David Farrier investigates Barcraft
Sun, 29 Jul 2012 6:30p.m.
By David Farrier
While many New Zealanders have their eyes glued to the Olympics, others are watching a very different type of competition.
StarCraft is one of the best selling computer games of all time, and in Korea it's a professional sport with big money involved.
Just like the Olympics, it's all televised with people all around the world tuning in to watch.
What better reason to celebrate in Auckland than a big StarCraft competition kicking off in Korea?
The event is called BarCraft – fans of StarCraft meet in a bar to watch their favourite game being played by the best players on the planet.
“This is like the biggest night of my life right now,” says StarCraft player Daniel Sluiters. “Some of the best ‘Craft players battling it out for huge cash!”
He's not kidding. One player we watched bagged over $50,000.
“That's not even his negotiated contract,” says New Zealand Barcraft organiser Byron McLean. “So there's a lot of money in it because there’s a big audience. There's a really keen market for advertisers.”
For the fans, watching StarCraft is like watching a game of basketball, or a boxing fight – highly skilled and highly paid performers doing what they do best.
“It's legit,” says Mr Sluiters. “It’s way better than watching sport, bro.”
“If you get into it it’s not that different to watching tennis – two people, using their skills, competing against each other,” says Sun Kee Hong of the University of Auckland StarCraft Club.
StarCraft was created in 1998, making it a much newer sport than tennis, which was created back in 1859.
It's more violent than tennis and there are bigger bangs when you win.
As fireworks went off in Korea, an Auckland bar celebrated too, because that's what you do at BarCraft.
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6/08/2012 12:47:19 a.m.
When physical sports first started getting big world wide it was because a majority of jobs required hard manual labour so sports were a fun way to get the next generation into shape for working life as an adult. Now a majority of jobs are mental skill based(computer work e.t.c.) so things like this achive the same goal physical sports set out to do(on the fly decision making skills, resource/time management, and all round computer skills).
The thing to remember is that there is place for both physical sports and E-sports going forward to the future.
2/08/2012 11:29:03 a.m.
P Staines wrote:
I think the condesending tone came from the fact that physical sports are generally good for your body, and something real is achieved. Physical sports do hark back to when we had to compete against each other for food and mates so they arent really any more relevant than playing on the computer.
31/07/2012 11:38:36 a.m.
David Boulton wrote:
Thanks for changing the title. It really is about time people stopped referring to gamers as geeks. Almost everyone plays games these days; gaming is now mainstream. Let's start reporting gaming news as if it were sports news.
31/07/2012 7:18:48 a.m.
E-SPORTS is legit
30/07/2012 8:37:32 a.m.
Starcraft 2 Fan wrote:
Very grateful for the coverage. Would love to see more in the same vein.
30/07/2012 3:01:34 a.m.
Reporter: "Is it OK to watch StarCraft instead of sports?"
It's as if he thinks the Social Norm Police Department is gonna bust down the bar door at any moment.
30/07/2012 1:19:05 a.m.
Viva la eSports! :D
30/07/2012 12:02:39 a.m.
Starcraft fan wrote:
Thanks for covering e-sports :) nice piece
29/07/2012 11:44:02 p.m.
29/07/2012 11:31:29 p.m.
Jason U wrote:
Wow great coverage of the event! Normally people would call these fans a bunch of "losers with no lives", but it's refreshing to see someone (especially someone from the mainstream media) talk about this and treat it with respect. Thank you for doing this!
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