The CGS held a £10,000 tournament at the European qualifier and draft two months ago, the ESWC held a tournament at the Masters event a fortnight ago and the game will be present at the grand finals in San Jose (USA), next month. They unlike the Asus Open have remained cryptic about the game, the Russians freely admit that Quake III was dropped in favour of CoD4 and joins Starcraft and Warcraft III as a 'second-tier game'.
In a 2007 interview with Michal 'Carmac' Blichaz, Matthieu Dallon (CEO of Games Services), commented that CoD4 was difficult to add [to ESWC] because of the “impact on logistics and costs” and that they'd chosen to “develop CS Women instead of a new team-played title”. While the tournament was run under the guise of the 'Packard Bell iPOWER Games 2008', it was Games Services who were responsible for running the tournament won ultimately by the French H2k.Thermaltake.
The iPOWER Games and CGS were heavily flawed because of a lack of coverage, the forthcoming Asus Open is likely to be equally unsuccessful because of a poor prize purse. Only the CGS tournament can claim to be a significant 'experiment' and their tournament rightfully attracted a number of foreign teams to the event in Birmingham (UK).
The event which was won by won by the Swedes of fnatic, still maintains the record as the highest prize purse ever given out in Call of Duty 4. The event itself proved poor value for money though, Crossfire's Stuart 'TosspoT' Saw said that the event cost the CGS £133 per-person, “because I assure you that come the summer nobody outside of those that were there will remember the event”.
This record will be broken tomorrow and in spectacular fashion, the Antwerp eSports Festival (AEF) begins with two tournament pre-favourites, Dignitas and H2k.Thermaltake, playing in the early morning matches at 8.25am. The event itself with be overshadowed only days later by the-eXperience (TEX) who will offer a marginal prize increase over AEF's €30,000.
While hardened 1.6' and Source' players may shrug at such insignificant figures, CoD as a franchise has grown from from hosting €3,000 to €30,000 tournaments in the space of a year. These are community driven events which will never leave the franchise, I often think that the average CoD player has lost track of how rapidly the game is moving and while we may not have the likes of the World Cyber Games and ESWC, yet, the number of people playing both versions of Counter Strike (CS) decreases while CoD continues to grow.
In a straight fight of numbers CS gives CoD a black-eye, we do however have a lot going for us and while that maybe hard to realise as we glance towards the man in the urinal next to us, whose naturally or should that be unnaturally well-endowed? The likes of AEF and “Easybash” listen fervently to the community in a way the ESWC was once famous for. We don't a TV mod, yet, but Mike 'Garetjax' Berkowitz's timely return to competitive CoD complements Ryan 'raf1' Palmer's promod perfectly.
You've to wonder whether it's fate or luck that Gamegune 'clashes' with AEF this weekend, on the one hand you've a distinctly ordinary CS tournament and on the other the most competitive CoD LAN ever, both have similar prize pots and if I were a tournament organiser I know which scenario I would be wanting.
I can feel the momentum building and to all the professional CoD4 players out there, you're a lot closer to earning a wage than you were in vanilla CoD, just remember that.
- mymym.com [one article]
- SK-Gaming.com [multiple articles, columns and coverage]
- ESReality.com [one column]
- Crossfire.nu [multiple articles, columns and coverage]
eSports media achievements:
- Long-listed for eSports scene journalist Award 2008
- Nominated for best eSports coverage 2008 (SK)
- Nominated for best eSports coverage 2007 (SK)
- Published in Times Higher Education (THE); online and print.
- Long-listed for the Guardian's 2009 International Development Journalism competition; online.
- CGS European Qualifier and Draft
- Multiplay i31
THE NEW JERSEY