Gamefy interviews NaVi in China

NaVi was interviews by Gamefy in this video, where they talk about their hopes for their trip, iG’s recent form, and more… Make sure you have annotations on if you wanna know what the Chinese voice is saying in between. Be sure to give the original video at Youku a hit too.

Original: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTc1ODMyMjk2.html

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CDEC gets 70,000 RMB in prizes as the CDEC “Midnight Snack Cup” launches

It looks like CDEC is making big moves, perhaps partially funded by the ticket sales through Dota client. For more information on CDEC and what they’re doing in Dota 2, check here.

Starting on June 23, and ending the week of November 3, every Sunday evening (China time) at 20:00, CDEC will, from its weekly top 20 rankings of participating players, invite 8 professional players to be joined with 2 non-professional players, to take part in a weekly “Midnight Snack Cup” series. Each Sunday night in this “Midnight Snack Cup” series, two BO1s will be played, with the winning side of each BO1 getting 1000 RMB to split between themselves, meaning there will be 2000 RMB in prizes each week for 20 weeks. (20 weeks x 2 games, 1000 RMB for victor of each game = 40 games, total prize for winners at 40,000 RMB)

Additional individual prizes for players will be handed out twice over the 20 week period. The “Most Stable Performance Prize” will go to the professional player with the highest number of wins, and will be awarded 10,000 RMB. The “Best Newcomer Prize” will go to the non-professional player with the most wins, and will be awarded 5000 RMB. Both of these prizes will, as mentioned before, be handed out once at week 10, and once at week 20, for a total of individual player prizes amounting to 30,000 RMB.

This means that for CDEC competition, in the 20 weeks between June 23 and November 3 this year, there will be 70,000 RMB (11,400 USD) in prize money handed out to the best participants, professional and non-professional alike, in both team format and individual format.

For CDEC streams, English and Chinese, check their stream page at http://live.vpgame.cn/

Sources: https://www.facebook.com/VPGAMECDEC/posts/541640935896281http://dota2.replays.net/news/page/20130623/1825189.html

LGD’s xiao8 and Yao face off for glory and the girl in this Razer promo video

Original Youku video link: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTczNDk0MDUy.html

This is pretty awesome. In this promotional video for Razer products, LGD’s Yao is supposed to be the rich, handsome dude that has everything, while xiao8 is playing as an underdog average Chinese gamer. The girl is xiao8’s girlfriend irl, Zhao Jie.

Summary of vid: The two guys face off in a Counterstrike variant for the girl, Yao dominates early, then the girl suggests they switch spots. Only one of the PCs is equipped with Razer equipment, and in the end xiao8 pulls it back and wins it all. Please note that Dotaland does not officially condone gaming on scissor switch keyboards such as the one portrayed.

More CDEC details, stream links, future league direction, etc

CDEC is the most prestigious high-level in-house competitive Dota leagues in China. Having been a feature of the Chinese Dota scene for years, recently, they’ve switched to Dota 2, and have even provided an in-game ticket for viewing via the Dota 2 client. Ruru (also manager of LGD), manager of CDEC, recently answers a variety of questions regarding this switch, the in-game ticket, and other future CDEC arrangements accompanying its switch to Dota 2.

For more info and to follow more CDEC, check out their Facebook and Twitter.

How can I watch CDEC streams, or will a stream only be provided via LGD’s YY channel?
LGD’s stream will not be the only place where you can view CDEC in an online streaming environment. In fact, we openly allow any and all CDEC participants to stream. That is to say, every CDEC participant is free to livestream their games within the league. By now, many viewers will have already seen games streamed live from various perspectives, and it must be emphasized that we encourage this. Additionally, each club may choose to send their own casters to stream CDEC games, and upon approval by CDEC, will gain access to games via the in-game client in order to commentate and stream.

We have a CDEC stream directory page here, where viewers and fans can freely choose between different streams: http://live.vpgame.cn/

Will in-game tickets replace these livestream options?
No, no matter what, streams will remain free and open to all. As long as someone is streaming from within CDEC, then viewers will have a stream to watch.

What sets CDEC apart from normal games?
CDEC currently utilizes a set of matchmaking tools to match a mix of high-tier amateur players and professional players, the goal being to set up consistently balanced games while allowing players room to play with a wide variety of fellow CDEC participants and thus learn and challenge themselves in different scenarios.

Why has CDEC started selling in-game tickets?
For profit.

Isn’t this profit coming at the expense of everyone else?
No. First of all, we have costs of our own invested into all this. If this kind of thing was easy, then we wouldn’t be the only remaining league like this. We’ve hired a programmer full-time to support our endeavors in this, we have our own software for the league, and we also need testing for the software. We also have people working full-time in organizational and moderation efforts for CDEC, and we have server rental costs, as well as prize money for participants.

Secondly, we aren’t necessarily interested in being the ‘heroes’ and saying that we only want to contribute with no expectation of anything in return. But I still must say, 50% of our profit from the in-game tickets will go towards further prize money for CDEC itself, while the other 50% will go towards clubs and entities that contribute to CDEC (such as casters, promoters… as yet we haven’t gotten any clubs that want to contribute in an official capacity), and online event coordinators.

Third, it should be noted that the in-game tickets remain only an option. Online streams will remain free to stream for players, and free to watch for fans. The choice to purchase a ticket is purely a voluntary gesture of support for what we’re doing.

You mean you, Ruru, won’t gobble up all the ticket profits for yourself?
No, it won’t. Perhaps people’s impression of me is that I’m quick to anger, easily agitated. Any talk of me taking the money privately should begin, and end here. I couldn’t possibly be dumb enough to exchange what I’ve worked for in my young adulthood for a bit of ticket sale money. As for details of ticket sales and related profits, I propose to be transparent; how about I post via Weibo when the time comes?

Why don’t the games have item drops for viewers?
Because technically, the games consist of randomly-arranged groups of players on each side, not set teams as in other competitions. This is a problem that we’ve already communicated with Valve, and they’ve let us know that this is something they’ll try to fix as soon as possible.

Why isn’t there a courier included with the ticket?
Because making a courier takes time. Sorry, just wait a bit more.

CDEC claimed to be promoting appraisal and discovery of new talent, why do we only see the same old faces over and over?
Our plan is to gradually open up further levels of competition within the league, with poor performers being demoted to lower levels, while strong performers get promoted to higher levels. Because the league as a whole has just begun, this level-based league system still needs more time to develop. Once the higher level ‘ladder’ system stabilizes, we will also open up an open competition league system, with no minimum threshold for competition, and this will be the so-called ‘open qualifier’ level where strong players can be selected into CDEC proper. The hope is that once CDEC fully takes form, we can contribute our bit to esports. (Dotaland note: CDEC operates via seasons, and player performances are tracked via points)

What purpose does CDEC exactly serve? Aren’t games within CDEC still just that — games?
I’ll answer this with just a number: From CDEC’s founding to now, there have been over 400,000 official CDEC games played.

Can we submit suggestions for CDEC?Of course. As they say, three soldiers see as much as one general — one person’s view is never comprehensive, the more the better. Anyone who feels they have talent to contribute, or some way to help, is welcome to submit themselves forward. We also do have quite a few existing questions and problems, such as how to encourage players to be more creative in playing different and new strategies. How should we fairly split prizes? (No more winner takes all? Prize for best newcomer? Strategy prize? Most improved prize?)

Wouldn’t it be better to just let the players go play pub games? Not only have you closed everything off behind an in-game ticket, but you’ve also taken away our ability to watch first-page pub games.
On this, we respect the players’ decisions; if they choose to play this then that is their choice.

Source: http://t.qq.com/p/t/301934127870136

Pre-TI3 analysis: A tale of narrowing margins and increasing difficulties for China

Looking towards TI3 (less than 50 days away now!), Chinese esports man Felix has a writeup of some fears he has for Chinese teams at TI3 in Seattle this year…

TI3: A tale of narrowing margins and increasing difficulties for China — by Felix

I think lots of readers will be hesitant and doubtful upon first reading the title here. But have no fear, I think it’s better that the ire be directed towards people like me who write this kind of stuff, rather than be directed at the teams and players in case they fail to win at TI3. I absolutely believe that they will all give it their 357% effort, but it must be acknowledged that what faces them at TI3 is much more dangerous and challenging than TI2.

1. I want to note that in the matchup between RattleSnake and Quantic for the Wild Card spot, RSnake has to be seen as the underdogs here. You can go to Gosugamers and check their match records, and compare the two teams recent results. You should see a definite trend. What this means is that, from the outset, the number of Chinese teams present may well be 4 versus 12 non-Chinese teams, as opposed to last year’s 5 versus 11.

2. Ageing. If we take a detailed look at the 4 guaranteed Chinese teams present, apart from TongFu’s Banana, all the other 19 players participated in TI2. In contrast, before G-1 Season 5, how many people knew of Admiral Bulldog, or EGM? Who was NaVi’s Funn1k? What about Fnatic’s players’ names, their roles, their preferred heroes? I’d guess that not many Chinese players would be very familiar. After TI2, with the exception of VG who brought out a few new faces, there have been no other newcomers. The likes of CDEC can’t be expected to bring immediate results right now, and thus our Chinese teams must accept the circumstances as they are currently… yet we should still question what brought this about.

3. Understandings. After their respective losses at TI2, foreign teams and players have spent the year analyzing and learning Chinese teams. In particular, Orange, who have participated in three different large-scale Chinese events since then, LGD.int who have been living and training in China, as well as the Alliance that came to China and stomped, not to mention NaVi, who will be coming to China to train soon. Across these teams, there has been a dramatic increase in understanding of the Chinese for them, while in comparison, Chinese players and teams have incomplete understandings of European and American players and teams. Chinese styles are no longer mysterious to them, while our opponents remain unfamiliar to us.

4. Gap in competitions. This is a point that I think most everyone can recognize. I roughly counted all the events available between the the end of G-League in January to the closing of G-1 League in May of 2013, and not a single Chinese team played more than 10 matches in that timespan. If you go look at Steam’s event ticket calendar, you find that in that same timespan, there were at least four significant events taking place in Europe and America. To be able to use competitions as training is a luxury for any team, and in this respect, foriegn teams havee had over five times as much experience in the past months as Chinese teams. What this brings about is a falling behind in playing style and strategies, and this is something that has already been seen at G-1.

5. The offline advantage is gone. Alliance, coming from faraway Sweden to China, showed us that the gap in offline skill from older days was no longer to be seen. Over the past half year, iterations of ESL, DreamHack, StarLadder, and other competitions have all come and gone, and with them the idea that foreign teams are “fierce online, weak offline” is fading away.

6. Mental burden. After NaVi took TI1, Chinese teams approached TI2 with a nothing to lose, everything to gain attitude, in which they all strove to be the ones to win TI2 for China. This ultimately helped iG overcome all kinds of challenges in terms of stamina and determination, and allowed them to complete the impossible mission in the end. At TI3, however, it will be completely opposite, as not only is it not a given that iG will be able to approach the competition with the ease with which last year’s defending champs NaVi did, but they will also have the entire nation’s hopes and expectations upon them. As such, all participating Chinese players and teams will simultaneously feel that they want to win, yet they’re afraid of losing. Chinese Dota stands as the world’s best, so winning is to be expected, while losing is letting the nation down.

These things, while they may seem small or inconsequential to some, will be taken to heart by others that understand the nuances of competition. Me bringing these things up here is absolutely not to be a naysayer for our Chinese teams, instead, it is to bring a word of caution. Even though the Chinese Dota 2 servers are nearing open beta, even though Dota 2 has just been featured on CCTV, the trip to Seattle for all our teams is definitely not just a vacation, it will be a game of increasing challenges and difficulties compared to prior years.

After TI3, Chinese Dota is primed to flip to an all-new chapter; close to half of the currently active players may retire one after the other. They are not only your gods and legends of Dota when underneath the spotlight, they are also competitors in esports, and they’ve worked and sacrificed for years just for the few chances they get. So no matter what results they achieve, they should be worthy of your understanding and respect.

I’ll just say this much in this piece, next up I’ll write more specific analysis of the teams. Less than 50 days now, add oil.

Source: http://fight.pcgames.com.cn/285/2854049.html

More details on the Chinese National Esports Tournament

Last week, it was reported on Chinese national news that Dota 2 would be part of an upcoming Chinese nation-wide esports tournament. Now we have more details emerging…

The announced nation-wide esports tournament will be held by Zhejiang Daily Newspaper in conjunction with renowned esports broadcaster and media company Gamefy. There will be events held later this year as well as an all-new league to begin next year. For the events to be held this year, online regional qualifiers will begin by the end of June, and there will be post-season offline finals.

Amongst all this news, the fact that everything will be simulcast live across various digital platforms — including negotiations for live feeds to broadcast television, as well as official Chinese Administration of Sport support (with further details of national team selection to come later on), are highlights so far. Specifically, it has been revealed that next year’s league format competition will occur under the patronage of the Administration of Sport, with the goal to build grassroots structures in regional sporting agencies as well.

It would seem that Dota 2, being the headline game in all this, has unprecedented governmental support in China…

Source: http://dota2.sgamer.com/news/201306/151041.html

Dota 2 on Chinese main nightly news broadcast

After Dota 2 and TI2 made it onto mainstream Chinese evening news last year, yesterday we saw Dota 2 and an upcoming ‘National Esports Tournament’ reported in on an even greater stage, the Xinwen Lianbo (新闻联播), the official Chinese government-sanctioned nightly news broadcast that reaches every television in the country.

Worth noting:

  • Dota 2 is specifically mentioned by name, and in-game footage of the game was shown live to an audience of hundreds of millions
  • An esports national team will be selected from the results of this tournament
  • No other game was specifically mentioned by name

Watch the broadcast here: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTcxMTgxNjcy.html

Translation of the Dota 2-specific portion of the broadcast: “In five days, a National Esports Tournament, held by Zhejiang Daily Corporation, will incorporate competition in five different internationally-recognized games, including Dota 2. From across China, some 180 schools and over 200 clubs/societies will have teams participating. Over the course of 300 matches, which will be streamed live, there will be an estimated 3 million spectators across all competition. This will be the largest scale esports competition to be held domestically within the past five years. And through this competition, there will also be a selection for a Chinese national esports team to take part in further international competition.”