Red Bull Lan Seattle Adds a New Layer to eSports: Audience Participation
Audience participation is something you don't hear much about in eSports, and if you do, it's usually just voting on who you think will win a match, or talking with the commentators via Twitter. Red Bull is looking to truly innovate in this with their upcoming Red Bull LAN Seattle.
For three days, from August 30th to September 1st (during Pax Prime), eight Starcraft II pros will take to the field of battle that does what is impossible in other sports, and simply hasn't been done in eSports as of yet: Give the audience the chance to alter the course of the match. Via an online vote at Red Bull's website, spectators both on site and online will have the opportunity to release game changing obstacles into the matches, which should make for some interesting (and hillarious) gameplay changes. I'm most looking forward to watching the reactions of the pros as their army suddenly has destructible rocks blocking their path (or something similar, exact details on what the map does are a little hazy).
The event will be a star studded one with Sean "Day" Plott and Mike "Husky" Lamond providing play-by-play, as well as acting as instigators, putting these game changing scenarios to vote, wreaking absolute havok on player's armies and strategies. The player list is stacked as well: Red Bull athlete Ji Sung “Bomber” Choi will spar with other Red Bull LAN alums Shawn “Sheth” Simon and Chris “Illusion” Lee, as well as pro-gaming greats Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson, Samayan “BlinG” Kay, Kyung Hyun “SeleCT” Ryoo, Tyler “NonY” Wasieleski and the Ukraine’s Oleskii “White-Ra” Krupnyk.
This will also be a uniquie opportunity for fans to play with their favorite players, as 2v2 games will be played throughout the weekend with members of the audience to see how pros and amateurs alike can adapt to a changing gameplay environment, and indeed, the whims of their peers. I expect them to be merciless.
Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent! Follow him on Twitter @VGHC_Deitis and check out Video Gaming Hard Corps, where he is a local tournament organizer for the S. FL. Fighting Game Community.