In essence it did not because we began planning our activity for 2008 at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the previous year. We were aware of the situation between us and the Counter-Strike division.
Does this mean that in the fourth quarter of the year you were already planning 2008 without the CS team?
Since the first information about MYM and PGS's CS division, we had taken into account that the players might not want to be with us anymore. On the other hand, we ourselves were not happy with how the players performed their tasks that did not involve playing CS. I mean their behaviour during marketing events or giving interviews.
What exactly did the management not like?
To be brief, the complete lack of will to promote themselves and the entire team in the media. There cannot be a situation where a player receives interview questions for a magazine and does not give answers in spite of reminders and the fact that their contracts say that they should give interviews.
I don't mean a delay of a couple of days, or even weeks.
You can resolve single cases but as they reoccurred, we simply stopped seeing any benefit from having a CS team that would not cooperate with us. This is why the team and the management mutually agreed to terminate the contracts.
You no longer saw a benefit in having a team that made PGS famous all over the world and received every possible award?
Until ESWC the team really did play very well, but after that the results were not as good anymore. Strengthening the brand has definitely gone side to side with the CS team's results, but I would like to remind that in order to achieve success you need to have the conditions to do so. Those the players got from PGS several years ago.
Besides that, PGS has not been just Counter-Strike, but also Warcraft 3, FIFA and Need for Speed.
In other words, both parties did not want to go on with each other?
Yes, those are the terms that we parted on.
Practically since always, PGSPokerStrategy's activities were focused around the Polish market. We have always stressed that we care about showing video games to the society and promoting esports. One of our channels of doing that is our media activity.
You mentioned the website - right now we see no point in running a site about esports in English and competing with SK Gaming or GotFrags. As for the team page, we would like it to also be accessible for our fans that do not speak Polish and we are working on it all the time.
To sum up, PGS's strategy is to be the number one in Poland... but not only.
You replaced CS with a CoD4 team. What are the rationale behind it?
There is a misunderstanding here. The decision to open up a new team game section was taken already in October. Since then, we analysed scenes of games, the numbers of their players, tournaments coming up and the interest of producers and publishers with a given title. At the time, Unreal Tournament 3, Crysis and Call of Duty 4 were taken into account.
Why don't you try and create a team that could stand its ground against MYM? Poland has got many talented players - just look at the European Nations Cup or the success of PGS's old lineups. Counter-Strike is also a very important game in terms of media.
We no longer plan to invest into Counter-Strike. You could say that we achieved everything that was possible in the game. This goes back to the Polish CS scene - if Poland has got so many talented players, then why are there no strong Polish teams on the international scene, other than MYM?
You mentioned that it was thanks to the support of PGS that the CS team has managed to become successful. Couldn't you do the same again?
You think of PGS as of a place where NEO, LUq, Taz, kuben and Loord played, it seems.
In the past, we have created a Warcraft 3 team composed of mainly Polish players, that made it into the WC3L. It became a sort of a legend of the Polish WC3 scene.
The FIFA team has also achieved a lot on the international scene. Their very good performance in the EMS and the victory in the CB Spring Cup have shown that they need to be treated as a top team.
Those are only two examples of the success that the PGSPokerStrategy players have achieved playing for our brand. Maybe it was just luck, maybe something more.
I am asking if it isn't the professional backing that the Polish CS players need. One the one hand, you say that your old CS team won so much thanks to the PGS support and on the other, you suggest that with a new team the support would not cut it.
Polish players need the support, of course. Not only for Counter-Strike, but also in other games. Coming back to the Polish scene again, I think that we have many talented players that would be able to challenge the best if they devoted their time to training.
However, PGS is not the only team in Poland. Our plans as for CS are done, but no one says that Frag Executors or United cannot run a CS section. An article and a discussion on the topic of the Polish esports scene (the CS one and the other games alike) would take up quite a few pages in print.
What are the benefits of investing into games that are less popular as esports than CS?
You have to consider what you would take as the definition of popularity. If you only look at the esports community, then the benefits from investing into the less popular games with fewer tournaments and players should be smaller.
However, if you look at titles such as Need for Speed or FIFA, then outside of the esports community there are a great many players that can be reached. Besides, who hasn't played those games or heard of them?
Why, aside of WC3, does PGS not invest into foreign players?
Because of our abilities. Most of the shows or media materials are directed at the Polish people. Bringing foreigners to our country means additional costs while there is not so much interest in them from the media.
What about the sponsors? Does Steel Series or PokerStrategy think it is enough that the team has mainly a Polish presence?
We have been cooperating with SteelSeries nearly from the very start out our existence and we were practically unknown internationally. You also need to answer the question if the lack of foreign players, except for the WC3 team, only means domestic exposure. I think one does not stand in opposition to another.
Unfortunately, this is true. Some companies have told us that they do not want to support "a game about terrorists." It also happened that the players themselves were the reason that a sponsor did not want to support us. I would not make a big deal out of it. Everyone has their own terms and business negotiations are not always bound to be a success.
What other "bulls..." did you encounter when working with companies or the media in Poland?
Regarding sponsors, there is often a conflict of interest with our current ones. But the best example of what you called "bulls..." is a pretty old issue. After what we thought were initial conversations, we were invited to a meeting with a certain company from the IT industry. It turned out that a person that was not involved with PGS at all had claimed to be us and negotiated different things. The cooperation did not work out because of this and we can only be grateful. ;)
As far as the media goes, such situations are much rarer. We try to monitor everything that appears in the press or the radio so that the content is true to the facts and is not too general and that it shows games and gamers from an interesting angle.
Sometimes funny things happen when a reporter that does know games wants to submit a really good piece overdoes it, and then we read about stuff that is out of this world.
Both of the above are true - we had been talking about getting Daniel “LiilD.C” Claesson for a long time. We were also taking into account the option that the 'Kings' would fall apart. When this took place, our WC3 manager Jaco “Lloth” van Dijk knew what to do. It is hard to deny that it was a very good opportunity.
What do you expect of your WC3 players?
Our team will take part in four leagues, including two of the most prestigious in the world - the WC3L and the NGL. The goal is to have a good showing and stay in the leages. The other two leagues are the WPL and the German ESL PL.
In the previous WPL season we took 2nd place and now we are aiming for the win. ESL PL is the German championship which we won last season after beating starComa on LAN. Now we are planning to defend the title. It is possible that we will fight for the Polish championship this year.
Are there any plans to send the players to tournaments abroad?
Yes, our players will take part in competitions outside Poland whenever both the organization and the players will see a gain in that.
Nothing specific so far?
In the first quarter of 2008 the most interesting tournaments are the SEC and the Extreme Masters finals. If our players qualify for the finals of the latter, then they will definitely go. Some CoD4 tournaments were also announced, but we will not take part in those since our team is not ready yet. This is the opinion of both the management and the players.
When is PGS going to have a website in English?
If nothing changes in our plans, then in the second quarter of 2008.
I am tired of everyone asking for the title of the song from the interviews. It was made by Christian Linke. Search in the damned file section.
I sometimes forget to respond to a PM or a guestbook message. I do apologise if I have ignored you at some point!
I am a bad person. Malicious, cynical, annoying, petty, rash and impatient. Good luck making friends with me.
* DO NOT BUDDY ME IF YOU DO NOT KNOW ME IN PERSON *
GGL Dec 2005-> Dec 2007
SK Gaming Jan 2008 -> Dec 2008
ESL Feb 2009 -> ...
Intel Extreme Masters VI Global Challenge New York
Intel Extreme Masters VI Global Challenge Guangzhou
Intel Extreme Masters VI Global Challenge Cologne
European Battle.net Invitational 2011
Intel Extreme Masters V World Championship, Hanover
Intel Extreme Masters V European Championship, Kiev
Intel Extreme Masters V American Championship, New York City
Intel Extreme Masters V Global Challenge Cologne
Intel Extreme Masters V Global Challenge Shanghai
2010 Blizzard Warcraft Invitational, Cologne
ESWC 2010 finals Paris
Intel Extreme Masters IV World Championship, Hanover
Intel Extreme Masters IV Asian Championship, Taipei
Intel Extreme Masters IV European Championship, Cologne
Intel Extreme Masters IV American Championship, Edmonton
Intel Extreme Masters IV Global Challenge Dubai
Intel Extreme Masters IV Global Challenge, Cologne
Intel Extreme Masters Europe, World finals, Hanover
EPS XIV IFNG Cologne
World Cyber Games finals, Cologne
Intel Extreme Masters III Global Challenge Dubai
ESWC Masters of Athens 2008
ESWC finals, San Jose
QuakeCon 2008, Dallas
Global FIFA 09 Community Event, Vancouver
ESWC Masters of Paris 2008
Blizzard Worldwide Invitational 2008, Paris
EPS Season XII Finals, Cologne
ESCONF 08, Cologne
Kode5 Global Final 2007, Moscow
2008 AFI Film Festival, Dallas
CyberAces Gala, Warsaw
WCG Samsung Euro Championship / Intel Extreme Masters II / CeBIT, Hanover
Championship Gaming Series World Championship, Los Angeles
DreamHack Winter, Jonkoping
i32 LAN, Newbury
Heyah Logitech Cybersport finals, Warsaw
Extreme Masters / E4All, Los Angeles
World Cyber Games finals, Seattle
Games Convention, Leipzig
ESWC finals, Paris
ESWC Qualifier Poland, Poznan
Crossfire Prizefight Challenge 2, Enschede
i30 LAN, Newbury
WCG Samsung Euro Championship / Extreme Masters / CeBIT, Hanover
World Series of Video Games finals, New York City
Poznan Game Arena / Creative Polish Invitational, Poznan
World Cyber Games finals, Monza
GGL DigitalLife Pro/Am Tournament, New York City
WCG USA, Las Vegas
Kode5 Quake 4 finals / Games Convention, Leipzig
ESWC 2006, Paris
ESWC Qualifier Poland, Poznan
Hip Hop Gaming League finals, Hollywood
GGL VSports AllStars / E3, Los Angeles
GGL TransAtlantic Showdown, New York City
WCG Samsung Euro Championship, Hanover
DreamHack Winter, Jonkoping
CPL World Tour Finals, New York City
EuroCup XI LAN, Almere
ESWC 2005, Paris
CPL World Tour Stop Spain, Barcelona
WCG Samsung Euro Championship, Hanover
SMAU ILP 2004, Milan
WCG 2004 Italy, Milan
ESWC 2004, Poitiers
ESWC 2003, Poitiers
WCG 2002 UK, London
WCG 2002 Italy / NGI LAN 2, Milan
XSUnreality (see below)
XSU:Gold (see below)
Mad Mint Julep (see below)
Firebreath (see below)
Conceived the Golden Llama movie awards.
UT for clan DFP: quite a few domestic titles. Currently semi-active and not planning a comeback.
Competitive judo, sports, movies, music. MY OWNAGE NIECE.
SK Gaming Enters NBA2K
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SK Gaming Signs Canee as LEC Substitute
SK Gaming Announces Krombacher as New Beverage Partner
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