I can’t believe in the ongoing war between organizations and communities that the ESL would choose organizations, when communities are clearly more awesome and less evil. Oh, wait, no, I was thinking of the empire and the rebels from Star Wars. Organizations and communities are those things that aren’t really that different and any imaginary difference between the two shouldn’t really matter.
Haunting Guise is an item that almost no one gets. It’s the one that looks like a clown mask if you don’t remember.
I could just say no one uses and therefore it’s clearly bad, but that would be lazy analysis and is in general a bad method of judging viability. Eve was branded as the worst character in the game until people realized her strengths and she became an instant ban. Then Riot nerfed her back into the worst character in the game. It’s been a wild ride for Eve fans. Anyway, the point is common sense is sometimes wrong so when a random team in the WCG decided to buy a Haunting Guise I decided to take an actual analytical look instead of relying on the given principles of the LoL community.
There is something immediately distasteful when teams that are supposed to play to win instead play to lose. The intentional walk in baseball just feels wrong, even when logically and strategically it may be the best option. But it goes against the spirit of competition, which isn’t rational or logical, but a lot of us like the spirit of competition and say screw rationality and logic when it comes to things like that. This is what I was thinking as Epik was about to forfeit in what was probably an attempt to manipulate seeding.
So the situation is this. The first IEM Kiev pre-qualifier the seeding ended up:
1. Team SoloMid
2. v8 E-sports
3. Counter Logic Gaming
Now, v8 and Goose are not easy teams to beat, but if I had to pick a team to face it would probably be one of them as they are definitely not as intimidating or seasoned as TSM or CLG. Epik (and probably Curse and Complexity) agree with that assessment and therein lies the problem.
– The pre-season is over. Season 2 begins now. There is a very large prize pool.
– Once upon a time there was this new card game called Vs. System. The developers of the game invited tons of professional poker players to their tournaments and pumped up their prize money to make attending more attractive. Some professionals did attend and play, but most were not really invested in the game. The only reason many played was because the tournaments were easy money.
To add on to the problem the game didn’t really take hold of people at the casual level. There was little working the game into conversation six times until finally your friends relent and try it out with you and say “hey, this is pretty fun! Let us continue this activity right now and in future nights.” People played it for the money, not for the game.
I watch many player streams, too many streams probably, and these guys play passionately all the time. Most of these players I watch seem to enjoy the game and are not just playing to polish their skills to perfection. Riot is probably not Vs. System, in that they actually built a game that was worthy of having large tournaments for.
A rough dramatization of how I imagined this went but probably is not how it actually happened at all:
MLG Officials: Alright, let’s make these brackets. Let me look at the qualifiers and just jot down teams in a logical put-them-in-the-seed-they-were-in way:
MLG Officials: Woah, woah, RFLX top seed? No, that is just too weird. They only got through because of a disqualification so they don’t deserve any of those spots. What do you mean the concept of “deserving” is a complicated social ideal which can’t be applied in a situation like this? Of course it can be applied, just watch me:
MLG Officials: Well, maybe I was being too harsh, lets move them back up. How much? I don’t know, let’s say…one spot because I’m exactly one spot regretful?:
MLG Officials: There we go. Now every combination of first rounds has been announced and then revised shortly after. We’re so good at this.
I think everybody noticed this juxtaposition in the patch preview. Probably because the discrepancy between expectations and results was so dramatic. That’s a fancy way of saying this happened:
Morello: This is a tournament patch, and we tend to be more conservative on tournament patches
Me: Okay, so that’s why we spent two minutes talking about a minor change to Katarina’s positioning. This is going to be one of those boring patch previews that tries to make Malzahar ultimate being reduced by 3 damage seem like a substantial balance change. Exciting.
Following a teamfight is impossible to the untrained eye, and probably for the trained eye as well. The number of objects a person can hold in their working memory is supposedly three to four. There’s probably fifteen or more skills flying around every team fight. That’s game over for your brain.
For a concrete example, here’s a breakdown of a bunch of things that happen in one team fight, mercifully slowed down to still images for our benefit. This is from the second game from Epik and Goose at the MLG Providence qualifiers last weekend.