Today I’ll write about PR and its function in esports. PR is the ability to influence/control public opinion. It is assumed that a majority of teams and companies use this in some sense. The problem when people talk about PR is they think of it as a solution to a problem, when that isn’t necessarily the case.
In the case of Tryndamere vs. LCS Teams, a lot of people had the belief that if he had a good PR team the entire problem could have been avoided and never come up. I’m of the opinon that the lack of PR was why the problem was solved in the first place. There was a systemic problem in the LCS circuit that could have never been discussed if Tryndamere used PR. All PR would have done in this case is offend fewer people, but it would never have led to a point where the actual problem could be solved.
This has happened in multiple cases with Blizzard’s PR team. They obfuscate and avoid any hard stances and thus they do not offend anyone. That also means they don’t do the hard discussions, which could lead to situations where the things they do are a step too late.
All of this isn’t to say that PR isn’t important. In the case of WESA and PEA, the two orgs are fundamentally similar. But the public reaction to them was completely different as PEA’s announcement was much more straight forward and in WESA’s I couldn’t figure out what exactly the goals were for the org. The PR for PEA was much better, as it clearly defined what they were doing despite being of similar nature to WESA. Sometimes good PR can better explain what it is an org is trying to do.