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HCS Pro League Summer 2017 Teams, Seeds, and Discussion‏

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Just imagine the wonders that MLG could do with the current level of competition in the scene. The story lines and production that they're doing with pro Call of Duty right now is marvelous and it's no surprise why they're leading console esports.

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Just imagine the wonders that MLG could do with the current level of competition in the scene. The story lines and production that they're doing with pro Call of Duty right now is marvelous and it's no surprise why they're leading console esports.

Absolutely the CWL is amazing format wise I wish 343 would follow the way activision is handling it and take a hands off approach just provide the funding for tournaments and let MLG handle venues/production/tournament structure.

 

But since 343 refuses to use MLG for whatever reason instead we get an online pro league that leads to a single LAN event.  :kappa:

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Final map count between the three series was 10-10

 

Does Pool A count as a tournament? Asking for a friend.

 

@@LethuL

No.
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Also lol at all the people who said they wouldn't watch anymore of this tournament posting here about the ending of the tournament =P

QFT 

Part of a much larger write-up I'm doing in the hopes of providing meaningful, actionable feedback to HCS event organizers and others involved with HCS events... Here are some of my thoughts on our commentating team. Love you guys! @@TheSimms @@Wonderboy @@Onset @@GoldenboyFTW @@StrongSide 

This entire post was gold, and I don't want it to go on unnoticed (not that it could with such a wall of text :ace:). Every caster could takes notes from this, even sections that aren't directed at them. Quality stuff

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How does 343 justify giving out 75 k for a tournament. I struggle to see how it benefits them financially

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How does 343 justify giving out 75 k for a tournament. I struggle to see how it benefits them financially

 

Apparently 50k was crowdfunded from REQ sales.

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Has anyone heard anything about EU rosters? I heard the roster lock was a few days ago but have yet to find any confirmed rosters.

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Part of a much larger write-up I'm doing in the hopes of providing meaningful, actionable feedback to HCS event organizers and others involved with HCS events... Here are some of my thoughts on our commentating team. Love you guys! @@TheSimms @@Wonderboy @@Onset @@GoldenboyFTW @@StrongSide 

 

I'd love to speak more in-depth about commentary with you guys sometime.

 

Disclaimer: I really am coming from a place of love with these points of feedback. Wholly mean them as constructive opportunities to improve, not as flaming. I often see several of you internalizing feedback on the forums, and wanted to do a larger write-up on some thoughts that have been brewing in my head for the past few events. Obviously, these are all of my personal opinions, and not fact, but I hope some of these points are helpful.

 

 

In-Game Commentary

Overall, Halo is disproportionately behind other eSports scenes in terms of our commentary. We have some phenomenal personalities, that I think are a few good points of improvement away from being a well-rounded group of talent. Keep in mind, different casters have various levels of success in regard to the following topics. High level though, these are items I consistently notice from caster to caster, event to event.

 

Some of these I know could be solved by having a dedicated observer, leaving less tasks for commentators to juggle. However, they’re still worth pointing out.

 

Add to the viewer experience

If I had to choose only two points of feedback, for all casters, it would be the first two on this list. It’s useful to think about what commentary, at its base form, is supposed to bring to the viewer. It brings an emotional component: hype, disappointment, nerves, fear, etc., that gameplay does not bring on its own. It should also bring more information to the average viewer, that they aren’t getting already through the visuals. See the bolded portion of that sentence again. It's not like many people listen to Twitch like traditional radio commentators for sports. Play-by-play commentary shines when it breaks down a quick series of events that the viewer may not have been able to follow. Largely, I think our commentary team is excessively overusing play-by-play commentary. Describing something like, “Snakebite jumps up, clambers on the ledge, reloads the scattershot, sees a player tower 1” provided absolutely nothing to me as a viewer. I just saw him do all of those incredibly obvious actions. It becomes very tiresome to listen to that type of commentary for every second of the match. This leads well into my next point...

 

 

Let the viewer breathe

I’m a firm believer that silence is something that Halo does not use at all. I’m not talking about long periods (greater than 10 seconds) of silence. But the viewers do not need every second of the match filled with a commentator’s voice. We’re here for the gameplay, not for the commentary. Again, the commentary is supposed to enhance the viewing experience. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a little bit of silence out there while you mull over what topic or play you are going to dissect next. It leads to more succinct and well thought out commentary.

 

 

Stay on with players beyond one life

This is probably more of a problem due to the fact that we don’t have a dedicated observer, but if we are continually stuck without one, it’s worth pointing out. Switching point of views frequently leads to a jarring viewer experience. It’s hard to get a feel for the match.

 

Constantly swapping to the hot player is certainly the easiest route, and no one wants to miss Royal 2 getting hot with the sniper, but it gives the viewer a one-sided experience. If you only experience the winning side every game, you aren’t getting a varied experience.

 

If a team goes all four down, don’t feel the need to swap to someone on the slaying team. Stay on with a point of view through the respawn, and talk about the retake or comeback strategy. Or find a player struggling (occasionally, don’t want to promote chat going hard on a player), and try to point out why that is through a couple of their lives.

 

Explore various levels of commentary depth

Similar to the rest of these points, this one sort of plays off all the others. One thing that I’d love to see is cycling through various levels of commentary “depth”. Provide a quick remark for the new viewer or low-level player (you guys do a good job on this), but don’t forget to cater to the higher level players as well. There was a match where one team had full rifle control and it wasn’t pointed out once! Explore topics like descoping the pistol with a rifle or plasma pistol/hydra usage vs. other players.

 

Provide memorable traits, rather than hyperbole

I don’t know if Halo, even in its MLG glory days, ever did a good job on this. Across the board, we hear phrases describing a player that are not unique traits at all. Maybe this is because Halo has much less of a role-based game, or less of a “meta”, but there are certainly things that could be researched that add to a viewer’s knowledge.

 

Every player not in the top 8 is apparently… “A young gun”, “a phenomenal shot”, “been around the scene for awhile”, etc. It doesn’t give the viewer any specific traits to latch onto to remember lesser known players. Saying BabyJ has a great shot won’t make me be a fan of his, or want to learn more about him. Learning that he started competing in Reach, and has consistently placed in the top 20, with his highest placing being X, would bring a lot more context to the viewer.

 

A survey before the event sent to the top amateur players, with information on hometown, how they got involved in Halo, etc., could end up providing so much value. Other eSports print out facts like these in binders and distribute to commentators. I’ve noticed some light, historical stats here and there from casters, but storylines on players are more entertaining and meaningful than a 1.5 KDA in the previous event.

 

THIS IS THE GREATEST POST OF ALL TIME.

 

 

Specific Commentators

For specific commentators, I tried to pick out a single item of feedback to focus on so as to not come off as a dogpiling of negativity or criticism. Feel free to PM me casters! Like I said, I'd love to talk on potential points of improvement.

 

Simms

Don’t ever change. I think you are one of the most versatile casters that we have. You rarely have slip ups or stumbles (shout out to “sloggernaut of a game” though). Pair well with everyone. If I had to have one criticism, it is your repeated use of immature (?) phrases. E.g. “Wham bam, thank you mam”. I think they’re fun, but they sort of have a one-time use before they start coming off as crutch phrases. A couple of them were repeated several times over the weekend and in the past.

 

​Yup, the only thing Simms needs to work on mostly is repetitive vocabulary. There is still room for improvement but he is an example of a solid Halo play-by-play commentator.

 

Onset

To be honest, I hadn’t listened to you commentate much as I don’t follow the EU scene. You were like a breath of fresh air for an NA only viewer. Similar to Wonderboy, I’ll have to do more listening to give a better perspective.

 

Same case for me. I need to get more of a sense of the role/style he is trying to present. Solid speaker and hype man, but there may be a decent amount to work on.

 

Wonderboy

Need to do a bit more analysis of your casting style and listen to a few different pairings to give you some feedback. I promise I’ll come back to you since I always see you internalizing Beyond members’ feedback.

 

Harry is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best utilizer of Observer Mode of our talent. To be frank, it's actually quite appalling to me that no other commentator has taken the time to become versed in the software and use it to become a better caster.

 

As for actually commentary, I think Wonderboy is a solid speaker, has a fun personality, excellent vocabulary and articulation, and is phenomenal at illustrating and presenting context and storylines for the viewer.

 

As an analyst, I think he needs to work on all of the things that the other analysts need to work on. Halo analysis is completely barebones and really needs a drastic overhaul. I'd love to talk more with people like Harry to see how we can make analyst commentary more intricate.

 

Walshy

Without you, or T2, I fear we really wouldn’t have an “analytical” personality caster. For your analysis, more delicate phrasing or pursuing a “questioning” route might be perceived better. One of your go to points to remark on is what you disagree with that a team did. Instead of saying something along the lines of, “I really don’t agree with what NV did there, they should have done this,” you could say something like, “I’m not sure why NV pulled this side, they might’ve been expecting a spawn on the elbow side but weren’t properly blocking spawns due to …”. League of Legends casters do a phenomenal job of almost never blaming or calling a play “wrong”, until it becomes very apparent that it was. I mean this in the nicest way possible, they are the pros, you are a commentator, so questioning their decisions comes off as “I know best” sometimes.

 

I think Walshy fills a very unique and vital role as an analysis caster. His knowledge for Halo 5 in specific isn't really stellar, but his natural Halo IQ is obviously high from his time competing in previous titles. It's for this reason that I believe he is both a good and bad analyst for Halo 5.

He's good at talking about how a Halo player thinks. How teams communicate. How teams work as a unit, and how the general flow of Halo works. I think all of these are very vital, but due to his lack of specific Halo 5 meta knowledge, the analysis can sometimes become stale or generic, as you said. He tends to lean on "agree/disagree" analysis, rather than talking about the overall spectrum of gameplay potential.

 

StrongSide

My dude, I want to love you on the desk, and for all the crap you get, you really have improved since starting. You’ve really gotten better with stumbling over phrases or mish-mashing events together. However, your pacing and intonation are holding you back from becoming a fan favorite caster. When you go into a “hyped” intonation, it takes you full minutes to come back down. And most of the time, it was hardly a play worth hyping. There was an instance where you were in full hype caster mode for an entire minute after a so-so play at the 15 kill mark. Simms does a great job of “saving the hype” for lack of a better term. Learn to save your hype. 

 

The general commentator feedback of adding to the experience really applies to you as well. The viewer can see what’s on the screen, think about what you can add. Actions on-screen do not need an exact audio transcription of it.

I've said this time and time again, but I just don't believe Strongside is destined to be a broadcast personality. His vocal tone during commentary is aggressively and awkwardly loud, his play by play (despite himself claiming he is an analyst, lol) is very redundant and based on what's happening on the screen, and his fluidity and articulation isn't close to the standard of people like Gaskin, Tsquared, Walshy, and others.

 

At most, I think he could find a spot as an interviewer or desk host, but I don't really think he has the potential to be a caster or analyst of any fashion.

 

 

GoldenBoy

Glad to see you back in the caster’s seat. You have a great rapport with other casters and have a way of opening people up. I think you shine best in interviews and as the host of the analyst desk. One potential point of improvement is in your humor. Don’t get me wrong, I love your humor. However, I think it is rather divisive (based on others’ feedback) and I’ve tried to isolate why. Oftentimes, it feels like we’re listening to an inside joke that the audience isn’t a part of. This can be frustrating and feel unnecessary or like misplaced filler. Bringing the audience into the humor, which you often do, works out much better. Hope that makes sense.

I agree, the humor is too frequent, and sometimes feels unnatural or forced. I think as a personality, host, and even a commentator, Goldenboy is a great asset to have, but I don't want to fall down a slippery slope of not taking things too seriously.

 

My bonus thoughts in red, but I agree with everything.

 

I especially want to emphasize player switching. Constantly forcing action to be on the screen is jarring for viewers, it's nearly impossible for viewers (and commentators!) to get a sense of what's going on in a match if the POV is constantly switching and there are bullets being fired at nearly all times. In my opinion, it is equally damaging to have constant on-screen action as it is important to stick through players through respawn for match contexts. This must be changed.

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Not wanting to bring up a topic you guys have been through but being from the EU I had to turn off in the end last night (read:I'm weak and passed out)

 

Snakebite being sick and OpTic playing below their best does not mean nV did not play well and deserve their win. They aren't mutually exclusive. You can only beat what's in front of you and nV got the job done (2 Bo7s against OG is insane)

 

Equally, OG have every right to walk away thinking 'damn, that was just awful timing for us.' I'm willing to bet though that the one person with the biggest excuse (Snakebite) will be the one person not using it and he will be back on that grind and hungrier than ever.

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Not wanting to bring up a topic you guys have been through but being from the EU I had to turn off in the end last night (read:I'm weak and passed out)

 

Snakebite being sick and OpTic playing below their beat does not mean nV did not play well and deserve their win. They aren't mutually exclusive. You can only beat what's in front of you and nV got the job done (2 Bo7s against OG is insane)

 

Equally, OG have every right to walk away thinking 'damn, that was just awful timing for us.' I'm willing to bet though that the one person with the biggest excuse (Snakebite) will be the one person not using it and he will be back on that grind and hungrier than ever.

 

 

Well said. There's always more Halo to be played.

 

NV played great and deserved their win, but OpTic did have some unfortunate circumstances. Just the way it played out.

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Thank you guys for the honest and appreciated feedback. Just wanted to acknowledge it now, I will post something more analytical / informative when I get the chance in the next few days when less jäger is in my system.

 

Stay positive beyond, love you all x

 

 

Can confirm that it might take literal days for his jäger levels to come back down to zero.

 

Great meeting you! Only regret was waiting too long to have some awesome convos with you and the rest of the EU casters.

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Is there a place with the map scores for each series. Even just for the matches that were on stream

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