Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The E in esports Stands for ego

Who is the CEO of the Premier League?  If you're English, you may know.  If your a non-English football fan, there's a slim chance you might know.  I know, because a couple of years ago he had the stupid "39th game" idea.  He was in the news for floating a business idea which was badly received.  He then disappeared into the background, where CEO's belong, returning to the news only occassionaly to discuss important but tedious business stuff like club debt and league sponsorship.

Who is the CEO of MLG?  Yeah, that's a rhetorical question: of course you know that it's Sundance --  self-professed THAT guy.  His every tweet cries "look at me," every forum post scerams "look how similar we are; love me."  This is a guy who should be in the background making business decisions and dealing with sponsors but here he is making drunk forum posts and begging for our attention.  At the risk of sounding pretentious, it's all very undignified.

In fairness, most English men are brought up to automatically distrust authority figures like Sundance.  Maybe it's because we're used to the bungling figures that represent our sports, and our dishonest, money-grubbing politicians.  With that in mind, perhaps i'm being unkind - judging him on the basis of other people.  But on the other hand, he makes himself so easy to hate.  He would undoubtedly spin it as being a "love me or hate me, that's who I am" figure, but, realistically, he's just an irritating attention whore.   The face of a sports league should be its players, not its CEO.

This issue is much broader and deeper than just MLG, however.  My ESFI comrade keeker made a similar point about commentatorslast week.  The fact is that esports has become a huge dick-waving contest, played out via livestream by a bunch of egotistical bores.  I could quite happily live my entire without knowing what Day9's three-day stubble looks like but I will never have that opporunity, thanks to the "look at me" nature of the Day9 Daily.  Personal and intimate, sure, but that's not what I want from analysis.  I want, er, analysis.

To put it bluntly, esports should be about computer games.  I want to tune into a Starcraft stream and watch Stracraft matches, not listen to crappy jokes from a couple of guys in t-shirts and blazers.  Esports as a whole has its priorities all wrong and continues to show the real reason why the word "esport" is so inappropriate.  The focus has shifted away from any real sporting action and onto the supporting characters.

Oh, yeah, here's my inspiration for today's rant.

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