Woo hoo! It only took a year, but we finally got some serious recognition from Blizzard. Here's hoping for more in the future! :D <3
Drama of the Week: How to Save a Life: The Definitive Guide to Not Getting Caught Matchfixing
By: Mike Harrell
A few months ago, I had the incredible opportunity to attend BlizzCon in person for the first time. I saw all of my StarCraft heroes, from Neuro to Day9 to David Kim. Perhaps the greatest highlight of them all was coming within arm’s reach from Life on his walk to the stage for the Final match and then getting a high five from, and my badge signed by, sOs after his championship victory.
The thrill from the casters, and spectacle of the stage, and the excitement of the crowd is one of the best memories of my life, period. It’s still almost too good to be true. I have moments where I see a picture I took from the event and think “Wow. I really did that. I was really there.”
Intrinsic v Extrinsic Enjoyment
As with all sport, there are the casual viewers that just want to see the action. The hits in football, the fights in hockey, the explosions in StarCraft. They eventually grow into more refined enthusiasts that notice the overall strategies and common tactics. One day, they may even develop an appreciation of minute details like altering a build order to get a unit out *just* in time, or turning a widow mine back on its owner.
However, the thrill of pure competition isn’t enough for some people. Sometimes, the desire to “make things interesting” goes well beyond a friendly bet, and can lead to not just a significant loss of money, but relationships, careers, and even freedom. This is the very reason that gambling is illegal in so many places, as the thrill of getting a quick return on investment can quickly carry a unwitting person to disaster.
In eSports, large-scale gambling operations have brought us nothing but missed opportunities, broken heroes, and a vague sense of inevitable ruin.
What’s Become of My Life?
In the StarCraft community, we are once again rocked by news that a popular and successful (and not even previously-successful, but currently successful!) player has been arrested in South Korea due to allegations of match fixing.
Just to clarify, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill bet. When we talk about match fixing, it means that the player has made an agreement with an organised crime ring to lose on purpose. Members of that ring then bet on the opposing player, the one sure to win, and make a huge amount of money. The player is then paid for “taking the fall” so that the rest of the ring could benefit.
Yes, organized crime. Like the Mob. Like how Al Capone used to fix boxing matches. It’s the exact same situation, except Savior didn’t have to get punched in the head for several rounds of boxing to make it convincing. Even worse, what may seem like a simple loss to a novice eye can be easily detected before the match even happens thanks to the computerization of betting and odds calculation. And who gets to go to jail when the player gets caught? The player. It’s illegal, it’s dangerous, and there’s no amount of money that will make up for the shame, personal destruction, and jail time that will make it worth getting caught.
It’s Time to Stop
In closing, I have prepared a set of guidelines to help players from getting caught match fixing. I hope that it will prove useful to players and team staff alike.
The Definitive Guide to not Getting Caught Matchfixing:
- Never agree to lose a game on purpose for money. If someone approaches you about doing so, say no and tell your team management about the incident.
- If a coach approaches you about losing a game on purpose for any reason, say no, and tell your team management about the incident.
- If a teammate approaches you about losing a game on purpose for any reason, say no, and tell your team management about the incident.
- If a close friend or family member approaches you about losing a game on purpose for any reason, say no, and tell your team management about the incident.
- If someone calls you calls you and claims to be a Blizzard employee and tells you to lose a game on purpose, say no, and tell your team management about the incident.
- If a shady dude stops you on the street and tells you he has a business proposition for you, say you’re not interested and tell your team management about the incident.
- If you have reason to suspect your opponent or team member agreed to lose a game on purpose, tell your team management about the incident.
- If your team management approaches you about losing a game on purpose for any reason, say no, and call the hotline to get yourself checked into KeSPA Jail.
Drama of the Week: The Future of StarCraft: Preparing the Next GenerationBy: Mike Harrell
Disclaimer: I am writing this promotional article in exchange for moving my child up on the GosuSchool wait list.
Hello! And thank you for picking up this light introduction to “GosuSchool: The StarCraft Academy” the premier North American preschool for children ages 2 - 6. The facilities are unrivaled, philosophy of learning beyond reproach, and the star-studded faculty will provide your children with just the foundation they need to go on to the “Boxer School of Gifted StarCraft Youngsters” once they turn 7.
A New Kind of Education
GosuSchool was the first StarCraft-centric preschool of its kind and it remains the best in the world. From the time your child enrolls in the school as a Little Larva, until he or she graduates as a Zippy Zerglin’, your little nerd, or “Nerdling,” will gain invaluable cooperative and competitive experiences and learn in a world better than the real world: The StarCraft World.
Each day, your child will march past the larger than life murals of StarCraft heroes, past and present, by renown StarCraft artist, Nicolas Chaussois. He will meet with his team and coach for a preview the day’s activities, and then set off on a brand new adventure of gaming-centric learning. When it’s time for lunch, custom PA recordings, courtesy of Robert Clotworthy, voice of Jim Raynor, will invite them to proceed to the cafe.
White Ra’s Cafe, operated by the nicest and most paternal chef in the StarCraft community, boasts kid-friendly “Marine Meal” versions from the Slaughtered Calf Inn such as “Narud Nuggets,” “Dong RaGu Pasta,” and “Raynor’s Raisins” with “Destructible Rock Candy” or “Baneling (Cake) Rolls” for dessert as well as Eastern European and Russian specialties as featured on White Ra’s Facebook page.
And that’s just the morning! Open-ended “Strategic Play” in the afternoon gives your child control of their games. They can choose to move up and down ramps, look up and down cliffs, and proceed at a steady pace from one end of the playground to the other. All “Strategic Play” is supervised and facilitated by highly-trained coaches, all of which are Twitch.tv partners and have completed a one year Early Childhood StarCraft Education cerification course.
Learning like a Gamer
Every day, your child will engage in varied activities to help them learn and grow to become the professional gamer you were hoping for. Activities Director Grubby will guide your child through physically and intellectually stimulating games like “Split the Marines” (shape and color sorting), “Mine the Minerals” (relay racing and circuit activities), and “Get the Watchtower” (climbing and communicating). All games are painstakingly designed by acclaimed Game Director, Dustin Browder, who is available 24/7 for all of your concerns, whether valid or not, via Twitter.
Also noteworthy are award winning Music Appreciation classes, featuring exclusive music* composed by legendary composer, Russell Brower, where children learn to use music to their advantage to immerse themselves more fully in their learning. You’ll see huge gains in your child’s APM as they hum, sing, and dance to new classics such as “Old Matt Horner Had a Farm,” “If You’re Gosu And You Know It,” and “Little Probe Beep.”
Beyond the outstanding daily activities, we boast one of a kind special programs. Each week, we have “Story Time with Morhaime,” where Blizzard President Mike Morhaime himself flies in on his Warp Prism and reads a story of his choosing to the children. Sorry, parents, kids only!
And don’t miss the dynamic schedule of future programs. Including: “Looking Like A Pirate for Fun and Profit” with Chris Metzen, “It Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated To Make Money” with Ben Brode, “Becoming A Cat Man” with Day9, and “When What You Thought Was Vespene Was Really BM.” with Zagara.
Just Click Play
Don’t wait a moment longer to reserve your child or future child’s place at GosuSchool: The StarCraft Academy. The wait list already extends for two years, so waiting until your child is born may be too late! Don’t be the parent that denies your child the premier preschool experience.
Financing options available.
*Digital download of “GosuSchool: Learning Like Winners” album available through Battle.net. Digital Deluxe edition includes exclusive the in-game World of Warcraft “Nerdling” battle pet, the surprisingly-generic exclusive StarCraft II in-game portrait featuring the GosuSchool logo, exclusive Diablo III “Nerdling” in-game pet and sigil, Heroes of the Storm exclusive “Nerdling” in-game skin for Murky, and exclusive in-game GosuSchool cardback in Hearthstone.