Thursday, January 24, 2013

Like... Woah... Hold your horses white knight fanboys...

Got many comments about the whole Na'Vi hoodie issue, quite a few simply didn't understand what I was trying to say, so for the benefit of everyone, here it is in one simple sentence :

I would have appreciated the campaign better if they used their star players instead of a tv host, because it would have connected better.

That really is all there is to it.

Here are some further clarifications,
1. It is ironic that you would bring this up, seeing as you are a female gamer who markets herself as such.
- well obviously I would market myself and my teammates as female gamers, because that is who we are. If I were to use iceiceice as our mascot to reach out to the gamers, then there is something very wrong there.

2. All you did was show your face and you became famous, because people saw that you were a girl.
- thanks for discounting the 8-9 years that I've been in the DotA community, as an employee, a manager, a gamer, a competition organizer, a caster, a streamer, a content provider..... Etc.
But even if I didn't do all that work, then why are there so many unknown gamer girls (who have shown their face) around?

4. This is a normal marketing gimmick used by all companies, there's nothing wrong with Na'Vi doing it too.
- (if my first post mentioning that it was nothing reprehensible wasn't clear)
Definitely! There's nothing wrong with what they did.
It didn't connect well with everyone, and felt like it was a lazy approach (as compared with their other reviews eg,the benq monitor review, no players were involved, and compared to other organizations who ran some mind blowing campaigns) but essentially, there's nothing wrong with it.
It doesn't mean I have to like it. The boobs and girls tactic is efficient, but there're are people who would have been more impressed by a more classy, player oriented sort of thing.
In the end anyway, they gained lots of people discussing it, and no publicity is bad publicity. You gotta admit the shock value was there.

5. You hate her. You are jealous of her. She's making easy money with her tits and you?
- I don't think she's unattractive, I think she has a good bod, and she knows how to act in front of a camera. Basically, she's a good host, entertaining, and does a good job.
I said more or less the same things in my previous post. Does it sound like I hate her or that I'm jealous of her?
How people choose to make their money is up to them, I'm making easy money cos I'm doing what I love, and when I love what I'm doing, it's not a job.


Just to end off:
Quickly now, what do you think of when I mention the deodorant "Axe"?
(probably more relevant to the people from the U.S.A)
Or perhaps, "Old Spice"?

See the importance of who you choose to associate with your brand yet?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I'm a Na`Vi fan. Definitely am.
But not because of anything other than their skills, the way the team has stuck together for more than a year (which, in DotA is equivalent to eternity), and because from my interaction with them, I've come to like them as people.

But the recent advert selling their newly launched hoodie has got me raising my eyebrows (interesting fact about me: I am totally unable to raise just one eyebrow), and other people raising other things, probably.
I've always thought the media team has been doing a great job with their consistent coverage (as opposed to their recent... un-coverage...), product reviews and game highlights. The current direction they are moving in though, (seems to be... up?) isn't something I can say I'm happy about.

To quote v1lat's 2 tweets about the matter (this is a rough translation) [edited, thanks to panda]
"Well, this was the last fucking straw, alright. I'm unsubscribing the fuck from navi's channel. When will they be fucking her right on the stream? I mean, why not?"
"I do not know why I was so angry. But angry specifically. And then wonder why our country is called the country of whores."

If a Ukrainian caster can feel this way... it must mean something, right?

To be fair, almost all mainstream companies use sex to sell their products, services etc, so by those standards, there's nothing reprehensible about all this.
I do think, however, that Na`Vi is perfectly capable of moving those hoodies, based on star power alone. I mean, I'd buy it because I want to support the team, but right now, I wouldn't even want to share the link to that video because I don't want the money I'm indirectly "donating to the players" to contribute to the amount for hiring her.

No doubt, Polina is a good host. She's earned her credentials as a TV host, she's comfortable presenting, interesting sometimes, and probably a good way for Na`Vi to get into the mainstream media.
But she shouldn't be made into a reason to support the team.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On the Flash dota2 League...

The past day since I made the call to close registrations for the fd2l, I've received complaints and feedback across different platforms. Forums, phone calls, emails...
So I feel a need to address the situation.

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and for wanting to participate in this competition. I know that there is a great hunger for offline dota2 tournaments in Singapore and I am working to satisfy it.
On my end, running competitions for the dota2 community in Singapore has always been something that I've wanted to get back into. I was greatly inspired by the 2005-2007 period when there were dota1 competitions happening almost on a weekly basis.
That, I felt, enabled the community to grow and improve. The lack of dota2 offline competitions, to me, was one big reason why there is such a great disparity in skill between the top team (which was active during the heyday of dota1) and the second tier teams.
I modeled the fd2l on the capl system because I remember how it affected gamers positively.
I spent a lot of time working things out, looking for sponsors, making decisions, improving and changing certain things before the micro site was released. Evidently there were some points that I didn't make clear enough and I will correct this in the next tournament.

Here is a list of what I've learnt so far, and what I will do to rectify the situation immediately, and in future.

1. I did not state on the website that teams will be granted confirmed slots on a first pay first confirmed basis.
What I will do in future : I will state clearly, on the website, that slots are not confirmed until all players have verified their emails, and paid their registration fee.
Why / how this happened :
Whilst I may not have stated that a slot in the competition is not confirmed until payment is made on the website, I did say in the email that your team will only be listed as confirmed once all players verify their emails, and payment has been made, and I announced on the Facebook page that the remaining 34 slots (at that point in time, 30 teams signed up and paid) would be on a first pay first confirmed basis (because over 60 teams registered by then). I did not immediately close registrations because there were some duplicate registrations and some overseas teams who would not be able to fly down to participate in the event, therefore there were some empty slots.
On Monday, upon reaching the office, I was shocked to discover that 95 teams had registered and I immediately asked my web coder to close registrations, then I set about tracking the payments.
By lunch time, the last slot was confirmed to a team who dropped by the office and made payment.
Immediate solution:
For various reasons, teams which sign up eventually decide not to play and they don't pay. Thus, it would be impossible to hold a slot indefinitely, so the next best thing I can do is refund the team which I cannot give a slot to.
I am unable to expand the tournament because the next number of teams which I must open it to is 128, and I'm already struggling with 64. The location and time constraints also prevent more than a 64 team tournament from taking place.
I also offered teams a reserve slot, allowing them to take the place of one of the confirmed 64 teams should they decide not to participate or if they get disqualified.

2. Quite a few teams and casters were under the impression that it would be held online, hence I had a few registrants from places like Australia, Sweden etc.
What I will do in future : I will stress repeatedly on the website and all press releases that it is a competition which requires gamers and casters to be physically present.
Why this happened: dota2 competitions are regularly held online, so I guess most people assume that it is online instead of reading further.
(side note I believe this was quite clearly stated on the website, we even included a location map, so if I may refer to my point no. 1, stating things on the website doesn't necessarily work)
Many international sites reported the news about the fd2l, so I guess people didn't realize that it was an offline competition.
Immediate solution: I sent out emails to most of the registrants who listed their countries as something other than Singapore and informed them.

3. Teams who paid after the early bird time slot had to pay full price even if they registered during the early bird time frame. (ie, $50 instead of $30)
Why this happened: this is in part due to a miscommunication on our end, and one of the points I overlooked.
What I will do in future: I will add in, clearly, that early bird pricing is only relevant to teams who register AND pay during the early bird period, and for as long as there are slots.
I might also do away with the cash payment option so that teams have to pay immediately online.
I have also applied for enets, so everyone who has a debit card can pay online.
Immediate solution: since it wasn't clearly stated, teams who registered during the early bird period but paid after the period was closed will be refunded IF THEY DROP AN EMAIL TO with their team and payment details by Friday 18 jan 2013 1800+8GMT

Whilst I readily admit to my faults and present solutions for them, I do think that it takes two hands to clap.
I believe the community can improve on some things on their end:

1. I know how it is to feel disappointed, but expressing your unhappiness is different from simply being rude.
I'd like to thank the teams and casters who were gracious and understanding about the situation and didn't give me a hard time about it.
On the reverse end were teams who simply hung up on me as I was explaining the situation.

2. You have to realize that I would love to expand the slots to accommodate you. It means more cash which I can pump back into the league on a whole, and it might even enable me to be more generous with the marshals, who by the way, will be doing it on practically a voluntary basis.
My whole aim of doing this is to grow the community to a level that was comparable to dota1 at its peak, and this one reason alone is good enough for me. I guess, in part, the reason why I'm getting complaints is because the current community of dota2 gamers haven't really experienced an offline competition. Many of the veteran teams inherently understood that slots would not be confirmed until payment is made and details mailed to the admin staff. And as a veteran gamer I took it for granted that it's common sense too.

3. I welcome feedback, I really do. I'm a little rusty at organizing events, and things have changed since I last did something like this. So if it's possible, I will make changes based on your feedback.
You don't need to try to shove it down my throat, just a logically phrased, polite email would suffice, or a post in the relevant forum on the flash esports forums. (yes, right from the start, I created a feedback section for everyone to leave constructive comments)

I hope that this has helped clear up some doubts about why certain decisions were made, and that it would assure every one that I am committed to doing my best to run a perfect event for the greater good of the community.
I also hope to have the continued support of the community for this event and other events which I will be running.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

On "Trying Hard"

I keep hearing people calling other people try hards, especially if they lose a game against them.
Honestly, I don't really see what's wrong with being a Try Hard, but before we get into that, take a read about the definitions of a try hard.

Urban dictionary attempts to explain what a Try Hard is in the context of gaming (and in my opinion, does a pretty good job)
Try-hard is an adjective used to describe an individual who: 1) will try very hard to be good at something or fit in and eventually fails.2) in videogames (such as Call of Duty or Halo) tries so hard to be good they end up losing sight of just having fun. This individual can become aggressive with other players if they are in a losing situation. In this sense the term can be used to describe players who are being relatively successful.  It must be noted that it is not uncommon for individuals to falsely accuse others of being a try-hard in order to make themselves feel better for their own inability to fit in or poor performance. If confronted by such an individual evaluate the accuser as well as yourself and remember there is a difference between trying and trying too hard1) Look at Nick, he is such a try-hard interjecting in a conversation he knows nothing about to try to look cool. 1) Look at that player "0Ace", he is such a try-hard camping with an AK74u rapid fire and all pro perks but he still has a 0.50 KDR. 2) That player "CampHeavyAce" might have a 3.0 KDR but he only uses OP weapons and camps. I wonder if he is actually having fun being such a try-hard...

The try hards who try to be good, and just get rolled are just pitiful I guess, so there's no point in putting them down any more. Whether they pick to win or pick to have fun, they're just going to lose, so no one really cares about them.

I think the try-hards we all hate are those who act super serious, wait for opponents to pick heroes before choosing counters in -ap pub games, or immediately choose the over powered heroes and then proceed to stick in 5s all the way, ward and deward non stop throughout the game.
I mean, honestly, why do we play pubs?
I play pubs to figure out new heroes, figure out new builds, try some jukes, or play a lane I don't normally play; basically to push limits. So I guess playing against a team of 5 who keep ganking you together when your own team support doesn't even up bird, much less wards, would get kind of annoying.

Annoying, yes, but not anything to crucify them over.

To a certain extent, I applaud them. It does take a great deal of discipline to keep trying to do everything textbook perfect, and I guess it does show that they're serious about the game (so serious that even pubs are treated like competition games). Professional gaming, is not all about having fun, sometimes you will hate having to play with a certain teammate for a while, or you will want to go out, have dinner, clean your cat's litter box etc anything to NOT play for a while. So, being able to take every game seriously, and TRY HARD, is in itself a feat.

But that leads me to another question.
Why don't the try hards just go play - cm mode and leave the pubs to play -ap?
If their intention is to pubstomp, then well, that's hardly going to contribute to improving their own skill, is it?
So, in that sense, it's just... a wee bit pathetic.

Maybe its a flaw in Valve's almost perfect system - perhaps the creation of a "casual mode" (but without the extra gold and benefits which make the whole game non-competitive) and a "normal mode" - like what they have in HoN might help clear out the try hards from the realm of pubbers who want a more chillax game.