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Opinion

The Korean Schadenfreude

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

Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

There are many types of joy in this world. Some comes from achievement, others from family, friends, loved ones. All of these things are great, but there is a special kind of satisfaction, a special kind of joy gained from watching someone else suffer much in the way you have. I’m talking of course about the esports Schadenfreude, more specifically when Koreans beat the shit out of Westerners.

Back in the day, StarCraft 2 fans often turned their noses to League of Legends because it was too casual for them. But tell them a Korean team was about to smash a Western team and they’d tune in to watch in a heartbeat. Talk to a League of Legends fan today about Overwatch and they’ll say how the observing sucks and how the whole scene will die and they’d never watch it. Then tell them a Korean team is about to smash a Western team and they’re there. It is an endless cycle on repeat that happens every time Korea seriously enters a new esport. The fans of the old esport show up not because they like the new game, but because of the sheer satisfaction and joy they get from watching other people suffer, much like they had.

Is it logical? Not really. Is it petty? Probably. Is it satisfying? Absolutely.

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