When the £10,000 CGS CoD4 tournament was announced it was another step in the right direction both for the game and for the CGS. The game needs organisations such as The CGS to back it to continue its rise up the ranks of the eSports elite and The CGS needed CoD4 to grow its own community and brand value, so the relationship should have been great but neither really seemed to hit it off with one another.
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15 teams signed up to the CGS CoD4 tournament, in comparison to over 70 at CDC and even larger demand for AEF & The Experience. 15 teams for a prize purse that dwarves CDC’s and is a shorter, bigger and in theory far more prestigious tournament, something is seriously wrong here.

So what is it? Is it the venue? Omega Sektor sits in the heart of Birmingham, the second city of the UK with its own international airport that houses all of the budget airline. The center is a multi million pound investment that has more PC’s and more flashing lights than you’ll see at E3. Its PC’s are top spec and the venue has a sublime reputation, so that’s not the problem. Was it the prizemoney? £10,000? $20,000? Nope just fine there, it probably wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference if it was twice that amount.

The problem lies at the very basics of it, the date, the time of the announcement and who they let play. The event lies slap bang in the middle of exam time for the UK and Europe, indeed I myself am writing this because I’ve grown bored of my final university assignment! So that’s why nobody showed up, that plus the tournament was announced under a month in advance of the event, in comparison to AEF being announced in excess of four months in advance. That and the dates chosen for CGS are horrible dates for a gaming tournament (baring in mind gaming teams are dominated by 16-24 year olds all of whom have exams). Lets add in the ‘small’ detail that stopped a couple of teams attending, they didn’t allow anyone under the age of 18 to play (that’s why MYM weren’t there).

Look at the maths, someone spent £10,000 on 75 people, that’s £133 a person! Why only 75 people? Because I assure you that come the summer nobody outside of those that were there will remember the event. Why? Because the coverage was lacklustre, Where was gotfrag’s crow? Where was tek-9’s jetset? Where was Crossfire’s pedro!!! Well with 3 weeks and the foreseeable likelihood that only 15 teams would show up they stayed at home.

However it could have been saved even with 15 teams, in principle you can make a fantastic tournament with less teams. There are many examples (such as WEG and the ELC) where just a small amount of teams in a round robin league format with later knockout stages can create a compelling tournament, but that requires coverage. However who cares if nobody can see it? There should have been live streaming, what’s the point in running an event without it? It’s like not televising the World Cup.

In defence of the CGS organisation, a source close to the company has revealed that the delays were infact on Activisions side of the fence. However you're not going to see me saying a bad word about a developer who are actually putting up money for LANs. Such sponsor delays are not uncommon, they have been successfully navigated around before and should have been done so here, and that doesnt detract from the real problems of the event.

Good coverage and a good live stream could have turned the CGS CoD4 into a fantastic tournament that would have lived on forever, because the matches were fantastic and the story of Fnatic's comeback is compelling. Suddenly you’re talking about £10,000 on anywhere between 20,000 and 100,000 people because I can tell you for a fact that between those two figures are the exposure levels of CoD4 at CDC and i33. Suddenly that £10k investment is looking a bit more prudent?

It could be argued that this weekend’s CGS CoD4 tournament has done more harm than good (obviously not for the winners though!). Its’ like anything someone big attempts, if they can’t do it then why should you bother? Vince McMahon tried to change American Football with the XFL, if he cant make that a success then who else is going to bother trying? So if the CGS can’t make a success out of CoD4 then why should anyone else bother trying? That perhaps leading on a far larger question should the CGS as a whole not succeed, if Rupert Murdoch can’t make gaming succeed then why should anyone else bother trying, but fortunately those vultures aren’t swarming just yet!

Two of gaming’s biggest organisations can say ‘we’ve done CoD4’, that’s ESWC and The CGS however the CGS failed to really see any success from it and come the first week of July neither will ESWC because their CoD4 tournament is comical, the biggest injustice is that neither failing were the communities fault.