BELOW is my response to all of the negative comments from people who didn't quite get what I was trying to say, or they just took it as something completely different.
I just wanted to write a response to seemingly A LOT of negative views of my column today.
It seems many people saw what I wrote as either nonsensical jiberish or a stated fact of what I believed was to come, and that Starcraft 2 would somehow kill eSports’ current future. When in reality, neither of those are really the case.
What I was merely saying in my column was, that based on previous eSports world events – CGS and Warcraft 3 bubbles – that Starcraft 2 seemed be heading in the same direction. Back on both of those cases, we saw money flood into the games scenes, and eSports flourished and we saw a torrent of new faces join the communities, both fans and players alike. It was wonderful; salaries were high, events were giving out HUGE cash sums and everything was fantastic. Then, sponsors/investors did not see a return on their investment in the long run, and pulled out, and teams and events failed and we saw salaries and prize pools decrease.
eSports was not DEAD, it was simply knocked down to a stable and consistent level that could manage itself. Salaries were no longer inflated, and unreasonable events that ended up not even paying out much of the time, were weeded out of the scene. We began to improve, and recover. Teams began to be more aware of their capabilities, social media came in, and we started to grow before Starcraft 2 hit.
Once Starcraft 2 hit, it shot up like a rocket. Thousands upon thousands of new faces entered the scene, and sponsors and investors see this as an opportunity, and it is! eSports is doing wonderful right now. However, we are getting to a point, particularly with player salaries, that teams cant afford to have teams like back in the Warcraft 3 days. You don’t see teams of 10+ players all getting a good living wage. You see maybe 5-6 getting decent wages, and even quite a few, getting a living wage + perks.
The problem with this being, there are SO MANY new skilled players who do well at events, but are inconsistent, not all of them have teams or financial backing, simply because its gotten to a point where teams cant afford, nor do they want huge rosters like before. We don’t see large team leagues like we did in the past in Warcraft 3, so having more than say 5 or 6 players, is pretty pointless. This leaves VERY VALUABLE players like ROOT, out in the cold already.
Players that were before, playing either Warcraft 3 or SC:BW for free or a pittance of a wage, are now getting living standard wages in order to play full time. We are even seeing team houses pop up. But, since we dont have ENOUGH money for ALL OF THE PLAYERS, we are seeing a problem. The inflation of the wages, making them livable wages, leaves players, like ROOT, scraping poker tables for cash to pay the bills.
Events are the next step. They start with huge shock and awe prize pools (note: GSL and NASL) and run for a period of time. Then either, events start not to pay out (ESL is respectable and they take forever to pay out, what about all these new people who have no experience in eSports?) or events begin to fight for viewers because there are so many events, or they feel their “shock and awe” is over, so they lower prizes for future events, etc. This pushes things BACK TO A STABLE LEVEL.
That was all I was saying. Once this growth reaches its peak, things will slow down and growth will stop. I am NOT saying eSports is going to die or that this industry is going to suffer and be sent back to the early 2000′s. Im simply saying, that hey, things are growing incredibly fast, and sooner or later, things are going to peak, and prices (prize pools or wages) will fall down.
Who knows, maybe eSports will grow to such a high level before that happens, that wages will fall to a standard of living good enough for the top pros of current times. That would be amazing, and I would love for that to happen. This column was just an interesting perspective for people to take into reality, what is VERY POSSIBLE in the next couple of years. A lot of people are new to eSports and do not remember the days of Warcraft 3 or the mistakes of the CGS and countless other tournament organizers who pushed prices way up, then disappeared and dropped eSports on its head so to speak.
Things are different today yes, and conditions are much more favorable for players in this era of eSports, and I hope it continues on this path. I hope that clarifies things for people who were getting angry and upset with me for writing a short winded “pseudo-economics” piece to show that eSports is just like any other industry.