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Old 2014-05-11, 08:40 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
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EG/Alliance + SOE


At first glance, it might seem a little weird. A game developer sponsoring eSports teams? How’s that work, exactly? Fair question.

Those who have followed EG and Alliance over the years know that we take recruiting seriously. We don’t pick up teams in “promotional titles,” and we’re sometimes one of the last organizations to add divisions for certain games. This is because we don’t commit to players unless we believe their games have matured as eSports, and we believe they’re the right fit for our organization.

When it comes to the prospect of partnering with a game developer, we’ve had largely the same mentality. It’s not that we haven’t had opportunities thrown at us over the years; it’s just that we never really felt compelled to buddy up with a developer. Well, y’know, until now.

When I first met John Smedley (President of Sony Online Entertainment), EG and Alliance management had just re-located up to San Francisco and were in the process of moving into our new office. There were empty desks and unpacked boxes everywhere, but we sat down in a couple of office chairs and started talking eSports. And within about two minutes, I remember thinking to myself, holy shit, this guy really gets it.

We talked Dota 2. We talked about players and how to properly support them. We talked about what it’d take to help organize the eSports industry and stabilize it going into the future. And, most importantly, we talked about the fact that (at the time) he’d purchased every Dota 2 tournament ticket that’d ever been offered in the store.

Now, that’s a game developer with an appreciation for eSports.

The aforementioned anecdote aside, what we love so much about SOE is that John Smedley is far from the only eSports enthusiast on their development team. From top to bottom, the SOE team is immersed in the eSports community, whether it’s Smedley’s understanding of professional Dota 2, or Creative Director Matt Higby’s affection for professional StarCraft 2, or the SOE community reps being present at every important eSports event. They get our scene, and they’re in it for the right reasons. And that’s why they’re the first game developer who’s ever been on our teams’ jerseys.

Just to be clear, though, this is more than a logo on some shirts. What’s really cool about our partnership with SOE is that our organizations and our players get to have a say in the future of the competitive side of SOE’s titles. The first of example this is for PlanetSide 2: EG players and staff will be heading down to SOE headquarters to meet with the PS2 developers, test the competitive aspect of the game, and provide feedback. And we’re excited for this kind of relationship will continue, both with PS2 and with other upcoming SOE titles.

Everyone within EG and Alliance is genuinely excited about this partnership. We’re not only starting a new relationship with a really cool company (and a company that lives and breathes eSports), but that company’s also providing us with the opportunity to play a role in the development of their games.

We’re really grateful for the opportunity and for SOE’s support. We hope that our fans will welcome them with as much enthusiasm as we do.

The International is about to start, and this is what's on the verge of it... Interesting.
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Old 2014-05-13, 09:04 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Re: EG/Alliance + SOE

If I'm not mistaken there were several EG folks at SOE live last year as well. Not really surprised about it, it seems like the e-sports thing with PlanetSide2 has really died off as of late though, not sure how they can bring it back now.
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Old 2014-05-14, 08:43 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: EG/Alliance + SOE

They can't. Not without proper ingame tools and an arena for the battle to take place.
Then again I still don't think PS2 lends itself towards e-sports. Can they make it work? Sure, if they reduce the scope and cut away the content that would otherwise unbalance a match... But would that still be PS2?

If they get proper spectator tools then they might still surprise me with people actually wanting to watch large scale matches. I doubt it, but you never know.
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