Monday, February 25, 2013

SCL wrap up

This weekend saw the first (mostly) player run Eve Online tournament, the first month of the SCL. I did a little coverage on this event as it started up on Saturday, but honestly I wasn't expecting such a quality event.

Sure the commentators weren't 100% every time, but then I don't expect them to be. Yes, there were delays, both on the stream, the 7 second UI delay for one, or cutting to the repetitive ads before commentators finished talking, a by-product of clicking the "advert" button without accounting for the lag. Here's a tip for the SCL guys, three seconds of dead time allows all commentary to finish around the worth, but you press that "start adverts" button and that happens instantly. Sorry side tracked by the small things...

Yes there were scheduling delays in the macro sense, ie the hour long delay the start of the second day along with matches being delayed while things were worked out.

All that crap, forgotten. The quality of the event not only showed that the idea of competitive play in Eve is possible, it works great. Let me cover the winning formula.

  1. Great teams of competitors. Pulling from the best in Eve, I'm sure there are other great competitors out there, but the ones that were present were showing off the skill of flying in a match as well as the meta surrounding practicing, fits and counter fits.
  2. Knowledgeable staff, in both the Eve knowledgeable sense, but also technically savvy, experienced in streaming, experienced with the tourney.
  3. Huge, amazing, stunning support from CCP Fozzie (more on this later).
  4. Solid backing, in this case done by Eve-Bet, Monocle Madness and Somer Blink.
  5. Good prize pool, contributed by the above sponsors for the players
  6. Great in-event competitions for the watchers, both in the Eve chat channels, the SCL stream chat and other venues, like the Monocle Madness in game chat, and probably others, I'm sure the eve bet channel and the Somer channels were just as active as the MM channel.
  7. Interim music - Even the music was good. Sure it wasn't exactly what I would have chosen to pass the time, as I was trying to solo pvp during the breaks, but still good stuff. Thanks to Pretty Lights for the music!
  8. Three match format, forcing more than just a single win to determine the course of the tourney. Adds to the enjoyment, even adds to the drama. Reduces the chances of a miraculous finish like the Thorax rush, or the Rote Kapelle win against PL, but I think the trade off is worth it.
If you missed any of the action the replays are all parsed out, and up for review on twitch here.

My favorite matches :
  • The marathon of matches for Insurance Fraud, Match 11 round 1 through Match 12 round 3. Some crazy back and forth matches there, just amazing that IF was able to come back after matches of that calibre again and again. Impressive stamina.
  • Just about all of the Exodunks. matches - Match 3 Match 6 Match 7 Match 13 and Match 14
  • Matches by Warlords were just an effort in dominance. Very impressive.
Congrats to Warlords of the Deep, winners of month 1 of the SCL! exciting to the last drop.

Now here are a few things I would suggest to make the event better in March.
  1. More commentators. By the final matches the few that were available were burnt out, hoarse, and emotionally drained. They did great, but more "talent" in the pool would only help the situation.
  2. More resources behind the scenes. Both for the AMAZING CCP Fozzie who not only worked a weekend without pay, BUT ALSO worked the event through the night, while sick (uphill both ways, naked, while in a white out blizzard). No shit, this guy is amazing. I know he reads this blog occasionally, Fozzie, you seriously blow my mind with this kind of work. Even if nobody else realizes it your dedication to events like this is why Eve and esports will only get better. Thank you! If you didn't know, you are my favorite Dev, SORRY PUNK!
  3. Player resources behind the scene for SCL, in the form of guys on Twitter, taking over when the matches end to update the site and do some number crunching, update the site in more real-time.
  4. Better community interaction. By better I just mean more-of. More interviews, more fansite/blog previews of the teams. Getting community buy in on the teams is super important, but unfortunately it isn's something that a small 300 word blurb about each team can do. I'm talking about a web-page for each team, dedicated coverage, interviews of key members, or strong performers.
  5. Choosing a match MVP, especially for the finals, and single this person out for an after-match interview over skype, or perhaps a little after match gift, of isk or PLEX? Who knows, but individual acknowledgement is always good. And it doesn't have to be the team Captains every time, but they'd be a good start!
  6. More post-match review. Including the tipping point and strategies used. Especially when people show up with non-standard fits that people not in-the-know can understand what those fits could have been useful for.
  7. Mid-month review of the previous month's action. Like a one to two hour show detailing the action of the previous month, having the talking-heads, as it were, speak to the tactics and strategies used and ships used. Talk about the winning team and the tournament in general.
All in all, an amazing first showing, so much better than I was expecting. So much good PvP, great bets (even if I lost all my iskies). Bacchanalian posted up a great summary on the Eve forums from his perspective, that is well worth the read as well, and can be found here...

Great show guys. I look forward to next month! I will post dates and times as soon as I know them.


  1. Hey, just so you know we're looking into a lot of those suggestions already. Certainly the post and pre match commentary, but we need more commentators for that. It's on the docket. Ditto mid-month review/highlights and analysis. At the very least we're going to re-stream the matches with no breaks. I want to do some analysis too. We're also looking into ways to get more buy-in on the teams, in terms of backgrounds on them, interviews with them, etc. Very much on our list. And absolutely more staff.

    Honestly, we're all hoping CCP takes serious notice. We've seen some comments on major websites/blogs indicating that the quality of this tournament seriously rivaled that of the EVE NEO, and I think that might be a bit of a wake-up call to CCP. If 6 of us with one CCP Dev can pull this off, surely with more CCP support (for instance, giving Fozzie some help and/or giving the poor guy time off to compensate for the time he spends doing this or at least extra pay), we could improve this quite a bit. Maybe even use this format as a preliminary for something like the EVE NEO mk II? Host the finals at CCP HQ with the full resources of CCP once a year/season/whatever and use our season results as a way into the NEO instead of the prelims/an auction?

    Who knows. We certainly have a lot of ideas and at this point really hope we can bring more of CCP on board to help out. Either way we're going to keep on trucking and looking to improve every time. This weekend was something of a dress rehearsal, so we expect to make the next iteration quite a bit better.

    1. If your next iteration is even a small bit better you will start giving the AT a run for their money. It's good to hear that you guys are already looking at ways to improve.

      Bacch, if you see this again, are there thoughts about bringing in more teams, and/or setting up some kind of multi-month title to extend the longevity or drama of the competition?

      I think CCP has already taken notice and will play an even more active role in the months to come. Good luck!