Sunday, November 09, 2008

Article on WCG 2008 from Manila Bulletin

Manila Bulletin Online posted an article about the World Cyber Games 2008 and the Philippine Team. Click HERE for the full article.

Here's a snippet...

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RP team puts up a good fight at 2008 World Cyber Games tourney in Cologne, but fails to advance in semi-finals

Tjader Regis, WCG Philippines project director, said despite of the RP team failing to advance into the semi final rounds of the tournament, he is proud of what the group has achieved in this year’s WCG competition.

"Eventhough it was our first time to join in games like Command & Conquer and Guitar Hero, and despite our players being up against the top players from established countries like the US, Germany, etc. immediately on the first day of eliminations, they have shown that we are capable of putting up a good fight in their game."

Moreover, he said the RP team has exhibited a new level of maturity and discipline in their craft that has been developed over the years, one that could serve them in attaining their goal of one day making it into the finalmatch when they join in future competitions.

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Myself having been part of the Virtua Fighter 5 tournament at the WCG Asian Championship 2008, I understand the pressure of being put into a competition scenario. Players can be quite good at a game when they're put in a comfortable position (say, at their local LAN shop, or at home battling via online connectivity); but when put in an environment of an internationally recognized, professionally organized competition, the scenario changes completely. I don't doubt that the Filipino players sent to the games at Cologne, Germany were great players. I believe they really are the best in the Philippines. What the Filipino players really need, to improve their chances of winning medals, is constant exposure to the pressure scenario introduced by professionally organized competitions. That means local players have to have the opportunity to participate in multiple tournaments to not only hone their gaming skills, but to also condition their minds to deal with the pressure of competing professionally.

For instance, it takes only one visit to scorehero.com's forums to see how many competitions take place in the United States for Guitar Hero III alone. There are a lot of tournaments being held in the USA on a monthly/weekly basis, for several types of games. This makes their players very formidable opponents, because they are used to having all that pressure, and they're used to dealing with it. The same goes for other countries which have players that win medals from the WCG. The constant availability of competitions in other countries allows their players to eventually be able to condition their minds so that they can still play their best (and, perhaps, play even better) even when faced with the pressure scenario of a competition.

Of course, it's a reality that in other countries, there are just more organizations that are willing to fund gaming competitions consistently, and that's another factor that gives other nations a distinct advantage. In the Philippines, we don't see that happening because most businesses would rather invest their money in other things which they feel are more practical. Also, gaming still has that stigma that it is nothing more than a time-waster, a worthless activity or simply a luxury for the wealthy. Furthermore, specifically for the Xbox category here in the Philippines, there is no official support from Microsoft or other game developers. This means that any console-related event held locally will have a hard time securing the funding / sponsorship needed to hold any kind of local, console-gaming-related gaming tournament.

If there were a way to let Filipino gamers be constantly exposed to the pressure scenario of a professionally organized competition, I believe that they'd be better prepared for events like the WCG Grand Finals. For example, if more publicly visible gaming tournaments were held locally for the different games that are part of the WCG lineup, that would provide local players with enough preparation for an international competition. It might not be possible yet today, given very real constraints such as sponsorship or other concerns, but it's a good thing to aim for in the future.

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