2006 has been another year for change in the competitive gaming market. The CPL changed titles sponsors from Intel and Nvidia to AMD and ATI, and then a new competition rose up to buy the rights to the CPL Summer event and changed everything, with a new view on what the tournaments should all be about.
For those that haven’t been paying attention, I’m talking about the World Series of Video Games, a series of major events hosted round the world catering for both PC and console titles. As the name suggests, the WSVG is trying to create a “World Series” of gaming, with a showcase Grand Final later in the year. If you have been following what has happened in gaming over the past 2 years you will know that the CPL did something similar last year with their “World Tour” but this only catered for a single PC title rather than a nice combo of PC and Console games.
Further to this the WSVG title sponsor is non-other than Intel and, in their ultimate wisdom, the boys in blue convinced the folks at WSVG to rebrand their first major event to the “Intel Summer Championship” as part of Intel's increasing committment to gaming. You'd expect a fairly sizeable presence from Intel and people weren’t disappointed.
Quiet before the storm
With the event being another 5-day long marathon from the 5th –9th of July, the whole of Wednesday was used as registration for the tournament competitors and those people coming to play in the BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer). Although there wasn’t really a lot happening, the general feeling was one of expectation and excitement. At that time nobody was allowed into the main hall where the competitors would duke it out to see who would be walking away with some pretty tasty cash prizes or what the sponsor booths had on offer, they were just stuck with a tedious and time-consuming registration.
This is going to be one of the few gripes I have about the event, and hopefully the WSVG will learn from their mistakes and allow things to move more smoothly next time around but the registration process left a lot to be desired. One thing they did get right was having two separate queues, one for BYOC sign-in and one for competitor sign-in, although neither were clearly marked or cordoned off so it ended up becoming a throng of people just working their way towards the desk clueless as to which side they actually needed to sign-in at.
One of the other things that didn’t help was the fact that everyone had to sign a waiver form, releasing WSVG from any responsibility for just about anything during the event, and again lack of a dedicated space to fill in these forms and lack of writing implements to do so meant further delays in the queuing system. In comparison to last year, which was purely a CPL event, the number of people signing in appeared less but the time taken to get your badge and be ushered towards the correct door for entrance into the BYOC felt like an eternity.