MLG CEO: 'You will see foreigners playing in KeSPA's flavor of StarCraft'
Gamespot's Rod "Slasher" Breslau delivers a great interview, featuring the extensive answers of Sundance DiGiovanni. Rod and Sundace explore the topic of the recently announced MLG/KeSPA collaboration as well as the impact it will have on the world of eSports.
So why KeSPA and what does "exclusive partnership" mean? Sundance points KeSPA's rich history as the reason for the first part of the question, saying that "a lot of the history around one of our most popular games [StarCraft II] is locked up in South Korea with KeSPA". He also hopes that by this partnership, foreign fans and players will grow to understand how the association has operated in the past and how will it work from now on.
The "exclusivity" aspect is also explained in details and these are Sundance's words:
- "What this means is that outside of Korea, we're the official partner for KeSPA. We're the tournament KeSPA players are allowed to play at the moment, by letter of the agreement. Our plan is to work with some of the partners that we have to bring those players there as well. I'm going to try my best to arrange something with DreamHack as we have a strong relationship with them. We're going to talk to the [Electronic Sports League's] Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) about working with them. Those are the two groups that I've been in contact with and have been thinking about. It could go deeper, but the point of this is that KeSPA takes this very seriously and they want to align with like-minded people."
- "In terms of the exclusivity part of it, I don't say this to come off as disrespectful but in their eyes they are the only ones over there," continues DiGiovanni. "It's Korea and it's KeSPA. That's it. I'm not gonna lie and tell you I was running in there hoping I was going to do a non-exclusive deal because what sense does that make? You saw what that got me last time. It got me Naniwa not getting what he had earned, and I'm not going to do that again."
As the interview develops, Sundance builds upon the idea of intertwined global eSports scene and comments on the existing tournaments, saying that it is not so much of a quantity issue - it's the absence of a system that unifies them.
- "The problem right now is that we've got all these different events, no tie-in with each other, no continuation, different rosters of players for each. There are challenges we have to get through. It's no secret for a long time we've been trying to figure out the fixed location thing and we're doing it here in New York City for now. The plan is to have a global organization that runs a unified league with meaningful matches happening in multiple locations. So if I could have matches that are happening in South Korea, matches that are happening North America, Europe, South America, that at the end of the day, week, month, they relate somehow, that's going to be great for everyone."
The direct affect of the KeSPA/MLG cooperation will be directly seen when KeSPA players fly to Anaheim for an exhibition SC2 tournament. But that only covers one part of the world wide player pool. When asked about non-KeSPA players, Sundance says (absent time stamp, however) that we "will see foreigners playing in KeSPA's flavor of StarCraft" and finishes the interview with a promising statement:
- "I'd love to see Nestea and Flash face-off in a meaningful match, I think that'd be ****ing awesome. I think it'd be great. I'm going to try and make it happen sooner rather than later."
Full interview: Gamespot.com