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The CGS and how marketing works - sometimes

By Alexander T. 'TheSlaSH' Müller-Rodic
Nov 19, 2008 10:02

It is day one after the self-proclaimed world's first truly professional video gaming league closed its doors, calling it quits. What exactly happened here, was it a project ahead of its time or was it just another failure we had seen coming its way?

When I first heard of the CGS and what they wanted to do, I was amazed that you could actually come along and think you could re-define eSports as it was back then. As you can imagine, SK among most of the other G7 teams was involved in discussions and negotiations with this project from a very early point in time.

After their shopping tour in the US, getting both, 3D and complexity as their franchise brands, the CGS management thought European teams were easy targets. What they missed to understand was the fact that some of us already had accomplished a lot and within a short period of time created companies that actually made money.
I remember very well, when it came to a showdown between SK and the CGS regarding ourselves becoming a franchise or not. The evaluation of SK Gaming by the CGS management at that time was more or less a joke, cause again, we were no brand to be built. We were already out there, running one of the larger teams with a lot of success and most important, we were actually being sponsored already.

Now look at that and the chances the CGS have missed. Europe is and was very different from the US back then and is today. We have the SKs, Mousesports, MYMs, mTws and Fnatics, only to mention a few and these teams are doing a great job for eSports.
Europe is a huge eSports continent and it needed more than 3 teams from this area in a CGS if this league ever wanted to be taken serious.
Imagine, Mousesports for Germany, SK for Sweden, Fnatic for the UK, MYM....just pick a country, Denmark maybe? Whatever, the CGS could have had a strong stand in Europe and with the sponsors attached to the teams already, these teams would not have cost money, but would have brought something to the table. And so far I am not including you, the community that would have followed as well (if certain adjustments to the system would have been added).

So all in all the policy of trying to create these franchise only teams simply did not work. Calling this strategy ahead of time is a lie. The CGS was told better. They got concepts that showed a different scenario with smaller adjustments, but they did not listen or thought of themselves to outsmart the market.

The system of the league could have been interesting. Just think about it. CS 1.6, WC3 1on1, FIFA 1on1 and now maybe WoW 3on3, you name it. The games and titles we love that much, the players we know and follow, the teams we cheer for.
Now do not think CGS was not told to work on the system. Instead they had several whisperes telling them what to do, but the people behind did not listen.

So again I am asking, was their project ahead of time? Is it so that we the community didn't get the message CGS was sending and will understand the whole thing in a couple of years?


The truth is, we all together have created an eSports environment that is far beyond what the CGS tried to enforce. We includes all of us. You, the fans that follow eSports. You, the guys that run the best tournaments and leagues out there, free for anyone to compete in. You, the sponsors and partners that chose this very market to help develop it and market yourselves in. And last but not least you, the guys that run teams, that create the rivalty, that play, manage and do all they can to be the best team in the world.

The CGS was neither the world's first truly professional video gaming league, nor was their concept ahead of time. Look at the people behind the organisation. the guys that ran operations. Some faces might be familiar to you. And it is not the first organisation they leave in ashes!
The concept of CGS was a very very US driven approach on professional sports. This works in the US only I guess, as Europe is anything but like that comparing how the system runs and how teams are managed.
Instead their concept without adjustments was a huge failure from the beginning.

Now why am I even bothering?
Due to two reasons:
a) cause in their closing statement they don't have the guts to admit the wrong path they have been following and instead try to stick with the wrong idea. By doing so, they kind of tell us (you and me) that we are how bad is that? :)
b) cause they burned all this money that could have done good to our eSports community. It is hard telling people that this investment did not work due to management rather than a market not working and this is what they leave us with.

Let's keep up with the good work all of us (you, the fans, you the leagues and tournaments, you the sponsors and you the teams) do in eSports and we will continue to get better and better, larger and larger and in the end the world's ONLY (,first and truly) professional video gaming community there is.



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