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Though there may be a change in 2014, Blizzard’s 2013 season has been rampant with player retirements and constant outcries about their unlocked regional system... incorporation of the WCS point-system is both to keep a larger amount of players pertinent to the competition and to further relevancy with growing tournament organizations: “We plan to simplify the broadcast schedule for WCS to allow for other

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organizations to hold major events during the year.” Courtesy of TeamLiquid.net, Kim Phan gives some insight into the goals and interests of Blizzard Entertainment for 2014. Directly supporting pro gamers or team organizations is pretty much nonexistent. Fans simply enjoy the ride, watch some games and discuss the matches. Attending events and purchasing directly from the teams are the sole ways fans can financially support their favourite players. The unfortunate part here is that players rely on fans to support them, yet have little to no means in conjunction with Blizzard to capitalize on this. Blizzard’s approach to eSports is similar to Riot’s, but more as a supervisor and owner of WCS and less involved in regards to individual players and event organizations’ decisions on how to present their content. It suffers from trying to maintain strong viewership by avoiding regional restrictions on players, yet it diminished participation of these regional competitions as a whole, which resulted in retirements. In truth, Blizzard tried to have its cake and eat it too, but we may be seeing massive overhauls of their WCS system in terms of region residency locks, player exposure and doublingdown on its investment in the eSport. Big things are on the way for 2014, but whether or not it drives new interest in StarCraft II is another question. *Sources are courtesy of WCS.Battle.net and Liquipedia VALVE CORPORATION AND DOTA 2

Valve’s approach is more hands-off in that it is a free-market of contributors and starting businesses. There is no actively run league and their “global finals”, named The International, is more of a celebration of Dota 2 than anything else. In truth, Valve doesn’t take note from other major publishers and

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to shrinking levels of participation. The result is that other regions expand worldwide, sometimes alienating nationalistic fans who enjoy players from recognizable cultures and backgrounds. Players who qualify for the Premier League of WCS are not financially supported by Blizzard. Unlike competitors of League of Legends, players must balance their regular life with their attempt to become full-time competitors. This causes a bit of unintended favoritism towards players who are salaried by team organizations and less for up-and-comers with a huge backing, further alienating portions of eSports fans and weakening diversity in personal storylines. Though players are the most important aspect in eSports, the amount of emphasis on making sure tournament organizers are still with StarCraft II is apparent in Blizzard’s public messages. Typically, event organizers are contracted or working in partnership with Blizzard. There is a reliance on these tournament organizers to not only hype their players, but also to hype their own matches, events and broadcasting. The

GLHF Magazine Issue #7  

In this special issue of GLHF we expand our coverage to include League of Legends and Dota 2. As part of the first of many such pieces, we f...

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