be getting this info from more specialist websites (like ESFI itself, teamliquid, gosugamers, etc), which is why these posts being on RPS don’t make a lot of sense.

  5. Noburu says:

    These articles are supar and overall disinteresting compared to normal RPS fare and need to be discontinued.

    • Matindo says:

      I agree, these articles seem to be incoherent to anyone that doesn’t know about E-sports and anyone that does would know all this already as there are dedicated sites that provide better coverage of it.

      • Kar says:

        I really disagree they should discontinue these articles. I’m a (reformed :)) starcraft fanatic and I really don’t have time to be involved in it as much anymore but I’m still very interested to get an overview of what’s going on.

        So from that perspective these articles are very nice.

        That said, I agree that it would be even better if reporting on ‘esports’ could be made more accessible to casual, or heck even non, fans.

        I’m not sure how to do that in an effective way, and I hate to complain without making a useful suggestion on how to make it better. Part of it rests on the communities of the respective e-sports games. Starcraft 2 is probably the biggest esports community and I understand it very well. But things move so quickly there that it’s sometimes hard to follow even for me. Imagine being unfamiliar with it completely?

        There is a massive opportunity here, just *someone* needs to figure out how to unlock it for the broader. more casual (or time/attentiion poor) audience.

        TL;DR Please keep writing these articles.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I disagree. Not on the point that these couldn’t be improved upon, but that the series should be discontinued. E-sport news is gaming news and generally pc-related as well. But the way coverage is provided still seems lacking.

  6. Radiant says:

    Oh hello Streetfighter 25th once in a lifetime anniversary tournament.

    What’s that? Qualifiers across the globe bringing the finest fighters in the world to one spot to win 25k and a car?

    What’s this? Happened this weekend?

    Was it? Incredible. Yes.

    These esports articles disgust me.

    *clutches handkerchief to face*

  7. Radiant says:

    Also a few of these ‘teams’ are breaking apart because of changing tax laws.
    They can no longer be considered tax write offs by the owning company.

  8. tsmike says:

    Not a mention of the current Star Season or GEST tournaments for Dota? No mention of the one-time-only Street Fighter tournament? The lack of Counter Strike news is forgivable, as there isn’t any.

    I don’t mind a regular article that summarises recent e-sports events, even if it doesn’t have the quirky humour that the rest of RPS has, it’s just that the content in these articles are seriously lacking.

    It seems that the only purpose of these articles is to advertise this EFSI World website rather than to advertise e-sports itself.

  9. captain lust says:

    The post is quite disjointed and hops about a lot.

    I’d recommend using more, clearer subheadings and taking time to explain things which are likely unfamiliar to the average gamer. In any case, I hope these posts aren’t discontinued.