World Cyber Games 2008: Auf Wiedersehen!

In the pro gaming scene, there is still a long way to go for any level of support from a broader audience at home. But this year should be remembered as a time when Australia made its first real mark on the international stage. Across the board, Australia showed they are fearless, determined, and would offer stiff competition to anyone they faced. We were represented with real Aussie flair, too, as teams whooped, cheered and jeered to pump themselves up, and the fans of the team back home watching online offered massive support through IRC channels and web forums as the events took place. As someone who was here in Germany to observe the team in action, it was great to see fans of other countries begin to gather around the Australians because of the buzz and the entertainment value they were offering at WCG.

But here's a question for you all, as gamers. If you still don't see how 'eSports' could be a quality spectator event, what would help you change your mind? Why are you not interested in watching such events? Is there a second 'generational' shift that needs to occur even within the gaming community for a pro scene to evolve here? It is already a very mature overseas with many players making six figures Australian money.

If you missed the coverage, here's a wrap of everything we talked about: World Cyber Games 2008: Australia Is Here WCG 2008: Team Immunity Bootcamp with SK Gaming WCG 2008: Opening Ceremony Wishes WCG Was Olympics WCG 2008 Day 1: Australia's Counter-Strike Nail Biter WCG 2008 Day 2: Glade Downs Tough Korean in Warcraft 3 WCG: Other Australian in Cologne for GH3, PGR4 WCG 2008 Day 3: Aussies Go Distance in Halo 3 Deathmatch WCG Day 3: Immunity Goes Down Fighting


Comments

    For some reason I just lost my few paragraphs I'd written in response to this so I'll make this a lot shorter.

    "But this year should be remembered as a time when Australia made its first real mark on the international stage"

    This was one of our weakest years in WCG history so you saying this makes absolutely no sense unless it was your first year or first time covering competitive gaming. We had our strongest showings in 2001-2004 including our only medal in UT in 2002 (snoopdx) and our only real 'pro-gamer', legionnaire, has long since retired. Based on previous results in WCG, ESWC, ACON4 etc we're actually sliding downhill a bit. Let's hope that the release of new competitive games (starcraft 2 namely) will get new sponsors on board and with them, a bit of a shot in the arm for our top players.

    If the Australian pro-gaming community wants to consider itself more 'mature', then the players themselves need to mature. Both mentally and socially, and less importantly, biologically.

    It'll happen, it will just take a lot longer here in Australia because grassroots communities for even the bigger games competitively are not big enough to really gather a following and build up their own momentum. The companies/groups who want things to get big need to find ways to support local communities. It seems like corporate interest is there, just not the players themselves.

    Also, I think that egames has a bit of a image problem, trying to look too hard like its a sporting event, with players wearing hockey jerseys all the rest of it. I really think events out there need to establish their own brandimage , because I don't think Australians really stomach that whole look much... based on image alone, these events look massively wanky and over the top.

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