Is it possible to have mythic raiding as an eSport?

Kyxyn linked me an article about competitive high end mythic raiding, and it's amazing the dedication they put into it!

The article, 1960 man hours per week: The Truth about WoW raiding at the highest level, whilst not suprising, really opens your eyes to the amount of work there is to the most challenging teamwork that we see in World of Warcraft.

“To be competitive we need a main character with 54 AP traits plus five alts with 35 traits and an average item level of 880.”

Kyxyn said that would immediately rule me out as a potential for high end mythic raiding, but by golly what a chore, levelling alts to that high a level! Gosh, the time sink for that!

And look at them stocking up for raid with augment runes. That's totally awesome! I whinge about putting a few BoEs on the AH but imagine having to keep the guild bank stocked for raids all the time. Phew!

In WoW the only tournaments that can actually have prizemoney are the PvP ones. However, Twitch streaming is another way to make money but the amount of money you make is minimal.

There are also Youtube videos which, if they get enough views, can earn ad sponsorship.

But that is not enough to make an income to live off.

Streaming by top guilds is discouraged during the progress race. Why? Sparty (from the guild, Death Jesters) explains: “The simplest answer is for strategies, maintaining a competitive edge over their adversaries. You absolutely do not want other guilds to keep the same pace as you in clearing bosses, [so] releasing videos to help them serves little purpose. There has been an unwritten rule that guilds would not release videos until at least five in total had defeated that [boss] to help protect the rankings as well as the ‘sanctity’ of the encounters.”

So, streaming server first mythic boss kills is not going to be a good way to make money, especially if you're sharing your strats with your competitors! And who wants to watch 200+ wipes on a boss anyway!

In reality, the only way to make money from high end raiding was to give a monetary reward - but there are so many logistical issues outlined in the article. What about exploiting, like Exorsus did with Helya (which earned them a ban)? How is the money distributed? You could imagine disgruntled raid members not getting "their share" of the money or an unscrupulous raid/guild leader scooping the dough and running. Are there going to be custom addons being used by the guild that they don't share with others to give themselves an advantage?

At the previous Blizzcon I attended there was a WoW raid race, where 2 guilds were trying to be the first to beat a series of Mythic Bosses. If there was prize money involved in that sort of thing, I could imagine there would be some interest in watching it.

One way that I had considered would be to invite 5 guilds to Blizzard HQ to kill a series of mythic bosses in a tournament style, as they race against one another. Prizes could be equipment, computers, or even money for each contestant to take home - or maybe honours in an upcoming Blizzard game (like they do for contest winners in costumes and talent at Blizzcon). That way, the players can be monitored, their interfaces and UI's standardised and everyone will be on a level playing ground. Blizzard could set it up to stream like at Blizzcon - a pay per view event - and use the revenue from that to help fund the event.  You could even get more tickets sold by adding WoW specific toys just for the event. I could even envisage that companies which sponsored the tournament could get good coverage for their brand if each team was using something like Steelseries headsets, Razer keyboards and mice, or machines powered by Gigabyte GPUs.

That would be a minimum of 100 machines setup for the teams to play with. Would there be practice bosses they could warm up with? And would that be allowed? After all, the encounter is repeatable and if you did the boss often enough you could wrote learn the encounter. With fighting against other players the encounters are more dynamic.

How about methods that don't require Blizzard's involvement?  I think that the money would have to be in a once off pay to view video of a boss kill. Like selling an instructional video. However, there are so many free videos that there probably wouldn't be much money in that sort of thing. I still think streaming is the way to go. But when you're in a raid, you have minimal opportunity to interact with your stream viewers, and that can be disruptive to a raid where you're supposed to be concentrating. The best streamers have a great relationship with their viewers, making them feel like valued customers, I suppose. After all, these subscribers are paying to view you playing, you should at least make them feel welcome and thank them for their money!

14 hours a day, for the first week of raid for a competitive mythic guild. That's 98 hours of work. For which you're not getting paid! Times that by 20 raiders and that 1960 hours in 7 days. To build a single story 20mx30m house it would take you approximately 1720 man hours. It's astonishing that it's just for the love of the game and glory to put that effort in.

What do you think? Should Blizzard help the development of mythic raiding as an eSport? Or can you think of other ways mythic raiders can make money playing WoW?


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