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Infiltration vs. PRBalrog: The day Hype beat Bias

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

Every scene has a certain amount of bias. It can be national, regional, local or by team. Among all of the games I’ve watched, the two scenes as a whole to have the strongest bias are the FGC and League of Legends. The bias in FGC is regional based and is understandable, whereas the LoL bias for certain teams reminds me of cult members (incidentally the Chinese call TSM The Cult.) It’s natural if you think about how skill is developed in the FGC. Players generally play with their local and regional players and they will always have a closer relationship with those people just by proximity.

Despite that bias, there has always been one rule over all others: Hype trumps Bias. In EVO 2013, Infiltration was playing the last remaining American player in PRBalrog. Everyone was naturally rooting PRBalrog, as this was home soil and they all respect and like him.

With Infiltration close to elimination, he decided to take a gamble and picked Hakan, a character that was never used at the top end of competitive play. With that one pick, the crowd lost their shit, flipped sides and started cheering louder for Infiltration.

In the biggest event of the year, in one of the most regionally biased scenes, against one of the most beloved and the last surviving American player — and an incredibly exiting player himself. Against all of that, Infiltration stole the crowd off his play alone.

That is always something I respect, as incredible gameplay is the most important thing to me as a spectator and something that should be recognized and celebrated.


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