Friday, September 23, 2011

State of the Game needs more stating of the game

Before I delve into any criticisms, I would just like to state that I find State of the Game, the SC2 podcast hosted by MLG’s JP McDaniel, hilarious and entertaining to boot. They know how to entertain and their SC-related stories are always so fantastic, and on this personal level the show works well.

However, the truth of the matter is that the show is not as informative as it can be. I would not hesitate to say that their coverage of the scene is just straight up lacking. I know they are all busy people with lives and work, but to most of them their work is Starcraft and to deliver a product that is called “State of the Game,” they could be much more thorough in their discussion. And honestly, it does not mean watching every Go4sc2 or CraftCup to get a decent grasp on the situation.

Point 1- While their show is of course North American based, and that will get the most coverage, and I do not mind that bias, but what bothers me is their lack of knowledge of the EU scene, and even the KR scene is just bad. On episode 50, Artosis did not even know that his new protoss crush Sage was in Code A, and he didn’t get an invite but made it through the qualifiers. Also the Stephano recap was so horrid and one-sided, that it made me cringe. Incontrol never commented on the fact that in France, when contracts are signed, there is a time period where the worker can retract his commitment, and Stephano is French and heaven forbids him to act like a Frenchmen. The whole thing is a messy situation but there are other cultures in the world than American, people tend to forget that.

And if you talk about a huge tournament, and it only has 8 players (*ahem* Dreamhack Valencia), it wouldn’t be so hard to figure out who is who. Lucifron, while he may be known as the guy that got 6-pooled by ActionJesus, he came back this past summer break and tore up the EU scene. His TvZ was the best for a couple months, where he bested Stephano, Nerchio, and Lalush in tournament play. It was said that around the actual time of Dreamhack, he had drastically cut his hours of play due to his studies, but still I don’t think that he would have a chance versus DRG.

Point 2- European players are good because they produce results. Most EU people are not being facetious when they say “Europeans are better…,” the results do not lie. Look at Stephano’s run in IPL, Dimaga’s splash in the GSL World Championship, Thorzain and his reputation in Korea as the best foreigner, Mana’s PvT not only the best in Europe but a lot of people say in the world. I get annoyed when they dismiss players like Nerchio, who embarrassed top NA zergs like Idra in ZvZ. Please have an open mind, these guys are the foreign hopes.

Point 3- No Racial Balance, The makeup of the show now is 3 Protoss Players (Artosis, Tyler, Incontrol) and Day9 who churns out more content nowadays so he has less time to play, we do not really know his skill level. Not this only creates bad (meaning really skewed) balance discussions (JP you’ve ran the PvP discussion into the ground so hard), but even the discussion content about pro games is stale. Here’s a typical conversation about a GSL match:

JP: So who watched this game between *blalal vs blalala”

Tyler: No Protoss, so I stay ignorant.

Incontrol: I watched it, and Mariners, Bunkers, boring,….

Artosis: Gotta catch up with the games (assuming he didn’t cast it but he usually offers great insight)

Day9: … (He always leaves early -_- )

Yes Korean Terrans are good but they are a lot of different people breaking into the scene there. Also when Leah Jackson makes her appearance on SOTG, I appreciate the fact that she watches a lot of the content out there and it showed when she was talking.

Point 4- Get new blood (Idra as a guest is not that special anymore) in as guests, this leads in from point 2, but when DeMuslim was on the show, he was a godsend. He was a fresh face and a top terran. Guests like this man need to be more frequent on the show, his insight on the NASL players were astounding. People from the scene who are not from the NA circle so to speak would make exemplary guests. (EU, KR, or even CN)

Point 5- More in depth analysis, while the show has to cover a lot of events, I’m really curious what would an in-depth analysis of a specific series would look like. Where they would watch a series, take notes, and just comment in general about it. I think it would be very educational and entertaining. Maybe taking a stab at this would be great. Actually more thematic topics, rather just saying what’s up and talking your mind would produce quality content.

Final Thoughts- Please pillars do some more research and get a firm grasp on your talking points. Your popularity and outreach to the community is there and you are never short on entertainment, just deliver more truths to the masses.

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