February 27, 2009

Or so I've heard.

The topic in 3D's IRC channel claims that, anyway. I'm going to assume the news is true because we all know that IRC topics cannot be faked by any technology known to man and nobody has ever played a prank by changing their IRC topic.

On a serious note, I have no reason to suspect the news isn't true. Torbull said he was going through the process in an earlier GotFrag interview, so this news should only surprise people that didn't read the interview.

As for the impact, I'm certainly happy because I think it's great to have one of the premier names in gaming back in the hands of people that truly love gaming. The problem is that I'm not sure this has an immediate impact on the scene. In the same GotFrag interview, Torbull also said he wasn't going to bring back a team for 3D if he didn't feel like they'd live up to the name -- in other words, he's not going to put you and your four friends on the team just for the sake of having a team.

That shouldn't stop you from PMing him incessantly about your chances, though, and asking about who the new team will be.


February 24, 2009

Got a couple quick updates. First, if you missed my latest article on the Complexity website I humbly suggest rectifying that.

And, in other news, I'm now on Twitter. I'm not sure how I'm going to use it yet. It might be random observations from my real life or from the gaming world (most likely both) that aren't substantial enough for a full blog post but still amuse me. And I like the 160 characters of less mantra. It makes me feel like the Phoenix Suns of writing.

I just hope both of my retinas stay in place.

February 13, 2009

AMD recently announced they're ceasing almost all involvement with eSports. This should come as a huge surprise for anybody that's time traveled here from 2006, and not much of a shock to anybody that's turned on a news channel in the last six months.

If you aren't totally surprised by the news and you're a fan of eSports, then you're probably disappointed or worried. I consider both of those emotions totally appropriate. It's never a good thing when a sponsor becomes a former sponsor, particularly when they had a history in eSports and a close tie to technology and gaming (as opposed to, say, Subway).

That being said, I felt neither disappointed nor worried.

I'm not happy about the news, don't get me wrong. There are warning bells going off somewhere in my head, they're just not happening in the emotional centers. The rational part recognizes that something bad has happened, but I can't get all that worked up about it. I think that's because I've already emotionally steeled myself against news like this.

The writing has been on the wall. The more I've talked to people about things like the CGS, the future of eSports, and everything that entails, the more obvious it becomes that we're in for a tough time. Things outside the world have eSports have gotten worse the last few months. Companies all over the place are looking to cut costs. Too often "costs" has been in the form of jobs, but it's also common sense that some of the sponsors that spend dollars on eSports are going to look at their ledgers and reassess the value they're getting for sinking money into competitive gaming.

Looking around, I just feel like we're going back to our roots. I'm not all that happy about it. I'd much rather have salaried players, mass media coverage, and everything that mainstream acceptance entails, but I don't see any way around it, either. Competitive gaming, for the immediate future, looks like it's going back to online leagues, smaller tournaments, and players juggling work, school, and play. It's not the best times we've had, not by a long shot, but for the last few months I've felt like this is really the inevitable conclusion of people that are looking to make money, a failing economy, and a form of entertainment that has never been more (nor showed that it could be anything more) than niche.

Even if it was somewhat expected as the natural fallout from the mixture of venture capital and a recession, that doesn't mean the news isn't a kick in the pants. It is. I guess I've just resigned myself to the fall. It's going to be painful. We might lose some teeth along the way, and we're certainly going to lose sponsors, as you can already see.

But for reasons that I've explained elsewhere, I think eSports will never die. We're just receding. The things that can't survive because they're hemorrhaging money, like the CGS, won't. The things that can survive because they're profitable and run by smart people, like ESEA, will.  And somewhere down the line, things will get better as those well-run entities form the backbone of eSports.

Unfortunately things can only get better after they've hit rock bottom.

AMD, eSports

February 13, 2009

If you haven't been around to 3D's team site lately, and I wouldn't blame you because it's even less active than I've been the last two weeks, you would've missed the cryptic but somewhat uplifting message they've left for their fans. This is the complete contents of their website at the moment, chopped down into a reasonable image size:

For whatever reason, when I first looked at it another, totally different message popped into my head. A much nerdier message, but I still couldn't help myself.

Oh yes. I went there.

(P.S. "CHAPPPY!!!!!!!!!!!")


February 4, 2009

Most of you probably don't know, but my old Source team came back to life recently. They're the only guys I've ever played Source with as a team, and the fun times immediately started to roll.

In the midst of all this rolling (or getting rolled, as we continue trying to de-rust ourselves), one of my teammates had what can only be described as a bizarre graphics error.

Now, I've had some weird things happen to me while playing CS. I've had textures spike, I've had whole models disappear, and once I even had whole sections of walls disappear. This was all because my video card was overheating, but suffice it to say that I thought my experiences were pretty out there. I mean, it's pretty rare that you see kits, grenades, and guns moving around the map without an attached character model. But I have never, ever, ever seen anything like this.

I couldn't help but share. So here you go: some of the most bizarre CS screenshots I've ever seen. For the record, my favorite part is the little people in the floors and walls of B tunnels.

There are a few more, but I think you get the idea ... kids, don't let your CS avatars do drugs.


February 1, 2009

You should get used to this post because it'll probably come around every weekend. I'm going to be writing a weekly piece for complexitygaming.com, and the second installment is now published. The piece is about anti-cheat, and specifically some things I think would be interesting to see for demo reviews. You can check it out here, and if you missed the first one, by all means, enjoy an LD binge.

You know, if you're into that kinda thing.

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