6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

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6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby skrotkanon » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:41 pm

http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1908-were-all-speed-6-secret-realities-pro-video-gaming.html

Whenever there's an article about competitive gaming people are coming out of the woodwork to complain about how it's not real sports and how can you enjoy watching other people play videogames(?) and I find myself reflexively defending it.

1 - It's real sports. The top players are practicing many, many hours every day while constantly playing in tournaments. You're expected to be in great physical and mental shape AND in MOBA's (DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm) you also need a modicum of social capabilities since you're playing in a team. Puppey, former team-leader of the then worlds best DOTA 2-team Navi is known for a being a really social and easygoing person. Starcraft 2 on the other hand has a lot of man-children among its top players sadly but there's exceptions like HuK and WhiteRa. Starcraft 2 even has its own sports injury in carpal tunnel. They move their hands so fucking fast their wrists start breaking down (insert masturbation joke)!

2 - Being a fan of professional DOTA 2 is the same thing as being a fan of professional soccer. You have your favourite teams and players that you root for, there's certain tactics that you dislike (I hate Russian DOTA :P) and you know an absolute shit-ton about the game. I'm not an emotional guy and the screaming when a team makes a goal is not something I will ever do but I still fist-pump when my team wins, which is the closest I'll ever come. Thanks to DOTA 2 and Starcraft 2 I finally understand what people enjoy about sports, before I thought the whole thing was retarded.

3 - There's even professional commentators i.e people who pay their rent by only talking about the game during tournaments and similar. They're often players past their prime whose knowledge of the game is still world-class but maybe they can't spend 10 hours a day just practicing. They're also often really funny with quite a few comedians in the ranks. Husky was a Starcraft 2 commentator who was huge for a while, mainly for his infectious enthusiasm. TobiWan of Dota 2 has a similar style where he speeds up his talking whenever there's a lot going on because he thinks this is so fucking awesome guys did you just see what that guy did!?

As for Let's Players on Twitch and similar, like the article said they're often funny and/or likable and will interact with their fans, do things for tips or just for the hell of it. I follow Chu8, a minor celebrity in his own sub-culture who seems like a great guy in general and who's absurdly good at MOBAs. Twitch always has a comment field next to the stream where people are hanging out and talking about the players performance, asking questions and making lots of stupid jokes.

People are watching other people play games and enjoying it for various reasons, what is so hard to understand!?
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Last edited by JamishT on Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added link to Cracked article being discussed.
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby KleinerKiller » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:37 pm

This all ties back to the popular idea that gaming is inherently a children's medium, like comics or anime or anything like that, and thus anybody who enjoys it to any degree is emotionally immature and should be derided.

For reference.
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby skrotkanon » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:07 am

Yeah, that explains some of it but not the people who enjoy gaming yet deride e-sports. In the comments on Cracked the "Play the durn game yerself!" is quite common.

To me it's just more of "How dare you enjoy things I don't!?"

I guess I just want to unload a bit, I know you guys are nice. :p
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby Keato1 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:19 am

I love video games as much as the next nerd, and I can understand the appeal of watching people who are very good at something like fighting games, but video games, to me, are closer to something like poker or chess than sports. I guess I just consider sports as something with a physical impact, while vidya is more 'competition'. I don't think it makes it somehow less, just not a sport.
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby skrotkanon » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:00 am

I see your point keato1, e-sports just gives me the same experience as "normal" sports does for other so for me it's the same, though my favourite comment about Starcraft 2 is that it's a mix between chess and piano. Starcraft 2 also has extreme physical demands at the highest levels, the top players do around five actions EVERY SECOND and occassionally they crank out even more than that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbpCLqryN-Q
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby DjiboutiDan » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:03 am

I'd like to quote the brilliant treatise on what is and is not a sport that I wrote up in college after getting tired of arguing with people, but it has been lost to the ages. Long story short, I do not consider competitive video games to be a sport. However, as someone who watches a lot of sports, I don't get the mindset of "that's stupid, just play it yourself!" I don't find "e-sports" to be particularly interesting to watch, but to me it seems almost exactly like watching any other sport. In both cases, you're watching a bunch of people play a game you could go out and play right now, only they are way better than you could ever hope to be. I just generally hate the purist mentality - the idea that something new or different is inherently bad because it's new or different.
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby Keato1 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:30 am

DjiboutiDan wrote:I'd like to quote the brilliant treatise on what is and is not a sport that I wrote up in college after getting tired of arguing with people, but it has been lost to the ages. Long story short, I do not consider competitive video games to be a sport. However, as someone who watches a lot of sports, I don't get the mindset of "that's stupid, just play it yourself!" I don't find "e-sports" to be particularly interesting to watch, but to me it seems almost exactly like watching any other sport. In both cases, you're watching a bunch of people play a game you could go out and play right now, only they are way better than you could ever hope to be. I just generally hate the purist mentality - the idea that something new or different is inherently bad because it's new or different.


As someone who also fancies himself a purveyor of sport, I feel like the question of "Why don't you just play the game/sport" is much more relevant to watching video games than professional athletic competitions. Perhaps it's just a result of my upbringing, living on a farm near a small rural town (100 people, max), but the idea that I could just go out and do stuff with people was, for the first eighteen years of my life, simply impossible. Our elementary school (50 people max) did organize some teams, and we did have a rec. hockey team, but that was entirely predicated on a)having enough people and b)parents willingness to drive hours for meaningless games. I suppose it's much different in the city, but I still find the idea that you could just randomly grab 12 people to play hockey a bit absurd. There is something of a skill required (you need to know how to skate), and even if you live in an area with an artificial rink (we did not), you would still need a lot of equipment. The only sport I can think of off the top of my head that doesn't require such a large commitment, either in terms of space or equipment, is soccer, which probably explains its popularity all over the world.

Video games however are a tad different. There is definitely still a high cost involved, what with the need for a display, PC/console and games, but it does have one major benefit over sports; you don't actually have to be around people to play them. Not only single player games, but with the rise of online games, so long as you have a decent internet connection, you can pretty much play any game that has some user base remaining at any time. For example, it would be very difficult for me to go and organize a pick-up football game at this moment, but if I wanted to play a round of Halo or Counter-Strike or DOTA or Mario Kart it's literally seconds away.

I feel that I may be rambling a bit, so I'll try and steer back to where I was going. Namely, I don't understand why people prefer to watch a game be played rather than play it themselves when it is fairly easy to do so. I recognise there are obvious exceptions (watching someone who is very talented, wanting to see what a game is like), but I'm sure if I went and looked at the top games on Twitch right now, at least a few of them would be free-to-play.

OK, so I did do just that, and the top four games are LoL, DOTA, Hearthstone, and CS:GO. Only CS:GO is, to my knowledge, a game you actually pay for up front. After that is some kind of talk show, Star Wars Battlefront (which is in open beta), Destiny, H1Z1, and interestingly, Haunting Ground. I think it's interesting to note that the gap between CS:GO and Battlefront is relatively large (about 5,000 views), so the distribution of views is certainly top heavy.

The other reason people usually give is that they like the personalities. I myself watch a few shows, though they are almost always heavily edited and only come out once or so a week, which prevents burnout. I used to watch Game Grumps a lot, but between the constant pushing out of content, their general ineptitude, and growing disinterest in them, I stopped several years ago. Looking at what they have been putting out recently, it's a lot of flavour of the month stuff (Super Mario Maker, Undertale), which, don't get me wrong, are great games, but they seem designed more just to attract views than actually provide any real content.

I guess at the end of the day I just throw up my hands and admit I may as well be an old man yelling at the clouds. My opinion has little to no value anyway, but I do feel that there is a marked difference between watching sports and watching games. They are similar in a lot of ways (watching someone who is good, feeling like you're part of a team), but in most cases I feel the argument of "Why don't you just play the game?" is more applicable to video games than sports, though I am probably in the minority in this (I've had this argument with my best friend and roommate before, and I was the minority then as well). Sorry for the rant, I didn't really plan on going on this long, just kind of all came out of me (that's what she said).

PS. Also, if anyone wants to follow me on Twitch, please like, favourite, and subscribe ;)
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby skrotkanon » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:21 pm

I actually prefer watching DOTA 2 and Starcraft 2 to playing them. I will never reach the top players levels and I'm cool with that. I've played both a bit and you never get to experience the interesting nuances that's present at top-level play. They're both incredibly hard to get into, there's for starters around 60 playable characters in DOTA 2. Granted, I know the basics of all of them but I'm not very good at any of them and most at the level I get to play are about as crappy at the game as I am. It's teamwork-based but no-ones interested in playing as a team. So instead I watch and I love it!
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby Bromo » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:18 pm

I never really watch many videos of gamers playing games because most of them are usually talking a lot and I find it annoying and distracting. That's why I prefer YouTubers like Overhazard, Rodriguez Jr., and whoisthisgit, gamers you probably never heard of. Overhazard, in particular, leaves her commentary within the description of each video.
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby Crimson847 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:38 am

If NASCAR's considered a sport, I don't see why competitive video gaming can't be. In both cases you're essentially directing a machine to compete with other machines piloted by other competitors.
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby Keato1 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:07 am

Though to be fair, people can (and have) died in NASCAR. I may not care much for it, but even I think they might be too insane. Not to mention issues of temperature and driving so fast on the body. I don't think competitive gamers have to deal with such conditions.
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby skrotkanon » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:05 am

Well except for the fact that top Starcraft 2-players move their hands so fast that they get carpal tunnel. :p
Not the same, there's no death toll in e-sports but some of those dudes do suffer for our amusement...
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Re: 6 Reasons Pro-gamers retire at 26

Postby blehblah » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:25 pm

skrotkanon wrote:
Whenever there's an article about competitive gaming people are coming out of the woodwork to complain about how it's not real sports and how can you enjoy watching other people play videogames(?) and I find myself reflexively defending it.


Two points. One - if there is money in it, the debate about "is it a sport" doesn't matter. Two - baseball, cricket, beauty pageants, golf, darts, bowling, poker, chess... refer to the first point.

Call it a pastime, an activity, a sport, call it anything based on an audience (demographic, geography... hello, marketing!) but it doesn't matter... refer to the two points above.
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