|More-and-more money is being offered.|
While this is all very nice, and gamers may think that this benefits them, there are serious concerns to this sort of action.
The concerns are:
Only the top few clubs benefit from such prize-money. As a result there may develop a very unsporting approach to these private championships where it is more important to win than to practice fair play.
The prize-money does not aid development or transformation. Development takes many forms, such as producing new players through to developing them for international competition. Such private championships with large cash pay-outs often have the unexpected outcome of players trying to ‘capture’ the events by keeping new players out in order to ensure their own pay-day.
The private events in South Africa with large cash payouts also do nothing to improve the South African standard. Instead it seems to promote the ‘large fish in the small pond’ concept. This can be clearly seem by Bravado’s international ranking being 147 out of 168 for CounterStrike: GO and 179 out of 225 for DotA 2.
It should be noted that MSSA’s national team is currently ranked 14th in the world (out of 31 nations) by IeSF.
In my opinion it would be far more beneficial for the sponsors of these events to sponsor a number of teams to go to events held overseas in order to obtain greater experience on an international level.
At the moment it does not seem as though the deliverables are in place. This ultimately means that the sponsors may decide in the future that they have ‘burnt their fingers’ and withdraw from sponsoring esports events. Such actions would have dire effects for the entire community as the bubble will burst leaving gamers in the lurch. This is largely what has happened in Europe previously. The restructuring in Europe is largely as a result of the previous unsustainable nature of events.
Remember that South Africa is still a very small market in terms of gaming. The number of gamers in South Africa does not even rival the numbers of a small European state like Lithuania.
In my opinion any event that offers large cash-payments without comprehensive drug-testing is flawed. Without drug-testing, who is able to tell if any one gamer has an unfair advantage over another? If some gamers are enhancing their performance, then does it not stand to reason that the results may well be wrong? With large cash prizes, it is more likely that there will be this type of abuse as greed is more likely to overcome sportsmanship.
Thus while the private tournaments offering large cash prizes seem to be a step in the right direction, without proper due diligence such tournaments could do more damage to esports than any good.