FXOBoSs's Insights

Jul 30

GSTL Finals - The Korea trip Part 2

One of the things that has always amazed me about Korea (in comparison to Australia and Malaysia) is the efficiency of the public transport system. 

Who’d have thought it was quicker to take a train to Busan than to drive.

Choya, gumiho, tear, lucky, supreme, leenock, thebest all piled into a Kia minivan to drive to Busan, which took 5 hours.

The rest of us (the awesome crew as I like to call us) got the subway to Seoul station to purchase our tickets to Busan.

At Seoul station, I bought the awesome crew KFC (their choice not mine) and we munched whilst we waited.

Hell went and bought the tickets and it was time for me to experience REAL rail technology (Thats right Julia Gillard, High speed rail IS a good form of transport you idiot). We caught the KTX of which I have no idea what means, to Busan. The train was shaped like a bullet so I knew this was going to be good.

Call me a fool, but I was always infatuated with model railways, and this was like the real life thing, so I was pretty excited to catch this train, just as I was in Japan and France when catching high speed rail.

The awesome crew had to split into 2 groups of 4 because of ticket availability and we caught 2 separate trains that departed 10 mins from each other, and both were full. No wonder the tickets were so cheap (40 dollars Australian). Supply demand rules the world, I guess that applies for PPV in e-sports too, more people who sub the cheaper it gets? Unless the company is greedy though. Anyway.

I spent the entire 3 hours talking to asd, Sirius and hell. Between the 3 of them they were one fluent english speaker. So it was alot of fun doing word games and translations and hand expressions. I also got to know the 3 of them alot better which is great. I can now see myself never removing them from the team just because of the great people they are and skilled players of course (and coach of course). 

Within no time we arrived at Busan, only to find out that there was a major tech error on the train of the other 4. So we went to a PCBang.

The good thing about Korea is there is no shortage of PCBangs, all battle.net accounts work in PCBangs and they are so freakin’ cheap you dont even notice that you are spending money. We sat there for 1-2 hours waiting for the other 4 and we once they finally arrived we crossed the extremely, hot street to collect them from Busan station.

We then go to the underground to go to another station (name has been forgotten already) and whale realises he has lost his wallet. The poor cute little whale was in a panic, and using some foul language which made me laugh :) He retraced his steps and still didnt find his wallet. Delay number 2 occurred, the beauty of travelling in groups :)

At this point I started to take it all as a big adventure before my brain started to think negatively, we arrived at the station where our motel would be (again forgot the name) and stood waiting for choya etc for another hour. Being the only white meat on the street, I was getting extremely self conscious because every single korean person who walked past decided to take a glimpse at the human side show that is me. At this time though I was clean shaven so I didn’t look too raggity, but I was extremely dirty and it was damnnnnnnn hot.

Eventually we gave up on Choya and we went to a Pork place. I know it was a pork place because its signage was all pigs, derp. 

We had aweeesomeeee pork ribs, stacks upon stacks upon stacks of them. And for the whole team it was super cheap. I was extremely satisfied and it made up for all the delays and what not. Damn, I can still taste them now.

After 30 minutes Choya and the gang ended up meeting up with the awesome crew at the pork place, we were pretty much 3/4 of the way through our meal, so they ate quickly. I sat their listening to leenock call me a pig cos of the pile of rib bones infront of me. I eat alot, what can I say. They were so good.

When everyone finally finished eating, Hell and supreme set off to find the hotel/make sure rooms are ready etc and the rest of us went to a PCBang.

The great thing about Korea is that if you go with pro gamers to a PCBang, you will almost always get noticed. In this case, the two girls behind the counter knew us, so hooray, free banana milk (one of my favourite things in the world). 

One thing I did notice different between my two most recent trips to Korea was the PCBangs all of a sudden adopted 30 inch samsung monitors as standard. They used to be 21 inch maybe? But now they are enormous. It makes playing sc2 a little daunting when you are used to an 18 inch monitor.

The boys started practicing and I started playing with my new account (my NA account). I once again got placed in Platinum after winning all my placement matches. Disappointing it was. But my mass baneling strategies seem to make koreans rage at me, so I guess thats all the more fun.

We called it a night around 10 pm and went back to the hotel.

Now the one thing I have ALWAYS had terrible luck with was hotels in korea. Some expensive places have terrible services and rooms.

This time we started at a place called “green one” motel. Some might call it a love hotel, I called it lovely. The room was huge, the bathroom spacious, and for the kiddies out there, there was free weird porn. 

Actually, the only hotel I’ve stayed at in Korea that is better is the Koreana, and the Koreana is 300 bucks a night, compared to the 45 that this place cost. I was pleasently surprised and content with the choice. I had a room on my own, the others split up into groups to share the hotel.

The bed was a circle, so no matter which way I slept, I fit in it, god bless geometry. 

The first night, I turned the TV on and it opened on channel 88. 1 guess what channel this is.

It opens up to an obviously Korean pornographic movie, but there was something off about it. Oh thats right, there was picture in picture, instead of private parts, there was another screen cap of the girls expression on her face. So basically, I was intrigued and a little bit freaked out. So of course I changed to channel to FOX, NCIS marathon…. Now thats my porn!

We woke up at 11 am the next morning to go to a famous pork place (pork soup and braised pork) there was only 1 thing on the menu and a line up in the street to get in. I am not really one for lining up in really hot weather, but they insisted that this would be good.

Well, they were right, Pork pork pork pork pork, yum yum yum yum yum.. for 5k krw we got pork soup, braised pork, kimchi, vegies etc. The soup was amazing, the pork was great and I got to sit and talk with thebest and leenock. (One of the best parts of travelling to korea is getting to know the guys better).

After this we took a taxi ride to Hae un dae??(might be wrong spelling) and went to a PCBang to “warm up” as choya would have called it. 

When we arrived there was a group of PC’s reserved for us, and the guy working there gave us free grape drink (I call it grape drink, cos its not soda but it tastes like grapes and I love it). I guess free stuff is always tasty.

At this point I was just analyzing the FIS data and going through forums and twitter and making sure people knew we were paying attention to the fans.

Once again, the person putting in the most effort in the warm up was gumiho, and he was getting into the zone.

At 4 pm we walked from the PCBang (in the terrible heat) to centre stage to let GOM know we were there (I actually think someone screwed up the time and thought we had to be there at 4, but no one told me anything).

After we dropped our gear in the players tent, we went to Starbucks to bask in the beauty that is air-conditioning. 

After a few hours re-gathering our strength, we went back down to the tents to get our make up on and look pretty. Of course, the Korean people seem to really enjoy make up time, but I am really self conscious about my image and don’t think that make up can fix anything. But, I let the girl do her job and she tried her best. I don’t know the result.

We did 1 quick run through of the proceedures, and helped GOM set up their camera angles, then chilled out in the shade by the beach (watching the eye candy walk past no doubt). I was assured by Mr Chae earlier that the temperature would drop at night, and if it did, I didn’t notice it. 

By the time slayers had gotten there, it was almost time to start. Cella came up and gave me a hug and a massage (probably the 4th? massage I had gotten since being in Korea…. free massage is always the best one). 

Anyway after a little bit of wasted time, it was go time. Nerves started to set in and I started to do my on the spot jogging i do when I get nervous. Fortunately the team didn’t realise thats what i do when I’m nervous. 

We march on stage, do our bow and sit down on the bench. Now many a person has messaged me in private asking why I wasn’t wearing a suit. A few reasons 1) This event wasn’t about me at all. It was best i blend in as much as possible and let the guys have their time … I had contemplated wearing the fOu uniform, but choya and I discussed it and we decided against it. 2) My suit needed dry cleaning cos I wasn’t expecting to be in Korea until 12th of August. And due to being lazy and time constraints, I simply didn’t get it dry cleaned. The other option of course was to buy a shiny one (Korea has many shiny suits) but it wasn’t necessary. So I became choya for a day and he became the BoSs.

Anyway, we all know how it went from here.

The first game against MMA was so damn intense. The team was pretty sure gumiho had lost, but I kept saying to weekend.. NO he has banshee.. It ok.. He has banshee.. 

Fortunately, I was right, and he did have the banshees. And when I saw the way the game was going about 5 minutes from the end, I was pretty sure he had it. 

I felt the most exciting moment of the night was when he won that game. It was so intense, and the nerves were shaken out a bit after that. I am not sure how the others felt, but thats how I felt. I felt alot more relaxed and comfortable with that game down.

The second game was pretty gentle in terms of intensity. There was aww’s and laughter about the excessive numbers of CC’s, and the thor drops. But after min was selected, I can’t help but think the crowd (mostly slayers fans) were a bit dumbstruck.

There wasn’t a huge reaction to much other than the seeker missles (which work vs broodlord corruptor infestor if you use them properly with the right number of other units).

The 3rd game was the most predictable one of the series. The amount of sweat coming off gumiho after game 2 was insane. I was sure he was going to 11/11. And after the first attack didnt exactly work out, I was still sure he was going to win (drone losses). It just seemed to shake coca up that little bit too much for him to come back or take advantage of the failed cheese. Gumiho also executed quite well. There was a chance for him to win the game earlier if he had measured out the space below the spines in the main. He could have walked all his marines into the main and avoided the spines completely, but he was playing cautious. Anyway, with Coca out, I could see alot of positivity within our team.

The next game against Ryung was weird.

I actually couldn’t see what gumiho was going to do, and weekend wasn’t helping me by telling me what build it was :(. 

Either way, the minute i saw the SCV’s get pulled… I face palmed, mostly because I was thinking about what the people in the LR would think, next because I was scared his scvs might line up at some stage and ryungs hellions might get lucky and flip the game upside down. Fortunately, it all panned out well and the slayers BM late GG got on my nerves. At this stage I was ready to do a ceremony, but was asked not to to keep the team in the good manner books with the KR fans. 

Actually, I felt like sticking my finger up, because emotions were all mixed up and tense.. Its the GSTL finals for petes sake, dont do silly things like that!

Anyway, with Ryung down and Coca already gone. Puzzle was our guess and Puzzle it was. The odd thing was, it already felt like we had won.

I had no doubt at all that this was it, the series was over and we had won. This would be the reason why Choya etc didn’t cry like they did in the semi. Once gumihos third was up and puzzle was reluctant to attack, that was it. 

When the GG came out, we stormed the stage to bask into a well earned and hard fought victory. 

Gumiho looked dazed and a little out of it on stage, he was even stumbling around, the rest of us were just happy and cheering.

After this it was media time, there was about 1-2 hours of media time afterwards, then a lovely group of American people came to get autographs.

I had a good chat to them and i made the team sign and take pictures with the girl who was hunting the autographs. 

After this it was BBQ PARTY TIME. I got meet some of the parents of the team, and I had promised choya that I would pay for a bbq party for them. So we went to a BBQ place and found one with an upstairs exclusive area for us to have our BBQ and soju.

Now, I had only just learned that Leenocks dad speaks some english moments before, so I was a little bit nervous about doing/saying the wrong thing. But in the end it was all good.

I had 5 shots of Soju to celebrate and I tell you now that stuff melts your brain. I could feel my brain slowly snapping. I forgot that Soju was so dangerously bad for you. But I stopped at 5 so I maintained full competence and control. 

I mentioned to Leenocks dad that he has a good son, and he goes “nono bad son”. Then leenock whispers in my ear “my dad bad manner”. I couldnt stop laughing after that.

We were all enjoying our food, and drinks and before we knew it it was 1 am and time to go back to the motel. But not before bumping into slayers people in the street. Cella ninja hugged me (snuck up without me knowing and hugged me from behind, kind of erotic really) and we shook hands with a few of the other guys. Didn’t see boxer and jessica, but maybe they drove to where ever they were going.

Anyway, the next morning, or afternoon we woke up for the long trek home. Gumiho came with us on the train this time, cos the train rocks! 

Everyone fell asleep pretty quick on the train and I was just watching the monitor with the speed on it. 300KM/H 1/3 the speed of a plane. Yep, Julia gillard, you are an idiot for turning down that proposal. High speed rail is the future of domestic travel in Australia. Anyway, when we got back to the house, Choya decided to buy everyone pizza cos he was going out to see one of his friends.

Now, I dont know if anyone of you have experienced Korean en mass eating pizza before. But think of someone with wet rubber shoes walking x 16.

That is the sound that echoed through the FXO house, and it is the sound I can still hear in my ears today. I am so used to eating silently, I forgot what it was like to actually enjoy food, like my team was. Its good to see that I can learn things from the younger generations, and teach things to them as well even though our ages aren’t so different our personalities and culture certainly are. 

Overall, my trip was amazing, not just because of the GSTL final win, but because for the first time I feel I got to know my team much better than I had in the past. They are a mixed bag, but they are all amazing.

Thanks for reading.

A very proud FXOBoSs

You can follow our team on twitter http://www.twitter.com/FXOpenesports

You can follow me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/FXOBoSs

Jul 29

GSTL Finals - The Korea trip Part 1

I am now sitting at Jamba juice in Incheon airport, waiting for my boarding time. I decided I’d write this blog from Incheon before work gets in the way and I lose my memory (it happens).

It all started one fine day in Cold wintery Sydney.

I had just flown into Sydney for an Investors Expo and FXOjafar and I had settled down after a long day talking to business people and investors to watch some GSTL Semi Finals at his home on the North Shore.

I can’t remember the name of what we were eating, but it was far more interesting than popcorn, think Pancakes with cream in the batter? Thats what it looked like, but his lovely Egyptian wife cooked the delicious treats for us whilst we watched our Team FXO play against MVP.

I remember being so warn out from business lately that I was secretly thinking, I will be happy if they win or they lose, if they win it was FXO in the final, if they lose I didn’t have to make the trek to Seoul until August. Actually on that particular day, I guess I had 51% preference towards them losing, but it was purely because I was so exhausted I promise.

Watching Leenock play so well vs Protoss was really a treat and actually thought he was going to lose the first protoss game he played. Then one by one the MVP men fell and I knew what I had to do.

That evening I called our office Assistant in KL to change my return flight to KL and to book another flight to Incheon the following Wednesday (I was supposed to be in AUS for vacation until the saturday).

The next evening my parents made the emergency trip from Canberra to Sydney to pick me up so I could spend more time with them as I hadn’t seen them in 2 years. I ended up in my home town.

*at this point you are probably wondering why I started from this point of the story, well… The trip started from my home town, so I had to explain how I ended up there :) *

On the cold (-3) morning of the 25th of July, my Trip to Incheon Started. 

Awake at 5 am I was….. A little bit excited, extremely tired, and very moody. I caught the murrays bus to the Sydney airport from Canberra Jolimont centre (3 hrs 15 mins). All I really remember of the trip was the two girls behind me that reminded me of the O.C. So much drama for girls so young. Then they were mocking the bus drivers pony tail, and I eventually fell asleep with my arm holding my head up.

I woke up about 10 mins out from the Airport, and had an extremely dead arm (leaning on my elbow and sleeping had cut off circulation to my wrist) so I was flapping my arm around the bus for about 20 minutes until the feeling came back.

As I said before originally I was dreading the trip to Korea. I never travel well, and it actually makes me feel really uncomfortable (lack or routine maybe?). Anyway I lucked out big time, the flights all the way the incheon were empty (thank you ramadhan and malaysian airlines). I managed to lay down across 4 sleeps, and I slept. 

Anyway, after all the air time, I landed in Incheon about 30 minutes late. Choya hadn’t slept at night because of how early my flight was arriving, so he was getting a bit antsy on twitter because the flight was late. But when I arrived, Choya gave me the hug of his life and I finally got to meet our strategy coach, Hell. 

The vibe within the team when they finally woke up was …. amazing to say the least.

I don’t think I have ever seen gamers with such strong energy (this is hard to describe so forgive me if this doesn’t sound right). Guess who was the person to start smashing our practice? Gumiho of course.

I have always admired Gumiho for his in life decision making as well as his in game decision making. He knows when to have fun and when to sit down and kick ass. He also knows which direction things are heading and is taking full advantage of that. For this he has a very dear place in my heart. Its very admirable.

Anyway, the day itself was relatively boring, just practice practice practice and eating food our maid makes (this is actually really good food)…

Before bedtime Choya says to me “Joshie, you have to wake up early kk tomorrow? Leave 10 am kk?”

Well, I don’t know about Choya, but 10 am for me isn’t early :) I was up at 6 am the next morning, I arose ready to go walk out into the PC room and Hell is there playing Starcraft.

What the hell? Guy went to bed at 8 pm and woke up at 11pm and didn’t sleep since.

Anyway, one by one the army awoke, a little bit grumpy (they really aren’t morning people) but ready for action. It was time to take the train to Busan.

Jul 22

Money money money money… MONEY

Hi guys,

I am currently in Canberra, Australia. Visiting my family and recharging the batteries before going back into the battlefield that is business.

I recently stumbled upon the following reddit post: http://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/wywqq/major_tournament_organizers_need_to_hiretrain/

Now forgive me for being blunt, but I believe reddit was one of the main communities against PPV for MLG. And now they are asking MLG to spend more money? Am I right? Perhaps I have a diluted memory.

You can’t go around asking people to spend more money when the community itself is against spending money. Thats a little unfair don’t you think?

I have been wondering now for months how to put this into a blog without having the usual suspects biting my face off. Its actually the toughest thing to put into words without appearing insulting. But here goes.

There seems to be some sort of mentality in e-sports where events and organizers should be considered a charity, everything should be free and they should donate it. This not only is wrong, but it doesn’t exist in the real world.

You know those big charities people donate to? Well, a lot of your donations go towards people making money. Infact, some of the big wigs in charities are millionaires because of their business. So even if e-sports were a charity, people still need to make money. 

Perhaps we can take another angle.

How come when there is a problem with an event people don’t go “Subscribe to the event and demand they hire someone qualified to do X”. That way you are giving them the means to fix the event and also a means to boycott the event. If a mass load of subscribers appear, and demand a new “obs” or “sound guy” and the money has come in, then that is possible and if they didn’t fix it, you have a reason to switch off and insult people on reddit.

I think it comes down to the online community still not understanding that there is a business behind e-sports. There are people in it to make money (like myself, and every other event organizer, we all have passion for e-sports, but money is the main driving force no matter what anyone says) and if they can’t make money, they won’t fix/grow/change things for the better.

Anyway, I have to go off to play with my 17 yr old cat whom I miss dearly.

Ciao for now.

FXOBoSs

Follow me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/fxoboss

Support my team! http://www.twitter.com/fxopenesports

Jul 15

Business to Business (B2B) in e-Sports

Welcome to the unscripted unedited version of my blog. Thats right, this blog is not going to be edited and I am going to try to let my bi-polar thoughts flow through my keyboard.

Fine print -> this is an observation based blog based on the last 2 years of FXOpen e-sports. 

The reason for this blog is to hopefully bring forward a more stable business side of e-sports when negotiating with other e-Sports companies/brands/communities. 

I have been keeping tabs on every single business move we make in e-sports. What was requested and what the reaction was. I have recently looked over what exactly has happened in the last two years to discover that actually, very little has happened in terms of co-operation in e-sports.

Its funny that the most common word used in my comments section is the word NO. Exactly like that with two capital letters. In business, people don’t really say the word no straight up like that. Its usually “no beecause you aren’t doing anything for us” or “no because your quality is too low”. Usually you can leave a conversation knowing what to fix in order to change that no to a yes. Or you are able to Bargain to find a way to get on equal benefit scenario with someone. But it doesn’t appear to be a very common thing to bargain in e-sports. 

When we enter into talks or attempt to enter talks with people to find equal benefit, people will outright slam the door in your face. Its understandable in a niche market such as e-sports, but what ever happened to giving an actual reason for saying no? 

There is no shame in admitting “no because you are competition” or “no because you will take something away from us”. Rather its common etiquette in business to say why you won’t accept something even if it is blunt, to the point and potentially insulting. After all, that’s what business is right? Taking opportunities that give you an advantage whilst bartering something that someone else may need.

Sometimes people don’t like to admit that they are struggling, or that what they originally thought was wrong or that someone may perhaps be able to do something better than them (this is not actually indicating anything that has happened just saying that sometimes people don’t like to admit that, including myself). At the same time, they may decide that they do not wish to ‘share’ disregarding the fact they may gain something from a B2B relationship. 

The best comparison is comparing sponsors to those seeking sponsorship when doing business to business. Sponsors usually give you a whole list of reasons sometimes more than 1 page long, for a reason to reject a business proposal of legitimacy (I say this because I get some really weird requests in my e-mail asking for sponsorship). Compare it to an attempt to partner up or work with someone in e-sports and the majority will not really give you a reason why.

Now that the hype train of e-sports has stopped and more solid movement is potentially showing, I am personally hoping that people open their doors to secure growth and partnerships. Enter business with an open mind and start negotiating to get the best deals. Even if the place for that is not FXOpen e-Sports, I admire an industry that can do business in a good way where the best deal is found and the benefit is mutual.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this one. Its just something thats been on my mind for the last 2 days.

Take care,

FXOBoSs

You can follow me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/FXOBoSs

Please support our team http://www.twitter.com/FXOpenesports

http://www.youtube.com/FXOpenesports

Jul 11

SEA breaking my heart

Something has been weighing heavily on my mind for some time. But I haven’t really had the chance to express it.  However there have been some things happen recently that I just can’t ignore. I come from Australia and am very interested in the SEA scene, I was once a patriotic supporter and gave SEA chances at every opportunity supporting the local scene here in Malaysia with tournaments and sponsoring SEA players such as Timber/Glade/Tgun for some time but I have had to shift my attention elsewhere (for now).  So I’m going to take the time to explain some things that really need to change for  the scene can grow before it just collapses. 

There is talk in the SEA community how they just need more chances to prove themselves internationally so they get the recognition they deserve and for our next FXOpen event we gave them every chance I could without going overboard, there were specific invited players from SEA and multiple qualifiers, however for one reason or another the majority of those players (5 out of 8)either had issues playing the games or simply left midway through the series. Could this just be a fluke incident? Maybe, some of the issues that came up were legitimate some were outright unprofessional and disgusting. But in terms of the bigger picture the amount of things that happened there was far too high to be a coincidence. In contrast to this is I must shout out Coach Choi who if one of his players couldn’t make it he instantly had a replacement from his team or had arranged another and was always on time (<3 coach choi).

Currently there is 1 major hub for all sc2 in SEA. That being sc2sea.com (Hi Nirvana). Has grown a lot further than anyone expected 2010. But word has reached me of another site that will be starting up soon, for the love of god please don’t splinter the community further.

As sad as it is the Malaysian scene is dead. There are a number of reason’s that can attribute to this. However the main one that stands out to me, is it was an “old boys club” scene.  The “old boys club” of e-sports has been a very interesting topic of conversation recently, with Kennigit’s vlogs (which I loved) etc. It exists, and it exists in every region. I can’t pin down if its just because it’s a smaller scene or because I pay much closer attention, but it is much worse in the SEA scene. There is so much talk of their events are getting better and better and their players too, but simply put, the numbers don’t lie, it’s been a long time since any SEA player has competed globally in GSL or an international event and placed well, also the viewer number for their events has declined. 

However, this doesn’t need to be the case, there are many talented people in SEA even after I poached a few of them to work with FXOpen. However there is this divide in the community that it simply cannot afford, the scene just simply isn’t big enough to support it. If people in SEA want things to work they need to put aside their issues with each other put aside our ego’s (Ironic but still) The old boys club that in my opinion killed the Malaysian scene is looking very much like it’s going to do the same thing in SEA.

The amount of infighting and shit slinging there recently has been too much. It’s not the anonymous community that are doing it, it’s the actual named persons in the community. How on earth are things supposed to grow and prosper when the organizers and managers are throwing shit at each other with inflated ego’s (even more inflated than mine if you can believe it) and poor information. There is some really amateurish BS going on and it absolutely HAS TO stop if the community is ever going to find its feet.

I WANT the community to work I want e-sports to be viable in every part of the world, I just can’t help the SEA scene yet before FXOpen can cement its international events. But the trend I am seeing is the “old boys club” has already killed the Malaysian scene it is taking its toll on SEA. Perhaps these smaller communities are providing evidence towards the inevitable result of having “the old boys club” in esports as a whole.

I hope this blog finds you all well!

FXOBoSs

You can ask questions and get answers from me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/FXOBoSs

Support our team http://www.twitter.com/FXOpenesports

Jul 01

FXOpen e-Sports recent changes

Ref: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=347978

TLDR: Read until the line. Then go to the bottom of the page and read the point explanation of why youtube is best for FXOpen e-sports

FXOpen e-sports recently has changed its method of capturing the audience for its exposure.

Its nothing special, just that we have managed to consolidate everything at youtube.

However, I am having a strange feeling about the community when we have started streaming that I want to highlight briefly in this blog.

The most common question I’ve noticed in the last week of testing is “WHY YOUTUBE? WHY NOT TWITCH? WTF”

Well… I have to ask you this question, why not youtube?

I understand that some people are just in shock that someone is streaming on youtube and some have a regional problem with government blocks, but there are so many people who have been a little bit weird about the questions and it boggles my mind because the reaction to me feels like people think youtube is a new start up or something (thats the impression being given, I know that people can’t be actually thinking that).

I know some people are now thinking “you are just reacting to trolls” but there have been figures such as EGincontrol asking the same question and I still just don’t get it. 

__________________________________________________________________

Over the course of the e-sports boom, there has been many companies used for streaming. Twitch of course being the most popular one, follower by own3d and then you have livestream and dailymotion, and many others. Youtube during this time has ALWAYS been used for VODS.. Many community members only exist because of youtube, HD, Husky, TB… Its only obvious that many people would consider youtube for all its work. I am going to explain a little bit why here.

HD, Husky, TB etc. all MOST PROBABLY make more money from youtube VOD’s than from streaming or commentating an event. The fill rates on the VOD’s are pretty much perfect, plus there are the text ads which allow them to make good income.

FXOpen e-sports is hoping this will happen also with our VOD’s whilst consolidating our fanbase to one place with solid scheduling and the better subscriber option. But the cash is not why we are moving because the money is insignificant. FXOpen does over 70 billion USD in trading volume per month. Although we don’t have a problem receiving the 5k streaming might make us, we do not focus on it anymore as it doesn’t change anything for us.

In the past I have stressed cpm rates and fill rates with other providers the reason for this is testing the business models in e-sports. It had very little to do with making cash for FXOpen and more to do with exposing information to the public and hopefully making people think about the future.

Last night we had a stream of Leenock going, and the VOD ads made more money than he would have made playing 3 ads per commercial break(after each game) on twitch with the same viewer count.

NB: This is based on our past usage of twitch and not of todays current fill rates. However there would have had to be a HUGE increase in fill rate to make the statement incorrect


Now we have an opportunity to have a large subscriber base on a place where we can show multiple videos, promote our new team members who deserve promotion and allow us to grow as a team and event management company.

You should also note that Youtube streams have a STRICT policy of not showing third party sponsorships on stream. So our overlays on the video embed will NEVER have anything but FXOpen on them. This is a reason why no other team will want to use them as it doesn’t allow for sponsor exposure.

Anyway, FXOpen does not intend to have any other MAJOR sponsors (like raidcall with Fnatic) we will have small ones such as Razer, but will not fund our entire team on one sponsorship from another partner. This is another reason why youtube is a very viable option for us. It fits our goals and is very convenient for us in management of media. 

We have hired 2 staff to completely manage all youtube streams and videos here in Malaysia. Its very efficient and schedule changes will be prompt so that people are well informed when our players will be streaming if they subscribe. This is another huge bonus for us, the scheduling system is amazing at youtube and you can communicate with fans so much better.

Youtube live has been in Beta for so long, and is very restrictive on who will actually be able to use the platform. We have been fortunate enough (due to our location mostly, they don’t have many SEA partners and they only just launched youtube Malaysia) to obtain the streaming platform and do some testing for youtube. 

This is good for publicizing e-sports on a different platform. Youtube.com/live is not gaming based, but our high stream numbers that should happen eventually will hopefully show e-sports (we are not going to be doing only sc2) to the world.

Perhaps it will help bring more people to other e-sports companies and personalities twitch channel? Who knows.

___________________________________________________________________

Why youtube is best for FXOpen e-sports?

- We intend on doing more than player streams and our starcraft 2 events

- All our fan base is in one place so we can reach them better

- Ability to promote other players in the team via fans of other players/our events

- Our company already spends large sums of money on google advertising, this helps our relationship with google

- We get to work with google

- The VOD saving system is so much better than using twitch or own3d

- There are more people in the world with accounts on youtube than on twitch

- We get to be seen by non e-sports persons via the youtube.com/live page hopefully extending our reach

- It fits our non major sponsorship business model better to gain maximum exposure

- We can stream interviews of our players/people in the house and VOD them easier, and the VOD’s can be edited faster. This makes the live to VOD time a lot less and the work is less.

- It forces use to up our technology and streaming abilities as the minimum requirements are much higher. Hopefully translating to better production in the future.

Hopefully I will see you on youtube!

Ciao

FXOBoSs

Check me out on twitter http://www.twitter.com/FXOBoSs

FOR THOSE WHO MISSED, SUBSCRIBE TO THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL http://www.youtube.com/fxopenesports

Thank you to my twitter followers who said that pictures make blogs look better and disguise the fact that I am an illiterate mathematician.

Jun 16

To those who missed it

I recently wrote this article on our team website.

http://fxopenesports.com/starcraft-ii-and-advertising/

Take a look and let me know what you think!!

Ciao

FXOBoSs

May 24

Reader question: Response

hello BoSs,


you talk a lot about Kespas power abuse.
If i remember correctly there was a preinterview with Kespa-staff , where all the good players and almost everybody notable of esports was. The meeting where they first announced BW-SC2 hybrid i think.

Kespa said in this interview that they would now concentrate more on the foreign scene than they have before.
The first step is done with the MLG partnership, but honestly? I don’t think that this should be the only thing. The Mlg is only just like a buissnes deal for both of them ( as you explained in your previous blog ) and it’s not really something to get into the scene some more. Shouldn’t the very first step be an english stream if they honestly try to connect the international and the Korean scene?

Correct me if i missunderstood some things. I just wanted to know your oppinion on that if possible.

This was a question from someone who PM’d me on my blog.

Firstly, people should never take anything at face value. Its a good lesson to learn in life. That goes for when you are deciding what you think of me, or anyone or anything. You should always investigate thoroughly and get your information together to make your own decisions. 

Current sponsorships aside, its impossible to fully reap the benefits of being an international business if, for starters, a large number of your own staff do not speak english. Its the same way that its difficult for foreign teams to enter korea when they don’t speak Korean. So new business development to show the true value of the foreign scene would be necessary.

On top of that, the costs of running an international business become much higher as you basically have to cater to everyone. Whereas, as is, KESPA caters to the Korean market (in a very good way I might add). 

In terms of the English casting, I know they did conduct interviews for that job at some stage. But I do not know the results of it. I don’t doubt that they will have an english cast done soon. But they do not make anything out of the foreign scene at the moment, so spending on it may be a bit of a waste of money, I don’t know fully what they have in place so its hard for me to tell.

Finally, and this is the thing that I am wondering whether the fans of Korean players actually realise, if proleague, OSL GSL GSTL is all on at the same time, how can a Korean player possibly benefit from participating abroad. If anything, it will hurt them in the Korean events. So eventually Korean players will most probably have to choose (I could be wrong, but thats how its looking). I don’t see it possible to cater to scheduling anymore. GSL and MLG are already having conflicts, add OSL and proleague into the mix and its just going to become a bit scramble. Fortunately MLG and KESPA have an agreement, so it will only be GSL that loses out. But they have IPL and and and. 

I would really hope that this answered your question. The truth be known, I don’t have a crystal ball, and the KESPA part of e-sports is the most unpredictable. But I can’t see any major benefit for them going abroad, other than losing their players and sponsors to foreign organisations who are able to use the exposure better.

Regards,

FXOBoSs

If you would like a question answered. You are welcome to email me fxoboss@gmail.com or send a PM on tumblr.

FIS .. FXOPEN INVITATIONAL SERIES

FXOpen will be announcing its next FIS event next week. It will have a prize pool of $5000.

We are going to be doing things a little bit different this time, and have qualifiers for the event as well as invitations. We will be changing some of our graphics up, and also will potentially be changing the way we stream games.

The qualifiers will be live, and the actual event will most probably be casted from replays to ensure production quality.

Look for the TL thread next week!

Adios

FXOBoSS

Follow twitters http://www.twitter.com/fxopenesports http://www.twitter.com/fxoboss

Stork on KESPA. Player conditions

For reference, here is the interview (thanks Jinro for tweeting it) http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=339466

The teams in Korea who are not part of KESPA have rallied together to negotiate with KESPA about conditions for players and teams in the KESPA run tournaments.

For those of you who are not in the know, there are many reasons why. But I am going to focus on the interview with STORK.

The poor guy has felt the need to stand up and voice his feelings to the public on behalf of the other gamers who are ‘suffering’ for lack of a better word, within the KESPA organisation.

Whilst some sort of organisational control is necessary in e-sports, KESPA has been very abusive of their power.

STORK is the first person to recently voice legitimate complaints about KESPA with legitimate reasoning behind it since SC2 came out (AFAIK). During his interview he was pretty much crying, and talking about his distress dealing with the transition. 

The issue that STORK has raised regarding the BW maps is the biggest concern for me. The fact map versions were not finalised well in advance is a clear indication of  mis-management by KESPA and then to force people to play on those maps is just stupid. These guys practice as hard as they possibly can analyzing every single thing about a map before playing. Then to have a brand new map (even if its just a map edit) out of the blue is very hard on the emotions. 

He also emphasizes on how KESPA appears to be focusing purely on sc2 and forgetting about brood war. I am not sure on the reasoning behind why KESPA would be so stupid, but its entirely up to them as its their organisation. If they are focusing purely on SC2 they should have just made it all SC2, instead of damaging the players emotionally. Also if they did that I am sure they would have seen far better games than were shown in SC2 so far.

Regardless of the past, STORK has shown us that KESPA is a company full of abuse of power. Which is something the current sc2 pro teams have tried to emphasize to the community via the association. 

But there is another side to the story. I was going to blog about this yesterday, but today seems to be a better opportunity.

Considering what STAR players in brood war are being paid, some form of power is inevitable. Its the same in any sport, and even finance. I am going to compare things to finance, as thats pretty much all I know. 

When you finish school and enter the work force, you are given two choices in the world of finance. You can settle on a small wage and live your life as average Joe for the rest of your life. Or you can take a risk and aim for the riches.

There are two types of wealthy finance people. There are the ones who went to harvard, and basically kissed their dads friends ass to get a job which they are not very good at OR there are those who enter the work force and take a job unpaid for a year then work on a commission/bonus only basis and work their ass off and make good money. The former, are the ones everyone aspires to be, as they never get treated badly, they do almost nothing and in the end they make good scratch. The others, they are the ones who get whipped so badly they go home and cry at night, they starve themselves as they cant afford food, they sleep on a friends couch and they basically go through hell just to achieve their goal. In e-sports we are now slowly starting to separate the two groups, slowly. There are players who just got in  because they are in. And there are players who have worked their ass off to get where they are. There is also a 3rd category of naturally talented people however there aren’t that many of them so I will just push that category aside.

The Korean scene right now is starting to separate also. Those who want to be the best, vs those who want to sit back relax and have people fan them with Palm leaves. Its understandable, when you see someone who does virtually nothing get more money and fame than you and at the same time you beat them 3-0 all the time, you are bound to start to get a bit emotional and even mad at how things work out. Then you will start to hunt for what they have. Right, makes sense. 

Now let me go back to our two categories before in finance. Those rich, comfortable, lazy guys, do you know their name? I mean, we all know of them that they exist, and thats what we want to be. But do you know their name?

Hows about, I don’t know….. Warren Buffett, do you know his name? Well, he didn’t exactly cry at night, but he wasn’t handed his wealth on a platter. And guess what? He kicks the ass of every lazy rich finance person out there.

George Soros? How about him? 

He was part of the holocaust. I don’t really need to go on about anything else with him, other than he bankrupted the bank of England. 

Now to Starcraft.

Flash? When he first started he wasn’t very good. Now he is known as “God”… He went through hell (caused by KESPA) and is now the greatest brood war player ever (arguably). 

Jaedong? Bisu? Kal? Boxer? even Stork.

These players are great because of the shit they went through to get to the top. They had the will power and staying power to make it work. They didn’t demand foot massages every day and a private jet. They just did what they set out to do, be the best regardless of what stood in their way.

Whilst I don’t agree with what KESPA does entirely, there is a reason it is done. The same reason that I control my staff, and the CEO of any company controls their staff. Because you believe you know whats best to get people to their full potential.

Truth be known, giving someone everything is counter-productive and prevents proper growth. Rewarding them for hard work is generally the way to go. $300k a yr is not a bad reward (re:flash).

My respect goes out to all the gamers out there who struggle to get to their goal but regardless of their struggle they keep trying.

<fine print> I am not a writer. You are welcome to criticize  my writing however, I do not have time to go to writing classes. Perhaps when I do have time I will go to those classes.

I hope your day is full of rainbows and butterflies.

<3 FXOBoSs