Tuesday, October 16, 2007

News from the WCG CounterStrike Final: Controversy and Borderline Disaster

What a day it was on Saturday. Unfortunately for the WCG organization most of the talk about Saturday's events were not focused on the matches themselves, but about the problems that plagued the tournament. Regardless, the tournament continued well behind scheduled finishing just the quarter finals match ups with the semi finals being pushed back to Sunday.
Besides the lagging schedule the CounterStrike Final's major problem was caused by the fact that the WCG made an attempt to combat the infamous duck-jump exploit, a movement skill made famous by today’s top players.

The problem with this initiative was that it would prove to be unenforceable and the attempts that were made by the referees let the players exploit their indecisiveness in a shameless manner that led to MYM vs eSTRO and a near fistfight between team Russia and eMazing Gaming.

The administrators standing behind the teams were consistently unable to identify the duck-jump incidents as they happened. The teams that lost though were hot off the trails of other complaints and filed their own. Hours of demo scrutinizing followed and flip-flopped decision-making turned the tournament into a parody that will live on in infamy. And the pressure took its toll on them too, as the fatigue set in the decisions became more irate.

To illustrate the lack of consideration behind this rule, picture the world cup of football where you are not allowed to kick the ball more than sixty feet. Then put a referee on the pitch in charge of enforcing it based on the subjective measurements of his eyesight alone. You are bound to get in trouble and so did the WCG referees; repeatedly. Despite all the criticism they attracted they worked relentlessly for 12-14 hours per day.

You must consider that CounterStrike is only one of the thirteen (13) games that were offered at the WCG final. Overall one would have to say that the WCG final was a success. Unfortunately the CounterStrike segment of the tournament was marred by controversy and borderline disaster.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

UIGEA Plays Favorites

The most interesting part of last year's UIGEA is that it clearly says that "fantasy sports" is NOT gambling.

However, fantasy sports are most definitely gambling (isn't picking individual players and betting on how they perform just about EXACTLY the same as picking a whole team and betting on how it will perform?)

I would say that fantasy sports may even be more of a gamble than regular sports betting!

There are so many variables spanning an entire season of pro sports. The group of players that you "draft" before the season starts may not even last the whole season (every player you draft could get injured).

I remember that one year I had drafted Steve Young with my first draft pick (which was randomly assigned to me). In the previous NFL season Steve had accumulated more fantasy points than any other NFL player, making him the highest ranked player in our draft. Steve promptly got a serious concussion in the first month of the season and never played football again. If only I had been more skillful, I could have either prevented Steve's injury and or not drafted Steve in the first place. Luckily, (note "luckily") this was the same year that Kurt Warner burst on the scene (because the Rams starting QB also got injured). Kurt went on to put up one of the greatest offensive seasons of all time, and after picking him up off of waivers (because I was lucky enough to sign him before anyone else) I ended up winning my fantasy league...all without Steve Young my #1 draft pick. There was so much luck involved in this, I really couldn't believe it.

You have no control over these players getting injured or not. You also don't have any control on how any of these players will perform on a game to game basis. It is entirely luck how your players perform. These are all reasons why playing fantasy sports is gambling.

This shows you the power of the MLB, NFL, NBA. It's all about paying up with the right people. The government doesn't really want to stop gambling, they just want to get paid.

Fantasy sports makes the average sports viewer feel more connected and involved with the sports that they watch. This means that these league's fans will become more attached to their sport, and they will become more loyal.

Personally, I don't have any problem with fantasy sports ( after all I won my football league right?). I don't have any problem with gambling either. In general, I don't think that the government should try to control the decisions that adults are capable of making for themselves. What I do have a problem with, is the fact that the UIGEA plays favorites.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Halo 3 Network Architecture Makes Pro Gaming Impossible

Today I read someone's blog that said how impressed they were with the amount of information (kills, deaths, ranking) that Halo 3's game servers stored. I just had to point some things out to him:

1. Halo 3's game servers don't store stats. (Their SQL servers do :)

2. Halo 3 doesn't even have game servers. (One of the player's Xbox is selected as the host).

3, If you play CounterStrike on a Hlstatsx server or a http://www.GetGosu.com server, they store all the info that Halo 3 stores + they store hit box information (besides just tracking head shots they also track legs, arms, chest and also which weapon you used to do all that damage.

4. Because a client machine is acting as the server or host, you can never get a fair game. If you put 8 good players into a game together, the team who has the host on their team will almost always win. That is because the player that is the host has a huge advantage over everyone else. They have a perfect network connection, meanwhile everyone else has to deal with lag. That is simply not fair.

5. Because of this network architecture, you could never ever ever play Halo 3 online in a competitive fashion. Therefore, I suggested to this blogger that if he wanted to play competitively he should get gosu.