WCG 2006: Counter-Strike

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The first match of Saturday’s Counter-Strike competition ended today as expected, early favorites, Team Complexity, bested their opponents, The Elite Pimps.

The pimps, one of whom had a good luck teddy bear propped beside his monitor, played a tough, smart game, but were no match for the more agile and experienced Complexity.

The match was called with Complexity up 16-to-five over “LP” as the commentators have taken to calling The Elite Pimps.

While watching the game, it became clear that the barrier to entry to gaming as a sport may be, in addition to the gamers themselves, the actual game. The match was displayed over a pair of large projection screens in the main ballroom, which (I assume) mirrored what will be broadcast on video-on-demand.

The game must necessarily be presented from the viewpoint of the players, showing the audience what is also being displayed on the players’ screens. A overhead map was also occasionally displayed, indicating the position of each player relative to their objectives.

Having not played the game for some time, it took me most of the match to “learn” where I supposed to be looking, and not a few times the action which was most pivotal to the outcome of the game simply wasn’t visible, and instead we had to rely on the spoken commentary from hosts “djWHEAT” and “Smeagol.” It was an interesting mash-up of watching friends play counterstrike and listening to a game on the radio. The ability to capture the action from within the game, but outside of the perspective of the players may be just the thing needed here, but since that would require support from each developer of each game, it doesn’t seem likely.

Regardless, the action is sure to heat up later today as Complexity moves on.

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