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Koreans own White Dudes

By Michal 'Carmac' Blicharz
Jun 30, 2008 21:45


ImageThis weekend's Blizzard Worldwide Invitational has shown several things: that Korea is the world's leading esports country, that the WWI is a near perfect esports event and the difference between Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft.

"We thought it would be good for the audience to watch if we lost the first set of maps." This is what the Korean WoW players from Council of Mages said after winning the WWI final. To me, this moment encapsulated everything that happened at the weekend.

If it was the player's sense of humour or insolent arrogance - I couldn't tell - doesn't matter too much. Having seen all the WoW players walk onto the stage, the distinct paleness of some of them, their hands hidden in their pockets and how out of place they looked, being entertained by the Koreans like that was the last thing I expected.

"What kind of a person goes to their first ever international event and says something like that after winning it in front of six thousand people?"
What kind of a person goes to their first ever international event and says something like that after winning it in front of six thousand people? Only one that would know what to do and how to act without having been in a situation like that before. Someone that has seen it before live or on television and knows in the spotlight rightfully thinks "I am those people's entertainment right now."

That to me proves the power of Korean esports more than the results of the WWI. They sent "rookies" to perhaps the biggest WoW event in history and they were unafraid to be stars outright. After getting to know players like June "Lyn" Park or Jang "Moon" JaeHo I have realised that almost each of them is stardom-ready and that I was mistaking extreme politeness for timidity.

If you look at the results, they tell the same story. Koreans took all the spots on the podium in StarCraft, they got first and second in Warcraft 3 and Council of Mages, the team that won the WoW invitational, said that they were not even the best team in Korea.

"Another interesting observation to be made in Paris was that the Warcraft 3 final was the only one that was not played on the major stage but on one of the smaller stages."
The WoW final moment also signifies another thing that we will have to deal with. In some time, the WoW players will be ready to be international esports stars and they, along with their game, will take their chunk of the attention that esports will be getting.

The WoW competition was a very popular part of the WWI schedule and, interetingly, it gathered a much more diverse crowd than the other two games. WoW simply attracts more casual people of all ages and walks of life. Would this be the vessel to bring esports to the mainstream?

Another interesting observation to be made in Paris was that the Warcraft 3 final was the only one that was not played on the major stage but on one of the smaller stages. While it is obvious that WoW just had to be there, StarCraft being picked over Warcraft 3 by Blizzard (!) seems to indicate which directions to look in for the future.

If I interpreted it correctly, then Koreans will own White Dudes for a very long time. At least at Blizzard's games.



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