Pokemon's viability as an eSport as of 2017

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NyquilVGC, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. NyquilVGC

    NyquilVGC New Member

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    Hey guys, I wanted to get a new poll regarding the recent Pokemon games released and I was curious about how VGC can stand with esports in the following areas:

    • spectatability
    • consistency
    • depth of gameplay
    We know that there are big names in Pokemon who have incredible levels of consistency and that the game is quite deep in in of itself. We also know that the game is spectatable in the right light, as seen with the ONOG pokemon tournament and Sejun Park's legendary 2014 Run. What are y'alls thoughts on this?

    And before you dismiss this outright, Pokemon shares a lot of similarities with hearthstone so I don't think it's the nature of the game itself that disqualifies it.
     
  2. jugol

    jugol Member

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    Allowing sponsors would help.

    And I'll be honest. VGC is spectatable, but i'm not sure if it's spectatable enough. I feel like it needs bigger numbers to establish itself as an eSport.
     
  3. NyquilVGC

    NyquilVGC New Member

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    Yeah that's true, that's the thing it sometimes is super hype and amazing to watch. But not at other times lol
     
  4. Tamtam

    Tamtam Member

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    There aren't very many sponsored Pokémon players yet, but afaik they do exist (several German and Spanish players have sponsors I think, among others).

    When most people argue against Pokémon being an esport, they often point out the low viewer numbers, which begs the question: how many spectators would a game need in order to be considered a "real" esport? Personally, I think it's a silly definition since there's no clear answer, so as far as I'm concerned, it's already an esport because it already has all the necessary components (viewers, tournaments, prize support, etc). It's just smaller than most other esports and obviously has a lot of room to grow.

    As for how to make it bigger, the ONOG Invitational was a good step forward. More tournaments like that would definitely help. The difficulty in streaming tournaments is something that's really holding VGC back right now, though.
     
  5. liquidmonk

    liquidmonk Well-Known Member

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    If you want to really discuss this topic, you probably need to flesh out the OP more. It's currently so broad that I don't know where to start.
     
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  6. anti spiral

    anti spiral Member

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    Pokemon is a spectacle, for those that play it, but I can imagine it looks pretty uninteresting to someone who doesn't play the game or only plays casually. We enjoy watching and put up with long waits between game streams and connection issues, but that would turn off casual viewers.
     
  7. MrTalent

    MrTalent New Member

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    sponsors would be awesome and a great help but overall, i don't see this game ever getting that "esport" mark unfortunately due to the slow nature and mostly mental battle instead of visual flashiness and hype. Would be nice though!
     
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  8. snooze11

    snooze11 Member

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    I feel like if the sponsors were big and there was a bigger prize that it would get a lot more attention. I could see that happening in the future but not for a while VGC is definitely in the pioneering stage though.
     
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  9. NyquilVGC

    NyquilVGC New Member

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    Could you clarify what you're trying to say?
     
  10. Temple

    Temple Member

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    @liquidmonk is saying you need to put more into your 3 topics in the OP. It's too broad as is and needs more in the way of explanations to start a proper discussion because as is, it's not easy
     
  11. liquidmonk

    liquidmonk Well-Known Member

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    Yea, exactly what Temple said. You can fill an entire book on this topic.
     
  12. NyquilVGC

    NyquilVGC New Member

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    So I'll provide some guiding questions to help you understand where I'm going with regards to the three categories?

    spectatability - Is the game fun to watch? Does this apply to a casual audience as well? It seems like to become an esport there has to also be a base of viewers that can watch the game and get a kick out of it even if they are not invested into the game like other players are.

    consistency - is it possible to be consistent in the game? One thing that I could see being an obstacle is that if people grow to like certain personalities such as Cybertron and Wolfe, having a game where anyone can beat them takes away from their glory. Does the luck prevent champions from winning consistently over and over again? Have the top players not yet reached a level where they absolutely dominate the competition every time?

    depth of gameplay - is the game deep enough to allow for a lot of nuanced plays and positions that the casual audience doesn't have to understand in order to enjoy? Can the more invested players in the game appreciate these nuances and mental games?
     
  13. Mega Tapu Bulu

    Mega Tapu Bulu New Member

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    I think the third one is a given. Pokemon is very deep, and if you are invested in the game, the metal battles are fun to watch.

    No idea about the others though. I'm not sure if casuals have an easy time appreciating the game. From what I see in the internet, most players are more interested in seeing different teams and gimmicky strategies.
     
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  14. Ace Trainer Andrew

    Ace Trainer Andrew Member

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    Personally, I don't think people like Aaron and Wolfe need to win every time for the game to be interesting. Heck, if I saw that the same people were always winning I wouldn't want to participate OR spectate. Part of what I love about competitive Pokemon is how engaging and volatile it is. Anyone can beat anyone if they make the right play or make the right meta call, which is part of what makes this game so interesting.
     
  15. liquidmonk

    liquidmonk Well-Known Member

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    Spectatability - Is the game fun to watch? Does this apply to a casual audience as well?

    I'm going to lean with no on this one. It's incredibly difficult to understand what's going on if you don't know the basics of the game. Spectatability is one of the main reasons WoW never became a big esport. Look up WoW matches for an example of the clusterfuck I'm talking about. Without a true spectator mode, this is one of the major hurdles to advancing it to become the next big him.

    However, there are a few things we can do about it. First, commentators need to be able to effectively convey the nuances and thought processes of each play. They can also hype up the game and the storylines to better convey the excitement of the match. Second, overlays can be better made to explain what is going on on the field.

    Consistency - is it possible to be consistent in the game?

    A lack of consistency is a problem because 1. it shows that skill isn't a large contributing factor to being good at this game. 2. it becomes hard for newer players to follow the storylines created between tournament to tournament. That being said, consistency in VGC is certainly better than the consistency in Hearthstone. And while Hearthstone has managed to survive just fine, the idea of how to maintain storylines is always a topic in the scene.

    Depth of Gameplay - is the game deep enough to allow for a lot of nuanced plays and positions that the casual audience doesn't have to understand in order to enjoy? Can the more invested players in the game appreciate these nuances and mental games?

    I'm not the best person to answer this, but sure, why not?
     
  16. Archimom

    Archimom New Member

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    As a non-player Mom, who has watched a number of streams, with and without commentary, I can say that commentary helps a LOT as far as how well a casual audience can appreciate the game. (I'll also include watching games on a side screen at Nats/Worlds, with another parent providing commentary - and now, I'm sometimes the parent providing commentary to a newer parent.) The best commentary tells a story that people can follow, with just a little bit of explanation as they go, for people who aren't sure what is going on. Also, some matches are much more interesting to watch than others. And, some offer nuanced plays and positions, while others, well, don't.

    I do think we are getting to a point where there are a critical mass of recognizable star players for those who follow the scene, and it can be exciting to either see them win, or have a new upstart come from nowhere and beat them. It would be boring if the same people won over and over all the time, and it would also be boring if a new person won every single time. I think we have a balance.
     
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  17. Pudgeysaurus

    Pudgeysaurus New Member

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    I think the problem Pokemon has as an E-Sport that other games have rectified is advertisement. There is currently only one way to find out when major tournaments are and that's on a website that only master cartographer's can navigate.

    If more was done to show people what the competitive scene is like, and the different nuances of team building, how to play, type matchups, relevant switches and calcs etc more people would follow.
    Aaron Zheng and Wolfey Glicke do an amazing job but it's still a very short reach
     
  18. royce

    royce New Member

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    I'm sorry.
    I depend on google translation.

    Competition with prize money is restricted by law in Japan, and it is a big restriction of e-sports prosperity.

    Also, WCS qualifying in Japan is done at online competitions, but only fraudulent practices are taking place.

    This situation has not changed from WCS2012 where qualifying has been brought online to the present.

    Unfortunately, Day 1, 2 contestants from Japan, including past winners of the world championships, will be in a situation where almost all of them are improperly hand-dyed.

    Aside from that, the prize for Battle Road Gloria 2017 Games, the biggest user organized event held in Japan, was not paid the other day, and the organizer is disappearing.

    I would like the unification of rules with the world to go, but the Japanese Pokemon company has no motivation, it is far from the competition.
     
  19. MoliciousVGC

    MoliciousVGC New Member

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    I agree with a lot of the posts above. There would be a lot that needs to be done. Advertisement was mentioned. This is something that would definitely need to improve. Word of mouth does a lot. Can't participate in something you do not know exists. I also feel we need the backing of a major esports organizer to get events more organized and have them get more exposure. The game itself doesn't lack and there are plenty of players. It just needs more structure and bigger events
     

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