How Can We Help CSGO in North America?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Ryu, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Ryu Administrator

    After watching Dreamhack Summer 2013, where the only North American team in attendance was knocked out of group play, I decided now was the time to unveil my intentions to "do something" for the CSGO NA scene. What I really need help with is defining what that "something" is-- and so I turn to you guys for your feedback. I have resources, skills, and the desire-- I need help defining what to aim those at.

    I've always had success in the Counter-Strike community by listening to the community's feedback, being transparent in my thoughts, and working to provide what's being asked for-- so I figured I'd stick with that as the recipe for success now.

    Keeping in mind the following goals, please share your thoughts/feedback on what you think would help most in accomplishing them:
    • Grow the game and the competition in North America
    • Get the Pro teams better in quality and quantity
    • Reduce the trolling by not running things like a troll
    • Making players/participants/each other better at the game (and at life?)
    • Improving your CSGO experience (and that can be a million different things)
    • Offering a chance for people to "live their dreams" if their dreams are centered around gaming :)
    Here are the things that have already been floated/discussed/thought of, requested and so on:

    RyuGaming "League"
    There have been A LOT of requests for me to "Start your own league", but knowing there are other leagues out there, and, despite popular belief, they're pretty successful (CEVO has nearly 200 teams if I'm reading their site correctly), I'm not sure there's a ton of added value in a league. What do you guys think?


    RyuGaming "Premium Something"/Tournaments
    A different, more "pug style" type of premium service-- possibly with some kind of client software. Feedback has ranged from having a handful of pickup game servers, to running frequent online tournaments with prizes. I like the idea of having somewhat regular events or tournaments, and really think the Euros have a great setup with their almost weekly "Cup" events.


    RyuGaming "Media Something"
    To my surprise, lots of players have requested a regular show of some kind-- very "podcast" style, but centered around CSGO. There are also a lot similar thoughts but more around running something like SourceRadio or TheMovieFault from back in the CS:S days. I can honestly say the podcast idea is appealing to me (I can talk for hours about CSGO entirely off the cuff), but hosting movies and all that I'm not sure of.

    RyuGaming Giveaways/Sponsorships
    We've done a ton of giveaways for CSGO, and continue to do so. In fact, during my stream tonight, I'll be doing a bunch while discussing with you guys the various options, thoughts, feedback, around the topic here. As for sponsorships, there are a few teams we've provided sponsorships for, though certainly on a smaller scale (Mumble server and League Fees). Could sponsoring a team with more solve the problems and accomplish all the goals? I'm not sure.

    RyuLAN Summer/Fall 2013

    I know this was a lot of text to read-- and if you've made it all the way to this, you are a scholar and a gentleman (or gentlewoman).

    Knowing this may ultimately lead to something larger, I'll definitely be on the look for volunteers for a variety of things-- more will come on this, but if you think you're a great fit for something, feel free to drop me a line here.

    All feedback is welcome.

  2. JaeE New Member

    I think you and WarOwl should collaborate and make your own leagues and stuff. He was also interested and you guys can combine your efforts to make a successful one?
  3. eMzg New Member

    To be on the level of European teams I think a few things would have to change. European teams tend to stay on the same team for a longer period of time instead of roster jumping around. Teams have to understand that it takes time playing with each other to build chemistry and timing like the top teams in Europe.

    I have also always said that in my personal experience European teams generally troll less and offer more support to new players. When our community simply trolls new players and tells them how bad they are in pugs etc it will not help grow the CS community. I would not even begin to know how to control trolling unless ESEA started being extremely strict against it and enforcing some sort of penalty for trolling or just being an ass in general on the website, pugs, or scrims / matches.

    I also know that in Europe there is a LOT more LANs all across Europe which means there is some means to make money and also from personal experience again, after every LAN I have been to I was so motivated to play the game and continue to get better and to compete. So if there was several LANs continually and consistently offered across America than I think that would help teams stay together and try to compete, which would lead teams to taking the game more serious and improving. I would work harder and dedicate more time for a LAN offering less money than a league offering more money just because of how much I enjoy LANNING.

    I think if you started a company that organized LANs it could be very successful in America. The company would have to target sponsors and locations and schedule several LANs across America for several different games. But it would have to be an Annual LAN in my opinion to be successful, because a one time LAN would not help much. I think the hardest thing would be to lock down a location, which is generally hard because of the computers not because of the space. One thing that might be worth considering is seeing if you could get enough sponsors to pay for X number of computers and monitors and have those computers and monitors as a part of the company, they would just have to be transported to where-ever the next LAN event was being held which would more than likely require a large enclosed trailer.

    I am just throwing out ideas here, but gaming is a passion of mine and I would always be willing to help in anyway possible. I have experience in targeting sponsors and sending out sponsorship requests.
  4. eMzg New Member

    As far as another league goes, I don't think that would generate a whole lot more players playing competitively, ESEA seems to be generally successful. Really think it would be a lot more helpful to generate more LANs than anything.
  5. drought3 New Member

    This right here would def help the CSGO NA scene, more LANs would make more people interested especially when there's more opportunity to earn money.
  6. cedd New Member

    The main reason why US teams don't do well against EU teams is because the sheer amount of LANs and sponsorized events in EU is massive, the best teams get to play each other on LAN every other month whereas in NA we only get ETS and ESEA and the competition as not so great. Creating a company that organizes LANs would be tremendous as a previous poster suggested. I think there's a few other key things to consider.

    1. Getting sponsorships from US technology companies, showing them previous successful Ryu and ESEA lans 2. Making sure we broaden our view to all popular competitive games, DOTA, LoL, CoD, Battlefield for the LANs. Focusing solely on GO will not achieve the same results. 3. Getting in contact with Valve and the CS:GO developpers for them to invest some money into the competitive scene and help make some things happen. The game will grow as a result and will benefit them. 4. Advertisement of pre-existing US events and streams on popular websites such as IGN, Gamespot, european websites too. More spectators go a long way.
  7. zaNe New Member

    I agree so much with this statement I cannot express it enough. It grows a fanbase. It's tiresome to see players get cut from NA teams because sometimes you follow a player, and then end up seeing the way the team builds chemistry and you end up liking the team and other players, and it just builds a fanbase. I mean honestly, I watch Curse's streams a lot when AdreN or staN^ stream, and I see the way they talk and shoot the shit and its great. It's sad to basically already know if they do not end up top 4 this season @ ESEA LAN Finals, that likely there will be roster changes. The team has great chemistry(when they practice and whatnot on stream it seems at least) and I'm starting to like them as a team, if they were to switch out some players I'd likely stop watching Curse as a team because they could drop the players I like most. This is why I like Euro teams, they build a fanbase. I mean we've heard of what? Maybe 2-3 teams making a 1 player change in the past long while. Whereas at the end of ESEA S13 LAN, so many teams replaced/reformed rosters its absolutely ridiculous.

    Yes! I mean, I played competitive CS1.5 and early 1.6. I have a 4 digit steamID and no information on legit-proof because they didn't exist when I played. I've been in at least 50 pugs where people say I bought my SteamID to look pro, they look me up on legit-proof, returns no results, they say I paid to reset that. Everyone has an excuse because you outplay them, even if its just 1 round. If you don't hit your shots every round, you get trolled for that. I don't understand it. People in ESEA want the game to grow, but whenever someone new to the community even tries to play the game, they get shit on for trying.

    I also agree with LANs. I mean I remember back the early 1.5 days, there used to be a LAN center down the street from where I lived and they'd have in-house tournaments. They wouldn't reward people with actual money, but they'd give you like snack cards and let you play for X amount of time free of charge and what not, it's just the tournament/competitive feel that is best, obviously rewards and whatnot sweeten the deal and sometimes make it worthwhile for people to actually travel for these events. These just don't happen any more.

    Lastly, I personally think ESEA could use some healthy league competition. I'm not saying in their community, I'm saying a new league open up. I like ESEA, I will play ESEA and still support ESEA post-bitcoin fiasco, because they're the best option for CSGO, and they provide that "premium" service in a sense. One mistake doesn't mean drop em forever, at least to me. I just think that competition is healthy. It makes the companies "fight" for your business, even if you're a part of both. They will make new things, make better things, I don't know what these "things" could be, but it makes companies at least try to change what their selling and make it 'better' for the customer/users, at least sometimes this happens.
  8. puLsE New Member

    One thing that people need to remember, it is cheaper to travel in Europe than it is to travel across the US.
  9. seoulkiM New Member

    • Grow the game and the competition in North America
    To be honest, I don't think growing a game is something that can be done solely from the side of the community of players. I think that there needs to be some sort of bolstering and nurturing from the company as well, especially in the year 2013. We have seen from Riot Games who run the LCS for League of Legends and Blizzard who runs the WCS Tournament. The LCS Tournaments garner over 100,000 viewers on the regular just on twitch and the WCS Tournaments get close to 100,000 viewers during large tournaments. Valve really needs to come through for the game and use some capital to really boost numbers and boost popularity. What is a million dollars spent over the span of a year or two or even a couple hundred thousand dollars if you are making your game that much more popular. Having some sort of circuit like MLG has or seasons like ESEA/GSL (SC2) is something I can see that would grow the competition and give enough incentive for players to become full-time pros.
    The other half is something that is definitely feasible on the community's part. I think that building on forums and sites like and is something that would grow the game and competition. The PODcasts that Lurppis, Carn, and Thorin have is a great start from the European continent. They usually take an hour or so and have a three-way skype call with special guests from time to time just talking about the landscape of CS:GO and the current events. It's nothing too in-depth or pedestrian and can spark more interest in the game. I think the next step is to really build a community around the game and have things like Barcraft or smaller LAN parties where people watch other tournaments and have small tournaments at the same time. These types of things build games. I do believe that travel in the U.S. and, perhaps, Europe is a hindrance for this. But within the Tri-State (NY, CT, NJ), SoCal, Dallas, Chicago, if we could have these things, it would be helpful to build a grassroots type of movement that can help nurture local communities and interest.
    • Get the Pro teams better in quality and quantity
    Getting the PRO teams to be better in quality just means to get them to practice more and to have certain things that other games already have in place. A team house is crucial, in my opinion, in really upgrading the level of play. This, I know, is something that is very expensive and is a huge investment for any organization or sponsor. This brings us back to the first bullet point about popularity and growing the game. If there are hundreds of thousands of viewers and/or tens of thousands of viewers watching large tournaments and daily tournaments, then sponsors would want organizations to pick up teams in that specific game. That is what is needed, ultimately, for a game to grow to a level where team houses and such are feasible.
    Another more immediate option to increase the quantity of quality teams that are at a professional level is to have more matches and tournaments. That is the only way. Teams can get in 4-5 hours of practice per night but until they are under the pressure and are playing for that money and reputation, then they won't grow. I can say that I can practice the violin for 3-4 hours a day but until you do it live at a concert multiple times, you won't grow as a performer. The same goes for these teams.
    • Reduce the trolling by not running things like a troll
    I never ran anything so I wouldn't know. But, I hope, that if I don't troll someone, they won't either and we will grow through those interactions.
    • Making players/participants/each other better at the game (and at life?)
    Improving leagues and having more frequent events with small prizes.
    • Improving your CSGO experience (and that can be a million different things)
    More matches being casted by streamers on twitch. It grows popularity and it grows awareness that this game even exists.
    • Offering a chance for people to "live their dreams" if their dreams are centered around gaming
    First bullet point and sponsors. Basically, you need viewers.
  10. G-MAN New Member

    Just off the top of my head a two things stick out.
    1. CSGO casting is much less professional and not as entertaining as the other big games. This needs improved drastically. Take a look at some of the other big games that have casts and you will instantly know what I am talking about.
    2. CSGO has to go free to play. This is the truth, and as long as the CSGO community keeps resisting the things needed to take this game F2P it is doomed to lose out to other games. We need to lobby Valve to take this game F2P.
    3. There aren't a lot of events in NA and the biggest thing holding back events from happening is the small community size. There aren't enough teams who are going to spend the time, money, and effort to play an event that doesn't have a massive prize pot.
    4. While there are a lot of things that keep a lot of teams from being able to attend lans many teams would likely participate in online tournaments. The problem is that ESEA is the only AC that isn't 100% garbage and without a good AC you can't run an online tournament. Games like Dota2 have numerous leagues and one reason is that they don't have the same AC needs and restrictions.

    These are just a few thoughts but I think that they are accurate and sobering as to the real issues that need dealt with.
  11. Entfy New Member

    To look at why CS:GO is failing is to also look at the failure of LAN/Internet Cafes here in the states. Why does it seem like they don't exist here? Is it because highspeed internet came to the USA early on so the need to be close together for low ping became less a necessity? Is it because NA switched to consoles faster than EU? Is it because their was a void left without a competitive fps and thus the exodus occurred and now they play games like SC2 or LoL or HoN or DOTA2?

    I don't know but we really need to find an area that does local tournaments. BYOC, all you need is a place with space and 20 people or so. Keep it small, keep it local, that's how it grows. Look at UT-Austin, who would have thought, but they have some world class (WCS quality) SC2 players. We need orgs like Tespa to organize local and state/regional tournaments to help. Idk but thats my 2 cents.
  12. Kantel New Member

    I'm going to make this short so I get my point across.
    Streams: Who will have more viewers? A streamer with a webcam on, or a streamer without a webcam.
    People are more anxious to watch a stream with a face. Expressions mean a lot to people. When you see professional football players make some big play, what gets the crowd so hyped? Maybe scoring the touchdown will make you happy on the inside, but it's the whole reaction of the stadium. The whole reaction of the players on the field.

    I understand you say that there are already notable leagues with reputations that are hard to meet. What have they done for the community though? Only help top level players in the game. I know so many people on Valve's competitive match making who stay there because they don't want to get stomped on in ESEA, but are in desire for good quality servers and a league to play on.

    What I'm really trying to say:
    Create a genius ELO system that people will love over Valve's(I kind of have a system in mind). Broadcast top level games/tournaments. Pool money, run ads during streams. Donation donation donations. Give people the opportunity to sustain themselves with the tournaments.
  13. KCantag New Member

    1- Fragmentation.

    It's obvious that teams over there stay together longer, but something else people don't think of is that they don't work as many hours as we do here, so more free practice time. Imagine an additional 7-8 hours of gaming time per week and what it would do for teams in the U.S. We're already at a disadvantage when you have whole teams living in the same house, doing nothing but practicing all day. Is it ego's that prevent teams from staying together in the States? It seems like players are more worried about self promotion and degrading everyone around them. Also, recycling players over and over on the same 4 teams won't improve the quality of play either. Can't beat the Euro's now, moving the furniture around won't help. You need new furniture, with a different style. A 28 year old CS:GO player should be the equivalent of a 20 year old gymnast. Retired.

    2-Improving the dysfunction between Valve. ESEA, and other leagues.
    True, they are all different companies and have monetary priorities, but aside from the money part, they are all in it to increase their user base and grow. They need to come together to improve the product. Look at the success of the free to play models and their growth. I don't think Valve really cares what happens after they sell the game to be honest. You have gamers that practice for their matches, match time is right around the corner, and Valve throws out a big F You, cram this update up your ass at the end of the day, we're going home for the evening, policy. How hard is it to have a relationship with the people that are lining your pockets, so they are prepared for an event that will disrupt their league? Oops, forgot, Valve doesn't care.

    3- More LANS, but have them all part of a cooperative, where you work towards a final in a centralized location. ESEA does it with league, why can't you do it with ALL of the LANS, split into multiple regions/sub regions. Top one or two teams (depending on participants, and strength rating of LAN) qualify for the main LAN, which could rotate from different venues year to year.

    4-ISP's. They are a service oriented business, so it is bewildering why they treat gamers like they are a problem instead of paying customers. You would think they would have a prioritized gaming package, but instead they have a "spread-em wide", we're going in dry, policy. They throttle until they are caught, advertise how "fast" they are, then hit you over the head with "routing" a 1 year old chose by throwing up on a map.* People complain about routing, but you need to get them on the horn and start clogging their support lines until they fix a problem that is easily remedied. If you have a decent choice, dump them, and make sure they know why. Their routing reducing choices for high quality match making.

    4- Fix the user content on the site. Input is supposed to be helpful, not hateful. How about weekly featured blog from the high end players? Euro/U.S.

    * I've had an open ticket with Time Warner for 3 months because (From outside KC) they think connecting to a Chicago server should go Houston,Dallas, then Chicago. Used to ping N.Y. mid 60's. Now it's over 100, and Chicago is now 50-60 (was the teens).
  14. bsd New Member

    You realize that routing goes with by cheapest path, not the most efficient one, right? The majority of American internet users don't know the difference between a router and a modem, nor the difference between bits and bytes. ISPs depend on people who don't know what they're paying for to make money. The issue isn't with gamers, but with the average American internet user in general. A bunch of ragey basement-bound greasy neckbeard gamers aren't gonna make major ISP's get their shit together; people need to know what they're paying for before anything will happen.

    The level of retard on the internet is too damn high for anything to change.
  15. KCantag New Member

    True on most points, but there are enough savvy people to create a headache for them I would think.

    It used to be fine, and I talked with the retention guy at my local office, and agreed it shouldn't be happening, period. They have hubs in all of these cities, and when we used to ping 16 to Dallas, and 18-22 to Chicago, there is no excuse for it to change, In town, Surewest has no issues with "cost" when it comes to routing. They go straight to each city, and to NY, they go Chicago, N.Y. TWC goes KC ,Hous, Dallas, Atl, D.C. New Jersey, N.Y. How does a small company like Surewest manage to get it right? I'll be changing, but my kid at this point is stuck with them because of the anti competitive nature of Apt complexes. Google fiber is a half mile away from me, so I'm really looking forward to that. Sorry, I got a little "ranty", but incompetence really annoys the crap out of me.
  16. asrmatt8 New Member

    As an avid esports spectator in popular games like Dota 2 and League of Legends, there are a few elements that I think are key to the competitive scene being successful regardless of game or region. A lot of this has been said by others, but I hope you guys glean something useful from it.

    1) Constant competition. The weekly European cup tournaments are a great format for several reasons: there is a consistently scheduled stream that is live to promote regularity in viewership, it provides a steady flow of money into the scene, and gives teams a reason to be constantly practicing and improving against the competition. These weekly cups are pretty much essential - consistency is the key word here. All serious (e-)sporting events take place on an already established schedule that viewers know ahead of time, allowing them to know when and if they can tune in to watch their favorite players and teams. Money is an obvious necessity. And the level of competition should grow much higher with teams constantly neck-and-neck with their opponents. Can't go wrong here.

    One thing that many might not agree with me on is that the prize money needs to reach far down the ladder. This means that prizes don't go only to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places but instead are spread a bit more thin but to the top 8 teams in a hypothetical 16-team cup. Obviously the best should be rewarded highly, but the losing teams need a reason to come back. With nothing to gain each week, lack of motivation runs rampant and you see a loss in players, competition, and eventually interest.

    Cups need playoffs. Much like ESEA, LAN playoffs are ideal. Higher placings in each week of a cup result in an addition to a team's number of points - to go with my previous example, the top 8 teams in terms of points out of the 16 competitors get a ticket to the LAN finals. This is where the money ramps up; prizes and production quality are huge money sinks here as everything needs to be as professional as possible to ensure hype for the next season.

    2) Sponsors. You need amazing PR/brand ambassadors, no question. Companies need to see that they are making a wise decision by investing in you. Be proactive and put enough money up front to make them take you seriously. This tournament is funding the video game careers of 16 5-man teams? Must be popular. And we have to get our names in it. This speaks for itself, I'm sure.

    3) Inhouse leagues. Outside of cup/league play, you need a platform where a) streamers can showcase the high-skilled play that they can see by taking part and spectating your league, b) teams can find top-tier practice partners, c) casual players can rise in skill and find a team that will go to the top. This needs to be free. 128-tick, good anti-cheat, good server locations. Did I mention free? Yeah, you want new players to start making teams and populating your brand. They don't want to pay, so don't make them. Sure you'll lose money in the short term, but if you play it out right your popularity and the sponsors it brings will make it worth it.

    4) Stable rosters. Penalize each and every team that makes roster changes without the league's approval (and approval should only be granted under extenuating circumstances.) Stability, like consistency, is king. Team hopping just makes the scene unpredictable in a bad way, and you will never see growth outside of the top 3 teams. Create an off-season where any roster changes are allowed, but must be finalized before regulation play. This becomes more prominent when you have sponsors who salary their players. Organizations don't want teams that shuffle players and give them contractual headaches, nor do they want to be advertised in a scene that can't be considered professional. Penalties can include heavy point deductions in cup standings to the point where it can seriously jeopardize a team's chances of going to the playoffs or even a demotion into an amateur circuit (to be discussed next).

    5) Amateur circuit. Of course all eyes are on the big boys, but what about the small fries that want to make it big? Host a similarly formatted circuit for teams that aren't quite there yet, but have the potential to compete for the big bucks. Obviously, this should be paid as well. Why waste money on the noobs, you say? Again, new blood. Constant competition keeps the scene growing and entertaining, and having the same teams every season gets REAL boring. At the end of each season and after the playoffs, have the bottom half of teams that didn't qualify for playoffs play regulation matches against the top amateur teams. The prize: movement between pro and amateur. If you've watched League of Legends' League Championship Series, you'll know how hype these are.

    6) Guides, both written and recorded. The difference between CS:GO and Dota 2/LoL is that there isn't a constantly shifting meta. Guns don't see drastic changes like heroes do, nor are there many mechanics you can alter to shift the style of play too much in Counter Strike. Because of this, you'll have a bit less room to work with, but casual players still want to learn how to play like the pros. Pay people a fee for making QUALITY guides (voted in by a mix of the community and trusted individuals/staff), and pay them more or less based on length, content, difficulty (in terms of production and area of expertise), and popularity.

    7) Communication between the community and VALVe. I doubt this is an easy, or possible, task. However, it is absolutely necessary to have communication between both the professional and casual community and Valve. Create a message board (there is one already, but I forget what it's called) where players can upvote a change based on its necessity. Force your players to use it. The game has to be constantly pushed towards perfection to ensure that both viewers and players enjoy without bias of a map or weapon being too "CT/T-sided." Balance and new, interesting features are key, obviously.

    Sorry, I didn't format any of this well and they're all just stream of consciousness ideas, but I hope you see my point and agree. If not, I hope it at least got you thinking about your own ideas to help this scene grow. To get a better sense of what I meant by my wall of text, I suggest you check out the formatting, structure, money, and professionalism of Dota 2 and League of Legends - they are quickly evolving into sustainable careers through many of the ideas I (stole) built off of. Enjoy!
    pSuth and Ryu like this.
  17. Ryu Administrator

    Very well written and thought out. Thank you for sharing.

  18. maggot New Member

    Whatever it may be, let me know if you need a hand :) It's been a long time since we've talked!
  19. Ren3gade Seasoned Pro

    This would be a great thing to start working towards, and would be awesome. We need more competition in NA.
    I have a big handful of skills that I could use from gaming, to server work, to programming, to websites, to GFX Design, or whatever.

    I would love to see where this goes for sure.
  20. jLaw New Member

    As silly as it sounds, follow teams on facebook, twitter, youtube and other social media. This is sponsors look at when giving anything attention. Obviously being involved on forums like these and things like reddit/r/globaloffensive helps too.

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