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:icontechgnotic: Jun 15, 2012 by techgnotic

StarCraft II is the hot tournament videogame that just may breakthrough as the harbinger of the esports phenomenon and one of the great cultural game-changers of all time.




Midnight in Anaheim. Caffeinated casters boom rapid fire commentary rattling the packed hall. Elite Starcraft players from around the globe execute complex strats that would have made Rommel the Desert Fox himself proud. 20,000 are in attendance, on the edge of their seats, and cheering as loudly as any soccer match as they watch the 30-foot screens hanging from the rafters. Another four and a half million are watching the streams live. The feeling is that of an NCAA Final Four game, set in a European soccer stadium, somehow shoehorned into a casino showroom in Las Vegas. It’s all of the skill, the fan devotion and the spectacle anyone could possibly ask for.











This is the MLG StarCraft Spring Nationals. And it may just be the next big thing propelling “esports” a bit closer to the center of our pop culture universe. The Magic Kingdom is just across the street, but no one wants a ticket to ride. Run by Sundance DiGiovanni and Mike Sespo, A Major League Gaming event like this one in Anaheim needs to be experienced over a weekend in person in order to fully grasp the surging popularity and excitement around the rise of esports as the next big thing in professional competitive sports entertainment.


South Korea is the current Mecca of esports tournaments and StarCraft created by Blizzard Entertainment is the real-time strategy game of choice. Lim Yo-whan (aka Terran Emperor aka BoxeR) was the first pro gamer to draw a fanatical following, many having now followed in his wake. The gaming fanaticism has so captured the culture that the National Assembly has become involved, enacting legislation to promote South Korean esports. South Korean “play until you die” marathon matches have become legendary, with after sales of games in which star players have conceded imminent defeat by stoically typing in “gg” (good game) only to then stage miraculous come from out of the ashes victories.


My rookie ticket to the Heart of the Swarm in Anaheim was punched by our very own zemotion. We all know of zemotion’s on deviantART as the incredible photographer with an amazing eye. Her works of portraiture capture her subjects and tell their stories as if the camera were a mystical tape recorder. But Zemotion is also the owner and Sponsor of Infinity Seven an upstart rebel squad just beginning to make big waves in the MLG Universe. Team Member Insur took third place in the tournament over the weekend with Friday turning into a brutal a 12 hours straight marathon where he took on all comers and firmly established “Infinity Seven” as a team to be reckoned with.











Infinity Seven Team Members:





  • Han "CrazyMoviNG" Kisu
  • Nicholas "Axslav" Ranish
  • Jospeh "jEcho" Lopez




  • Sky "Insur" Xu
  • Jonathan "Pyre" Topielski
  • Ryan "Sanddbox" Kemper









The best summary I've ever heard about Starcraft is that playing it well demands the strategic mind of a chessmaster paired with the dexterity of a virtuosic musician. It is simply astounding how much there is to the game.


:iconamoniker: aMoniker





Starcraft is an immensely popular game which can be attributed to the fact that it can be enjoyed by casual and professional gamers alike at any level of development. The innovating Battle.net system ensures that players are consistently playing against people who are at their own ability. No other RTS game has such a well balanced online play.


:iconshadowhand: shadowhand












The TwitchTV community has been ready to go with esports for several years now, like many of the web entities intimately knowledgeable of churning heat sources on the cyber horizon – but now Old School media like Time magazine and CBS Sports are taking notice along with media titans like Richard Branson. With monster payouts on the line growing every year there is a Protass escalation on the way and it will be here sooner than later.


Sedentary sports (like chess, poker, fishing) have always been relegated to niche markets as “sports entertainment,” no doubt because there’s only so much visceral physical excitement a spectator can vicariously thrill to with mostly seated “sports” competitors. In NASCAR, at least there’s always imminent danger at those insane speeds. But it’s the rapid expansion of esports across America and beyond that just might finally make “watching over someone’s shoulder” a genuinely big league mass audience phenomenon. As video gaming becomes as primary to the normal growth experience of every kid as playing high school football, baseball or basketball, the growing interest in superior “hero” gamers in this new emblematic teen activity indicates a marketing bonanza just beneath the surface surely about to blow any minute. And gaming heroes and champions are rising. Sean Plott (aka “Day[9]”) has a web show drawing 15,000 – 20,000 viewers each night and has 50 million views on his YouTube channel. On the rise Jang Min Chul (aka “MC”) has 20,000 Twitter followers. Gamers are being signed to professional contracts by electronics companies like Acer and Intel. The winner of last week’s Major League Gaming Spring Championship took home big money. The field of professional star players is in rapid development, and so too is the field of esports “casters” bringing commentary to the competitions. Twitch, dedicated to streaming games, also employs the top casters. The big show is catching fire.








Why will pro videogaming succeed when professional chess and poker tournaments have sputtered? Because videogames like StarCraft II are emotionally accessible, its gameplay understandable and viscerally enjoyable in a manner far more engaging than the intellectual “solving” of a pro chess match can ever be. Did I mention it's also beautiful? Blizzard artists are some of the most skilled artistic craftsman in the world and it evident from every element of the Starcraft Universe. Arsenal21 is one of those elite artists. Chess masters are unknowable “geniuses”. But champion videogamers are simply extensions of ourselves, more skilled and achieving better results than us, but we know the feeling of their victories and we can thrill to the vicarious delight of each of their triumphs and feel the agony of their defeats. Set this competition against the backdrop of an engaging science fiction narrative (to exploit our love of movies), rather than a sterile chessboard, and you’ve got the makings of the new American (and worldwide) sports entertainment phenomenon that marketers have been awaiting for many decades.
















StarCraft:


The Art


Here at deviantART we have some of the most incredible StarCraft fanart and fan fiction in the world and a huge community of fans engaged around Blizzard, the gaming company behind StarCraft, Diablo, and many other elite games. It is a unique new phenomenon in our world that in StarCraft video gaming we can enjoy playing the game, enjoy watching others play the game, or create our own art capturing the excitement of playing the game or illustrating the StarCraft story driving the game.

































Questions


For the Reader





1Do you think videogaming tournament events will ever become as important to emerging generations as the Super Bowl is to the grown-up kids who grew up playing football?


2Why has StarCraft become the flagship game of this tournament movement? Are there other videogames you think would make for good candidates?





3What’s the longest period of time you’ve ever spent playing a videogame with no breaks? In retrospect, was it worth it?


4What’s the most fun you’ve ever had while online gaming, and what makes that one time stand out in your memory?












In this week's Site Update, we don't have any publicly visible changes, as our Devious Technology (dT), Product, and Product Marketing teams are all still at a staff retreat!

At the beginning of the week, the dT team worked on improving our internal development tools to increase efficiency.  Then, on Wednesday, we let any staff members at the retreat pitch fun and exciting ideas for deviantART features that could be built in two days. After each feature idea was pitched, everyone from dT chose which projects they'd like to work on. Throughout the year, engineers primarily work on projects that are assigned to them, so sometimes it's important to turn the tables and let them choose projects in which they're most passionate and excited about.

The purpose of these two-day "hackathons" is to build and demonstrate a proofs of concept — they're not meant to be fully finished features that are ready to be launched. These are meant to be an exploration and a starting point for possible future features. The work we do in exploring and building proofs of concepts can be used in the future.

The projects that were selected by dT include exploration in topics about:

DT Discussions by micahgoulart
Discussion during last week's technology presentations. Pictured: kemayo, xraystyle randomduck, banks, chris, KnightAR, helloandre, DEVlANT kouiskasshadowhand, Nodren. Photo by micahgoulart


After losing Internet connection, the dT team went outside to divide up into groups to work on projects that improved our internal tools. Photo by danlev.

Hackathon Presentations by micahgoulart
$kouiskas and $aMoniker presenting their work on PhantomJS and QUnit tests. Photo by micahgoulart.

Da Breadlands 2012 By Knightar-web by micahgoulart
Photo by KnightAR, editing by micahgoulart.

Offsite location France by DoubleXposure Planet Breadlands by ArtBIT Breadlands 2012 by micahgoulart 

Untitled by loopstart Untitled by loopstart Offsite Brainstorming by DoubleXposure Untitled by KnightAR

What's New


Paris deviantMEET Recap, London Coming Soon!



This past weekend, deviantART teamed up with DeviantMEET-Paris to host a deviantMEET that ultimately yielded over 250 deviant attendees!

Paris Official devMEET 2012 by Nile-Paparazzi

London deviantMEET: June 30
On June 30, 2012, we'll be having another deviantMEET in London, England! We're headed to Hyde Park to meet and mingle with local deviants, and we want to see you!


DeviantART is applying to manage a new Top Level Domain called .art



Top Level Domain (TLD) is the technical name for ".com," ".net," ".org," or ".fr" and the worldwide organization that controls the issuance of TLDs is called ICANN, short for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  Some time ago, ICANN announced that it would accept applications for new TLDs and deviantART quickly realized that someone would try to nab .art.

DeviantART is committed to have the .art TLD in the hands of representatives of the arts; people who know something about the Internet and the way art is presented and enabled by the Internet.  Nobody has more experience with this than the deviantART community that we are all building, participating in, and sharing with each other every day.


Your Feedback

Thanks for the feedback you left for us last week! It was nice to hear about how you discover art. Here's what many of you had to say:

  • Group galleries were the most popularly mentioned means of discovering new art, though browsing friends' favorites and search were also highly mentioned among those who commented.
  • Some users would like an updated/more detailed stats system. From TarynNefdt
:lightbulb: Discuss!
 

We'd love to hear your thoughts about the .art Top Level Domain that we mentioned above. Please join in the discussion on the article!


 Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)



    deviantART is applying to manage .art

    Thu Jun 14, 2012, 12:00 PM by Heidi:iconheidi:

    deviantaRT is applying to manage a new Top Level Domain called .art


    Top Level Domain (TLD) is the technical name for ".com," ".net," ".org," or ".fr". These TLDs are controlled and issued by a worldwide organization called ICANN, short for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  When ICANN announced that it would accept applications for new TLDs, deviantART quickly realized that someone would try to nab ".art."    

    DeviantART is committed to have the .art TLD in the hands of representatives of the arts; people who know something about the Internet and the way art is presented and enabled by the Internet.  Nobody has more experience with this than the deviantART community that we are all building, participating in, and sharing with each other every day.



    In order to secure .art into the right hands, deviantART created a new company called Dadotart, Inc., and brought aboard smart people who know all about the intricate rules, regulations, and technicalities of ICANN and how it works.  We put together a pretty complicated (and somewhat tedious) formal application and submitted it to ICANN months ago, right before the deadline.  You can download and read the public portion of the application here.



    Two days ago, ICANN "revealed" all of the applicants for TLDs.  .Art is the third most-contested TLD, with 10 other companies applying to control it -- including some who have applied for hundreds of other TLDs on their own.  This is because TLDs can be big business.  The people who control them get to set prices and terms to use the address.  .Art is going to be very popular for many reasons and these companies know it.



    DeviantART is committed to the notion that the art community must participate directly in the management and control of the .art TLD.  The Dadotart application requests a Community Designation for the .art TLD and part of the management would include a committee made up of artists, art professionals, art organizations (both public and private), as well as organizations representing commercial interests in the art world.  This committee would establish the rules and requirements for handing out addresses using the .art TLD and would also be involved in pricing decisions.



    The object is to keep the .art TLD accessible, but at the same time give it a strong integrity to the arts.  Someone either using or visiting a .art address should know that they are in a place for the arts -- not just in a vanity environment.  Organizations or others dedicated to the arts need to know that the people behind .art will respect their names and their status and not just sell "Louvre," "Chagall," "MOMA," or "StarCraftFan" to the highest bidder or to the first one in the door.



    We believe the .art designation is important because of what art represents as a global cultural force without boundaries.  .Com generally references something to do with commerce, and the arts frequently have nothing to do with commerce; .net has something to do with technology and many art forms have nothing to do with technology itself; .org suggests an organization and many people in the arts specifically stay away from them; .au, .ae, .uk, .pl, and .sg all represent countries and the arts should rise above them just as many artist do, particularly on the Internet and the Web.



    It will take many months, maybe more than a year, before final action by ICANN on awarding the .art TLD.  We’ll keep you posted about any major developments.  If you're really interested in the process, you can read additional details on ICANN's site for New Generic Top Level Domains.



    This doesn’t mean that deviantART.com would all of a sudden change to deviantART.art (or deviant.art).  DeviantART.com is already a trusted and well known address for our community and the millions of other people who enjoy visiting.  Changing our domain would be very disruptive.  The .art TLD would service all of the arts, including art forms that deviantART doesn't handle -- like the theater, music, dance, and so on -- and would allow people to have individual identities associated with the arts without going through a community like deviantART or YouTube.  This is one of the reasons we created Dadotart, Inc., as the actual applicant for the TLD, so that the participation could be as broad as the arts themselves.



    Let us know what you think about this effort!
    • What kind of .art domains do you think should be reserved?
    • Do you agree that .art domains shouldn't just go to the highest bidder?
    • What golden rule of arts custodianship should guide the hearts and minds of those who get the awesome responsibility to manage .art?



















    deviantART deviantMEET



    Posted on June 11, 2012






    Join us in London, England!




    We're headed to Hyde Park to meet and mingle with local deviants, and we want to see you!


















    Join Us!














    We're back in London


    The London deviantMEET from our 2009 World Tour was a total success, yielding more deviants than any other city on the tour! We're looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new deviants alike, as we head back to the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park on Saturday, June 30th.








    HQ Meet: 1 - Group Shot by ^sine-out



















    Hyde Park: London, England



    • Location: Albert Memorial in Hyde Park

    • Date & Time:  June 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM BST

    • Admission: FREE!

    • What to Bring: Food for a picnic, art supplies, camera, and deviousness


















    This deviantMEET is part picnic! Bring your own snacks and/or share with others.




    devCAKE by `Anmagdan











    We're combining forces with britain, the local deviantMEET group, in order to make this event one to remember. On Saturday, June 30th at 12:00 PM, we'll be meeting at the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park for a day full of fun. Weather permitting, we'll hang out at the park, create art, talk all things deviantART, and simply have a good time!


    Hungry? Us too! Deviants are encouraged to bring food and snacks for lunch -- picnic style. If you're feeling generous, bring a little extra to share with others.






    Should there be inclement weather, the deviantMEET will move to the nearby Science Museum. The Science Museum is a short 10-minute walk from Albert Memorial and will allow us to take cover under indoor picnic areas. Keep an eye on this journal, as we'll be updating it with relevant weather-related information as the deviantMEET grows closer. However, the plan is to meet at Albert Memorial unless told otherwise!



    After the deviantMEET, anyone wishing to participate in extra deviousness is welcome to join us at a still-to-be-determined pub -- somewhere within walking distance. (Those choosing to drink alcoholic beverages will need to provide proper identification.)



    Rain or shine, feel free to bring sketchbooks, cameras, iPads, and art supplies to create and share your work with fellow deviants. Rumor has it deviantART staff might have free goodies for those in attendance!



    This is an all-ages event, and we welcome you to bring friends. We can’t wait to see you!
























    Update, as of June 27th




    The time is nearly upon us! Our London deviantMEET is just around the corner and we hope you have your calendar marked for Saturday, June 30th at 12:00 PM (noon). Our meet-up location is at the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park.



    The plan is to enjoy a relaxing and fun day at the park, while engaging in sparkling conversation with like-minded deviants. Remember, this deviantMEET is part picnic and we encourage deviants to bring food and snacks for themselves, and maybe even to share! Additionally, feel free also bring sketchbooks, cameras, and any art supplies that will help make the day a creative event to remember.



    Saturday's forecast likely includes a few rain showers, so we might be in for a bit of wet weather. Please dress and plan accordingly. (Maybe bring an old blanket to sit on and a jacket with a hood.) In the event the rain becomes too much, the deviantMEET will move from Hyde Park to the nearby Science Museum. However, we do hope to stay at Hyde Park pending any downpours.



    Any important, late breaking, deviantMEET updates will be posted to deviantART's official Twitter account.



















    We'll see you there!



    You are cool, and I am proud of you.




















    Voilà! Paris deviantMEET Wrap-Up!

    Mon Jun 11, 2012, 7:46 AM


    :target: Bonjour deviants!

    This past weekend, deviantART teamed up with DeviantMEET-Paris to host a deviantMEET that ultimately yielded over 250 deviant attendees!  As you may have read in the latest Site Update, our Devious Technology, Product, and Product Marketing teams are currently in France -- participating in a staff retreat, that has everyone working hard to improve and optimize many key areas of deviantART.  On Saturday, June 9th, we took a small break from our discussions and traveled to the City of Light to meet and mingle with Parisian deviants.  Here's a quick recap of the day's events!

    We met at Mécano Bar, where we were welcomed by early arriving attendees and current/former Community Volunteers -- including anmari, and Anoya, namenotrequired and itsfrits, who traveled all the way from The Netherlands! 

    We also met with SaTaNiA and ZeldaDreams, who are key organizers of DeviantMEET-Paris, and were instrumental in making this meet a success. Thanks to their amazing planning and French-to-English translation skills, we were able to host a truly devious party.

    After setting out sketchbooks and markers, deviants quickly began filling the pages with deviously colorful drawings.

    deviantart meeting draw in collaboration by atsumimag  deviantart meeting in working by atsumimag XI. deviant artists in action Official devMEET 12 by ArikaRinkishika

    Paris Official devMEET 2012-42 by Nile-Paparazzi

    Sketching activities became so intense that a drawing battle broke out between Na-ushica, Spacesam, JR-T, and choptider. It was a tough fight, but the result is nothing less than amazing!

    Drawing Battle Devmeet paris(9Juin2012)HD 300 dpi by choptider
    Photo credit: choptider

    As the day rolled on, the Mécano Bar became packed to the brim with deviants! Photos were taken, sketchbooks were proudly exhibited, usernames exchanged, and new friends acquired. Not to mention, all deviants in attendance received a deviantART lanyard and a handful of stickers!  Extra lucky deviants even went home with a Fella or Llama plushie!

    deviantart meeting gift goodies! by atsumimag Paris Official devMEET 2012-26 by Nile-Paparazzi Paris Official devMEET 2012-25 by Nile-Paparazzi 

    Paris Official devMEET 2012-2 by Nile-Paparazzi
    Paris Official dM 2 - 10 by ZeldaDreams
    Paris Official devMEET 2012-6 by Nile-Paparazzi Paris Official devMEET 2012-9 by Nile-Paparazzi Paris Official dM 2 - 14 by ZeldaDreams

    While talking with attendees about all things deviantART, we received a lot of great feedback about what you like and what can be improved on deviantART. Many of our developers were able to hear comments and suggestions firsthand about the features they helped build. We even showed off some brand new features! :eyes:

    Despite photobombing bus drivers and only having a small alley in which to take a group photo, Nile-Paparazzi captured this incredible shot of just some of our attendees! Many of the photos from the deviantMEET came from Nile-Paparazzi, so many thanks to him for being an excellent photographer.

    Paris Official devMEET 2012 by Nile-Paparazzi


    :eager: Longing for more deviantMEETS?

    If you live in the Paris area and want to participate in more deviantMEETS, be sure to check out and join the DeviantMEET-Paris group! SaTaNiA and ZeldaDreams are wonderful hosts who hold Paris deviantMEETS monthly.  You won't be disappointed!


    :pencil: Your Journals

    Having a hard time believing that so much fun was had?  Don't take our word for it.  Check out these journals by attendees to see what they had to say about the event!  (If you have written a journal about the meet or plan to in the near future, please let us know by commenting in this journal and we'll make sure you get added to the list.)

    If you have any deviations from the event that you would like to share, please add them to this Favorites folder in the DeviantMEET-Paris group! 


    :sherlock: Until next time!

    Merci beaucoup to everyone who attended! We had a fantastic time and can't wait for our next European meet. In fact, there may be one in the near future.



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