If the Mayans have taught us anything recently, what with the world still being here and all, it’s that calendars are arbitrary measurements of time and not much else. We, as humans, have an innate desire to measure stuff. At the end of our “year”, we feel compelled to reflect on what was and what could be in the future.
There are ways we can do this, I guess.
I had a few ideas.
The first was a Christmas poem.
Here’s a taste.
T’was the night before Christmas, and all throughout Battle.net,
We’ve all stopped trying to work out the Tempest.
Streams all shut down, chat rooms all dead,
And the members of ROOT Gaming rest their nerd heads.
I stopped there. You can see why -- it was lame as hell. As hell.
Then I thought about re-writing a Christmas story, only replacing Santa with CatZ and the head elf as Drewbie, but that was possibly more lame than my first idea.
I’m not good at writing cute or funny. I’m currently in the midst of a quarter life crisis where I’m questioning whether or not I’m actually good at writing, or just good at articulating my fickle outrage.
However, this year was a good’un for e-sports and for ROOT Gaming, and I feel the need to, at the very least, point dat out.
Starcraft II is a pretty good game, and continued to be so in 2012. It was alive, then was "dead," then was resurrected - you see the religious parallels here? The only people who say it’s dead now are morons who make 10 Twitch accounts and spam chats with diatribe.
We should mark the day Destiny made his ‘SC2 is dead’ Reddit post and call it ‘Craftmas’ and celebrate it by playing FFA’s in HotS, drinking alcohol and groping porn stars*.
It’s hard to find a highlight in e-sports for SC2 because, frankly, there were so many, and the one which should have been the highlight - the Blizzard WCS finals in Shanghai - was kind of meh. The tournament as a whole, as a series, was fantastic - it embraced grassroots e-sports, ran qualifiers across the world over several months, and brought e-sports to places and people who may not have had the chance to experience it. However, the finals left a lot to be desired in terms of hype and production, and the excuse “We’re in China, internetting is hard” didn’t fly with me.
That said, it was more than made up for by MLGs and IPLs and DreamHacks and IEMs and Iron Squids - plurals, the lot of them. An overwhelming number of circuits and series with high production, entertainment value and, of course, incredible games.
Valve gave us The International for DOTA2, and it was pretty friggin’ amazing. Huge crowd, VIP boxes, awesome camera angles. great production. Little team flags and being able to spectate in game - such things as SC2 fans’ dreams are made of. The same can be said for Riot’s League of Legends finals. We can thank our e-sports comrades for setting the bar as high as they did for a world finals and pray to the e-sports gods that we’ll get something similar for SC2 at Blizzcon next year.
So, ROOT Gaming. Again, something that went away and came back**.
What makes ROOT Gaming special, in my eyes, is that its players cover a wide spectrum of both ability and personality. It’s easy when you have a team with a lot of money and a private lear jet to sign gosus with an already-established history. ROOT’s SC2 players range from players with already-incredible ability, who produce amazing results, to people who have amazing potential for growth, to people who are dedicated to continuing in HotS. Even with a focus on player development, ROOT had the equal-highest representation in the NA Blizzard World Championship Series finals, and two representatives in the world finals.
The DOTA2 team is new and exciting and already showing what they can achieve with more practice and team-building, making us proud with their THOR Open qualification for Sweden.
ROOT’s casters, Axeltoss and Rotterdam, have been taken all over the world to cover events and have themselves grown and improved to become world-class, high demand, devilishly handsome staples of large events.
Everyone loves a good story, and that’s what ROOT Gaming is essentially about.
Teams with huge money signing pros who you already know are incredible - that’s like skipping a book all the way to the last 10 pages.
ROOT is a whole book, and that’s what I love about it.
I love that everyone is respected as an individual and that focus is always on achieving a personal best. I love that it’s a team that nurtures and respects potential more than what has already been achieved.
I’m a sucker for a good story.
Like most good books, there will be more volumes - more stories, more surprises, all the characters you love and heaps of surprises.
I’m looking forward to 2013 not just for what can happen for ROOT, but e-sports as a whole. This year has been incredible and I feel nothing but lucky every day that I get to be a part of it, even in a small way. We are all a part of it. Even if you’re just sitting on your ass at home, eating popcorn, screaming at a player to drop the stupid marines on the mineral line already FUUUUUUUUUU~, you are the most important aspect of e-sports of all.
Never forget it’s your eyeballs and your interaction and your support that keeps ROOT and e-sports going.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ROOT...I mean, night.
* There are three times as many porn stars in e-sports now as opposed to last year.
If that ain’t growth, I dunno what is.
** I can’t think of a metaphor for something that goes away and comes back. I was thinking about penguins and how they have the same partners their whole lives and go away for months at a time but always come back to their mates. So let's go with Penguins.
@Sunset_SC2 rides a zergling to work instead of a kangaroo, and it was a pleasure to have her write our Christmas special. Merry Christmas to everyone from the management, the staff, and the players here at ROOT Gaming!