The Media Learning of eSports
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The Media Learning of eSports

November 17, 2019


From the outside it must look absolutely crazy
to you. Right? It’s definitely interesting. Esports or competitive online multiplayer
video games have become big business. The owners of one of the dominate competitions
turned over a billion dollars last year alone. And part of that is driven by spectators not
just players. What we are talking about is professional competitive video gaming. Players
who play 10 or 12 hours a day to become the best in the world. Over 50 000 people are
going to come watch them here this weekend at the Spodek arena and has a predicted audience
who are going to watch online of over 20 million people. And I’m laughing because I can’t think
of anything less interesting. I’m totally in the minority. First of all, explain how
you can make a profession out of this. How do they actually get paid? So ok, obviously
there are different prize pots for different games and they vary in size. So next weekend
is the Call of Duty World Championships. The prize pot for that is 1 million dollars. So
the top team will take away $400 000. Maybe I could get interested. Now you’re interested
right! There’s a lot of money to be had. Have you guys seen esports and the e-league? I
don’t know if that’s sports. I have not seen it Ernest. More than 12 million people attended
live esports events in US and Western Europe in 2014. With 100s of millions of hardcore
gamers and thousands of global tournaments each year, computer games are well on their way to becoming
the worlds biggest sports. And at the center of everything is a whole new breed of celebrity. The esports superstar. But he’s no ordinary sportsman. BigDaddy is one of a new breed.
A professional computer gamer. Just like sports athletes, there guys all strive to be the
best. Describe the game for me cos I have never played it. Well League of Legends is
5 people vs 5 people. 2 teams. Each team has a base and whichever team defeats the base
first wins. Each teammate plays as one hero. Chosen from a roster of over 100. All have
unique abilities so the right mix is crucial if they are to achieve their goal of destroying
the enemies team base. Quick thinking, lightning reaction times and teamwork are the keys to
victory. Man where is my team, holy ducking Man where is my team, holy ducking sh1t. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or
CS:GO for short, is a first-person shooter played between 2 teams of 5 players. One of
them start as the Terrorists and the others are the Counter-Terrorists. The Terrorists
job is to plant the bomb and the Counter-Terrorists job is to stop them. Over a lot of very short
REALLY exciting rounds. And after 15 of them the teams swap sides. It’s a really exciting
game full of strategy and super fast reactions but most of all teamwork is what will win
you the game. Tournaments can have million dollar prize pools with sponsors like Samsung
and telcos. Their teams are run like football franchises, with managers, agents and training
camps. Uhh do you think video games are a sport? I was about to ask that. Yeah, you
know where I stand. With the athletes as professional athletes. I’ll debate that with anybody or
that conversation with anybody. Having been a professional athlete myself. Getting to
know them and watching what they do, how they train. It’s all consuming. Nice, so whose
the ‘Jorden’ of League of Legends? Well I like to think I got, he’s on Echo Fox. Froggen,
that’s my guy, so I’m not gonna promote anybody but him. I had zero knowledge of that the
fact that this exists. You didn’t know there were cyber athletes? My hand to God I didn’t
know there were, but my issue is it’s still not a sport, it’s a game. You follow me what
I’m saying here Bernie? I do. Do you have any statistics on how many of those people
also go to Star Trek conventions? I would guess there is a fair amount of overlap. That
said there is strategy involved, you have to physically be able to do what, they’re
competing, is it a sport or not? I believe it’s a sport. They get sports visas to enter
the country. It’s a game! That’s not a sport. Ayayyeyeyeyyeyyeyyyyeeeeee. I wanna talk about
the 20 million people who are watching the damn thing, they gotta be crazier than the
ones playing. Really, but 8 hours a day, that can’t be good for you. Staring at a screen. Well to honest with you in my job I stare at a screen for pretty much 8 hours a day.
But a computer do you know, we all are pretty sedimentary as it goes. The way you need to
think of it is personally I can’t watch football, I find it incredibly boring. It’s a big green
thing, people running up and down, I find it utterly tedious. Actually watching competitive
esports, you have your favorite team, you watch them just like you watch a football
match and actually let’s be honest it’s going to be a lot more visually interesting than
a football match. There are a lot more fun things going on. That was one of the lines
in the piece we played there, that it’s following in the footsteps of football. But can it truly
be a spectator sport? Um it already is. 71 million watched last year, they reckon by
2017 it will be 145 million people watching it. I have this argument all the time with
people like, ‘ah no one wants to watch people play video games, that’s so boring’. League
of Legends there was 18 000 people in the stadium live and 32 million watching the final.
This is what kids are doing, this is people want to see. And in South Korea e-gaming is
virtually a nation sport. They do watch it there. They have a dedicated TV channel for
it.The people who play the games are bigger than U2, bigger than One Direction. They are
screamed at, they have girls come after them, it’s huge, it’s absolutely massive. It’s basically
unstoppable, I mean you might question it now but but unfortunately in 10 years time
we’re all going to be watching it in one way or another. I know you don’t think so. But it isn’t the beefy football players or the giant basketball players that have got the
most attention at Robert Morris this season. No, that distinction would be for the not-so-big
men on campus. Americas first ever college scholarship team for brace yourselves, video
games. We were able to recruit some very very good players. Some of our top players are
rated in the 0.02% of all players in North America. Yes, athletic scholarships for video
gamers. It’s just the latest signal that so-called esports have arrived. Players are now even
eligible for US P1 visas, normally reserved for touring athletes. What is a P-1A visa?
P-1A visa is a visa which is given for athletes, which means that you are an exceptional athlete
from another country, coming to the United States and you have to prove that your athletic
capabilities are good enough to guarantee you living inside the United States. How important
was it that you were able to get a P-1A visa? It was absolutely huge. Without it I would
not be here. There actually giving college scholarships to for video gaming. You’re kidding!
And it’s even gone to the point that now the government has acknowledged professional video
gamers as athletes. Why! How could that be? First and foremost, I care about my son and
his passion. I’m not here to debate the level at which they fit and slot in between basketball
and whatever. They are digital athletes, they are professional digital athletes. No look,
I think about what it took for me to become a professional athlete. Took a lot of concentration,
a lot of dedication, practice, preparation, stamina and the more I watched my son pursue
this career and the more I watched him introduce me to world as it is, which is professional
video gaming. They’re sponsored, they have careers, they make 100s of thousands of dollars.
I’m just checking that professional athletes such as yourself who’ve worked so hard physically
is ok with that? Are they thinking of it as an intellectual athletics? You have to be
intellectual to be a professional athlete, you have to be sharp intellectually. But is
gaming an intellectual athlete? No, they are considered professional athletes. Do you think
that people don’t respect how difficult it is to play competitive video games? Yeah definitely.
It’s fucking really difficult, like the level of competence, the level of skill, like if
you watch a lot of games online and that’s like a big part of all this now. Which is
really fascinating. Is how many people watch live games, or even with Quake the big thing
was watching demos. I love Quake. Yeah it’s always been fascinating to me how certain
games they get taken seriously. Like certain games garner respect like chess. If you are
a really good chess player, like oh he is a sophisticated gentleman. He is a chess player. What do you do for a living? Oh I play chess. Woah interesting. What do you do for a living?
Oh I play video games. Oh you fucking dork. The surprising power behind esports isn’t
the huge numbers of people who play them, it’s the huge numbers of people who watch
people playing games. Up to 40% of people who watch don’t actually play themselves.
Preferring to clock up something like 16 billion minutes watching others play on platforms
such as Twitch. In the 6 years since it was created, League of Legends was able to fill
a stadium with 40 000 people but there were 27 million more tuning in live from home.
That’s more than the audience of that same years NBA finals. Before it took over the
world’s stadiums esports was already connecting 100s of millions of people across the globe. But it is about community and it does bring people together, you know, in the same way
you would watch a football match, you can hear the crowd, everyone’s cheering the team
on, you make friends, these are people you talk too, you play with online. It’s all about
community. It’s being part of something that you’re incredibly passionate about.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. "I can't think of anything less interesting."
    "Price pot is $1 million."
    "oH mAYbe i cOuLd gET iNteREStEd"
    You literally just insulted gaming, now you want to become the best in the world? Grow up.

  2. Not that there are SPONSORS like razor and so on that pay them to advertize tier stuff.
    12h a day cant be good… Pasha Has a wife, daughter and BICEPS. But do keep going

  3. Gamers in this comment section are salty because they think pressing right click 10000x/min or pressing q/w/e/r in quick succession is physically demanding and thus is a sport. Sports are physical activities, not cyber activities. Fingering the keyboard won't make you an athlete.

  4. Well people would not watch video games if there was no competetive skill involved and everybody could do what these pros are doing… its the same for any sport / or any other activity. People like to watch people who are exceptionally good at specific things, that means they are so good, that there are only so much people around the globe that could compete with them.

  5. The media are so one sided. Almost no media want to admit that someone can win money while playing video games! They are so stupide. Football was also a game at the begining and now nobody ask a question like « Why does someone get paid 20 millions or more for running after a ball ? »
    They are so biased!

  6. fuck the people on "the view" cutting off the guy trying to explain esports. "EXPLAIN, EXPLAIN," that's what he's doing boomers

  7. If you can make a competition about basketball or other sports then it’s only a matter of time until video games come in.

  8. "Its not sports, its a game"
    But football, basketball and so on are games too. People even say they are watching the next game.
    Sports is competition, not physical exercise.

  9. It's very scary, when you realize that people who are forming national opinion are so short sighted. It's not just for e-sports, but for everything, they can't step into someones shoes just for a couple minutes to figure such simpe stuff out as e-sports, so imagine what is happening with real world problems

  10. Did you take that Joe Rogan clip out of context to make him look like he was bashing on pro gamers? Because that's not what he was doing at all.

  11. its a really wrong time for boomer to argue abt new gens stuffs when an ultimate weapon, 'ok boomer', was invented recently

  12. the chess one is REALLY the best example of how stupid it is to not include video games in esports, its all about the intellectual tactics you are setting for yourself to win. Sure in physical sports its different on how one does something but thinking about excluding esports because its not physical is just stupid

  13. "It's not a Sport, it's a game"

    Can somebody please give me a hammer to remind this bitch that sports are literally games…

    Video Gaming is just another form of everyday sport, just has less physical movements

  14. this is funny to me, i don't think anyone should care about these peoples opinions because look TV as a whole is losing viewers to what? Pro Esports, Netflix, etc. The media has always tried to stomp on things that they don't have control over. OK BOOMER

  15. Ok I agree that a kid shouldn't play video games 24/7 and not study at all but if they can keep a balance between their health, grades and videogames than who am I to stop them?

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