One thing that really irked me during the New Eden Open (NEO) was the commentators lack of understanding on what an uninitiated viewer will understand. For example, during the stream yesterday I lost track of the number of times I heard the phrase “For those new to the game”, yet not once did the Commentators, feel the need to explain the mechanics. Eve has a thick and almost impenetrable lexicon of slang and phrases, which are not really translatable from any other game, and the gameplay of the tournament requires that the commentators use the slang to explain what they believe is happening on the field. Unfortunately this means that a new and interested spectator will drown in a sea of strange phrases and symbols.
If eve online expects to break into the eSports market, they will need to begin de-mystifying these slangs and making the commentary of the match more accessible to all. Here are some questions I, as a new player would have after watching a match:
What is that golden helmet which keeps appearing next to the ships?
Why are people stopping to re-decorate their ships mid battle?
What is a rep? And why do they have to do it from a distance?
Drones? what? Where?
Why would people have a chain of Hats? And why must the other team break it?
I would suggest that the NEO, and indeed any further tournaments CCP intend to bring in will require a series of basic instructional videos on simple mechanics. Something similar perhaps to the world of tanks series Explaining Mechanics.
Next, if CCP want to use Tournaments as a way to introduce and encourage more players, they need to begin a series of events aimed at different levels. If someone wants to join eve after watching tournament gameplay, they mostly likely will want to participate in future tournaments. At the moment that means enlisting in small player organized events (rare) or waiting 9 years till they have the SP to compete in NEO or AT XXI. I would suggest that perhaps a yearly tournament for each hull size would give eveSport players a clear set of Leagues to climb up before joining the F1’s of eve.