E-Sports @ OnRPG: April 10th Report – IPL 4
By Umar Farooq (Kluey), OnRPG Journalist
IPL 4 – Viva Las Vegas!
IPL 4 – League of Legends
Unfortunately, I didn’t get too much viewing time on the League of Legends steam as it was overlapping with the Starcraft 2 stream. Nevertheless, I did get a few hours in. Before Starcraft, I was a huge League of Legends fan. This was before it had every abled body on the earth playing the game and Riot building houses out of 100 dollar bills. Now, the community of League of Legends is disgusting. It’s impossible for me to play for one day without running into someone whose sole purpose in life is to ruin you and piss you off.
Anyhow, Riot does the best job when it comes to promoting their game in E-Sports. They have the stream open in everyone’s League of Legends client; all they have to do is click. The stream peaked at around 150K viewers or so which is amazing. For the remainder of 2012, expect to see more tournaments pick up League of Legends just because of the sheer revenue potential.
As it tends to be with every League of Legends tournament, a few teams thought outside the box and used the element of surprise to secure early wins. The most notable example of this was Dignita’s game 2 tactic of using 3 supports spread across the map to create a devastating mid-game push/sustain team. CLG was set up with rapid spike damage and CC but was unable to out DPS the constant heals and buffs Dignitas brought to each team battle, resulting in devastating losses at Baron and an unstoppable constant push of mid and bottom lane. In the end counter-picking overcomes meta guidelines any day.
At IPL 4, the grand finals held the classic NA rivalry; TSM vs. CLG. The two pioneers of League of Legend teams. TSM was able to take out CLG but I expect that to change. CLG has been training in Korea and even announced a gaming house in California. Their team has always consisted of 5 good individual players and with them living in a house, they should really bond as a solid team.
TSM claiming their first place cheque of $25,000
IPL 4 – Starcraft 2
Sin City, The Entertainment Capital of the World; that’s where the IPL 4 was held. Before the event I was nearly certain that it would suck. The crowd would be non-existent, the players would be distracted and the venue unfit for Starcraft. Fortunately, IPL proved me quite wrong. This event was a success in their book, a great learning experience for other organizations and solid entertainment for us. In the end, aLive managed to crush Squirtle in the Grand Finals.
Winner of IPL 4, FnaticRC_aLive
Before we go on to anymore, I’d like to talk about the games at IPL 4. One of the side effects of a 3-day event like IPL is that the games are exactly like a well played ladder game at a high level. The players have no idea who they will face in their next game and thus cannot prepare. This is one of the reasons that make GSL showcase the best games. Their players can prepare for their next opponent throughout the entire week. That being said, 3-day tournaments also have an advantage. Mechanics will give you a win. In the GSL, we often see that a strategic play (builds, game plans, timings) will get you ‘free’ wins against a certain player. In a 3-day event, there’s none of that. You outplay your opponent for a win.
Some specific games you should consider watching:
Squirtle vs. aLive (Winners Finals, Game: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)
Stephano vs. MMA (Losers Round 2, Game: 2)
PartinG vs MKP (GSTL Finals, Game 4)
Casters of the event were probably one of the main discussions this week. Why? I don’t know. Starcraft watchers have this bad habit of putting casters before the game itself. A caster should have a nice voice to make the cast appealing. He or she should know how much they know about the game and not go beyond that point. There is nothing more painful than hearing a caster explain something totally wrong. If you don’t know why something is happening just say what is happening and move on. Lastly, a caster should be knowledgeable about the players and the event. Any sports casters I’ve ever heard is always comparing a player’s stats and game play from what he did last event. This doesn’t happen enough in Starcraft. All in all, people need to stop over- criticizing casters as it makes them do what they cannot do like analyze or hype up the game more.
Disconnects are an issue that needs to be addressed. Why are they still happening? Blizzard has seen them often enough to know that they are an issue. Yet, they do nothing, absolutely nothing. While it is Blizzards problem, tournaments also need to do something about it. Any tournament with a prize pool larger than 5K USD has to pay a certain amount to Blizzard. If they aren’t getting what they paid for, stop paying for it. While this might be extreme, disconnects hurt the entire scene. A potential sponsor will look at Starcraft, watch it disconnect, see the fans get really frustrated and wonder how their product will benefit from this.
Mike Morhaime and Dustin Browder reacting to a disconnect.
The GSTL finals with the PartinG vs. MarineKing disconnect was a huge disappointment. The finals were literally the best ever until that disconnect. That game between the two was equivalent to the DRG vs. MMA finals until they disconnected. The constant back and forward action between the two and almost zero mistakes in their play was amazing. After the drop of the two players, GSTL judges had to make an extremely difficult call. Can 3 marauders beat 15 zealots, 6 stalkers and 8 high templars? Because of their brilliant analysis they came to a conclusion that both players were equal and a there will be a re-game. What in the world were they thinking? PartinG had that game won and according to SaSe in an interview, every professional player would agree with that.