eSport-Games as spectator sport?

eSports… teh lolz!!!1111oneoneeleven!

True. I’ve always kind of sneered at the whole eSports business and was never really interested. But as I’ve tweeted, I stumbled across CynicalBrit.com and am now constantly watching TotalBiscuit’s ShoutCraft-Casts of StarCraft2-Matches. I would never have thought, I’d have fun watching other players. Now the question that bothers me is: Why? How did it come to that?

I found the answer on the same website in a small post TotalBiscuit made about casting eSport. That got me thinking (never a good sign). And he’s right. Oh god, he’s right. Why shouldn’t one be able to watch eSport games just like any other sport? Just taking myself as an example: Well… obviously I like watching sport. I’m a fan of Bayern München, I’m interested in the Bundesliga and the development in football and I just love grabbing a beer and watching some good game in the evening. As do about 80% of the male european population, I guess. And the reason for that is: you’re getting fun out of it. Simple, entertaining fun. And to achieve this, you need a commentator who not only knows the sport but can present it in an entertaining way.

And that’s the difficulty. The commentator does not automatically need to be a good player. The guys commenting on football aren’t either. Seems to me that in eSports too often commentators are employed who are good at playing the game but not entertaining in any sort. Take e.g. Day9. A great guy and Starcraft player, knows everything about tactics and you can learn a lot from him. He does a great show and I’m feeling a bit ashamed to use him as exemple. But… (yes, there’s the “but”) though his dailies are great fun, his commentary is more on the “technical” side, using quite a lot of jargon. TotalBiscuit on the other hand gets more entertainment in his commentary and so appeals even to non-players. No kidding. There are actually people watching his SC2-Casts who do not play that game. Honestly… watch his casts, folks. This guy’s great and yes, I’m a bit fanboi-ish here.

Now for something completely different…
A blog post by INsanityDesign about there being no casual games anymore. Hmm… something completely different? No, I think not. In fact those two could be connected in my opinion.

As INsanityDesign quite elaborately points out in this post, there is no distinction anymore between “casual” and “core” games anymore – only between “casual” and “core” gamers. Games will try to deliver to all gamers, but the players decide for themselves how much time and/or effort they will put in the game. Keep in mind, it’s not only black and white. There are WoW-Gamers out there, who are called “casual” (because they’re not into raids) but are in fact putting more time into getting all vanity pets than the most hardcore raider is putting into his raids.

So what has that got to do with the whole story about eSports from the beginning?
Well… it’s another reason for watching. Football is watched by million of people, because most of them were casual football-players, growing up with the sport. That’s why I’m interested and why I like to see the professional players on TV. The same can be applied to the whole eSports-thing and I assume that with increasing numbers of people who grew up with games and increasing numbers of casual players (hey, since we’re growing up, we just don’t have that much time anymore) this could really be a chance for those eSport casts to put good, entertaining commentary to some use, get out of the whole freaky-nerd-thing and become more of a spectator sport.

Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
– Yeah, what was HuK thinking building those cannons?
– Thing about TLO is, he always finds a way in.
– True, true…

 

Now, wouldn’t that be something, folks? 😉
Seriously though… As stated earlier, I haven’t had an eye on the whole eSports thing up until now, but I for my part will have to pay a bit more attention to that, I think. Could be interesting.

 

Keep on gaming,

 

/tehK

 

P.S: “Why am I writing this post in Englisch”, you may ask. Well… how the hell should I know? I just woke up, did my usual check (arms: two – check; legs: two – check; nothing leaking – check) and thought to myself… yeah… English…

P.P.S: Oh god… I need to find a way to say things in a shorter way. Oh well… I guess I can blame English for now.

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