GosuGamers Weekly Business Review, 14/4 - 21/4
Welcome to the Gosu Money Review, where we take a look at the biggest, most interesting or sometimes just strangest stories to permeate the world of eSports business each week.
The business of eSports is complicated by a number of factors, included but not limited to conflicts of interest, a lack of regulation and the sheer number of crooks floating about. These are all things that must be dealt with ‘internally’ from a community point of view, and with any luck the next two or three years will see those who exploit the scene by investing in as many areas as they can without any thought for fairness or competition chased out. However, there are some factors that we cannot control, and one is the way the mainstream media talks about gaming.
This week, you may have missed the story of Loop, a disabled Counter-Strike streamer who was unfortunately bullied in and then kicked from a pick up group while playing online. So far, so CS, but this is where the story takes a turn, full of internet heroism and angry defiance. First Reddit heard about it and the players were banned for bullying, and then it got really amazing. Loop’s stream blew up, averaging over 1000 viewers and peaking at over 3000, with multiple donations from top players pouring in too.
That money will allow Loop to get vital surgery as well as invest in his education for the future, and represents a wonderful end to the tale, but it goes on. Top teams started contacting him regarding stream contacts, including EnVyUs, and Immortals invited Loop and his parents to visit their headquarters. In a few days, he had gone from having a few hundred viewers and a fairly bleak immediate future to being able to pay for life improving surgery, having more of a steady income and meeting his heroes.
With the story being reported in pretty much every outlet, including your favourite eSports portal, you’d think it might be picked up outside the sphere too with the sort of folk who always love a human interest story. After all, the BBC reported on a guy who finds marathon cheats from his bedroom this week, as well as some hard hitting reporting on a kid that danced with Justin Bieber and a woman who played tennis in the early stages of a pregnancy. To put it simply, they weren’t exactly drowning in newsworthy events.
With that in mind, the eSports or gaming story they ran this week was…a fair negative piece about a snooker player who spent too much time playing FIFA. In an interview with Eurosport Neil Roberston said of his current form, "I've had really good application in my practice after dragging myself away from playing too many video games. I'm two months sober, if you like, from playing them. And the multi-play online ones I can't touch because I just get too hooked on them."
The entire piece was littered with references that made FIFA seem less like a passably awful football simulation designed for kids and people who hate football and more like a mixture of heroin, absolute power and forbidden sex, and sadly sums up the attitude the BBC takes toward our industry on most occasions. In turn this makes it harder to advance the cause beyond our current horizons, as there are many new fans out there reading mainstream outlets and getting messages just like Robertson’s.
It's not possible to halt the rise of the risibly negative anywhere, but as fans we can at least try and make these outlets know we are interested in positive stories, and make them aware when they come around. In terms of the BBC it’s not always that easy, as they seem to have an agenda, but if your dream is an eSports to rival ‘real’ sports, the fastest way to the hearts of the masses is through their media.
In other news, one of the older events in Smash Bros announced this week that they would not be running a 2017 competition. The Apex Series, initially the brainchild of disgraced Tournament Organiser Jonathon Lugo, was taken over by Bifuteki after Lugo’s position became untenable and did run in a reduced fashion last year. However, it seems that this year a combination of the previous venue shutting down and a few other factors has done for Apex.
Once known as a premier event, things came to a head in 2015 when the hotel hired to host turned out to be totally unsafe, and while Twitch and scene movers stepped in to save that competition. When it emerged that Lugo had been attempting to use his influence to sexually abuse and assault vulnerable people in the community, the writing was on the wall.
Tweets from those involved remain consistent on the fact this is a break, not the end, but with the disappointing start to 2017 Smash has seen and the slight decline of the US scene, at least at the top level, it’s hard to think Apex could return to the top. Progress in Smash is still a good thing, but it’s sad to see events that were cornerstones of the growth left by the wayside, although Apex did enough of their own work to ensure that happens. Here’s hoping Bifuteki can bring it back for 2018, preferably stronger than before.
Finally, there was some interesting news as the Asian Games announced their intention to include eSports in their program from 2018 onward, with the 2022 games also set to feature virtual competition. We’ll also see eSports as part of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, which seems fairly apposite as that event also includes chess. While the news may have attracted the normal level of mockery from the tradition press, it represents great news for the adoption of eSports into the mainstream.
With attempts to make eSports part of the Olympics about as successful as Oscar Pistorius’s recent attempts at dating, this is the biggest mainstream platform we’ve seen so far, and it can only be hoped the event goes off without a hitch. Asian eSports definitely has a mixed record to this point, but recent successes are starting to change that perception and they will hope a really well run and well-attended Asian Games event can push eSports to the next level.
Spartak moves into eSports
Former TI Champions Wings Gaming split with org
Misfits sign Peacemaker as coach
Matches of the Weekend
Germany take on the Philippines in the HGG on Tuesday
Romania and Britain face off the next day, in the same event
SL i-League Invitational Invitational Series EU Qualifiers Season Two Grand Finals
Events to catch
Check out the Rivalcade Rumble in Overwatch
Swiss format to replace GSL in Kiev
Paid CoD experts required for some video work
ESL have some big jobs, in Project Management...
...as well as head of production
Taco tells a story about nearly making a famous comeback vs Virtus.Pro. Please put more top players on comms...
Will eSports be in the Olympics in the next decade?
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