Korea and eSports.
Good day guys! It is me Kelly updating Loda s blog today. I apologise on behalf of him for the lack of content recently, but it has been very stressful for the whole Alliance team the past week. We left to the airport on Tuesday morning, but on Monday, we had to start playing at 10am, all the way till after midnight... Pretty much everyday is packed with games with hardly enough time to practise but enough of that! I got more interesting stuff to share with you guys.
Here is some serious stuff first before I start posting 1 million pictures... :D
eSports in Korea.
Korea has always been the hub of eSports in Asia since Broodwar 10 - 12 years ago. However, China and Taiwan is rapidly taking over Korea as the powerhouse for gaming in Asia. WHY?
Here are some stuff I found out from my Korean friends here:
-New President is just elected.
-She is very old school Korean
-She wants to ban Korea's 4 sins: Gambling, Alcohol, Drugs, GAMING.
-Steps taken currently are: Trying to pass a bill in Korea that will charge LAN cafes and Game publishers 2 to 3 times more tax than what they are paying right now.
-G Stars iteself used to be a huge event, this year I asked why is it smaller, apparantly game publishers are PISSED at the government for doing this and pulled out of the event refusing to support it.
-Game publishers and companies are actually setting up companies HQ in Japan, China etc and setting their Korean office as a *branch* office because of this retarded tax law that they are going to pass.
Some things that I predict will happen if the bill pass (Or if it already did, correct me)
-Net cafes will eventually have to shut down since owner cannot afford to run it.
-Game publishers are less inclined to support eSports in Korea, meaning less tours, because the audience will not be there, without the community anyway.
-Pro-gaming teams will have to shut down because there will be less and less investors for Korean teams.
What I dont understand is........
Yes, I understand traditional thinking. I grew up in Asia and my parents were extremely... Asian parents. (School, money, discipline etc are top 3 priority in the list)
But the government should CHANGE the way they think. They should treat their Korean eSports players.. like National Treasures. National Sports hero.
Remember the Broodwar days where they FLEW in, and did like an insanely crazy entrance ceremony with players coming down from the sky in a box to cheer on their national football team because the players in the football teams are huge fans and have huge respect for the players they idolized back in the day. So much hardwork was needed to be good because 100 people will go, and only 1 will win. How can it not be a sport? The competitveness in eSports is SO high.
I really really feel that they are doing it wrong.
Come on, Korea doesn't even have any REAL sports hero. They almost never win anything in the Olympics. Yet, in a GLOBAL tournament where EVERY country in the world (who is into gaming) are competing, 15 out of 16 of the finalises (Yes i am talking about WCS) are KOREANS. THAT is a HUGE pride for my nation if I was Korean. I would cheer the shit out of them event if I did not understand the game, but I understand that they are fighting for my nation, which is weird because Asian countries are almost fiercely patriotic and proud of what they have, especially korea..
Gaming is so huge in korea that it will be almost impossible to eliminate. Teens will just get more and more out of control, if they behave like.. normal teenagers, the more you say NO to something, the more they will do it. Educate, not take away... is the basis...
What I wish they did.
-Annouce their real eSports players as eSports Atheletes.
-Set up schools around Korea to educate the public about what professional/competitive gaming is about. These schools are after class schools. You have to apply through your real school, and you have to ACTUALLY be in school to join this *eSports school*.
-Hire/get the eSports Atheletes or even each individual eSports team to be the ambassador schools in their areas, going there once or twice a week, coach some people who are in the school, and also have a small talk 30 mins each time they go reminding how important it is to eat healthy, exercise, balance time etc.
-Make their good players big figures again just like in BW... so that they have public figures that people actually know enough to motivate them to sign up for the eSports school. (People who loved boxer, jaedong etc are probably in their 20s now.. the people who need the help the most are the <20s, teens etc. So they need to make sure there are new stars that newers gamers will know.)
But of course, the above is something that I call my "eSports Emerald Dream". I want that for almost every eSports country. I tried to do it in Singapore with a certain X game publisher this year and to get them to fund it, as well as talking to the government about it (I went to school boards, government of education in my country etc to talk)................... but it didn't go through.
I was jobless at that time this was in March, I just finished helping own3d with the closure of the company, I already didnt get paid since 2013 JAN because I was trying to make it work for own3d (great people working in the company, we got screwed over by investors). I was quite broke, but I believed in it... and did it for 2 months almost running out of my own money, because I had to pay for boards and presentation material, travelling around to like 3 different places everyday.. But I still stuck it out.
It was heartbreaking, I got the funding I needed, (Almost 500k USD for a year) but in the end................. they wanted me to promote their new games as well as asking me constantly where the profit was going to be made back...........
One of the reason why I went to that particular game company is because a lot of their games got a lot of bad publicity in SEA. Lots of teens spent thousands of dollars buying things in the game, or charged it to their phone (bills in asia when ur a teen is usually paid by parents), people dying while marathon-ing the game... etc. So I went to them with the project to help them change the public opinion on gaming in South East Asia (SEA) and by going through them, they will gain a lot of good publicity as well.... They had the funds to do it.. but.. you know. Business is business! And I will never work on a project that I don't believe in. Even if I could get $8000/mnth if I worked on that project. SO WHAT? I can never ever ever do something JUST for money. I will just be miserable. (Which probably is why I am alliance's manager... :*)
I spent 2 months working for free on the project pitching it to them, getting string along by then, only to get the funds from the publisher, along with the catch that I had to host a tour with their game AND make a profit from it. So.. never again.
This initiative has to be started by the government 100%. Most hopefully, the youth government, and the EDUCATION goverment.
Goverments, please do this in at most.. 3 to 4 years time. Our generation is so radically different from the last one because we got the internet, and that itself is so amazing. Without the internet, I would never have met Loda 8 years ago. Without the internet, I would never have had so many amazing friends around the world. Without the internet, I would never have found something that I could wake up to every morning, run to my desk with a new idea, and send it out to the relevant people, eSports.
You can never take the internet away from the youth, you should never take that from anyone, what they should do is Educate.
For the parents
who are reading this, understand that our generation still love many stuff, like the Beatles, Queen, going to cafes, just like you did.
Let me try to explain eSports quickly for you.
Think of eSports like real sports. Real eSports atheletes practise between 6 - 8 hours a day, they have a training regiment, they have a coach, they practise internally, as well as with other teams.
The top 10% of the players in a certain eSport gets paid a lot, the rest of the 90% are either amatuers or starting out.
10, 20 years ago, walls were of David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Michael Jordan, Lakers posters, Manchester United posters, WHATEVER it is. Signatures of sports heroes on posters that they Q up 1 hour for, preciously taped to the back of the door. Boys and girls alike run out to play the sports that they are fans of, in school, in their spare time, or just any time that they are awake :D They buy tickets, trek all the way to events, pay for even flights to go follow something amazing like the olympics or the world cup, they cry, they scream, they laugh.
Now, walls of teenagers or even adults (EVEN MINE), are filled with posters of eSports Atheletes, eSports teams, signatures from their eSports heroes that they love and respect on the back of the door. Boys and girls alike now run to their pc and play the game that they are fans of, but when they are not in school in their spare time. They travel around the country or the world just to go watch the big plays that are happening in tournaments, they cry, they scream, they laugh, they clap till their hands are close to bleeding because everyone is as passionate about eSports as you were when young.
Los Angeles Lakers VS Boston Celtic was one of the most hyped rivalries in NBA history.
The most loyal fans will never miss any match be it LIVE or on TV. They will scream at home if their team wins and cry at home if their team lose.
Alliance VS Na'Vi is probably a good example of a hyped rivalry in eSports.
Millions. And I mean Millions of people will watch our games, be it LIVE, or if they miss it, they will watch replays of it. Fans have tweeted me pictures of their boyfriends or their housemates SCREAMING and jumping and clapping as well as slips of police charges for "too much noise" when cheering their ass off during The Internationals 3 Grand Finals.
The fundamental passion is the same. In fact, we never had a fight or riot at any eSports event or tournaments. Maybe some friendly taunting between fans of rival teams. There are no drunk people yelling at you, no aggressive fans at LIVE games but the same cheering, singing, clapping and screaming >:)
What is different and what has changed? Our generation is just entering another age of Sports. Old physical sports will never die out, but that doesn't mean room for new Sports cannot exist. That does not mean that eSports cannot co-exist with Sports.
You can even call it pSports and eSports. Physical Sports and Electornic Sports :)
There will always be black sheeps in gaming. Insane people who will play for 48 hours until they die, and every single person who cares about eSports dreads the day when another news comes up when a japanese couple left their baby to die while feeding a virtual baby for 2 weeks, that someone had a 3 day marathon playing WoW then dying of a heart attack. News like that.. just undo SO MUCH that we have worked for. ONE news, can destroy 1 year or even more of hardwork. It's that scary. But there will ALWAYS be insane people. There are people who drink till they die, eat till they die, speed and die, so there will be people who use internet and die. Media should not propaganda people who die from playing games as such a HUGE thing, calling it game addiction blahblahblah making it so dark. If you want to do that, please post pictures and news of 10000 people cheering and screaming when their favorite team or player makes a good move as well. One sided media, sensationalising news.. kills eSports.... really.
Sorry for the rant.
And if anyone is reading this, this is a long shot, and if you are from the Swedish government, we are ready to commit to helping people who game. I am ready to spent 1 year of my life in 2014 just working on this project for non-profit. Drop me an email at kelly at thealliance dot gg.
Other than that, thanks for reading such a long and hopefully not viewed as a political post, and here are some happy pictures from our Korean Trip.
Actually, I ll post some pictures later because I got to run out!
Thanks for the read.
Guys from reddit. Calm down. This is not a sensational news, it's a blog post with information I got from talking to ACTUAL people who works in game companies or head the companies.
You can post all you want that you find online, and shit. Come on you think they are not doing more stuff backend?
Some guy posted the LAW that is almost google translated and trying to nitpick my post.
Ok so you want to say 6% tax now is not a lot. That is only for the sales. Being a game company alone., you already have to pay another tax. Do you also not think that 6% is the end of it?
Look at tobacco law, it just gets higher and higher, get real dude.
There is no lie, nothing, and no sources because this is a blog post not a news post. I cant give the names of people I talk to, but be sure to know that 6% is not what companies are only paying if the tax laws is passed.
Anyway, don't flame Loda please, Keep in mind that it is me, kelly who wrote the post. I see that he got some angry tweets :D
You can email me at kelly at thealliance dot gg or connect with me @kellymilkies on twitter.
Feel free to comment even if you disagree. I like to look at opinions to learn more about your views on the subject. Thanks for reading still. Cheers