Opinion

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

The infinite monkey theorem goes that if you have a bunch of monkeys and give them infinite time, then they will eventually write a book from Shakespeare. The reason being that if you spam random letters on a typewriter long enough, the probabilities of this happening will be inevitable.

This is what I call the Chinese numbers game in esports. China has the largest population in the world, so even getting a fraction of its gaming population can increase the talent pool of any particular game by a good amount. If you run the numbers enough times, you will eventually get some good players. So you can get teams like wNv in CS 1.6, Pj in Brood War, xiaohai in the FGC, or Sky in WC3.

The current problem though is two fold. First, China is arguably the richest region (or at least comparable to the NBA/eggball teams in NA), so the players are much more susceptible to the rock star life. As in, they’ve lived a lot of their lives in a structured way and once they get that freedom/money/fame, they sort of get out of control. On top of that, the players you want are either stars/leaders, so you need even more numbers of participants to get those. So you probably need higher numbers to get those players who are dedicated enough to get past the first part and good enough to play internationally.

The good news is that CS:GO seems to be going free to play in China. This is incredibly important as free-to-play games give an additional social element to the game that doesn’t apply to the Western hemisphere, specifically PC Bangs. PC Bangs are social areas where you meet up with friends, shoot the shit and play games. They’re incredibly cheap entertainment (cheaper than arcades in the states if you do a minute/$ analysis), and when kids/adults cut school/work, they often hide out there.

If there was a weakness to CS:GO, it’s timing and the PC Bangs, two areas I don’t know anything about. Basically, it depends on the current FPS market in China right now, when was the last big hit, how stale is it, etc. The other bit is how coordinated the marketing is in PC Bangs, specifically if Perfect World is trying to push it with free skins at the beginning or something like that.

Either way, even if this is only a moderate or below-average success, given the size of China’s gaming population, that could be enough to get the right players to make an internationally viable team in CS:GO. Only time will tell how it goes.

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