2014年3月4日火曜日

[English] Japanese Barcraft event report by nemuke

The English version of Barcraft event report posted on TL.
Hello TL people! My name is nemuke, Japanese former SC2 Terran Player. I have participated ESWC 2011 as Japanese representative once.

The 11th of February there was "barcraft hosted by e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA" then I went there to report and wrote article in my blog. Now I try to translate it into English to introduce the e-Sports scene in Japan to the abroad people. I'd be so glad if my post could be a little help for your curious about the e-Sports scene in Japan.
**I guess my English is not good enough for writing my impression. I also try to study English by writing this article, so I'd be very happy if you would correct my English.

Related Article:"e-sports SQUARE AKIHABARA" report by nemuke"e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA" report by nemuke
Original Article(Japanese):http://nemukelog.blogspot.jp/2014/02/barcraft.html
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The 11th of February, "e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA" hosted Barcraft. Barcraft is the event people gathered in some bar and enjoy watching the match of Starcraft2. Though I arrived the place an hour before event start, there were already many starcraft2 players waiting for the exhibition match starting from 17:30..
I succeeded to listening to various people this time so I'd like to write an article in a variety of view points.

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Photo: The commentator of exhibition match zer0cal0rie (left) and Haruno(right)
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Photo: From the left, Vaisravana, T1 and CriMsoN.

Exhibition match starts with commentary by haruno and zer0cal0rie who are staff of e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA. Originally it will be played between Vaisravana and CriMsoN though, just because T1 who are Japanense top terran player was there so the match changed the format into round-robin with Vaisravana, CriMsoN and T1. At first Vaisravana vs T1 was played, next CriMsoN vs T1 took place, Vaisravana and CriMsoN both won against T1, Exhibition match will end the result of them. However, the game was paused just after beginning. Comentary had a small talk to keep audience's attention for a while though, finally the cancellation was told by event organizer, Kim. Why did it happen? According to a person who involved in this event told that to me. "CriMsoN's keyboard didn't work well. While we're making best effort to fix it, it went close to the starting time of the proleague. We can continue the exhibition mach but there are possibility to not finish match until the proleague starts so we had no choice but to cancel it."

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Photo: Until proleague start, the exhibition match was on the screen.

Then passing 18:30 and started proleague, the mood turned to a unique atomosphere of watching proleague. There were a variety of people. While hardcore-gamers stare the match, on the other hand, there were the people watches the match between their conversation.
The people there are not only Japanese. "I didn't expect there is barcraft in Japan" says Kevin, student from Mountain view, California, US. Now he's studying in International Chirstian Univernity and working as an assistant English teacher. He's been playing Starcraft2 for 3 years from 2011 and had participated to "IGN IPL Team Arena Challenge 3" which held in Sun Francisco too. "I'll stay for a year and have been for 7 month in Japan however I really didn't know about Japanese Starcraft2 event. I saw the news uploaded in Reddit just the other day and notice there is barcraft. My classmate are all playing League of Legends and I'm only person playing Starcraft2. So I'd like to meet with a lot of Japanese Starcraft2 Players here. Oh watching match makes me wanna play game. If we still have time after watching I'd like to play Starcraft2 together with other people."

By the way, Starcraft2, is a game that is impossible to predict how long a match will take. While it sometimes happens that either player do rush and finish the game in 10 minutes, it sometimes happens both players made their bases solid and not finish over 30 minutes. "The semifinal match of Soulkey vs Reality took place yesterday wasn't finished over two hours then after regame still took a hour to finish. It was total 3 hour match omg. " Kevin recalls.

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Photo: Kevin participated with wearing Axiom T-shirt. 

"Could we go home until the last train goes?" In contrast with those concerns, Zest in KT Rolster all-killed SK Telecom, quickly match finishes at 20:00. With that result some says "I wanted to watch the game more".

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Photo: All-kill by KT Rolster's Zest

However, we can watch the match with commentary online. Why we have to gather and watch? "It's really fun to talk with other people." answered T, who usually is working in e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA as staff. He stay here after finished today's work and sit in the bar and enjoy conversations with the staff and people. "It's my first time to experience 'Barcraft' though, but I find it is fun to talk while watching the match. If I watch alone, it's just alone. In this place we can get off saying 'Wow Amazing Micro!', We can communicate with a various people. I meet a lot of people today."

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Photos: Starcraft2 players watching the match

Now, how about this event looks like for the people who don't know Starcraft2 itself. Before starting event there are a person sitting in cafe. N who is forties and had been enjoying the family computer in his childhood. I asked him why he came this event today. "It happen to finish my work earlier today so I came Akihabara to go around. Then I recalled that 'Come to think of it, the new facility has opened.' and I entered this facility. Of course I don't know about this event, Starcraft2 as well, haha"
I asked him which game usually play, then he answered that "I usually play western games like MORPG named Guild Wars and others. When I want to try new one, I often do three steps. watch the games through Twitch, buy the game in steam, understand the game through watching niconico(*Japanese famous video site)".
So what was this event like for him? When exhibition match finished I asked him about the game. "To be honest I didn't understand what happened in the match. It feels like 'is it played by one to one in the first place?' haha. It would be better if there is someone who explain the game to me nearby". I personally think Barcraft is much more easier to join for the people though, still it seemed not enjoyable event for those who aren't familiar with Starcraft2.

Barcraft this time is a first Starcraft2 event for e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA. Then what was it like for Japanese Starcraft2 players? Endeavor, who is a college student plays games broadly not only Starcraft2, but also LoL, Hearth Stone, he was asked to come here by other game friends today. His impression for this facility was "It became broader. When I visit Ichikawa's e-Sports SQUARE, there were only around 20 seats available. Since I didn't come here so many times I don't know about the detail, but it looks like good for team games like LoL and WoT because of the stage where the team are able to play sitting side by side."

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Photo: Endeavor (far left) and the game friends

The event place e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA is a open place and appeals that is able to have communication easier between players. "This place could be a great weapon for the Japanese e-Sports scene" saying Hajimemasite, who is a Japanese community leader of the RTS game set in pre-Christian ancient Rome named "Total War: Rome II" and engages hosting online tournament, communication events and all.
He is also Starcraft2 player, so he says he came here to watch barcraft and look e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA beforehand for hosting event at the same time today. When I asked his impression of this facility he told me these talk. "Differently from previous one in Ichikawa or netcafe, it's broad and able to have communication between a variety of players. To make game community bigger, I think it is needed the communication beyond the game title. To make sports community bigger, often said in abroad is that to increase the number of casual players who plays various sports widely. Talents like organizer, proplayer and all just came from among casual players basis. It is often expressed as "pyramid of community", for example Starcraft2 players oftenn play LoL and Hearth Stone, WoT. Sometimes it happens that people went from Starcraft2 to Hearth Stone, there are also many people came LoL from WoT. When those intercommunication between other game titles become active, I think numbers of casual players will broaden in the sense of increasing the number of those who are interested in game general. So I'd like to engage an event including various game titles, for example put the Starcraft2 watching event in the LoL event"

It is also characteristic of this event that attendees can spend time freely. While there was covered by air of excitement around, there is a person who is sitting and laddering Hearth Stone silently in front of PC. breek, who is Japanese former top Starcraft2 player and also had been experienced as Japanese representative of WCG2011. A few years ago, breek has been laddering from the morning to the night everyday in order to become Starcraft2 progamer fighting against pressure of parents, now he spends the money earned by working in company to Hearth Stone and do laddering. When I asked the impression of this event, he answered that "I really enjoyed Hearth Stone. I spent a lot of money but I reached Rank6 owing to that."

It's free for attendees how they spend time in barcraft. "Starcraft2 watching event" is just a form, its only provides "The place to have communication". Whether can it root as "the place to have communication" for gamers or not? I'd like to pay attention on Barcraft and e-Sports SQUARE AKIHABARA.

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