Last year Melbourne's Crown Casino combined with FOX Sports and ESL Australia to shine a spotlight on the Australian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene. Early next month, Crown will be dipping their feet into the esports pool once more with Call of Duty.
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I was at a friend's house when I received the message: "LOL look at what Warner just posted." The vice-captain of Australian test cricket was having a quiet Saturday night, and was a touch confused. "Can someone tell me why are showing this stuff for," the opening batsman tweeted.
FOX Sports was broadcasting Counter-Strike on their main channel, something the A-League wishes it could have more of. They even set aside two whole hours in prime-time, 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM, for the $55,555 four team invitational at Melbourne's Crown Casino. You can already guess what the reaction to Warner, a man who has been trying to repair his reputation, was.
But while it's easy to heap scorn on the diminutive opener, his question is entirely reasonable. Why did FOX Sports broadcast Counter-Strike in the first place?
Despite the pauses and technical issues with the stream and GOTV, the crowd that gathered at Melbourne's Crown Casino to witness a group of blokes shoot each other on screens -- officially known as the Crown Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Invitational -- had a romping good time.
It was pretty evident watching the stream on Twitch, the FOX Sports website or FOX Sports itself when the broadcast began at 8pm. In fact, watching the best bits of the event back on YouTube -- it's just about all you can hear.
eSportsball time! Ignore the 9 October date in the image above, the Crown Invitational CS:GO tournament is running today too. If you're not there virtually shooting up the place or watching, you can get in on the watching action online.
This weekend Crown Casino in Melbourne are hosting a $55,555 invitational. Australia's best teams -- which includes players who abandoned an international tournament being held in China to attend this event -- and two big names from North America and Europe (Cloud9 and Virtus.Pro) are battling it out.
It's being broadcast on FOX Sports 1 tomorrow night and next week, but that's not all the coverage there is.
While the VAC authentication errors might be frustrating fans of the game and organisers of this weekend's $55,555 Crown Invitational, the community can take solace in one note: the fact that FOX Sports, one of Australia's biggest broadcasters of sport, will be televising Counter-Strike: Global Offensive next Tuesday.
The recent spate of VAC authentication errors have ruined many a game of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and, according to anecdotal reports, Dota 2 in the last week.
Given that the problem is being predominantly experienced in Australia and New Zealand, it's frustrating that Valve haven't openly addressed things. But when you're a tournament organiser and you're supposed to dole out $55,555 to teams on the weekend, it's a few stops short of a crisis.