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  • Team Liquid's Civilization VI Esport Gamble

    Recently, Team Liquid signed on their first professional Civilization VI player. Thatís right, a professional player of a 4X game. Weird, isnít it? It could be assumed that Team Liquid, and potentially others, are betting that fans will like watching competitive Civilization VI matches much like gamblers like playing bingo online for real money. The team welcomed Stephen "MrGameTheory" Takowsky as the first Civilization VI competitive player.

    MrGameTheory seems to be no stranger to the world of Civilization games. He has won countless 1v2, 1v3, 1v4, and 1v5 ladder victories in Civilization IV. He also currently plays for Team Liquid's Clash Royale team. There's a Clash Royale competitive scene? Yes, apparently there is. The Team Liquid leadership has its roots in strategy games, so maybe this isn't a terrible idea?

    LiQuiD112, the other half of the leadership at Team Liquid, offered up these words on the team's origins and their visions for the future of Civilization VI's competitive scene.

    My Team Liquid co-CEO, Victor "Nazgul" Goossens, began his competitive career with StarCraft, and he transformed Team Liquid into the most popular StarCraft website on the internet. While Victor was shaping the competitive StarCraft scene, and before I began competing in League of Legends, I was polishing my competitive bearings with the Civilization franchise. It was through competing in Civilization IV at the highest level that I found the confidence to jump into the world of esports and leave behind my job in the world of finance.

    The strategic depth required in Civilization is beyond compare. Many feel the game is simply too complicated to break into esports. However, as the gaming community evolves, we are witnessing the rise of elite gamers yearning to display the true level of their skill. Civilization provides the perfect platform for players to showcase their gaming intellect and we feel that Firaxis is on the cusp of bringing the franchise to a competitive esports level. It is inevitable that Civilization will take its place alongside the top esports in the world.

    Civilization holds a very special place in my heart, and I still feel nostalgic about those times I used to enter "C:\games\civ\civ.exe". I spent countless hours spamming settlers and phalanxes back in 1991. It was in Civilization IV where I hit my peak, and that's when I decided to create my own team, dominating the multiplayer scene in weekend CCC eventsódecathlon-like Civilization events with 10+ person teams playing in various formats (ironman, anc ss, medi, occ, etc)

    At present, MrGameTheory also works in the "financial sector." When he isn't working or playing games, he is spending time with his wife and two daughters.

    The competitive scene is mostly occupied with high octane game such as League of Legends, Dota, and even Counter-Strike. Is the world really ready to watch competitive strategy games? Team Liquid seems to think so. Despite the drastically decreased gameplay place that the Civilization games can harbor, research must have found that forming a competitive esports team makes sense at some level.

    Of course, even people that play the Civilization games fail to see the interest in an esport surrounding the franchise. The game is slow, methodical, and can potentially take multiple hours to complete just one game. How will this be entertaining for the audience? Viewer engagement would have to be top notch from the commentators. Those matches without worthwhile commentary may already be dead in the water before they ever even begin.
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