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ESWC/WCG: Losing focus?

Napisał mki, 27/07/2010 13:00

The Electronic Sports World Cup and the World Cyber Games (also known as the ESWC and the WCG); these two tournaments are the most prestigious events in the world as their name states and they house the best players from around the globe. Every competitive electronic sports player relishes the thought of participating in the grand finals of these two events, however those with past experience aren't always quick with their praises for the two organizations. Why is this so and what is going on behind the scenes at these organizations? Max Kieturakis will share his thoughts and opinions in this editorial piece about the World Cyber Games, the Electronic Sports World Cup and how they are run.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Frag eXecutors and/or its partners.

Without a doubt the ESWC and WCG have brought enormous amounts of opportunity to gamers around the world and even electronic sports as a whole. The chance to rise up from an underground community to a professional sport has been aided in a large part by these two competitions along with our various professional gaming organizations. Although they have done a lot, these competitions have also hurt electronic sports in many ways, sometimes in ways that will leave a bad mark on eSports longer than the good marks. The positives and negatives of the organizers of both competitions are numerous, however two stand out above all. The first is the ESWC's system of getting teams to the event, while the second is the WCG's approach to individual team sponsors. For this reason something must be done, and for this reason this article was written: the Organizers of both of these events must start taking responsibility for what happens to the teams participating in competitions and must acknowledge not just themselves to help eSports grow.

The truth is that the ESWC does not do enough to make sure gamers are looked after. I will be the first to state that some great things have been done, but the important things aren't being taken care of. I do honestly believe that the ESWC does wish all of the best for the individuals participating in their events, however I am not one hundred percent convinced that individual license holders share the same ideology. And this is where the whole problem lies.

Waiting: Frag eXecutors on the Okecie airport after ESWC charter cancellation.

To truly understand why this is a problem, one has to understand the process by which teams are selected to attend the event. The first thing that has to happen is that a company or individual has to buy a license to attend the event. What is this license? The license is what allows the team to attend the event; without a license, a team cannot attend the event. These licenses are expensive and usually a company buys a license and holds a tournament where the grand prize is this license mentioned. Once handed the license, the team becomes the countries national representative. The main issue here is: What happens when the license gets into the wrong hands? Unfortunately, this happens very often and for this reason each and every year, teams get cheated out of attending either the ESWC grand final event.

Before it even gets into someone's mind to state that this isn't the ESWC's fault directly, I will quickly explain the issue further. It is the ESWC's and the RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that the license gets into the right hands. Ultimately, they should be the ones responsible for each qualifier in every single nation. Of course, the goal for the ESWC is to have as many countries as possible attend their grand final event. There are simply too many countries for such an organizer to worry about, so this is why licenses are sold in the first place. This way the ESWC saves themselves the time of organizing all of these events themselves. This is unfortunately an extremely flawed system. Far too often are we presented with a situation that a team can't attend an event. Just recently we had an outrageous debacle with the Polish representatives for ESWC showing up at the airport only to learn that there were no flights booked for them to Paris. A statement released by Adrian Witkowski (manager of Frag eXecutors), summed up the whole situation pretty well:

"The situation is dramatic and we are not even able to contact the organizer. At this moment we have all united with the other teams and we are trying to find out if Team Poland can even participate in the tournament. We're figuring out our options of getting to Paris. The time is 10:30, in exactly 24 hours the first match will be played in Disneyland Paris for the ESWC Grand Finals." [Translated from Polish] - Adrian "Ziggy" Witkowski
The organizer was not punished in any way by the ESWC or any governing body. If the ESWC wants to indeed look after its gamers it should have a more rigorous selection process when it comes to selling licenses and should require a contract which ensures that the new license holder covers all costs tied with the respective representatives attending an event. After this, the ESWC should go further to enforce such rules by punishing any breach in the above mentioned contract in the court of law.

The arrival: Fx walking triumphantly into the tournament's venue after 16h train trip to Paris.

Another option for the ESWC is to adopt a different policy similar to that of FIFA. The ESWC could form national committees in each country they would wish to have attend their events. They could hire professional individuals who have proven themselves before in their respective national scenes. These individuals would act directly under the ESWC's name to send teams to the event with the help of ESWC Regional sponsors. This would motivate the ESWC to not make mistakes in sending teams as there would be no excuses to why a team can't attend their event.

When it comes to teams not attending events, it seems like WCG is doing everything it can to make sure that sponsored teams don't attend their events. The World Cyber Games is one of the most stable competition organizers in the world. They are an amazing positive spotlight for electronic sports boasting major sponsors which guarantee timely prize pay-outs. Unfortunately, the WCG enforces a policy which hurts professional team organizations.

Poorly dressed: fnatic players with WCG 2009 silver medals, wearing mixed WCG and team Sweden shirts.

The WCG does not allow teams to wear their own jerseys because they claim that often times professional gaming teams have sponsors which take away business from the WCG sponsors. The WCG must understand that they aren't alone in moving electronic sports forward. Although they are a major player, so are companies such as MSi and Intel who help run professional teams such as Fnatic and Evil Geniuses. For a team to gain experience and maintain a high level they must compete a lot which would not be possible without the funding these companies give professional organizations. WCG's policy gives said companies one less incentive to sponsor these teams which could ruin electronic sports as a whole.

"We feel something must be done, if WCG want to consider themselves a real tournament for esports then they must understand that they are limiting its growth potential by not nurturing the entrepreneurs and business owners within esports to get a return? Until some of the reasons have been rectified, we find it hard to justify going. Of course we want more tournaments in esports but at some point there has to be a line drawn." - Sam Matthews
The World Cyber Games needs to realize this decision could cripple eSports and must go back on their original statement. Individual team jerseys should be allowed to help eSports grow, which in the long run will help the WCG grow even more as well. If organizations lose sponsors such as MSi and Intel it might not be long before they will stop attending such big events around the world and eSports as we know it could disappear.

Proper dresscode: with no doubts they look more like a sports team now!

Both the ESWC and WCG need to realize sooner rather than later how big of a role they play in eSports. When a team misses an ESWC grand final because of broken promises, this reflects not only badly on the ESWC but also on the industry of eSports which has had too many broken promises. When companies see that the WCG is not allowing product placement, they will stop sponsoring teams to attend such events crippling one of the world's best competitions. The time to act is now for both of these organizations and at this point words are extremely cheap. This industry needs to redeem itself with positive actions by not only what was mentioned in this article, but also with professionalism and dignity. Let us hope that in the future we will see no more missed pay-outs, and no more broken promises. In this way we can ensure that electronic sports can thrive for many more generations to come.

amount of comments: 1add comment Concerns:Frag eXecutors Counter-Strike Esport

#1 | tR0uBL3 | 30/07/2010 12:06 quote

A great article........i totally agree with the author....i m from the WCG license holder is a total jerk...he has a monopoly here...he favors the cs 1.6 team of his city only...he does not pay for the teams qualifying from small cities to come to the city where national finals are held...we qualified from our city but he wont even pick our call and we were unable to contact the organizer till the national finals were finished...thats pathetic....WCG should seriously consider the handing out of the license in each country...bcoz it vital for the survival of the e-sports and WCG as well.....i hope this article brings some postiive changes...!!!!


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