I couldn’t really pass up the opportunity to speak about the Battlefield 2 Nations Cup being held at ESL, since I think its popularity this year has surprised most of us Battlefield fans.
In around April time this year we saw the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2 and hundreds upon thousands of crazy Battlefield and FPS fans flocked to the shops (or Steam) to buy the game in the hope it was the next best thing since sliced bread. It didn’t live up to expectations, unfortunately; a bit like how the Bond girls kinda expect that little bit more commitment from James but, instead, he discards them as quickly as those little bits of tissue you find in your pocket sometimes.
The competitive element to the game was lacking, but, my view is that DICE never intended for it to be a massive competitive game anyway. If they’d wanted to, they could’ve absolutely destroyed the competitive scene with a name game, especially with one so dimensional with the assistance of the Frosbite engine.
I don’t think we should give DICE too much grief on the subject of competitive gaming, considering the recent events. At the end of the day their partnership with EA is a business and their jobs are to make money to feed their children, buy alcohol, go on holiday, cigarettes…whatever. Of course it should piss us off as competitive gamers, but there’s plenty more out there with far better gameplay. Unfortunately, as Lucifer said to me the other say with a sigh in his breath, “I just wish Battlefield 2 had the same reg as Bad Company :(“
So while I was away in the Mediterranean working on a cruise ship I couldn’t help thinking about the Battlefield scene and just what was going on. I know after having a quick glance at the ClanBase ladder from an internet cafe that Relapse were top and only 7 teams remained. It wasn’t the most positive start for the early ideas of a Nations Cup.
Anyway I got back and found out that the Battlefield 2 scene was more or less dead, but with a shit load of individual people still playing it in gathers and dicking around on public. So, with my Danish and Swindonian counterparts, we gathered until the night was young and the birds began to sing outside. We agreed at some point along the line to form a new team which would help the ClanBase ladder get a little active again, trying to encourage those teams out there to reform and have some fun.
Unfortunately, The Onlajners haven’t played a game yet, but I think we still intend to at some point just for a laugh.
I think the idea was conceived for a Nations Cup just randomly asking a few people what the chances were it could happen. Originally, I only planned on inviting 8 teams to join the tournament and Mujka from Unreal suggested we should all play each other once in a group stage, and the four best teams go through to a semi-final.
Anyway before we knew it we had nearly 16 teams which was a shocking thought. It was at this stage I think people started getting excited at just how much of a success it could be. Oh, and obviously, fist33r was there right on cue at the ESL forums with his flame-thrower in hand.
Out of the blue about a week ago, Stoner linked me to the DICE Community Manager’s Twitter page to find Zh1nt0 was tweeting news about the Nations Cup this year…shock! I was admittedly surprised Battlefield 2 was getting any sort of exposure from DICE at this point, especially after what happened with the 1.5 patch. Still, I was happy to see this move made.
I made contact with Zh1nt0 on the Electronic Arts Forums and we proceeded to swap e-mail addresses. Incredibly, he suggested to me that we could offer the finalists of the tournament a place in the DICE office with a live stream and an after party. “Well fuck me”, were my original thoughts, “I can’t believe it.” My main concerns were, however, how to get the players of both teams there. If one team couldn’t pay their way, the finals and therefore the cup would probably be a floundering mess towards the end.
I think this year’s Nations Cup holds a lot of promise for Battlefield fans and gives an opportunity for those still playing the game to get what they can from it. There’s always a certain excitement for people playing competitive games for their country in a tournament like this and it provides a new challenge for the players. DICE have injected a lot of interest into the tournament, as have our friends across the pond with their Battlefield counterparts.
RushZoneTV – http://rush-zone.com
Serious congratulations have to go to Stoner and the rest of his team for the effort they’ve been putting into the new mod over at RushZone. For even having the crazy idea to mod Battlefield 2, let alone accomplish the things they have, is commendable.
Last year Stoner and his team did what I thought was an incredible job as the Nations Cup live stream partners, and they’ll be doing the same fine job this year I’m sure.
In the past, Stoner and the guys were criticised for their ability to shoutcast by several members of the community, but things have changed so much since that first cast they did nearly two years ago now.
I think the confidence of the RushZone team is going to be high, having done a season of ESL tournaments prior to this one. They have the knowledge of the scene and the belief in their own abilities as shoutcasters to really take it to that next level and make this year’s event a special one. Just recently one of last year’s American lineup commented on how funny he found the streams and quality at the same time, and that he looks forward to hearing from them again this year.
The RushZone Team this year:
One of the other significant turn of events in this year’s tournament will be the return to European shoutcasting of TheSwede who will be making guest appearances on Sunday matches at RushZoneTV with Stoner and the other guys. TheSwede for many represents the old days of Battlefield 2 and is known for his passionate and excitable persona in casting. We all, I’m sure, look forward to hearing him back in action for some Battlefield 2 casts and we’d like to thank him in advance for his support! For those who don’t know him, check out this video:
For the duration of the tournament I want to use this site as a place for people to offer their opinions on the matches, to comment on the Rushzone mod and hopefully as a place for interviews with various team members participating in the cup. Thanks once again to all the people who have put the effort into helping this NC become what it has already and fingers crossed for a successful tournament!