The Craziest Week of Black Ops (thus far)

…underage drinking is against the law and a lot of people do that too, but if you get caught they’re still going to arrest your sorry ass.

Well, that was an interesting week eh? We saw the first official Black Ops competition unfold in National ESL’s CTF Kickoff Cup, a winner crowned, a winner un-crowned, CyberGamer’s tournament start, an Alienware Arena announcement, and then even got an update from Treyarch concerning an upcoming patch. Combine this with the end of the semester for most college students and you have one giant cluster fornication as my good friend Ian Tannehill so eloquently described it. I highly recommend you go check out his blog as well as he takes a very realistic approach to the events that unfolded this past week. Also be sure to check out phear’s week in review and Tacgnol’s Take on CoDSource. Let’s get right into this…

National ESL, CTF Kickoff Cup, & 5Alive Controversy

Suspending discussion on 5Alive for just a moment, I’d like to briefly say a thing or two about the National ESL CTF Kickoff Cup. Overall, I thought it ran extremely well as the matches were competitive and I hope fun to watch as I was guest commentating on E-REV TV (shoutouts to Anger and Wantsome again). CTF is a very interesting gametype to say the least and I think as we see more matches played, we will begin to develop a better casting style to suit these respawn gametypes. My only gripe with the event were the delays in matches. Now I am not so naive to think there would not be delays, however, I would have liked to see more admin support on the part of ESL. From what I understood (and I could be completely wrong) relixx and moth were the two primary officials supporting the event with help from other admins at various times. As this was ESL’s first event for Black Ops, I would have liked to have seen more admin support to handle the various scheduling, anti-cheat, and glitch issues that occurred.

Now, moving onto 5Alive. After they won the event they came up to me and asked me if I was going to have coverage on the event as they wanted to promote their name. I said yes and told them I would have a blog recapping the event. Well, the rest is history as they were accused, and admitted to using the now infamous “radar glitch.” I think Ian said it best in his blog the other day:

What I don’t get about that command is how they justified it. “Well everyone is doing it.” “It wasn’t specifically stated in the rules, so it must be legal.” … However I’m almost positive that every league has the same set of rules for their C.Y.A. (cover your ass) clause.

I mean seriously, how stupid are you? “It wasn’t in the rules so it must be legal.” What kind of bullshit is that? This is not your first time through the competitive gaming rodeo my friends. Wake up, you’re not fooling anyone. You knew what you were doing was wrong. “Well everyone is doing it.” Do you have any proof for that statement? Guess what kids, underage drinking is against the law and a lot of people do that too, but if you get caught they’re still going to arrest your sorry ass. Even if ‘everyone’ is doing it, that doesn’t make it right or give you an excuse. That’s all I’m really going to say on the matter as this issue has been beaten to death over this past week. I can only hope the teams competing are playing with a sense of sportsmanship and perhaps the patch rumored to come out next week will fix this glitch.

In other news, National ESL announced they are pushing back their entire Black Ops event schedule.  I know John Clark over at ESL is not happy about this, but I have to give mad props to him and the rest of the ESL officials for doing this.  They recognized the problems with this game at the moment combined with everyone’s busy schedules would make running an event this past weekend very challenging.  Their Domination Community Cup has instead been pushed back to next weekend, so be sure to sign up if interested.

CyberGamer Tournament

CyberGamer’s inaugural Black Ops event kicked off Thursday featuring a 32 team single elimination, best of three, tournament bracket. You can view phear’s coverage on CoDSource here and here, but overall, I’m still not a huge fan of this best of three format. While I definitely think it adds a certain dynamic to the game, especially in a single elimination bracket, there is a significant amount of practice each team needs to put into a single match. Add the holidays and final exams for many college students on top of everyone’s already busy schedule, and finding adequate time to practice all three gametypes on each individual map can be quite difficult. Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to the outcome of this event, if for nothing else than to test these different gametypes. Additionally, the top four placing teams in this event will win small cash prizes, and there are a number of really talented teams competing so it should make for some good matches.

Ted’s Round 2 Predictions » View Bracket
5alive < u4
pure > vVv
Topmen > It takes 5
rS < hubris
eMg > BLGaming
Dynamic > Deathmatch Gaming
20id < carnal
div3rse = MOG (GL HF)

CoDSource & phear’s efforts

While there has been several posts on the CoDSource forums about this topic, I feel it prudent I also address the topic here as well. In case you have been living under a rock, phear and company has done an excellent job putting all sorts of great content on covering the various events, topics, and issues surrounding the competitive Call of Duty community today. His vision is to transform the site into the central hub for competitive CoD coverage, and while that is certainly a long way off, I have to admire his zeal.

It’s been a long time since someone in the community really stepped up and made something happen, and that is exactly what phear is doing. My biggest knock against the competitive CoD community is that the majority sit around doing nothing but talk instead of taking initiative and making it happen. A lot of the old community who was previously actively involved in running the leagues and coverage have either moved to a different game or stopped gaming competitively. The community needs new faces to take up the mantle and fill this void. Hell, I didn’t get started in eSports media coverage out of nowhere, I volunteered, worked my ass off, and then after providing a service to the community for an extended period of time, began to be recognized for my efforts. I only hope the community recognizes this and begins to work together to build a stable competitive environment for Black Ops.

Yes, it’s not Call of Duty, but after this past week we could all use a little break.

Wrapping Up

I’m going to keep this entry short after last weekend’s dissertation (huge thanks to Eric again for the interview), but there were a number of cool announcements this past week. First, Alienware Arena announced their first Black Ops event which is free to enter and features $1,500 in cash prizes so be sure to check that out here. Secondly, @pcdev provided an update on Twitter that the next PC patch entered QA last week so hopefully we’ll see it released sometime this coming week.  Supposedly, it’s going to have a number of performance and in-game glitch fixes as well as the addition of the /connect command. The CyberGamer tournament continues Monday with round 2 matches, so be sure to check out CoDSource’s coverage here. Also, be sure to check E-Rev TV as they will be broadcasting a number of matches from the CyberGamer event this week as well as the much anticipated CoD4 TWL hardcore finals featuring BAMF. Obviously, a much watch for any CoD fan.

Stay frosty…