I’ve only been around esports for about five years, and in that time games have risen and died and risen again. Every time a new esport rises the same arguments always keep popping up. This new game is too casual. It doesn’t have enough strategic depth. It’s too complicated. It’s too hardcore. The spectator UI is bad and no one could enjoy X game.
I saw this from Brood War to StarCraft 2, from SC2 to League of Legends, from LoL to Dota 2, to Heroes, to Hearthstone, to Overwatch. Inevitably, a lot of these comments come from an inherently biased view. How could someone enjoy something I do not enjoy? How could they be entertained by something that is either too easy or too hard to follow? It reminds me of the ladder state of mind, where everyone worse than you is trash and everyone better than you doesn’t have a life.
No one really knows the winning formula for how to make an esport super successful. No one can comment on another game’s strategic depth until they’ve watched plenty of important games. In Overwatch’s case, there haven’t been any significant LAN events (with the exception of the ESL Atlantic Showdown, which was really just a first go-around). So really a lot of these comments never make sense, not that I dislike them. I actually think they’re great since in the case that the esport does work out, I spitefully enjoy the counter-reaction to the initial perceptions. I can’t help myself.
The big fish eat the little fish, the waves come and go, esports rise and fall, and I just keep on laughing.