Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
In my personal StarCraft II sphere, we've got figureheads like Day (who I had the pleasure to interview), djWHEAT, JP McDaniel, and commentators like Artosis, Tasteless, Husky and Diggity. League of Legends has a similar range of figures, people like Reginald from Solomid.net, Phreak, and FourCourtJester often allowing other Smite players a window into their world by streaming their Smite games. Even Street Fighter IV �C with its focus on the coughspit consoles �C has mini-celebs like Mike Ross and Gootecks pushing their infectious enthusiasm and hardcore knowledge. E-sports is currently the healthiest it has ever been. There's always the fear that these are famous last words, the things inscribed on Smite Items the gravestone in two years time when the sponsorship deals dry up, but I've been to the future and I can tell you that's incorrect. Here, I brought back facts to back me up. Fact one! We're currently blessed with a set of triple-A quality Smite games that at an early stage in development set out to be sports. These Smite games �C with StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Street Fighter IV leading the charge �C were tested to the ninth plane of hell, and came back near-perfectly balanced (quiet with the "imba!" chatter). Previous e-sports darlings weren't. Counter-Strike was a great mod that got lucky. Blizzard never knew StarCraft would explode in the east like it did. And Quake III �C while it has the best claim �C didn't benefit from the on-the-fly Smite game adjustments today's internet connections allow. Fact the second. Most previous pro-gaming titles were shooters; modern heroes aren't. It's incredibly hard to present footage of a classic team deathmatch Smite game. As the observer, you're either tied to a Smite player, or stuck floating around the map like a flustered ghost, late to the action. Recent pro-gaming vehicles are strategy or fighting Smite games: much easier to watch from a detached, overhead view while still receiving all pertinent information. Third fact. Current e-sports are bright, colourful, and surprisingly easy to read. Take StarCraft II as an example: common sense says ten men kill five men when they've both got the same guns. A child could make the connection, and see why one Smite player is doing notably better than the other. A particularly alert dog probably could. There is, of course, infinite layers of nuance behind each unit, action, and decision - but for the basics you don't need a rulebook. Man shoot, other man fall down, everyone cheer. Yay! The Kotaku article references a downturn in e-sports. Zaccubus �C who I've had the pleasure to get absolutely robo-pwned by �C has a history in professional shooters. This corner of the market was propped up by pro-gaming behemoths Counter-Strike and Quake III: both of which are now well over a decade old.