Note: All the information in this post is completely based on the information I have gathered and does not *necessarily* reflect the opinions of GomTV, Blizzard, GSL, or any other party.
As many people have seen, GomTV has changed their original plan for a PPV-only model of viewing GSL to the more standard: Free Normal(Low?)-Quality stream and then a reasonably priced Premium HQ Stream+VODs (You can find the exact options on http://www.gomtv.net/2010gslopens1/ as soon as it is made public). What I intend to address in this post is some reasons for why they changed their method with a bit of insight into the company itself and all it is trying to do for SC2 and e-Sports.
From the beginning, the PPV method was never a money-making scheme and GomTV should not be compared to Kespa/OGN/MBC for any reason (good or bad). They are trying to learn from the mistakes of their counterparts, but also adopt the successful attributes as they can. What Junkka (GomTV rep and very manner fellow) has stated in his posts about the cost going to cover the stream itself is very true. It was simply because they were not aware of any alternatives at the time. We all know it was not the wisest or most researched decision to make, but they now have other options which they are pursuing in order to do what is best for the community as a whole. It is not because they “tried to squeeze e-sports dry” (or any other similar ideas) and failed, but because, as Junkka said, they are extremely understaffed while still trying to run one of the largest (and hopefully one of the best) e-Sports events in history.
Every employee at GomTV that I have met so far is working very hard and are passionate about what this could become, but they also do not have a strong connection to the foreign community, yet. They respect TL very much and do want to hear your opinions, but things also take time, so be patient, while still providing feedback as much as you can. It seemed a little odd even to me that they had not made any statements concerning this issue earlier, but they were pretty much all in rushed meetings trying to solve the issues and not able to provide a concise statement to TL or any other foreigners.
Also, don’t necessarily expect anything official to come out for a little while, they are still working to provide an even better solution then what we are seeing now and may not want to make a statement they would once again have to retract. They recognize that while the additional US servers they are providing will help tremendously (as can be seen by the “Bandwidth Check” differences between yesterday and today), there is still a long way to go before everyone can receive ideal coverage of the event.
-GomTV cares and is in no way evil
-GSL will become a great event if we all support it (not necessarily monetarily, but in any way we can)
-Keep up the good work!
Addressing a few common comments in the various threads:
1. This was absolutely NOT a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door-in-the-face_technique as many people speculated. They are being very honest with their statements and just don’t have the manpower to make 100% correct decisions 100% of the time. Bear with them (get it, because “Gom” = “Bear” in Korean ;-)) and keep providing them *constructive* criticism as you see fit.
2. Many of the pro-payment people stated you should be paying for this service just to support e-Sports. I disagree. Do NOT throw money away just in the name of supporting something, but DO let it be a factor in making some decisions, such as whether or not to pay for the HQ of a match you really want to see versus buying the whole package and only using it once or twice. Basically, be inclined to support GomTV/MLG/ESL/HandsomeNerd/etc if they provide a service you would like, as they prove to help E-Sports, but don’t have it be the sole reason for giving money to some random product/service if it doesn’t actually help or interest you.
3. Again, I can confirm that these events were not planned from the start, but the loud outcry has actually been motivating to GomTV and, with a bit of reflection, should be to everyone here. Take this energy and spread the word of GSL, SC2, and e-Sports to your friends, family, girlfriend, neighbors, grandparents, etc.
4. A fully, free, ad-supported, true-HD stream is the goal, but keep in mind this is EXTREMELY short notice to run a tournament of this scale on *repeat* a very understaffed team. Saying things like “they should just get sponsors, it’d pay for itself” is completely known to them, but you have to have a marketing team already set and able to present your product to *foreign* (most employees speak no, or very little, English) companies that may have never heard of E-Sports before.
Other Clarifications (I may edit in more items here if there are other questions I can clear up):
1. Season = approximately a 1-month tournament. There will be 3 seasons in 2010.
2. GSL will most likely NOT be on OGN this season, nothing is final however.
Try to erase the past few days from your mind and return to being psyched for what could easily become the greatest ongoing event in E-Sports history. Spread the word.
If you have any further questions, feel free to send them to me or Junkka@gretech.com. However, I may not be able to respond as I’ve been neglecting practicing for a bit, because of this :-/.
(For the record, I had absolutely nothing to do with the decision to make this free, it was all of you. TEAM LIQUID FIGHTING!)
PS. In the interest of returning GSL's image back to something positive like it deserves, can we get the Poll on the side of TL removed, or reset?
On September 03 2010 23:47 HubertFelix wrote:
Are you working for gomtv?
Are you working for gomtv?
No I am not. I am just a player in their tournament that they've shown great hospitality to (which I'll touch on my experiences in that regard after the event is over for me) and someone who really cares about the growth of e-sports. I have no investment in GomTV, and their success or failure will not affect me any more than it affects any of you, so know that everything I said here is 100% the truth as I know it with no agenda other than trying to support what I see as a potentially awesome event.