Wednesday, 7 September 2011

MLG's Latest Title: Dead Horse Flogging

So, it seems that MLG will be bringing back GotFrag.

I have a theory about American TV (this is related, so bear with me).  Most of it is terrible, but often starts out quite well.  Take my column's inspiration, The X Files.  The first three-four series' were superb, but it took a pretty rapid downturn from series six onwards.  Basically, Americans don't know when to let something die.  Look at The Simpsons for an even better example: still going today, but basically unwatchable.  Compare this to the best British TV shows, which typically run for just two or three series and go off-air at their peak.

So, for those of you who know GotFrag's history, you can probably see where this is going.  Bringing back what used to be the best esports site in existence - it wasn't even close - will almost definitely end in failure.  Everyone that made GotFrag so great has moved onto other things: Midway is with ESL, Anomoloy is with Complexity (I think, I could be wrong) Scoots is with EG and Lee is with MLG itself.  The game that GotFrag was built on (CS) is not quite dead, but its place in the esports pantheon has massively changed.

Then there's the simple fact that we don't really need another esports site.  If you want to read a forum, you go to Team Liquid or Reddit; if you want high quality articles and coverage, you go to ESFI, and there are half a dozen other sites that fill in any gaps.  What could GotFrag do that the other sites don't already?  Advertise MLG's sponsors?  Maybe they could post exclusive replays, but it's the nature of the internet that they will stay exclusive for precisely the length of time it takes to download and upload a 200kb file.

But in case a new GotFrag is somehow more than a disaster, it is of the utmost importance that the SC2 bubble is educated about where GotFrag went in the first place.  Apparently Sundance has no sense of irony (or else he is actually a master troll) when he posts #neverforget in regards to a GotFrag logo.

For those who don't know, MLG bought GotFrag when it had pretty much reached its prime (pun intended).  GotFrag's management were semi-forced into a position where they had to choose between MLG and CGS - an awkward decision, to be sure.  They chose MLG, and almost immediately had their entire Counter-Strike budget cut.  It was around this time that I did my best rat-on-a-sinking-ship impression and left, just as GotFrag started to become a husk of its former self.  The original management started to leave soon thereafter, and the site carried on with a threadbare staff, covering MLG's WoW tournaments (ignoring ESL's), doing a worse and worse job of it.  The site was basically dead, but they gave SC2 when it first came into MLG.  If you visit the site now, the latest news is almost a year old.

With all of that in mind you'll forgive me for being less than excited about the prospect of an MLG-fueled  GotFrag making another return.  Lest we forget, Lee Chen - previously head honcho of GotFrag - still works for MLG, one guy who did pretty well out of the death of an entire community.  Together, they want to resurrect what they destroyed?  Excuse me while I choke to death on my own bitter laughter.

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