About the Author

Kai CA Kai
Name: Jason Kai
Age: 23
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

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External Involvement
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Rest In Peace
First Thoughts on WoW
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Quick Update!

eSports Scene

Thanks to today’s technology, hacking into celebrity cell phones and computers happen almost daily, and the private lives of these celebrities become public and cause scandals (e.g. political party scandals in Canada, Disney stars and their nude photos, etc.) to occur frequently. If political figures, along with actors and actresses get caught up in scandals like this every few weeks, why do you rarely hear of a scandal in eSports (other than professional players getting banned for reasons unknown, or matches getting overturned in professional leagues)? Sure we’ve seen a few problems occur over the last few months in the eSports scene, but unless you constantly check gaming websites or you know the eSports scene very well (with everything that goes on every day), you almost never hear of scandals.

Political scandals affect both the party’s reputation along with the politician and could help a voter decide how they wish to vote. As for actors and actresses, they have many fans, many of whom are kids between the ages of 8-17 and live with their parents. Parents usually notice when their child looks up to an actor/actress and when news of scandals shows up on TV, or even as articles on the internet, parents start to become concerned about how their children may become. Parents may start to become more protective and not allow their child to see any movies or shows that actor/actress is in because of fear of inappropriate content.

So why is it that a scandal in eSports isn’t as big as scandals in real life? Well for one thing, eSports doesn’t affect as many people as political scandals do. ESports may be big to gamers, but the truth is, eSports isn’t as big as Mr. Jason Lake of Complexity had hoped it would become. The CGS had made a decent attempt at making eSports known to the average person, but that idea did not work and the league folded. The average person may know who George Bush, Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie, and the younger audience may know of Disney stars such as Miley Cyrus, or Demi Lovato is, but no one, besides gamers know of names like Warden, Rambo, zid, or Sunman. This is also why news of scandals in eSports is so hard to find.

The average competitive gamer may know of old coverage sites such as GotFrag (which still releases articles every now and then), but they may not have heard of websites such as Cadred, or Insider eSports who cover news in the eSports scene. The average person will normally follow sports such as football or baseball, and those scandals are covered by ESPN or other sports centres. These companies are generally known to almost everyone. The problem with the gaming scene is that it isn’t big enough to have enough companies covering league news. I found out about Insider eSports through the forums of Complexity, and I cannot even remember how I found out about Cadred.

A couple weeks ago, ReDeYe wrote a feature (http://www.cadred.org/News/Article/46004/) on WT’s ban which he had received from ESL. The problem here is, how many people in the North America know who he is if they don’t follow the global eSports scene closely? If you look at the flags of the people who replied, most of them are from Europe, and you don’t see many U.S. or Canadian flags. It shows that the European and North American gaming scene is split and the two gaming communities do not interact with each other besides at LANs when the top NA teams play against the top European teams. The truth is the only time people care about other countries is when new games come out, such as Starcraft 2 (to be more stereotypical, Korea).

I mentioned earlier that because of today’s technology, hacking into celebrity cell phones and computer happen almost daily, and news gets out to the public. Most of the gamers I know are pretty good technologically, meaning most of them know most likely know how to hack things. Being PC gamers, the one thing we are almost always on is a computer (I cannot speak for the console gaming community). So why is it that we don’t have a small group of paparazzi at LANs that pester professional gamers, or people who try to hack into gamers’ computers to gain information? Well, simply put, our community just isn’t as big as professional sport leagues such as the NFL, and we, as a community, isn’t doing much to get our name out there. Sure there are the top gaming managers trying to sell their name to corporate companies trying to gain some sort of sponsorship, but they can only do so much to get people to put funds behind video games. It is usually the same LANs every year with the same top teams. Sure we’ve had a little exposure to the media, but because it wasn’t properly sold, the TV companies lost interest and no longer wanted to air people who should still be in school, but instead are playing video games.

For a video game like Counter-Strike to be entertaining enough to be on TV for the average viewer, you would need a big box that follows one player’s in-game character around in first person, switching between different players depending on where the action is. You would then need another box which is smaller that can show that players reactions when the team wins/loses the round/match, when they get an ace, or when he gets killed. Something that may be more appealing to someone who doesn’t play video games could be another box which shows that same player’s character in third person view. In between the two small boxes, you could have the name of the two teams, the score, and the time remaining in the round. One idea I thought was pretty good for the average viewer was the player count at the bottom of the screen showing the number of players still alive. This would allow viewers to see when it is a 1v1 or 1v2 situation. The most important thing however is that the broadcasters spend a few minutes in the beginning of the broadcast explaining how the game is played, and how the scoring works, and explaining the map that is being played so that people do not become lost while watching the broadcast. People get bored when they watch something, but they don’t understand how gaming works.

This is how the eSports scene is today and we should be thankful for what we have, but who knows that tomorrow may bring. Do I think eSports is ever going to become big? Sure, but I don’t think it will become big enough to have a chance to be broadcasted on TV again in the next 2-3 years, especially since most of the globe is dealing with a recession.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

- Kai

*I became confused when writing this article so there may be a few mistakes.

Comments: Add a Comment

quote#1 US aGent^ 15/01/2009 - 23:16:32
Very nice read, kai. You are a good writer.

quote#2 CA Kai 16/01/2009 - 18:34:23
Thanks aGent^!

I appreciate the comment.

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