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Thursday, March 22, 2007

The PvP Report #4: Think Different

I've published my fourth weekly "PvP Report" for GBT, covering the WoW Arena Tourney scene.

In this column, I reply to Mahmood Ali's column criticizing WoW as a pro gaming platform:
I don't see WoW's "leveling requirement" as making it inferior to traditional pro games. I see it as different. Different from FPS games, different from RTS games. But not worse. It's just another way to play a game.

One of pro gaming's major problems is the supposed dearth of pro games. "Quake 4" sucks, so we're left with "Call of Duty" and "Counter-Strike," plus Q3 and UT. There's "StarCraft" and "WarCraft III" on the RTS side, both because they are well-balanced games, and because the Hangukin love them. But that's pretty much it.

Every time a new game comes along that might possibly add to the pro games stable, it immediately gets shot down by the community. Take "Battle for Middle-Earth 2," for example. Is BFME2 as good as "StarCraft" or "Warcraft 3?" No, it absolutely isn't. But is it good enough for pro play? Yes, it absolutely is. Would a new, fresh game breathe life into the moribund pro gaming scene? Yes, it absolutely would. (Should SC and WC3 play suffer, to make room for a new, inferior game? No. But it wouldn't have to.)

Is WoW PvP as good a pro game as any of the above listed? Let's take it as granted that no, it isn't. But would the pro gaming scene benefit from a "new" game, part of an immensely popular franchise, created by a venerable pro-gaming company, that pro-gaming n00bs would understand and appreciate? Only if it genuinely tested the skills of the best players.

Does WoW PvP test those skills? Yes, it does. And automatically rejecting this game from the competitive community would not only be (actually) elitist, but damaging to pro gaming as whole.
Check it out if for nothing more than the pic of me as Xerxes from "300."


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Thursday, March 1, 2007

"The PvP Report" Launches On GBT

My weekly feature, "The PvP Report," launched today on I'll be covering the action in the "World of Warcraft" Arena Tournament, right up to the global live finals event later this year.
With the launch of their “World of Warcraft” Arena Tournament, Blizzard Entertainment adds a third major game to the e-sports pantheon. While some FPS and RTS purists still scoff of the idea of a professional competitive MMORPG, Arena Tournament allows the best players in the international WoW community to prove themselves in official tournament ladders.

Although WoW Arena tournaments have existed for a while, this is the first time Blizzard has hosted an inter-server, worldwide competition with live events. With WoW's large user base and high media profile, this tournament stands to become the most famous event in the history of e-sports, in this writer's opinion.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blizzard Announces "World of Warcraft" Tournaments

Mahmood Ali has the details over at GBT.
Blizzard has announced its inaugural season of the World of Warcraft Arena Tournament, which will pit player-vs-player teams against another in an effort to find the best PVP team in the world.

The tournament is scheduled to begin in just two days time (Feb. 16th) in Europe and North America, and March 3rd in Korea. The best ranked teams from each region will fight it out on private realms and then advance to regional finals, after which they will advance to the Global Finals.

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