The Best Tournament

Plus one.

Alliance Tournament XII came and went this year without much fanfare in OUCH. I used to make time to watch the entire tournament live. Couple of years ago, I can remember trying to do stuff on the weekend with Yoz and he would tell me we couldn’t do this or that because two really good alliance teams were going to be fighting and we had to be at his house to watch them.

This season, I watched three AT matches. I didn’t watch the finals, or even the quarter finals. The AT was kind of boring and it’s been real nice outside.

Well, thank goodness summer’s over. Internet spaceships is serious business.

I’ve recently been exposed to League of Legends.

There are other games besides Eve Online?

I don’t actually know anything about League of Legends. I don’t play it. I’ve just been watching some of the tournaments over my sons shoulder. After watching just one match, I figured out that it’s objective based PvE and PvP. Each side fights to capture points on a map and gets points to kill the other guy. Reminds me of Heroes Ascent or Guild versus Guild battles in Guild Wars.

But the big thing I learned is that League of Legends Tournaments are exciting.

The commentators are exciting. They call the fight like it’s a football match, where everything is on the line. They know the contestants, how they play, why they play the class or role they are playing, what that individual player brings to their team. To the audience, the players are not faceless names on a screen. They travel to one location and play against each other in an arena. The computers are all the same room. Cameras capture the contestants intently playing their game. And they have local spectators, cheering in the stands, not just making inane comments on some stream chat.

You don’t get that watching the Eve Online Alliance Tournament. Hell, League of Legends teams have out-of-game sponsors. One of the teams I saw the other night is sponsored by the Korean company that built my cell phone.

Well, in CCP’s defense, it’s impractical for them to an Alliance Tournament like that.

I agree, but you know what? Every year, hundreds of Eve pilots fly to Iceland. They have a PvP room at Fanfest. 20 computers. Throw a tournament. Regulate the team fits to make it even. Put some more chairs in the room for spectators. Get some commentators in there, give out some big prizes instead of pirate rookie ships. Stream it! People are paying a couple thousand bucks to come to Iceland anyway, make it more memorable than ever.

Think about it. It’s hard to get excited watching the AT, watching brackets and a map as pilots play guns versus EWAR. You start to just focused on the Attack, Defense and Control lines underneath the fight. Bump that. Make it an event. Get faces on the screen. Not just the commentator, but the competitors and the spectators supporting them. Make it fun. Make it exciting. That’s what’s going to make spaceship combat interesting to watch on a stream. The audience doesn’t even need to know the difference between a Vindicator and a Vengeance, as long as they can get caught up in the spectacle. Pump up the local audience and the home audience will get excited because they will see real people enjoying our game.

Like everything else, it’s not about the spaceships. It’s always about the people.

Minus one.