Home Editorial The real reason e-sports can’t go mainstream anytime soon

If 2010 and 2011 are to be remembered in a future full of professional gamers and wide-audience viewership of “e-sports,” they will certainly be recalled as years in which the phenomenon of watching other people play videogames skyrocketed from an obscure nerdy niche to a regular nerdy niche.

starcraft_2

Don't like this screenshot? What do you know? You've never even had a digital design exhibit.

Sure, South Korea has lived and breathed this way of life for over a decade with Starcraft, but with the release of Starcraft 2, spectator fever has taken over PC gaming in a big way. Tournaments are regularly bankrolling the most well known players, and streaming commentary is so popular that now professional commentators are becoming commonplace.

And it’s spreading outside of Starcraft’s universe: with over 35,000 players tuning in to Justin.tv and similar sites to watch Super Street Fighter 4, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Mortal Kombat tournaments take place, it appears fighting games are gaining crowd momentum, too. With all this excitement, money, and public interest pouring in, it seems like society is on the precipice of mainstream acceptance of e-sports as an acceptable voyeuristic past-time, much like regular sports.

But there’s one tiny problem.

Wait, why should I explain it to you? You’re not even a fucking blogger.

What the hell does that have to do with anything? Exactly. It doesn’t. But if you’ve spent any time trying to learn a competitive game, you’ve probably encountered comments like this all the time.

“Man, Ryu is really hard to beat.”

“What the fuck are you, 4800 BP rank C garbage? Step up your game before you complain”

or

“Geez, wouldn’t it be cool if Queens were massive units to counter Forcefields?”

“Wouldn’t it be cool if you shut the fuck up, Bronze League moron?”

No, I’m not rank C or in Bronze league, nor do I spend a lot of time complaining about balance or posting balance suggestions in forums. But spend a few days on GameFAQs, TeamLiquid, Steam Powered User Forums, or anywhere with a budding competitive gaming community, and you’ll quickly learn that players who aren’t in the top 2% of the skill curve aren’t welcome at the discussion table.

Look, I get it. I know that someone who doesn’t make SCVs past the 5 minute mark is terrible. I understand that a player who doesn’t even know MK9 has a block button probably isn’t too well educated about meter management. I understand why these players’ opinions aren’t strategically sound. But for fuck’s sake, maybe we could all be a little nicer about it?

When low-tier players jump into forums or onto streams and talk about the game, sure they’re misinformed. But if proponents of e-sports and competitive gaming want their hobby to become slightly more publicly acceptable than pissing in grandma’s garden in broad daylight, they’re going to have to play nice with the newbies. Think about the rest of the world for a minute. Ever go to a sports bar on Super Bowl Sunday, or sit around talking football with your cousins at a barbeque? Ten dollars says conversations like this don’t pop up very fucking often:

“Did you see that pass? Manning is amazing! I can’t believe that play isn’t more popular at the 40.”

“Dude, shut the fuck up. Have you ever played football competitively? Even in the minor leagues? I bet you didn’t even play on the high school team.”

“What does that have to do with anyth-”

“Yeah I didn’t think so, you fuckin scrub.”

There are a few reasons nobody talks like this. First of all, unlike e-sports, it’s not very easy to become a professional or even serious hobbyist football player without ridiculous luck. But more importantly, these conversations don’t happen because they are bat shit insane and would make you look like an asshole.

Yet drop by Team Liquid and post your thoughts on a recent Starcraft 2 match, and do a shot every time someone asks you how big your dick is what league you’re in. Or do a shot whenever your opinion is treated with contempt before it’s treated with an earnest willingness to educate. I guarantee you’ll be dead of alcohol poisoning before a 7 Roach Rush could be knocking at your door.

Simply put, e-sports will never become mainstream unless the competitive gaming community can get over itself and open a dialog with lower level players, hobbyists, and unskilled spectators. The average baseball fan can’t throw a curveball. The average NASCAR fan would shit himself if he drove over 140 mph. Hell, half the world’s soccer fans can’t afford three meals a day, nevermind spare the energy to insult one another over what constitutes perfect goalkeeping. Yet despite the fanbases of these sports being almost universally non-competitive (or even non participating) audience members, sports are incredibly popular, if you haven’t realized. Maybe part of that is that they’ve been around longer, but I’d bet part of it is that the average viewer is allowed to share his or her opinion without getting publicly humiliated by everyone in hearing distance.

So before you flame, rage, or insult the next poster who asks why kill streaks aren’t in Battlefield, take a deep breath and think about the impact on the future of competitive gaming.

 


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196 replies to this post
  1. Interesting read! I think one of the natural questions here is WHY is e-sports like this, why do people think it’s okay to treat rookies like trash? The only thing I can think of is people (on TeamLiquid; that’s the only website I have any experience with) are just tired of answering the same questions over and over. I see serious answers to questions quite a bit over there, though, and the moderators (while strict) are mostly on the same side as you are here. But, of course, moderators aren’t what’s important here.

    • I think it’s because a lot of e-peene… I mean, players are two things: young, and very dumb. The second part is true for anyone with field-specific knowledge, though. I’ll go into this a bit.

      In video games, you’re essentially learning a system that isn’t always analogous to any system in the real world. This means intuition isn’t likely to map to it except through much learning, and it can be different in every game.

      In MMO X, your character moves at full speed immediately. In FPS Y, you have to move your crosshairs by .z degrees per frame to attain optimal acceleration. A frame is 60fps in this game here; 77fps in this fps, etc. Even if the particulars aren’t known, they are the system just as much as gravity is in this world.

      An RTS is a lot of this taken to the extreme. It’s all about the particulars of the matchup, and the “later on,” as Day[9] puts it. Not greatly intuitive things there at all. Not as much “playing the player” on something like reaction time. More like, how much attention is this taking, how much does this impact the bigger picture… two things there that came to me immediately but would not have before being familiarized — even educated — with the concepts.

      Someone immersed in all of this can forget that none of this was obvious before they learned it.

      Also, you have to remember with these young men — a lot of them are failures by definition in the rest of their lives. The video games are like an egalitarian tit that they continue to wean on. One where they have some dominion; one where they have some comfort. They don’t want to share it.

      They don’t want to share it one. Bit.

      • I agree 100%. Especially the last paragraph. While certainly not all players are like that, many come to mind who are. Dignitas.Naniwa immediately comes to mind. He totally dominates tournaments, but when you see him speak in public, it’s like he’s completely socially inept. I know he’s Swedish, and some may say that it’s a cultural difference, but it’s easy to tel the difference between a cultural difference and just plain awkwardness.

  2. *looks at past rants twards newbs*

    wow, I never realized how much better I was to people that some are. Sure, I rip any CnD user’s head off, but at least I do it in a calm, “im trying to be helpful” way.

    Anyway, i totaly agree. This is mostly because the top tiers are Stop Having Fun Guys, and as such only care about winning. These people apearantly dont realize a game is about fun, but that is thier problem. (even I will admit that the CnD is useful in certian scenarios on defence). You are totaly right when you say that eSports is going to have to change, but Im afraid that, quite plainly, they WOLNT. People remain jerks, especialy in an annonomouse situation.

    I apologize for mah terrabad spellings.

    • If you think that top tier players are ‘Stop Having Fun Guys’, you should seriously check out Excellent Adventures with Gootecks and Mike Ross. Or just listen to the commentary in any fighting game streams. Or hell, listen to crowd reactions at any pro competitions. I’ve found that in general, the gaming community is a lot more laidback than this article and this comment make it out to be.

      • Gootecks and Ross are the definition of everything right with the FGC. They are basically the polar opposite of someone like (shudder) DSP.

        Granted, DSP isn’t a serious competitor in these games, but he and his followers still represent something in the community.

      • Excellent Adventures has a great atmosphere and so do most of the commentaries of the fighting game stream. However, glancing at the stream chat is an entirely different story. Racists, idiots, spammers and kids spewing all kinds of hate is the norm there, and god help them if a woman happens to walk by the camera.

        Do agree with this article though. I’ve been getting into MvC3 and follow a lot of game discussions about it and the derogatory attitude towards new players trying to learn the game or people who just casually pick it up is astounding.

  3. True of any two player (or more) game. The problem is a lot of the old guys don’t like all the new blood jumping in, they half blame them for influencing developers to make the games simpler or with “come back” mechanics (hello lvl 3 x factor). On the flip side a good chunk of the new blood does give the old guys a lot of reason to dislike them, general stupidity being the major one.

  4. Thankfully, I missed all the newbie hate when I came into playing online games but I did have the misfortune of people assuming I was a dumb newbie because I was… well, nice to new players. I’ve also been called a scrub many time before for exploiting an enemies weakness which is EXACTLY WHAT SUN TZU TOLD ME TO DO.

    Also, something worth remembering is that the people who post on GameFAQs, TeamLiquid and Steam Powered User Forums (well, I can’t say for sure about TeamLiquid as I’ve never been but certainly the other two) are never in the top competitive bracket for anything, they just /think/ that they are. More often than not, the extremely good players are nicer than the players who think they’re extremely good.

  5. the root of the problem lies in the fact that nearly all gamers who play these kinds of games are whiny, petulant children.

    • Your statement is neither factual, nor is it accurate.

      Well, actually, I rephrase that… what is your definition of “nearly all”? My definition would be between 90-95% which is just simply illogical. It always seems to be, in my humble opinion, the exact problem the original poster discussed. Instead of logic and dialog, just blame and falsehoods. So, congrats on just proving his point. You are a shining example of the issue at hand.

      Bravo.

      • I guess it depends on if he thinks the whiny group is the “pros” or the “noobs.”

        While children would probably be an exaggeration, the demographic in general is easily 14-24, of which a large portion of the group is technically children.

  6. Anonymity in video games combined with competition and gaming stress too often leads to macho stupidity, racial and homophobic slurs. Some games simply can’t disengage, they bring the attitude to forums, chat etc… I’m curious if they continue behaving like this away from the keyboard?

  7. STFU, u n00b,

    lol joking. Yeah sadly this exist. But something you forgot to mention is that often, the lower league (I can only talk about teh sc2 community since this is teh agme I mostly play) qq for nothing.

    Yesterday, there was a guy wining about forcefields being OP on the B.Net forums, he was told they were not (politely and abcked with good arguments at first) bu the guy jsut kept coming back whining and being an ass.

    Now in football, I’ve played some high school football, and that is how my coaches were dealing with whining players. A guy came whining the guy in front of him was too strong, to coach told him to STFU and step up his game or get his ass on the bench some some one else would do the job.

    So overall, its true that higher league players are sometime ass holes, but lower league player will have to mature too b4 E-sports ever become maintstream (btw lower league for sc2 = plat or lower)

    • Part of what I wanted to point out in the article was that there is a third group that’s not high league or low league, which is non-participants.

      What do you think their role in the community is/should be?

      • their role is to sit there, watch what happens on the screen, clap, boo, voice their general opinion.. but mostly.. enjoy themselves.

  8. I think part of the issue is that the 2% and people trying to get there don’t really have the forum to discuss the game without newbies butting in disregarding forum rules and asking the same questions answered thousand times in other threads. This leads to frustration and bad manners. That and the fact that most discussion is done over the internet which doesn’t exactly promote civil conversation.

    In tournament setting people behave much better and are warmer towards the newbies, but that’s because they know that people care about the game if they bother to show up, even if just to watch.

    In other sports this issue doesn’t really appear since you physically meet your peer level players and can discuss the game without frustration, whereas in esports the crowd and the pros share the forums so there’s tension. I bet Kobe would be pretty bad manner towards fans if he had locker room full of them telling him how to play better.

    It’s not totally bad thing and not the whole root of the problem, but I think it contributes to the problem greatly.

  9. “First of all, unlike e-sports, it’s not very easy to become a professional or even serious hobbyist football player without ridiculous luck.”

    at least mention the hard work that most folks aren’t willing to put in…..

    • I was trying to imply throughout that skill is a cost of entry, that even if you are ridiculously skilled in football, you still need a lot of luck to make it to the point of being a famous football player.

      If you were ridiculously skilled at Starcraft, you could be well known simply due to the ladder system, replays, casts, etc. You don’t need a scout to come pick you out and say “Hey, this guy’s good.”

      Sorry, didn’t mean to imply either field didn’t require skill.

  10. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that there is way too much vitriol on most every online gaming forum. But, it seems that your comparison might be a bit flawed. You are comparing face to face interactions about “real” sports to anonymous interactions about “e-sports.” I don’t go onto online forum for “real” sports, but I assume that the veil on anonymity would allow participants to be just as nasty to each other as are those on gaming forum. Furthermore, interactions between gamers in real life tends to mirror those of “real” sports enthusiasts and not those of anonymous online gaming forums. People tend to be very nice to “noobs” at LANs or in arcades.

    I would argue, that if you want “e-sports” to be more accepted in the modern public sphere, we need to bring it out (off line) and into said sphere. We need to be less frightened of the stigma of being a “gamer.” We need to show the “rest” of society just how numerous we are.

    Next time “you” are at a bar, don’t be sacred to discuss your favorite game out loud. And when you notice some other dude listening in, don’t get embarrassed and censor yourself, bring him into the conversation. Maybe you make a new friend. Maybe you make a whole new circle of friends. Maybe you get into a heated debate about Black Ops vs Bad Company 2. Maybe, the next thing you know, the whole bar gets into a brawl over zerg vs protoss instead of red wings vs sharks.

    • This is an astute comment. I totally agree. I met a bunch of high level starcraft players at PAX and they were all super nice to my lowly bronzeness at the tournament (the diamond guy who pwned me in 10 minutes shook my hand and everything), but I would not be that surprised if they were a bunch of dicks on the internet. It’s definitely e-peen that makes gamers seems so vicious.

      Please tell me where this magical bar where I can talk about zerg vs protoss to everyone is.

  11. > But spend a few days on GameFAQs, TeamLiquid, Steam Powered User Forums, or anywhere with a budding competitive gaming community, and you’ll quickly learn that players who aren’t in the top 2% of the skill curve aren’t welcome at the discussion table.

    I can’t speak for those websites, but the fighting game community is very welcoming to new players who exhibit curiosity and the desire to learn about the games. Shoryuken.com (for Capcom games generally) and TestYourMight.com (for Mortal Kombat games) both are friendly communities.

    Don’t make the mistake of confusing random trolls with actual members of the community.

    • My first post on SRK was flamed to hell because I asked a question that was already answered on page 23 of 48 out of some random guy’s guide.

      While I have lurked on SRK for years afterwards, posting carries a lot of personal risk, especially in character specific forums for SF4.

      • God this is so true. I mean, sorry for not reading 500 pages worth of posts and posting a question already occuring on the 23rd post of page 234

      • Agreed. Read my reply farther down this article for my story as well.

        In the end though, SRK’s trolls are, ironically, are also some of the free-est players I’ve ever played. It’s like they spent all their time mastering the threads rather than the game they are supposed to be playing.

      • That sounds like more of a “forums” problem than a “fighting games” problem. There are people who get mad if you do that at any forum. Especially for stuff that is covered in a stickied post or dedicated thread. NVIDIA forum, 4chan, NeoGAF, you name it, there will be some people who will rip you a new one for asking a question that was already answered.

  12. Meh, these are just your typical manchildren complaining about noobs complaining about balance. If it wasn’t balance, they would be trying to find another reason to pick on them.

  13. Whoa whoa whoa, first of all, people have DIED from arguing about who’s soccer team is better. Ever heard of “soccer hooligans” or soccer riots? [wikipedia that shit] There is a whole lot of “newbie hate” in mainstream sports too, the only difference is that the people who aren’t talented at the sport are usually the majority of the fan base. [so the majority of the talk is by people who don't understand the intricacies of the sport, which i'm sure infuriates the actual players who get told how to play the game by someone who doesn't even fully understand the game.] With esports it’s different, at this point in time, because a majority of the fan base for the sport in question are the competitors, and they won’t tolerate it as much when someone who doesn’t know the game tries to post a legitimate game strategy. ALSO a lot of this so called “newbie hate” is usually just someone taking the opportunity to troll the person who is unfamiliar with the community. It’s as simple as not feeding the trolls and finding people within the community who will be willing to genuinely help you when you spout stupid strategies or are blatantly unfamiliar with the game.

    They are out there so kindly please stop trying to label the entire esports gaming community as an unwelcoming bunch of assholes. You want to know what hurts esports more than the random trolls? Articles like this that many more people will read and then make baseless decisions on second hand information.

    Look up Day[9], he’s one of the chillest people in the world and is eager to help anyone get better at SC2, the TL forums are pretty sweet too, run by respectable individuals [pros and fans alike] and trying to keep their forum as “clean” as possible.

    The bottom line is that there will always be emotion wherever serious competition takes place. And if you make a rash comment in a place where people are taking this game very seriously you should be prepared for some not so polite responses. [you wouldn't go up to the players of any professional sports team and try to tell them the great new strategy that you thought up last night that you guarantee they've never heard of, would you? Even trying to tell other fans your legitimate strategy would get you laughed at in most instances.]

    • “ALSO a lot of this so called “newbie hate” is usually just someone taking the opportunity to troll the person who is unfamiliar with the community. It’s as simple as not feeding the trolls and finding people within the community who will be willing to genuinely help you when you spout stupid strategies or are blatantly unfamiliar with the game. ”

      This is basically the problem, though. It’s a high school mentality that a new player should have to earn the right to be treated with respect and magically find out on his own who on a forum isn’t a jerk.

      Also, I am familiar with Day9, and I’ve written several articles on this site about how helpful his videos are.

  14. Whoa whoa whoa, first of all, people have DIED from arguing about who’s soccer team is better. Ever heard of “soccer hooligans” or soccer riots? [wiki that shit] There is a whole lot of “newbie hate” in mainstream sports too, the only difference is that the people who aren’t talented at the sport are usually the majority of the fan base. [so the majority of the talk is by people who don't understand the intricacies of the sport, which i'm sure infuriates the actual players who get told how to play the game by someone who doesn't even fully understand the game.] With esports it’s different, at this point in time, because a majority of the fan base for the sport in question are the competitors, and they won’t tolerate it as much when someone who doesn’t know the game tries to post a legitimate game strategy. ALSO a lot of this so called “newbie hate” is usually just someone taking the opportunity to troll the person who is unfamiliar with the community. It’s as simple as not feeding the trolls and finding people within the community who will be willing to genuinely help you when you spout stupid strategies or are blatantly unfamiliar with the game.

    They are out there so kindly please stop trying to label the entire esports gaming community as an unwelcoming bunch of assholes. You want to know what hurts esports more than the random trolls? Articles like this that many more people will read and then make baseless decisions on second hand information.

    Look up Day[9], he’s one of the chillest people in the world and is eager to help anyone get better at SC2, the TL forums are pretty sweet too, run by respectable individuals [pros and fans alike] and trying to keep their forum as “clean” as possible.

    The bottom line is that there will always be emotion wherever serious competition takes place. And if you make a rash comment in a place where people are taking this game very seriously you should be prepared for some not so polite responses. [you wouldn’t go up to the players of any professional sports team and try to tell them the great new strategy that you thought up last night that you guarantee they’ve never heard of, would you? Even trying to tell other fans your legitimate strategy would get you laughed at in most instan

  15. Clearly, the writer is not reading sports forums.

    I’m a regular on a college football forum and newbs come in all the time with tired, overplayed, weak points that just need to be slapped down. This can be anything a from a players talent to plays called to the palm trees in the corner of the stadium. You slap them down hard to get the argument (that a regular has probably had 1000 times already) over with as soon as possible.

    Either the newb sees the light or they get their panties in a wad and go away. If they can’t understand something simple and they go away…the better for the forum. Otherwise, guys that last played competitive sports in junior high will have to try too hard go that that awesome feeling of anonymous superiority.

    Forums aren’t holding down the popularity of e-sports vs real sports. Its apples vs oranges.

    Your top real sports are basically the same game played for decades. The vast majority of folks paying top $’s for game tickets don’t even play. They played as kids and just have never stopped watching. They went to games with their father/mothers and grandfathers and grandmothers.

    Thats simply not possible with esports. Every generation…hell…every week…its a new game. Thats what drives the industry that creates the games. Thus, by definition Esports will never have the generational appeal that real sports do.

    Now…if there is a ‘pong’ tournament I don’t know about….maybe I’m wrong. But I doubt it.

  16. I belive you are making an unfair comparision, team liquid is a website. If you go to a sports forum you will see people acting like assholes there as well. If you watch SC2 with a few friends or in a live venue, people won’t act like they do on the internet.

  17. I used to actually have a lot of friends tell me to STFU about football and basketball because I didn’t play in high school lol.

  18. As someone who started playing HoN and never played dota, I have worked up from about 1300 to 1700 rating, and I must say that the level of flaming in HoN dramatically drops off about the 1600 mark. You still get d*cks playing the game, but the frequency of flaming is much less and generally other players will tell a whiny player to STFU.

    The reason for this? Most high rated players played dota and are therefore older than the lower rated players. The community can’t grow up when the mean age is 17.

  19. the nfl doesn’t have the minor leagues it has practice squads nfl europe and semi pro dumbass. minor leagues are for baseball you fucking noob

  20. Because a lot of times people complaining about imbalances could instead be taking the time to actually improve their game or be asking for advice on how to do so.

    If you want your mother to hold your hand and tell you everything will be okay, just stick going against the computer or friends.

    If you want to be competitive, learn your craft and focus on playing the game instead of bending the game to your skill level.

    • What do you feel is the role of players who don’t want to be pros? Or people who aren’t players at all and just want to watch and talk about the game?

      I feel part of the issue is that the people who play the game competitively assume every other player is playing competitively (or should be). But back to sports, movies, etc… these are fields in which we don’t expect the average spectator is also an aspiring professional.

  21. I think one other major factor is simply the lifetime and exposure of any given video game. While some games may last 10+ years in the competitive scene, they are nowhere near the point that any televised sport is. Think about it – sports like soccer and baseball are timeless activities that just about everyone grows up with. You’re exposed to it at a young age, you and your family and friends can all relate to the sport and to one another while watching it. Sports like baseball and soccer have histories of well over 100 and in some cases even 1000s of years. Their fan base has time to grow, and since the sport is not going anywhere, the interest carries on through generations. Unfortunately, no video game can hope to come even close to that kind of timelessness in the near future. With regular advancements in technology, a lack of accessibility for a large portion of any game’s potential fan base (many people cannot afford a video game console or gaming pc) and the regular release of new video games which will inevitably eventually steal the interest of the majority of almost any game’s fan base, I doubt that it will be an easy task for esports to climb to anywhere near the level that sports have reached any time soon.

  22. I helped form a Roller Derby league here in my town, and one thing that’s important to learn first off is that a league is only as strong as it’s players. We’ve seen it happen with other leagues, you down other players in Roller Derby and you’re going to end up with people saying “Happy Trails” and starting their own league where there isn’t as much criticism and time and instruction to grow to be a better player. They’ll learn soon enough when there’s a site that doesn’t say “No Noobs” popping up with a nicer more approachable entrance.

  23. This is absolutely true. There has never been a heated argument over physical sports. Soccer riots absolutely never happen. They didn’t kill a guy in Colombia because of an owngoal. The North Korean teams don’t get sent to work camps after losses. You can easily walk into the Raider’s fanclub at your local sports bar after a major loss and explain why the Dolphins are the best team in the world. You can drive around Alabama, yelling “NASCAR sucks!” at the top of your lungs. People who like physical sports are just too civilized to ever be violent or opinionated.

  24. The problem is that people aren’t saying
    “That pass was amazing,”

    they are saying

    “That pass is imbalanced, the NFL should change the rules so passes like that result in a penalty. I know this because I always lose to passes like that when I play in the backyard with my friends.”

    And they are talking to Peyton Manning.

    • This comment absolutely nails it on the head. This article is a joke, and frankly it is so misleading as to make me question the author’s intentions.

      I have always been a Master League player (since it existed). The reason why people get flamed is not because they make opinionated statements about preferences such as “oh that player is amazing or oh that pass was incredible.”

      The reason many newbies are flamed is because they make and subsequently defend OBVIOUSLY and FACTUALLY INCORRECT statements. They make statements like “oh that was a fantastic pass” when in fact the play was an interception. They will say “shut up your strategy never works” when it was used to great success in the last 5 superbowls. They will say “that player is terrible at scoring and just camps at once side of the field” when he is a goalie. The list goes on and on and on. Try talking to your football friends about how imbalanced field goals are and then go on to explain/defend your position that a field goal occurs when a corked bat is used to hit the ball. That is the level on game-knowledge we are talking about.

      • You act however as if rules never change in professional sports, when in fact every major sport has seen a rules revision or a closely contested consideration of a rules revision in the past 8 years. And these are games with huge, old, rulebooks.

        Additionally as I pointed out it is about the tone of corrections, not the need for corrections.

      • The tone of corrections are directly proportional to the obviousness of the correction.

        Yes, rules change, but the point is that there are hundreds if not thousands of online sources of information about ANYTHING SC2. Yet you will still see time and time again people asking questions or proposing strategies/ideas that have been THOROUGHLY debunked dozens of other places.

        And, as others have said, you are not accounting for the medium. Forums for REAL sports can be equally as brutal to newbie or easily answered questions. Anonymous online forums are not even remotely comparable for any other topic in terms of politeness and comport, so why would you hold E-Sports to such a wildly different standard?

        Please give me an example of ANY ANONYMOUS ONLINE DISCUSSION FORUM on a controversial subject that is comparable to talking with your (sober) cousin in your backyard.

      • Perhaps it’s true that it’s simply a problem of the medium. In that case, I’d conjecture to say that e-sports must move to different media in the long run as the internet as a sole discussion area is largely untenable for the reasons you listed.

        Additionally, your point about previous discussions is largely unhelpful to a new player. You buy a game, you read the instruction manual, then you play and realize it wasn’t helpful at all. You go to a forum to ask a question, but you get flamed.

        Yes, you could read a 30 page guide someone wrote first, but what if it doesn’t answer your question? What if you google “what buildings should I make in Starcaft?” and the results are worthless because you didn’t know you should be typing in something about build orders instead?

        This also goes to a problem we see with new players to any genre. Some people go on Starcraft forums or Street Fighter forums and ask “What is the best unit?” or “What is the best fighter?” To an experienced player, this sounds stupid. But in many games, like some FPS or RPG games, there are established best guns, best weapons, best skills. So players asking this are not trying to be dumb; they’re trying to hit the ground running.

        Anyway, that’s a separate issue.

  25. “Did you see that pass? Manning is amazing! I can’t believe that play isn’t more popular at the 40.”

    What kind of analogy is this? The one you used about the novice suggesting queens be massive is a balancing suggestion, or there may be strat suggestions. Saying that something is a nice pass is not the same thing at all. If a novice player commented about NFL coaching strategies or that passing interference was a silly rule, he’d be told to hush up just the same.

  26. If you’re a noob like me, you should use forums like teamliquid as a source to get information from players who are better than you. I’ts not a pedestal for everyone to use because they want some attention. There are other noob friendly forums to use.

  27. This is the nature of actual sports as well. Charles Barkley in my opinion makes a better commentator than a person with a communications degree that played B Team Basketball back in Jr. High. Joe Rogan makes a good commentator because he actively practices BJJ. I want my commentator to be knowledgeable and articulate not some random blogger that is trying to jump on a bandwagon.

  28. You should check out Heroes of Newerth; arguably the highest amount of elitist nerd rage on the planet is formed there!

  29. I can’t help but feel like a lot of this comes from the fact that the discussion is primarily on the internet, as well where people are anonymous. Not sure if ESPN has forums or anything like that but I’m willing to bet things get a bit more intense there.

    • ESPN definitely has forums and discussion boards. It is nothing but name calling and “My team is the best, all others are crap” talk.

      You are right, the safety the internet gives us makes us all assholes.

  30. Hmmm. While I agree that there needs to be a shift to make it easier for new players/observers to enter the community, I think we should remember that there is a reason a lot of sites don’t take well to players without some background in a game.

    People on major SC community sites (ESPECIALLY TeamLiquid) expect users to have at least a basic grasp of major concepts in the game. Take, for example, your “Queens should be massive” bit. To pretty much anyone silver league and up (and most bronze) it’s obvious that this is a terrible idea. While it would solve 1 issue (Force Fields) it would invalidate Queens against Void Rays, the only early game anti-air that Zerg has (due to the fact that Void Rays deal 20% more damage to massive targets). Suggesting something like that on a site where they consider those kind of statistics to be common knowledge is just a terrible idea.

    It’s not that these communities are intolerant of people without a Masters level ranking, it’s that the communities in question are sites with a dedicated fan base that takes the game seriously and expect fellow posters to be the same. There exist high-profile sites that welcome new users (reddit.com/r/starcraft is a perfect example), but to assume you can go into a well established high-level starcraft community and start making uneducated statements about how you think the game should be without being griefed is like assuming you can walk into a Catholic church and telling everyone that you think that God should be nerfed because he has too many powers.

    Are there issues with how Team Liquid and similar sites do things? Sure, but there is a serious issue with fights that break out between fans of sports teams too over smaller stuff.

      • WINGSPANTT,

        I think it is very good that you are taking the time to read and seriously reply to some readers’ comments but in this case it seems that you are trolling a well thought out and serious post?

        If you are actually serious (I am very, very surprised if you are), have you taken a few seconds to consider whether protoss would even need to build phoenixes at all if queens were weak against void rays? Have you proven with certainty that making forcefield completely unusable for offense against zerg (it wouldn’t just affect ramps) is fair to protoss?

        Almost any change to SC2 requires millions of calculations in multiple spreadsheets and have to take into account all possible builds for all possible race matchups. Even if the result is sometimes relatively straightforward (not a 0.356 change to acceleration or 1.242 second build time change) it is essentially never as easy as you are proposing.

      • No, I’m not trolling. In fact, I’m doing exactly what you are doing, which was trying to see if the person wanted to consider the ramifications of the change for longer than a few seconds.

        Phoenixes would remain more cost effective and faster than VRs for scouting, Drone harassment, and Overlord hunting. Cost for cost, Queens would still beat Void Rays, so showing up with VRs in an attempt to kill Queens, Drones, and Ovvies could be a large gamble.

        I understand there are a lot of considerations. Isn’t that what the PTR is for? If I suggested that Archons be made massive two months ago (and I have seen others suggest it a long time ago), that comment would have probably been laughed at. I’m not saying LOL JUST DO IT BLIZZARD, the point is testing, discussion, consideration.

  31. I’m helpful to the newbs when it’s beneficial for me, like if they are my friends and I want to keep playing with them. I admit to being worse than rude to noobs when it’s not. Dota, it truly IS important that noobs gtfo, a noob can ruin the game easily. There are special ‘noob’ areas for people to learn games, just like there are league areas to keep em out.

    Other than that, trash talking is acceptable IMO, it’s a fun right we winners earn :P
    It also spurs on higher levels of competitive gameplay keeping future rounds spicy.

    glhf

  32. I think some people just enjoy being eliteist from time to time. It’s certainly not just when it comes to videogames since if you look into any hobby or interest you will find people who know a hell of a lot (or just think they do) and their way of letting you know that they know more than you is to talk to you like a cock. It makes you feel bad, which in turn makes them feel good.

    More often than not these people aren’t at the top of their field but they sure as hell wish they were. Unfortunatly the mistake some people make is they think that when they are better than someone at something that makes them a better person, they forget that most of the time there are people out there that would school them three times over.

    Every now and again one of these people really is the top of their game and is still an eliteist dick (take Michael Schumacher in his glory days) but then they have probably earned that right and quite frankly their behavior can be easily ignored.

    At the end of the day whilst it is probably annoying answering silly questions and pointing out the obvious to those who are new to your hobby or sport or even to those who aren’t new but just don’t seem to get it, it’s important to remember that you love whatever it is you do and you want others to love it too. You want to discuss it with people and possibly even dominate them on a public stage. If you don’t then why the hell are you posting stuff on the net in the first place?

    As my old coach said: Do your talking on the field.

  33. I don’t know much about competitive gaming, but in the fighting game community, the true top tier players are always happy to help out with constructive criticism and advice whenever a newer player has a question, I think the wholly negative impression that this author seems to have is that those sites, GameFAQS in particular, are populated by 13 year olds (or manchildren) who are all to willing to degrade newer players just because they’ve read a couple of guides. Contrast with sites like shoryuken.com which have much friendlier and more helpful userbases…for the most part. (theres always the one troll for every players)

    • As I posted above, the author (whether intentional or not) is completely misleading in this article. The article is conflating people that make comments or ask questions about OPINIONS vs. FACTS.

      As a Master League player with quite a lot of experience in helpfully educating AND shutting down newbies, I find the presumption that because I don’t tolerate 100% falsehoods I must be a 13 year old twit hugely insulting (not to mention outrageously false).

      It is like saying it is “elitist” for you to tell someone 2+2=4 when they vehemently argue that it is in fact 17.232 (yes this is all base 10 and not some stupid ring etc. etc.). People will claim that ultralisks counter void rays and then admit “well I’ve never actually MADE an ultralisk or SEEN a voidray”. Or they will say “DUH, void rays, those tier 1 terran units!”.

      It is like saying “Basketball nets are retarded, how are you supposed to kick something through that?” and then refusing to look at or acknowledge 15 links in your thread pointing to official NBA rules about how nets are actually used or replays from actual NBA games.

      It’s like saying “Counting football distance in yards is imbalanced, inches or nanometers would make it more fair”.

      It’s like saying “Jumping in tennis is totally rigged. You should only be able to jump if you are a midget by American Medical Association standards. Don’t bother replying to this thread if you are one of those pompous physicians or tennis players though.”

      These are the kinds of comments that get flamed.

      • Obviously some people will just flame because they are rude, but that is true of anything and not just E-sports.

        That being said, you say “people…on SRK” which immediately indicates that multiple people have asked the same question on the same forum. Doesn’t this already partially answer your question?

        The second half of the answer to your question is that if those people googled the phrase “what is frame advantage” they would immediately obtain a page-full of relevant discussions, definitions, and analysis of frame data and frame advantage.

        Are you saying that it is valid/appropriate to ask (and re-ask) questions which can be answered by a 3 second google search? If you are, I am afraid it is YOU who is not mainstream when it comes to Internet decorum.

      • Wow. Clearly, SRK’s post is bringing in a lot of OBVIOUS HATE from it’s users. How in the hell can you argue against an article asking for people to be nice for the sustainment of their own hobby?

        Arguing with the OP’s story by citing quibbles you all have with examples used is EXACTLY what this story is talking about. And that’s what bother’s me the most about SRK and ALL the other competitive sites. The majority are trolls who can’t read, get offended when you fight back and have opinions that are so clearly elitist you can’t believe that they personally believe that and aren’t just pressured to fit in by repeating some idiotic five-year-old opinion of Combofiend or whatever pro player they want the respect of.

      • That doesn’t give you the right to outright insult people for asking questions. The examples you pose are ridiculously off-topic and have absolutely no relevance to the discussion at hand. You are comparing questions about obscure video game topics/strategies that a relatively small number of people understand, to sports BS that are blatantly wrong, and make absolutely no sense.

        You are obviously someone that this article was intended for seeing as how you are offended by it, and how you vehemently defend the act of treating the lesser informed/practiced players like second class citizens, and morons, and then compare their questions to…….i honestly don’t even know what to call the examples you made because they are so fucking stupid, and make absolutely no sense.

        You, and everyone like you need to understand that people who are new to a game, or struggling against other players, do not deserve to be treated like total shit. They are human beings, and there was a point where everyone was new, and everyone was learning, regardless of how good you currently are.

        Just the fact that you are comparing uninformed/new players questions about video games, to outright stupid nonsensical questions about common knowledge basic sports facts is insane on your part.

      • “You, and everyone like you need to understand that people who are new to a game, or struggling against other players, do not deserve to be treated like total shit. They are human beings, and there was a point where everyone was new, and everyone was learning, regardless of how good you currently are. ”

        First of all, I never advocated treating anyone poorly. I never made any assumptions or statements about peoples’ intellect or character. You are very quick to leap to unsupported conclusions.

        The problem is, in fact, your apparent interpretation that refusing to correct every individual in a detailed and customized response is an insult. It is actually insulting to the people you ask if you waste their time asking a question that can be TRIVIALLY answered by doing some BASIC googling or research, or sitting and thinking for about 5 seconds.

        I was not always great at Starcraft 2, but I never asked people to explain to me things that are literally spelled out in the game’s help or in-game tutorial.

        “Just the fact that you are comparing uninformed/new players questions about video games, to outright stupid nonsensical questions about common knowledge basic sports facts is insane on your part.”

        What are the rules of cricket? Do you know the top players of Ping Pong? You are making an extremely ignorant assumption that somehow all sports knowledge is “common” and standard issue to all people whereas ANYTHING pertaining to videogames is by definition some super-obscure difficult concept that defies basic reading and research.

        You say my analogies are “insane,” but you provide no alternatives so that I can only conclude that you agree with the article as written. The article as written compares a statement in sports about appreciation and subjective quality with a statement about fundamental game mechanics.

        If you think that saying “that was a great pass” in a sport is comparable to saying “wouldn’t it be great if a fundamental game mechanic was completely changed, altering the balance of all matchups and probably breaking the game” then clearly there is no way we can have an educated discussion about this topic. This is not me being ad hominem, but I am afraid it is a simple fact.

    • I’ll agree with this, a very large portion of the fighting game community (probably upwards of 95%) is very tolerant to new, and lesser skilled players. I would have to think this is a product of local tournaments being held all over the place, constantly, and the major tournaments being very accessible to everyone. This human on human contact while still involving a competitive video game environment causes people to treat others with civility, the way you would if they were right next to you asking questions.

      It’s amazing what an FPS can do to a person when they get a large number of kills over death ratio, playing against people they will never deal with in the real world, compared with a fighting game where you can very easily meet, and play with many other people who you’d never meet otherwise. It creates some kind of god complex when they never have real life connections. Very interesting from an anthropological perspective, but very sad, and frankly, outright embarassing from a gamer perspective :(

      On a related note, I have begun linking this article everywhere I see comments about “owning noobs”, etc. In fact, the first comment I read on IGN, on an article about the PSN coming back up was by some guy saying the first thing he was going to do was crack a beer, hop on KZ3, and own noobies. This bothered me because he’s old enough to drink, but not nearly mature enough.

      • In my personal experience, you are wrong. If you know them personally, are with a friend of a friend in the scene; live in an area with a scene; or any other in – then yes, fighting game community is tolerant.

        Go online and ask a question, a REAL question. Or even better, an idea or suggestion, watch the trolls feed.

        I agree with the rest of your post on the other scenes but your opinion on FGC standards is either un-informed or a blantant PR cover up for anyone reading this not from the FGC.

      • I don’t think he is at all. Things get more hostile the smaller the community is, but on large sites like GameFAQs people are generally pretty nice provided you can spell, ask nicely, and say that you’re new. People ask “who are the best characters” on the MvC3 board all the time and usually end up with a straight answer. There are some places like dustloop where you can get banned outright for asking that, though. SRK is kind of in the middle. It really depends on where you go.

  34. Being a zerg, a race known for QQing the most, I have to admit I complain alot about balance. Im top top platinum and hopefully will soon be promoted to diamond and that just shows from bronze to platinum to even comp players like Idra alot of people feel zerg is in need of tweaking. But even with a whole race complainning about balance the typical response from my opponents is that I apparently have no right to complain until I’m masters. It is really frustrating sometimes…

  35. What, that’s not the case at all. E-sports aren’t mainstream popular because you need a decent knowledge of the game to know wtf is even going on, not because people are jerks. You show grandpa an amazing play from like Starcraft and he won’t know what is even happening, all he sees is a bunch of colors flying around on a screen.
    Whereas with actual sports you don’t even need to know or understand the game to see an amazing play. Someone hitting a home run, getting an amazing dunk, or someone getting smashed in football are amazing sights and you don’t even need to know the rules of the game to appreciate those.
    Yeah someone being a jerk in forums might deter people from going into competitive gaming, but that’s not really the reason at all that they’re not mainstream.

    • To be fair I think that’s only true because most of us are raised with cultural knowledge of the basic rules of these games. When I see a clip of Rugby or Polo I have no clue what’s going on. I’m sure most people can’t appreciate Formula 1 or NASCAR if they don’t understand anything about driving strategies. It’s just impossible to grow up in the USA and not know the basic rules of football, baseball, and basketball.

  36. I’m not sure about that, I have family in other parts of the world who don’t know anything about American Football but if I show them some brutal hits they will still appreciate that aspect of the game. Same for me with rugby, I don’t know anything about that game except it’s similar to football but I can still go and watch some youtube videos of great rugby plays and it would still seem fairly impressive to me.
    For NASCAR it’s quite a bit different since there’s not really a really remarkable “game” changing play or anything you can do to put on a highlight reel besides crashes, thus a lot of people find it boring. Even if you don’t know the basic rules of a game, just seeing a human being doing a physically demanding feat is aspiring, the same can’t be said for video games since you would need to know the mechanics of the game to appreciate it.

    • Actually I would say it most definitely does, especcially outside of the states where players aren’t picked from their college sports teams. In the UK you can be ridiculous at football and play throughout your childhood and never get scouted because the few times you were around scouts you might not have had the chance to do anything spectacular or you might have just had a bad day.

    • Wow dude, chill out. I didn’t mean it only takes luck. I meant you can be the best QB or whatever but if a scout doesn’t find you or you don’t get into a decent university you aren’t going to the NFL. Those aspects are luck to a certain extent.

      By comparison if you’re ridiculously good at Street Fighter and you are #1 on the world’s ladder people will know who you are. You don’t need to be scouted, your grades, school, state don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if your dad was a coach or not. In e-sports if you’re good your rank and/or tourney stats will prove it. In regular sports you could be the best in the world but if you were born in some village in China nobody ever heard of, you will probably not be a star. That’s all I meant.

      • Also, if you read Freakonomics, there’s a lengthy article about how birth month affects NHL pros. Some ridiculous number of pros were born in a certain month and were likely given an advantage by being older/larger than their cohorts as result.

      • Genetics = luck as well.

        You can damn well bet that many players put just as much time and dedication into the NBA as Kobe Bryant, but the dude is just built to play basketball.

  37. srsly why shouldn’t you be flamed when someone come up with the example you made“Geez, wouldn’t it be cool if Queens were massive units to counter Forcefields?”? If you got low-mid game knowledge you should really just stfu, cause all thing these bronze-diamond people come up with is most of the time just retarded and would destroyed the game for the competitive.

    SCRUBS destroyed World of Warcraft for example cause they are so fucking bad at things. NUFF SAID.

    • I agree with you .. mediocre players can’t decide what is good about the game and what should change because they don’t know enough about the game to be able to tell in the first place. Considering that most forums are full of such uneducated whiners who don’t know shit about anything it’s hard to be surprised by the negative responses they get from more experienced players.

      • Trolls be trolling. You say some action is negative you can guarantee someone’s gonna come out from under their bridge in the comment section and say/do exactly that. However this can’t be taken at face value the same way you wouldn’t take a KKK member’s advice on how to deal with the troubles of a development of mostly ethnic cultures.

  38. You are right, but steam powered forums and gamefaqs are terrible examples… according to gamefaqs venom is top tier in mvc2.

    What can we do when companies that run competitive games such as S2 games openly encourages and rewards trolling and bad mannered play. What can we do when stupid shit like rearranging brackets or giving players a yellow card for picking phoenix on point at tournaments like power up 2011. Don’t kid yourself, the community is what needs change last, the organizers and people who run tournaments are first at fault and need to be fixed.

    Let’s also not compare the numerous sports related murders and violent crimes compared to those in e-sports. Your argument holds no value.

    The popularity has nothing to do with the community, more so people who write articles that do nothing but blame others cause you got trolled a few times…

    • I dont see how choosing Ken in street fighter makes you an instant Noob. There are people that learn and play Ken at a great level.

      To win with Ken is kind of like Ryu. You need really good understanding and fundamentals, while mixing in some tricks (karathrow) here and there. Lots of people know Ken. So if you lose, you either 1) didn’t expect the scrub ken to wakeup Shoryuken on wake up _ALL_ the time, or 2) you just got outplayed.

    • Every now and again bad play (button mashing etc) will win you a game or two even against a top tier opponent. The difference is that a truly good player at any game will easily beat people that employ tactics because he or she will simply use their vast knowledge and skill to find a way around it.

      If all it takes to beat you is for a total novice to pick Ken and hit buttons randomly then perhaps you need to work on your game?

  39. Haters gonna hate, if you don’t like it get off the internet. Or at least just ignore random user comments. Most of the garbage is being sprouted from mid-tier players who want everyone to believe they’re top tier.

    This kind of behavior isn’t reserved for video games either. Go to the rapid response post of the top story on ESPN.com right now: http://espn.go.com/blog/ChicagoBulls/post/_/id/5035/rapid-reaction-bulls-103-heat-82 Didn’t take more than reading the second comment to run in to a troll named “BigE.LUC”

    It’s also worth noting that sports in general is not exclusive to trolling. FoxNews.com is well known to be a troll cesspool: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/15/ny-police-question-imf-head-hotel-sex-assault-case/#comment

    Asking for trolls to stop trolling is like asking for Capcom to remanufacture an original Super Turbo cabinet; it’s just never going to happen.

  40. While your argument is partially correct it is flawed on some levels. One flaw is that nobody is nice on the internet and if you think that gamefaqs forums are a good source to learn about fighters you are sadly mistaken. Go to SRK (the actual fighting game forum) and you can find videos and guides as well as help. Anyway back to the internet, If you take a bunch of people from a forum and throw them into an arcade with other people there probably is not going to be a fight. Nerds don’t like to fight. You may bring up the Noel Brown incident but even then the guy in the leg brace was messing with his stuff/throwing him off in his match. You can’t blame the interactions of people online who don’t know each other with people who don’t know each other in the real world. On opening day 2 Dodgers fans beat a Giants fan into a coma. I don’t see Justin Wong smashing Daigo with a TE stick. The simple reason why Professional gaming/esports aren’t huge is because the majority of people play Halo, CoD, Gears, Madden (though that has Maddenation) and other easy to get good at games (Halo is a bit of an exception). It actually takes time to be really good at SF, or Starcraft 2, and other fighting game/Rts (don’t know what to say about other games) learning combos strategies and match-ups.

  41. This is 100% true, I’ve been commenting on this for over 10 years now, and I’m 30. For example,,, Most everyone new prefers the direction buttons to display moves, so shoryuken displayed in arrows instead of 623. But go to a soul calibur site like the old guard impact, or 8way run, or calibur forum, or a Blazblue/guilty gear site like dustloop and they will jump at you for even trying to mention that it would be easier to use arrows instead of numbers. Sure you can look at your keyboard, but it is an extra processing work, instead of the intuitive arrows that is immediately known.

    Here is another I remember posting on Vitruafighter.com. What is the point of having Akira’s knee being K+G then release G after 1 frame. it is a needlessly difficult move to do. What is the point of making a single move difficult. It is not like a combo that takes half your life, it is a basic move on the movelist. No basic moves should be difficult. When “noobs” try to do it and can’t, they get immediately frustrated.

    I remember bad responses afterwards, some saying “well maybe us competive people want a challenge” and get out of here you noob, even though I’ve been playing Virtua Fighters for a decade. I commented during the time when everyone wanted VF5:R to be released in the states, why Sega can’t sell VF in the states while other games and companies can. It was used just to show that, in say Street Fighter, No basic move that difficult. Yeah some link combos are, but basic moves aren’t.

    I was part of the TF community on TF2fort.com, I remember the days of squares vs. squigglies, and yes I remember similar arguments, but to defend Team fortress, the community was much more lenient on noobs, especially for non [] or {} tournaments or those saturday pub matches.

    In general like the guy said, There is a much greater acceptance of casuals in real life sports watching, than it is in the gaming community, and like someone else mentioned, the reason is because, most of the people involve here trully are 13-23 years of age, yeah there are plenty of older, especially as our gaming community continue to age and still play, but as we move to careers, there is a dwindling of our numbers, while the teen and early 20s age persist, and they simply don’t have the maturity yet.

    A final reason why it happens is due to the Internet Gansta syndrome. People can curse and be as rude as they want while they hide behind the anonymity of the internet. Go to a sports bar, have a descent sports argument with someone, and have that same response and see what happens to you. Plus, what chick would even want to approach that type of asshole.

  42. I don’t think this article hits the root of the issue. Most people (including fighting game tournament players) don’t talk like this in person. The real reason isn’t video gamers; it’s the goddamn Internet.

    Go to any insular online community, game-related or not, and you’re sure to get similar treatment if you’re not as knowledgeable enough to be elite. Look up John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/

  43. “A final reason why it happens is due to the Internet Gansta syndrome. People can curse and be as rude as they want while they hide behind the anonymity of the internet. Go to a sports bar, have a descent sports argument with someone, and have that same response and see what happens to you. Plus, what chick would even want to approach that type of asshole.”

    Exactly! Like here i can write and comment whatever i want. What will happen? My comment will be deleted, maybe in some forum my account will be blocked. Woa… whatever i can make a new one.

    What if i’m a soccer fan and go to a pub, talk trash about the other team? I may get beaten up.

    The good thing about internet is you have a little bit of anonymity. Most time you can say whatever you want without any bad consequences.
    The bad thing about internet is everyone else has it too ;) Well you know :)

  44. Just stating my response about this blog article.

    Yeah you do have a interesting point about competitive gaming and the idea of competitive players, and just for the record. I want to bring up about MVC3. First things first, not all gamers but ones that may encounter spam. I don’t care you have a ranking of 9999 Wins 7650 Losses, there is still no way you can’t still tell from a competitive gamer at all, hence understanding between online play vs offline play (tournaments, arcade, etc.)

    The same rules apply for Street Fighter 4, seriously; again… I wouldn’t even fail to care if you have a ryu, chun-li, Abel, Guile, a Green Hedgehog (blanka), Bison, any person you use. That would even have a 500,000BP + or a A Rank or above, you still can’t tell if the gamer you just played is a competitive one at all. Hence why we have tournaments for all popular game titles of where hobby stores and gaming companies host tournaments to have gamers show their skills.

    I would go about the other fighting games, and first person shooters but eventually the same rules apply. Yeah some people would say “that’s the only way” however it’s gonna eventually get the crowd bored and say =insert creative insults here=.

    If you want to have a competitive gamer, you gonna have to call them out.. Not the Noobs.

  45. Basically this is what needs to happen to alleviate this article. I noticed in one of the authors comments he made a good point that many pro players think everyone is trying to play at a pro level. Now one way to stop this is to have different forums. Heroes of Newerth (HoN) actually has a private forum that they only give access to players that play at the top level. This is more so that the developers can get feedback from the top % of the community but I feel it is a good way to seperate that community out. From watching top play of a lot of different genres it is clear that they are much more civil to eachother, but there are the occasional troll at top tier play. But this is no different from other sports, where you have players acting like idiots.

    When you’re talking about the internet you can’t take everything said into account because anyone can make an account on forums usually and just say whatever they feel like. If they’re having a bad day why not take it out on the noob posting on your favorite game’s balancing forums. So unless you’re exclusively talking about 100% known top tier players flaming new players I can’t say that trolls should be holding back the e-sport community.

  46. The community isn’t obligated to be nice to everyone. That’s a big problem new kids have, with this self-entitled attitude of “I’m new here, everyone be nice to me and teach me how to play”. There’s a huge wealth of resources at your disposal(tutorials, guides, match videos, FAQs, etc), more so than any other time in the fighting game community. When you ask dumb questions when you don’t take time to look at the study guide, you’re gonna get stupid answers.

  47. The main problem is you’re comparing apples to oranges in most of the article here. Citing the example of someone claiming how good a pass was is not the same as arguing over game balance.

    Sit in on conversations concerning the legality of referee video review in football or cite how many coaches get tossed out of basketball games for screaming at refs over a call.

    Vitriol is common in e-sports because people feel the need (in some cases a rightful need) to defend the balance of the game they’re playing. A game’s success hinges on the balance which is why starcraft 2′s changes come at a snails pace and starcraft 1 is still a popular game in many parts of the world even with a successor on the market.

    “lower tier” players get shot down because they often bring uninformed opinions to the table which, if taken seriously by the game creators, could destroy the playability of the game in question.

    Vitriol isn’t necessarily warranted in any arena but if you’re going to compare e-sports to live sports try to make actual valid comparisons. There’s as much hatred in actual sports when it comes down to discussing the rule changes.

  48. Here’s my proof of this article.

    Here is a post I made on SRK
    http://shoryuken.com/f2/petition-combo-channel-sfxt-272727/

    Notice how even the tags were changed, proving that even the site’s moderator’s are elitist dicks.

    Here’s that same post on Eventhubs
    http://forums.eventhubs.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6704

    SRK’s filled with many a bad egg but for the few that no how to talk to another person, I thank you. I should also mention I took out a few of these guys on a livestream the other day with my Hakan, further proof that those with the loudest mouth are the usually covering up for something, in this case skill.

  49. This is similar to my previous post, but it needs to be said.

    For everyone siting ‘the Internet’ as proof that everybody’s rude on it, go to eventhubs.com where, despite fighting game fans being some of the most immature people I’ve ever had to deal with, this site is remarkably optimistic and helpful, especially in the forums.

  50. I come from Singapore, and am pretty good with both Street Fighter and Starcraft (no need for me to convince you to believe that though). But as for me, and a few other people I know of, the community turns us off so much that we refuse to compete or even mingle.

    On an average day at the videogame arcade, you get staring matches, middle finger pointing, people walking up to pick fights/start arguments, or jeer if you aren’t ‘one-of-them’. And recently we just had someone smash a cabinet’s screen.

    I’d rather be physically safe and be emotionally at ease than to put up with barbarians all day when I’m simply trying to play videogames.

  51. Well, coming from someone who is not a pro player, but thinks that knows at least more than the general public about certain games, I would like to say how I feel. When a newbie comes along and asks a question, I answer it, when 50 newbies come by with the same question it gets rather annoying, and when 50 newbies come, ask the same question and all this when there are many “learn the basics of” and “tutorials of” forums/websites/threads/videos concerning said subject, it really pisses me off, the answer is out there, you just need to search it, but search it, don’t just leave the question so the world comes and answers it for you, more than lack of tolerance, is mostly a lack of patience.

    Also, it is true, every now and then I hear people complaining about how newbies are the cause that newer games are more “noob friendly”, and it is true, but that doesn’t mean that people at a “pro” level will complain, most of the time they might get mad at a very beginning, but they will adapt eventually (if anyone saw how MVC3 evolve throughout all its development process, you will understand in a clearer manner). This kind of comments usually come from people who are above the casual, a

    Other point I want to rise is the fact that all these scenario we are talking of is the internet, people must be concerned that the fact that one is anonymous in the internet opens the possibility of saying whatever you want to whoever you want regardless how rude, racist, discriminatory, or offensive that is. And this is not something that is only seen on online videogames, so pointing it out as if this problem is exclusive of them is just unfair (even though it is still not right), further more, regular sport suffers of this very problem as well, just to a lesser extent.

    One last thing, people must know the environment of the gaming community, it is rather aggressive by nature, but that is how most competitive scenarios really are, the people who are part of it can deal with it, and if one who is eager to be part of this scenario cannot handle its environment, then just don’t join it, I don’t like the environment in which American Football is develop, so I don’t join it, if I want to know something really basic about said sport, I don’t go ask a player about it (meaning that I don’t ask people who expect questions of higher depth), there are many places for those who lack the knowledge where we can search, there’s no need of asking about basics in a place where what one is waiting for is a higher level of experience players asking about higher level experienced questions.

  52. I remember trying to play DotA for fun with a cousin who introduced me, and then giving it a shot online to see what the atmosphere is like. Now, I’m not bad at SF3 Third Strike, but DotA is a completely different beast to me. In the first five minutes, I was asked to leave. That happened about a couple more times, and I was done with the game. Yea, it was fun, but do I really need the ridicule? I mean I don’t even remember the number of acronyms they used, so I can’t repeat here. But, suffice to say I was turned off and wondered why anyone would spend time playing DotA to get good and be just like one of the them. All the negativity really hurts it’s appeal.

    I remember when the NBA used to be known for all the “thugs.” Then, slowly you see NBA Cares and all this stuff to promote a more positive image for the sport. All in all I would say it has worked. Gaming on the other hand has a long way to go because you can’t even see who you’re playing. So, they think they have the veil to be rude. I don’t think removing the veil will completely get rid of rude people, but I think it would be a tremendous start.

    Anyways, just my two cents.

  53. You also have to take into account that you’re dealing with distilled asshole. Of the 35000 people who are watching some game stream, most of those actively sought out that particular content. So of course you’re going to run into people who are extremely ‘into’ whatever it is that’s being watched. It’s elitist by default because there aren’t enough casual fans to tip the scales the other way. The elitist asshole contingent will always be part of the audience and until these games start pulling in vastly larger numbers of viewers that asshole contingent will be the loudest one as well.

  54. Nice post. There’s lots of potential with eSports and attitude is indeed important. Helping eSports become more mainstream will attract more people and more sponsorships, which in the end means more money for players.

  55. [...] Future of eSports I stumbled upon an interesting article posted by Top Tier Tactics entitled The real reason e-sports can’t go mainstream anytime soon. In this article they highlight some of the reasons they believe eSports is not ready for prime [...]

  56. The problem isnt that people dont want to help out newer player (even though there are some aholes in the forums) the problem is that most newer players dont ask the proper questions and usually complain.

    For example, “Ryu is really hard to beat, they should nerf him.” This is something that you hear alot from newer players instead of “Ryu is hard to beat, what should I do against him?”

    This is why there is a negative connotation towards newer players. Most newer players dont take it as serious as someone like me and start complaining about the game instead of trying to get better. Of course I can only speak for the fighting game community.

  57. Perhaps the sense of anonymity playing online gives influences people to forget they are talking to human beings, not garbage.

  58. I actually disagree with this article. While it is true that forums have a lot of negativity towards newbies, I don’t believe that it’s inhibiting the growth of the e-sports scene. (The fact that this article was written because e-sports is growing so large is evidence of just that.) And, although the exact same conversation may not happen on an Internet forum as it would happen in a sports bar, there are disagreements between sports fans ALL the time. I would argue that there are actually more arguments between sports fans than between gamers, and that they are more intense. (Try walking through certain parts of Oakland wearing KC Chiefs’ gear and see what happens; the chances of such things happening to someone wearing an EG J-Wong shirt are astronomically low, no matter where it gets worn.)

    I do think a lot of arguing on forums is the result of the top 2% being able to mingle–and actually WANTING to–and discuss with less-experienced players. You simply don’t have that kind of exposure as a professional sports, mainly because the athlete has no reason to do so. Because of this, I honestly don’t think you’ll ever get rid of certain negativity. More importantly, from my many years in the competitive fighting game community, the vast majority of regional match-making threads have players that are more than willing to help out new players. It’s the trolls that occupy the strategy threads (the ones who simply want to argue) that pose the biggest problem.

    For those who read this article, never fear: Even if every player on every board became a complete jackass, the scene would just keep growing. Thank you Marketing divisions.

  59. The biggest part of the flaming seems to come to post about BALANCE.

    This is the part whre newbies should be flamed for. If U haven’t mastered most of the game u shouldn’t discuss about balance.

  60. How do I move that liney part that goes pewpewpew in team fortress 2?
    Wouldn’t it be cool if the backburner did crits no matter where it hit? That’d finally make it not underpowered.
    Also if the heavy could move faster. That’d make him good against anklets. Like faster than a scout.

    • Thanks for your original comment, but you should be aware I can see your IP address, so making comments as replies to yourself isn’t particularly interesting. Also, everyone can see your auto-generated avatar, making it more obvious you are the same person.

  61. ….is this supposed to be ironic?

    Either way if there is a way to lock this then I think now might be the time.

  62. Teamliquid is an elitist site aimed toward a higher caliber of player. It’s not that lower level players don’t have a point but a bronze player talking about 6 pools being overpowered is in the wrong place, there are just too many people that have no clue about the game constantly posting wrong information. Just follow the forum rules and unless you are capable of high level play and willing to write well thought out discussions its wise to not post in the strategy section.

    Teamliquid is actually quite a friendly community even towards helping new players, it’s just the small amount of flamers/trolls get most of the attention, but that is the problem of the internet. Any game that has some form of competitive multiplayer will have a handful of hostile people on the forum, they should always be ignored.

    And never has there been resources available for newbie to get a better understanding about the game and/or to become a better player. Day9, using the teamliquid search button, youtube tutorials, liquipedia, reddit, wellplayed.org and so much more are available.

  63. I think in most cases, the aggression from higher tier players comes from the less experienced ones trying to change the game according to their opinions instead of learning how to cope with it. This is mainly limited to the “casual” players who dont want to invest time into learning the counterplay gimmicks, but feel entitled to be able to play on equal ground. As far as ordinary discussion goes, I feel like a lot of the negativity comes from frustration. You know when you argue with a player below your own skill level, who then clings onto his own opinion, because he perhaps lacks the deeper understanding of the game and thus doesnt understand the correct facts the better player provides.

  64. Stumbled upon this article through google, comments are almost better than the article itself.

    I think one of the reasons it is tough to break e sport into the mainstream is because what is considered talent and skill in e sport are not the same talent and skill in traditional spectator sports.

    When I see an outfielder go up a wall and steal a home run, or see a running back break a tackle at the line, and plow through the secondary, or see a goalie go post to post for a big save in hockey, I am impressed and amazed at the athleticism, and talent of those players. They do extraordinary things, you see new plays, new ideas, things you’d never thought you’d see, or never even imagined.

    In e sports, talent is much different. It lies in the ability to best manipulate a set of rules or gameplay. Who can counter quickest, who shoots fastest, but the outcomes don’t rely on individual talent. Everyone punches with the same force, has the same form, and techniques. Every player who throws a punch as Ryu, throws the very same punch. There isn’t the awe in the human ability. Every one can throw a 95 MPH fastball in a baseball video game, but in real life it’s the small individual differences that impress, where that little movement on that fastball make all the difference. Lets not forget that there aren’t surprises, no improving, nothing new. Everyone has the same tool set, and it is static. You may see impressive performances, but they are all done with the same limited moves/plays/game play choices.

    Ultimately, that’s why spectator sports survive, and thrive. Every week, every game, every play has the potential for something new and exciting. Something you’ve never seen before, doing something you never thought possible. Youtube Roberto Carlos impossible goal, a soccer goal that is nearly mathematically impossible, or watch Mario Lemieux blow past Ray Borque, those types of plays that make spectator sports what they are, and why e sports will struggle to make it mainstream, because there isn’t the awe factor.

      • Poker would be a good parallel I think. The surprising thing for me that is that E-sports aren’t more popular than they are. The possibility of becoming great at a game, far exceeds real sport, and it is more accessible. So you’d thing more people would gravitate towards e-sports.

        A few of the other things holding e-sports back, is the mainstream’s view, albeit a diminishing one, that gaming is a silly time waster for kids and geeks, despite it being to most popular hobby in North America. Many non gamers don’t realize the time and effort players put into planning, practicing or their respective communities.

        It’s kinda like pot. Despite it being the biggest cash crop in North America(as video games are in the entertainment industry), it is still marginalized, nor taken seriously.

      • So basically the more accessible a game is, the more popular it will be to watch? This means that professional coin flipping should be the ultimate spectator sport.

        Any game of skill has the exact same limitations. Most worthwhile video games have exactly the same potential for mind-blowing displays of skill.

        The real things holding back e-sports are investment costs and the fickle, unreliable nature of all entertainment industries. Any fledgling spectator sport has to be prepared to lose money for many years before it catches on. Pro sports are littered with the ashes of failed leagues and failed teams, even in sports with a proven track record of attracting fans.

  65. the attitude isn’t going to change, its a part of what it is
    esports won’t go mainstream, it will occur the other way around

  66. I don’t know why you’d rag on teamliquid, it’s really nice unless you do something pretty dumb that is unanimously thought as dumb (or Idra comments on it, but he got banned lolololol). I think I only got ragged on once but that was because I had no idea what I was talking about. It’s an elitist site for a reason. It’s where many progamers go to discuss. If you’re not at that level, have fun spectating and saying that “oh, that was a good read!” until you are. There are other forums for lower leagues. It’s not a bad thing, just think of it as charity that they decide not to make it private. No problem ever occurs until a 13 year old kid tells a progamer he doesn’t know how to play, then shit happens on that site.

  67. That’s not exclusively a problem of StarCraft players community – or even any other gaming community, at that point – it’s rather a specific problem of ANY online community. If you take a look at a forum where Photoshop users are handing (just for example), you’ll see the same thing – someone new comes and asks something and shit is being thrown at him five seconds later. Everyone in this forum are pros, so n00bs have to STFU and RTFM (c). Take a look at ANY other online community and you’ll see the same, more or less.
    That’s because if you act like a total asshat in real life, you risk to call for someone to beat the shit out of you – but if you do it in the Internets, nothing bad is going to happen. Many people are just sick, or compensating for their low self-esteem by bullying others into submission (and thus rising themselves over other people), or they are just asshats and trolls, and as long as they believe in anonymity nothing is gonna change here.

  68. lol, whoever wrote that has never actually played competitive sports of ANY kind.

    Every competitive activity has this attitude of superiority, that attitude of superiority is the exact motivation for playing in the first place!

    This dude just doesn’t get it. Competition isn’t meant to be nice, sportsmanship is a great idea in theory but it just isn’t very commonplace in the real world. You have any idea how many borderline brawls I’ve seen break out down at the YMCA basketball court? The only reason its somewhat more blatant in e-sports is because the amateur action takes place over the anonymous forum of the internet.

    To say that e-sports won’t go mainstream because of this attitude just sounds like plain whining. There are some legit reasons why e-sports is still a ways off from peak prominence but this definitely is not one of them.

    • Also, there’s a fundamental difference between new players learning how to play Sports and players learning to play say, Starcraft.

      New players learning sports know that they are bad, and accept it and internalize it. When they lose, they don’t blame it on some flaw in the game that favors their opponent. The players that whine about game balance on forums are bad losers, simple as that and they wouldn’t be accepted in ANY competitive sport. Can you imagine what some of these guys would sound like complaining about plays to Referees in real games? It would never fly and no one would ever play with them.

      At the original article writer. I changed my mind, I agree with your overall sentiment, the community DOES need to change, but not in the way you think it should. People that lose need to get over themselves and learn to stop blaming their losses on flaws in the game. Once they do that, the overall defensiveness of top tier players will come down a bit.

    • I don’t think you grasped part of my basic point, which is that many people going forward will be more akin to basketball spectators than to basketball players.

      Nobody expects the spectators to be good.

  69. [...] to somehow inversely proportional to player attitudes. Jon Tran at Top Tier Tactics put together an awesome piece about the effect player attitudes is having not only on competitive gaming but on the …. It is absolutely worth the read, but the basic gist is this: competitive gaming has a mainstream [...]

  70. Yes the hardcore sports community is so nice and loving. All those jocks in high school were so nice and the elitists on sports forums give nothing but kindhearted constructive criticism to each other.

    Every community has assholes. Personally, every single person I’ve ever talked e-sports with in real life has been a scholar and a gentleman.

  71. I think the problem is that there isn’t enough separation of pro communities and fan communities. Imagine that the NBA Players Union meetings were open to the public and everyone had an equal voice.

    Do you think they would be fine with every conversation being dominated by baddies saying things like “we should push for them to lower the height on the hoop because I can’t even touch the rim” or “NBA needs to switch to half-court because I almost pass out running back and forth all game” ? I’m sure all your dreaded STFU noob you suck comments would be heard all over the place.

  72. damn fucking straight! All these fucking ‘pros’ need to get off their high fucking horses and calm the fuck down.

    Playing a game and Watching a game are two different things. A noob who fails while he plays can still have a eye for good and bad plays. Gaming is HARD…. but watching is easy, and fun!

  73. [...] The real reason e-sports can’t go mainstream anytime soon Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "0"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "sports"); LD_AddSlot("wpcom_below_post"); LD_GetBids(); Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  74. Forums is a medium for (ideally) thoughtful discussion, not accumulating knowledge. More often than not ppl there somehow think otherwise. A good practice in moderating a forum is to regularly remove old topics. If you want to accumulate knowledge, use wikis.
    The other reason is a widespread problem with internet resources, local mafia — a bunch of ppl who spend there way too much time and have their social circle there, a community following no purpose. If ppl check the forum regularly and participate in meaningful discussions, that’s good. If ppl establish social connections there which are kept in the context of the forum and exist on the basis of the forum, that’s bad. Such ppl should be immediately GTFOd to Facebook imo.
    If forum was the first web2.0 medium, it doesn’t mean it is the only one.

  75. Exactly. I am just terrible at playing Starcraft 2, although I do get a decent play when I am against an AI, it’s just nervosity issues when against real players.

    However, due to watching MUCH Starcraft, I know most builds by heart, often before the caster spots them, and have somewhat accurate predictions about how it will turn out in the end. Of course, given the player is a complete not-pro and doesn’t transition, because one build is always superior to the other. Excluding double mass baneling due to insufficient scouting and expecting mass ling. That was a hilarious replay, which I sadly have lost.

  76. I have been surfing online greater than three hours as of late, but I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the net will probably be much more useful than ever before.

  77. Dear sensitive candy-ass.

    What’s next, you want people online to stop saying “faggot”, “nigger” and “gay”?

    Don’t get discouraged, read on.

    Baseball players are taking steroids,
    hooligans are fighting each bloody other after soccer matches,
    Hockey is violent by the rules,
    basketball players are involved involved in rape scandals on a bi-monthly basis.
    Sometimes commentators of these sports say controversial racist things live, their managers and trainers are involved in money embezzlement.
    Match fixing, threats, suicide, pedophilia stalk around every sport at all professional levels, and it’s been like that since ancient times. Literally.

    What you expect of the 2012 e-sport scene is unrealistic and romantic at best.
    Do yourself a favor and try to look at things from a logical and reasonable viewpoint as a thought-exercise, even if you don’t agree with what you see, I think this would be very healthy for your peace of mind.

    Thanks for the good read, I look forward to reading a more realistic and down to earth post by you in the future.

  78. I feel like this article misses the mark. I feel like the author’s main point is that the reason E-Sports won’t become mainstream is because of the community’s criticism of OTHERS in the community.

    But you find that in every single other competitive sport. Go to an online forum for football, and people will furiously rant that eaglesforlyfe is a “fuked up fagg who licks dick” for liking the Bears. Give any person a vent for something he feels passionately about and hatrid will spew.

    But never mind that, what fans talk about in starcraft is rarely the balance of the game. Sure, plenty of posts are about balance, but that’s because the posters really care that much about what to have to say. For every ranter, there’re 100 other viewers who talk about the Pros with friends, who rarely make posts.

  79. The writer of this blog is completely ignoring the context in which the comments are made.
    Though in his examples, he portrays the “gamer” comments versus the “sport spectator” and makes the point that the sports spectator would never say that, he is ignoring the avenue in which these comments are made. For most people who watch sports, the people they are discussing it with are usually in the room with them–so saying something that rude would be ridiculous, yet those “gamer” comments are made with the anonymous shield of the internet, if the “gamer comments were made in a barcraft, or at some live event, they would be as equally ridiculous as the “sports spectator” comments. or Vice versa, there are plenty of sports forums where if you do say something stupid, you are likely to get flamed.

    So what really matters is internet communication versus real-life communication; you can be much more rude to someone on the internet, because you face very little consequences (like being banned) versus real life, where you have to deal with a flesh and blood pissed off person, or look like an ass to everyone around you; getting you shunned in general.

    Pretty silly article.

  80. So, upon reading your article, your point is that E-Sports won’t become popular due to the fact Pro Gamers are utter dicks and think of themselves highly PUBLICLY, unlike regular sports players who have good sportsmanship, humble in victory, grace in defeat. One, those who follow said team will often ridicule other members so I find your main reason off. Second, many games are easy to learn, but it’s the fact they are hard to master. As you know, League of Legends has becoming quite popular, but also in terms of E-Sports, even getting high recognition in Korea, in par with that of Starcraft. Even I play this game on a competitive level, but Riot Games and E-Sports players also noted that League was “easy to play, but hard to master” . Though the occasional troll happens from time to time, players are humble and graceful. With League of Legends being popular in Europe, Brazil, Korea, China, most of South East Asia, and North America, including Canada, this game maybe the one to prove you wrong.

  81. [...] The attitude needs to change, folks. I’m a gamer, I understand the terminology, I understand the balance – to an extent – and I am able to do my research to get a good understanding for the games. Most people aren’t(or just don’t want to, let’s face it). These ‘most people’ are the people that we WANT to be paying attention. We want people who aren’t gamers to tune into the latest GSL, MLG, or Dreamhack tournament and have a blast watching these players compete. Yet we are preventing them from doing so. If I go to a hockey fan and make some uneducated, but polite comment… he isn’t going to call me a noob. He’s likely to explain it to me. Now try doing the same thing on the Battle.net Starcraft 2 forums, the Team Liquid forums, or heaven forbid, the DotA forums… you’ll be lucky if even one person has bothered to explain the problem in the first 5 pages of replies. The remaining 40-80 posts will all be people laughing at you for your lack of knowledge. Wingspantt of gaming website TopTierTactics has written rather eloquently on this subject as well. [...]

  82. [...] Esports News: The real reason esports can’t go mainstream anytime soon On that note, a really pointed observation from WiNGSPANTT: Gamers have a tendency to be jerks to anyone commenting on a game who doesn’t have the “street cred” held by high-profile players. That’s a dick move all on its own, but it actively harms the growth of e-sports. Here’s where the hammer falls: [...]

  83. It’s not fair to compare conversations about sports in real life and conversations about eSports online. If you talk about sports online, people still will ask you how many years have you been watching it.

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