Opinion

The Super Bowl and esports

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

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

This is in reaction to an article I read today about how the Super Bowl had something that esports lacks. There are multiple issues here. The way the author justifies his argument by saying people buy handcraft goods because of physical skill flies in the face of history. That’s a recent trend in reaction to consumerism. The rest aren’t done because we want to see the physical thing (some might), but because they are social experiences.

Itsatank covers why esports being mainstream is a ridiculous position to take as it’s not supposed to replace esports. While esports has a physical element, that will never be its main draw, and it’s not supposed to be.

I’ll cover two points. The bit about precision and uncertainty and the bit about “we know it’s been wrung from a deluge of alternative scenarios.”

For the bit about precision and uncertainty, Itsatank covers the fact that even in games that haven’t been changed in a decade, the game hasn’t been solved. If you take his argument to be true that video games cannot create comebacks because of too much precision and uncertainty, then it must logically follow that if such a comeback were to occur, then it is a bigger comeback and miracle than what we saw in the Super Bowl. There was once a player named Mvp. He fought, with a broken back, in a broken system that could be exploited by his opponents, against better players in a best-of-five or best-of-seven, and won. He isn’t the only example, he’s just the first one that stood out in my mind.

Finally this bit about “we know it’s been wrung from a deluge of alternative scenarios” belies a funny point about cultural assumption. Gurdjeff once said something along the lines that we are all robots and most never wake up from the cultural influences that program us from a certain age with certain beliefs and ideologies. So because of the circumstances I’ve lived through, I was never indoctrinated in the ways of football. Despite being born in and living in America, I had no clues about the rules of football until I was in high school (P.E.), no clue about its basic strategies until college (asked some dormmates) and still don’t know any of the teams, its history or almost any of the players.

All of this is to say I don’t know why it’s been wrung from a deluge of alternative scenarios. I don’t understand why this comeback is monumental. I don’t know one action had led to another, which led to another to create these circumstances of this game. Football is as foreign to me as Starcraft is to a sports fan. Sports and esports are all different experiences to me that require study for me to appreciate them (unless they are utterly simplistic in goal such as track/swimming or osu/speed running). I’m living proof that football and sports aren’t some universal language. I don’t understand any of it without immense amounts of research.

But wait a minute, if I don’t understand sports how can I say something like Mvp has made bigger comebacks than this? I didn’t, I just used his logic to show that if you believe what he said, you have to say then that Mvp’s games were more miraculous comebacks. Like I said, I don’t know about football or sports and don’t have the contextual background knowledge to make that comparison, if it is even possible to make that comparison.

I will agree on this point, sports will always have something that esports lacks in the visceral physical activity, but that is entirely missing the point of what esports is about.

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