How do you make this happen?
For overclocking to become a sport several things need to be in place.
- Accurate Rankings used to determine skill. In the golf world weekly tournaments are used to determine rank. Good players may not win every tournament but placement on the leader board will count towards their Global and Championship rankings.
- Governing body. Someone has to determine the rules of competition and make sure everyone is playing fair so that the players can have an accurate ranking. HWBOT has taken steps into the right direction and many modern benchmarks will validate their scores.
- Open Competitions. Currently overclocking competitions are hosted by the hardware manufacturers and used for marketing purposes (?). For Overclocking to be a real sport competitions need to be held more often and organized by companies THAT ARE NOT A MAJOR HARDWARE MAKER.
- Focus on players, not hardware. For overclocking to thrive the players need an incentive to play. For instance, in the golf world the players work to be qualified for a tournament, they show up and play their best. If they make the weekend cut they are guaranteed a paycheck and a spot in the global leader board. THIS HAS TO HAPPEN IN OVERCLOCKING.
By switching focus away from “The Fastest Person Wins” we open up overclocking to a whole new level of competition. Hardware makers will still have a reason to build and market their high-end overclocking hardware and players will be given a chance to choose what hardware they want to use. In a way this is already happening in the community with “factory sponsored” overclockers. Take this one step further and we may have full on overclocking sponsorship and something that company can use to sell their hardware.
Of course there is one other aspect to consider.
I was recently invited to be a technical Co-Host for Overclocking TV and provide some technical background while they broadcast the MSI MOA 2014 on Twitch.tv. It is no secret that MSI spends a LOT of money on this event and it is a pinnacle event in the overclocking world. The contestants are chosen through a series of online qualifiers and are invited to Taipei to compete in the Grand Final. Everyone who makes it to the final is usually guaranteed a prize (usually hardware) and if they win they may go home with some cash money too.
In 2014 there was a prize pool of $15,000 USD split across two competitions. (Classic and Freestyle)
Let’s do some basic math and see how much MOA might have cost MSI
19 Contestants all flown to Taipei
Average flight cost @ $3,000 USD
hotel cost @ 7/days $700 USD
prize hardware @ $2,000 USD
Prize Money @ $15,000 USD
Esitmated Total: $124,000
Now, here is the interesting part. What if instead of offering prize pool of 15K to be split across nine winners the MOA offered up $125,000 USD payable down to 10th place. The only stipulation is that the contestants/players needed to pay their way to Taipei and supply their own hardware.
All of a sudden the MOA seems like an exciting time with A LOT more on the line.
As the sport grows so will the tournaments and while my example is theoretical using an existing Major tournament the reality for the future is that the tournaments need to become independent. Tournaments would not only be sponsored by companies like MSI but by whoever else wants to contribute.
Hardware independence is a key factor in this new direction as it allows contestants to use the hardware they are comfortable with. All of the contestants would be responsible for their own finances and would leverage their own sponsorships to help offset costs. Of course the sponsors could demand certain gear to be used but, for the most part everyone would be free to use any hardware they like.
In the end organizers would get their sponsorship money, the sponsors would get their advertising exposure and those covering the event would have something to talk about.