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PAX Schedule – Where you can find me and other stuff

PAX Schedule is out. http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule

You can find me at these panels with a bunch of interesting people:

State of Play – Esports in Australia
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/state-of-play-competitive-gaming-and-e-sports-in-australia

Unlocking The Fourth Wall: Transmedia and Games
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/unlocking-the-fourth-wall-transmedia-and-games

Super Ultra Fighting Game Community Panel EX
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/super-ultra-fighting-game-community-panel-ex

With CouchWarriors we’ll be running a whole bunch of fighting game tournaments, and in between all that I’ll be spending some time working at the AIE booth. Whew!

Also just as a brain dump for later reference, at my first look through, these other panels also look quite interesting:

Game making stuff:
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/you-can-make-games-too
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/developing-for-idxbox
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/pay-vs-fremium-the-impact-on-creativity

Screenings:
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/gameloading-rise-of-the-indies-sneak-peek
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/screening-bayonetta-bloody-fate

More
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/the-best-retro-video-games-youve-probably-never-played
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/meet-the-australian-esports-association
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/everyone-games-creating-inclusive-gaming-communities
http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/women-in-video-games-improving-things-for-everyone

More more

http://paxaustralia.com.au/schedule/panel/designing-smite-and-cracking-the-moba-market

http://aus.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/what-they-wont-tell-you-about-working-in-videogames

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Esports Event Report: ACL Pro Melbourne

Here is the long form version of the report prepared for Good Game on Australian Cyber League‘s Melbourne event which took place on the 10th and 11th of August.  I also submitted a short version which was the basis for the item that aired.

I detail some background on how the reporting with Good Game came about in my previous article here, and you can view the segment here.

In our first report on the top events in the Australian esports scene, Australian Cyber League held its second major event of the year, in Melbourne last weekend.

Over 400 players and spectators gathered for League of Legends, Starcraft 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops, with the 220 competitors vying to take a share in over 18,000 of prizes.

The event was defined by new blood challenging top players, with unsigned LOL team Wobbly Bears shocked the field with powerful team play and make it the final with Team Immunity.  However the winners of the PAX Riot event held firm, showing why they’ll be representing Australia in Germany later this year.

Starcraft favourite Moonglade fell victim to teammate Rossi during regular rounds, but it was another Zerg player, Iaguz, with outstanding micro skills and command over the TVZ (Terran vs Zerg) matchup, who pushed through the base of runner up Petraeus to claim top spot.

Finally, in a nailbiting COD:BO final, newcomers Capital Punishment created a sensational near upset, taking highly touted, Team Immunity to the limit. A clutch comeback after losing 3 flag carriers in the capture the flag round granted victory in a match where a split second difference would have meant defeat.

After climbing the points ladder over the season, players can now look forward to ACLPro’s Sydney National final later this year.

Datapoints:

I interviewed ACL CEO Nick Vanzetti for some hard and fast data on the event, then talked with players and team managers for insight into the key moments of each tournament. Thanks to Derek Reball of team NV in particular for his COD insights, and a special thanks to ACL stream master JB Hewitt for being a consummate professional and supplying great raw footage of the event

General Questions:

What is the overall prize pool?

18,000 total pool

ACL Melbourne is the 2nd major of the year.  What event does this lead to?

Sydney finals late October (Now confirmed for Oct 19-20 – Event details here)

ACL runs on a points based system?

Players that have accrued enough points will play off at the Sydney national championship finals

What is the next event?

When is the final?

See above.

Does a win here add to international standing?

No – not linked to an international event.

What can new players get out of their tournament experience at ACL?

Pool play means every participant is guaranteed to play a minimum number of games

Open entry means everyone gets a chance to play into the finals

Key takeouts from the event:

Call of duty – upsets

Lol team finals, one of the teams was put together as just a group of friends in the last few weeks

Not aligned with any organization

New blood have been showing the top tier can be beaten

Attendance 220

With spectators 400

Beat attendance record for COD and Sc2

Specific Game info:

LOL

winner – Team Immunity

Runner up – Wobbly Bears – A team made up of players pulled together by young player Matt, who wasn’t old enough to go with Team Immunity overseas.  Amazing synergy in a short space of time.

Recent record of winner – Immunity won pax riot event and going to Germany

COD

winner – Team Immunity

Runner up – capital punishment

Clutch moment – “Literal clutch, 3 flag carriers relay-died right on top of the winning capture. Split second difference and it went the other way”

Recent record of winner – Team immunity have dominated recent COD events and were the favourite

Next COD event – CyberGamer COD PC invitiational, end of August.

SC2

winner – Iaguz

Runner up – Petraeus

Clutch moment – Iaguz pushed his base with marines and mines, outdid the micro battle with mines marines and nedvacs

Key skill of winner -strong tvz throughout, great multitask

Recent record of winner – went to IEM Singapore and solid performance in group of death

Next  event – WCS world finals/ACL Sydney


Impromptu PAX wrapup

As a lazy blogger, I’m reposting my Facebook post on the inaugural PAX Australia from the Sunday night after getting home. Find it below.

What a weekend. Thanks ‪#‎PAXAus‬ team, attendees, for such a positive vibe & especially everyone who said hi or came to the 3 panels I managed to swindle my way onto!

Just walking the event and chatting to people was great, so many cool things going on and people having fun. Having the time to stop and get a detailed look at something, or take in a panel, is what enlivens any con, and I felt like PAX was set up to make this feel easier to do. The exhibit hall was big, impressive, loud, vertical and cool. The marquee walkways between sections was genius and made it feel inclusive and cohesive. The food vendors were actually really good (MRBURGER!), and the Big Top area was actually relaxing, fun, energising, all the same time, with the mix of bean bags to chill out on, console games to play, and the constant murmur of people enjoying themselves at tabletop. It also had heaters. Oh man.

Had a great response to all of the panels – a real highlight and privilege to run two and be a guest on one.

A panel wrap up and shoutouts:

The Anime and Gaming panel on the Friday really set me on a high note, so many cool questions, people were really engaged and interested. From what felt like a fun, niche subject, to what was a packed out session to which we got heaps of good feedback, its clearly something people felt a strong positive response to. I think we’ll definitely have to do this one again.
Working at the Madman booth all Friday was a treat, even 5 weeks on the trot of doing cons, thanks to my colleagues and the enthusiastic attendees.
Big props to the panelists who joined me, Kwenton Bellette, Nathan Robert Cocks, T-Rex Jones, Jason O’Callaghan, Bradley D-Yoshii Jolly – what a smart bunch. I think we have video and audio of this one that we can piece together, so this will be fun to revisit.

On Saturday the Crafting a Game for the Otaku Crowd was a treat, taking some of the anime panel themes but more strongly focusing on Japanese game development, thanks to special guest Miyauchi-san, of Omega Force, producer of the Dynasty Warriors games. Was really fascinating, and fun to be part of essentially a panel interview of the guest. The search for refinement and perfection in Japanese development was so intriguing, I had many questions to ask myself. Thanks heaps James Kozanecki for inviting me on the panel, Paul Houlihan for erudite, interesting and well crafted hosting, and Brad Jolly again for detailed knowledge! This was great.

Finally today, the State of Play: Competitive Gaming and Esports panel was a rewarding one to be part of, touching on such an indepth topic was always going to be tricky to contain in an hour. Focusing on the organisers/organisations running events now felt like the right way to go, and sharing positive stories on the scene was really fun. I hope it serves as a good conversation starter and inspires some collaboration. BIG thank you and much credit to the participation of panelists Nick Vanzetti, Jessie Vonangel Rozema, Alex Walker, Mark West and Derek Reball, great contributions. Great to talk to and see many other fine esports people at the show and panel who contributed in some way. Working together, we can build it stronger

LISTEN TO THE PANEL – Audio is up on Soundcloud and by Direct Download soon (you can also download from Soundcloud).

I also checked out the Esports Federation Panel with Gamespot’s Zorine Te. Gamespot posted the full video of that panel here.
To my good friends who I shared PAX with, special thanks to you, you know who you are. Lets do this again!


Starting point

Gotta start somewhere!