Take 4: Music Meets Esports

Over the weekend ESL and Fuse teamed up to bring Krewella to New York to play a half hour set before the Counter-Strike grand finals. I loved it. If you don’t know by now my two greatest loves in the world are esports and house music. Having said that, it is very hard to bring the two worlds together seamlessly and usually results in an awkward product. This weekend wasn’t an exception.

The reason this happens is because, often times the crowd doesn’t understand how to react and sometimes isn’t given the ability to. House music is most typically played in a setting that is very tightly packed with standing people — a night club, open field or an arena with a huge general admission floor area. You can see how this might be a problem when you try to pack as many seats as possible into a small area to sell the most tickets. While it is true that the esports and dance music communities do have a significant overlap it isn’t enough to illicit a proper reaction from a crowd. While I don’t expect crowds to reach the intensity of a music festival when the performer asks if the crowd is ready or to make noise and it’s met with crickets it creates an unavoidable uneasy feeling for everyone in the venue.

You run into additional precarious situations when you introduce performers with explicit music to a crowd that can include children as young as eight or nine. I personally don’t give a shit about that but it opens the door for parents to complain. Honestly if you’re bringing your kid to an event where realistic terrorists and anti-terrorists shoot guns at each other, I think you forfeit your right to complain about discretionary material in the program — but what the fuck do I know.

I love esports and I love EDM but I attend both events for very different experiences and with very different expectations. In the immortal words of Ron Swanson, “Don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”

Cover Photo by Blake Bottrill

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