rapscallione#154- You and multiple other people are missing the point of why the higher level players are arguing for a league LAN. It's not for a "vacay." Without any competitive goal of "competing at LAN," players like shrugger and squid would never have even bothered getting as good as they are, which means that the game would stagnate. The entirety of ETF2L started trying only after they got their asses kicked by NA teams at... LAN.
If CEVO was smart they would already be putting out feelers to large NA LANs. If they came forward with placing at a big LAN the only reason to stay with ESEA would be "it's the devil we know."
That's a fair point, it's true that the goal for a lot of players is to make LAN. However, I know that there are a lot of players that just enjoy playing this game because it's fun. There are also players that play this game to be the best... not to win LAN necessarily, but to win a grand finals and be the best. So sure, there will be players that quit the game or stick with ESEA because they have the determination to make it to LAN, but that's not going to be everyone (and I'd argue it would be a somewhat small population relative to the whole comp community).
As for the euros kicking it into gear after getting destroyed at i46, you are absolutely right that they raised their game because they lost to NA at a huge LAN. I'd argue that the same result would've happened regardless if they had lost that badly to NA at ANY grand finals (online or LAN) except for the fact there would be no fair way to have NA play EU online. But if you're telling me that those top EU teams (epsilon, TCM, etc) wouldn't have had the same determination to get better if they had had their asses handed to them by some new up-and-coming team at a huge ONLINE grand final, I'd disagree with you. The only reason that the LAN aspect really mattered was because it was the only way for the EU vs. NA showdown to truly happen. But had it been some unknown EU team that had kicked epsilon's ass in an online grand finals, it would've probably had a similar result.
I don't want you to read my posts as "LANs are pointless and unnecessary and we shouldn't bother with them in comp TF2" because that's not really how I feel. I think a LAN atmosphere is the ideal way to host grand finals. However I don't think it should be a priority. I'd rather get established in a new, well-run league using only online grand finals, with the goal of transitioning into LAN grand finals after the solid foundation has been built. I'd much rather do that then play in a shitty league like ESEA purely because of LAN.