Competition is a fantastic thing in all fields, and apart from what you've outlined, having the two titles will also synergize efforts towards building the eSports scene. I was serious in my final words in my Blue Streak rant: Make a better game.
The brunt of my ire was due to his use of the term Blue Streak. He revealed scant details, but deliberately chose to reveal that codename. Apart from that rustling my jimmies, I have nothing against Cliff or his game. If it's good, I'll play it. If it's better than UT 2014, then I'll be the first to congratulate him.
It seems safer to say that Blizzard is effective at eSports. Yeah, Starcraft II is insanely popular, but I can't think of any other RTS that has come anywhere close to the popular prominence. It's less "The StarCraft II-led RTS genre is also very healthy" and more "The RTS game Starcraft II is doing very well."
You make some good points, and even though I don't agree with all of them, ultimately the reason I can't support what Blue Streak is because frankly I don't like what Clifford Michael B. represents in all of this.
Western gaming culture does't quite have the "Rockstar" developer feeling like other mediums or Games in Japan do, and in that way, we could say that Clifford "Beezy" represents a shift in this direction, but I think he is the cautionary tale that being seen is not quite enough. He has speaks condescendingly to us as his audience, abandons the industry speaks condescendingly to us as "entitled" gamers, arrogantly proclaims us all as ungrateful Pirates, and then comes back and starts nudging his way back and expects it to all be fine, but quite honestly, after all is said and done, I just don't want to support him.
You can be a role model in this industry and be inclusive and welcoming and lead by example or you can be "Mountain Dew, Doritos and Cash Brah!" figure, and frankly Clifford "if people had made money off the facebook deal they wouldn't be so mad" Bleszinski, seems to always choose the latter.
I'd love to be into this, but I've got big issues with CliffyB and honestly I'd prefer him to stay the hell away. This is the guy that was okay with decrying PC as a dieing medium after literally building his career and name on the back of it.
He's defended EA's ridiculous micro-transactions, he's against the very idea that you own a game and might want to re-sell it, and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head.
That's not someone I want anywhere near Esports. We have enough sham,scam and bullshit organizations/teams and problems as is without him pulling up and dropping off a shooter that's going to "save" esports.
The reason the International has such a large prize pool is because of the fact the fans invested into it with the compendium, meanwhile League is literally the most played game in the world. A shooter doesn't have to set up to those standards to do well and thinking a game with literally zero information except a esports buzzword tagged onto it is pointlessly optimistic.
I'd love to think that Epic and CliffyB both making the same kind of game would inspire some strive for excellence but one look at Battlefield and Call of Duty shows you don't need to be the best when you can just split the market..
I guess I'm a cynical bastard for the outlook and I'd love to be wrong and I'd like to think that both Cliffy and Epic will do something amazing but I've got my doubts.
It really says something about the state of competitive gaming where the dominant FPS "competitive" games in the genre are Quake Live and COD. COD is in no way, shape or form a competitive game in my opinion. Quake I have absolutely no issues with, I absolutely love it even though I don't play it, but I can definitely appreciate the mechanics and the sexy aesthetic of strafe jumping.
UT4 and Blue Streak need to learn from previous failed titles, like Shootmania, and prevent the game from dying after a year or so. Pumping money into competitions is all well and good, but you need a solid game with good mechanics and an all-round polished product (unlike UT3 at launch) to succeed.
It's a shame Epic didn't pump more money into UT2004's e-sports tournaments. Such a fantastic game. UT2K4 CTF is probably the hardest competitive gametype I have ever played in any game.