I had the pleasure of viewing the Homestory Cup X event on twitch this past weekend during my recent quest to increase my personal Starcraft level.
Wonderful, pleasurable, and enlightening does not begin to describe the experience I had viewing the event. From the organization of the matches, personality, and even the introductions, I firmly believe that minus the Tastosis analysis or Day 9's presence, the Homestory Cup must be the most fun had viewing a tournament. InControl, Smix, Rotterdam, and many others worked hard to put on an excellent event that succeeded in providing entertainment to many and inspiring people to improve their game.
I had previously caught the tail end of Homestory Cup IX, and although it appeared fun to attend, I was under the impression the event was more of a player's tournament. This means lower production value, a relaxed atmosphere, and an 'at home' feel that provided the viewer with a deeper insight into the backstage life of players at a tournament. I appreciated this vibe but also felt that 'bigger' tournaments which possessed more acclaim were probably more official or competitive.
I was sadly mistaken. The televised matches for the entire iteration of Homestory Cup had less technical difficulties than Blizzcon, which is the premier Starcraft tournament in the world. Whether it was due to poor internet connection (COMCAST!!!!) or other infrastructural difficulties, there were many delays in the middle of games at Blizzcon that threw off the viewers and the players. Homestory Cup did not have the same problems, and as a Starcraft fan who started out more interested in the games themselves and not the personalities, I would say that the quality of the tournament broadcast was better than Blizzcon. This shows great hope in the future development of Starcraft tournaments held all over the world.
Starcraft has pushed esports to a new level and continues to push the boundaries of fandom and play alike. One can only imagine what the future of esports holds.