In 2016 it seems that eSports are becoming bigger than ever. ESPN is finally recognizing these events as real sports and even covered the 2016 EVO Street Fighter finals. This is incredibly exciting for the Fighting Game Community or “FGC.” One of the biggest moments from that event was the “American Hero” Long Island Joe (aka LIJoe). He was the only American to make it to the Top 8 bracket, putting on one hell of a show for everyone tuning into ESPN.
Picture from Redbull.com of LIJoe during EVO SF Top 8
With the eSports scene slowly making its way into the mainstream, a lot of rules have yet to be set when it comes to its players. While players do join teams, such as TSM, Cloud9, Immortals, TeamLiquid, ect, there isn’t much coaching going on. Most players are teaching themselves techniques and strategies, not only that, but teaching each other as well. Social media has become the biggest outlet for anyone wanting to be involved in eSports, networking with other players and showing each other what they know, is a HUGE part of how this industry has grown. Here’s an example of longtime rivals Nario and Void talking over social media about Nairo’s recent loss. There is always constant conversation about matchups and strategies over social media.
There is of course always the main objective to “beat the other guy” but it’s more than that. The eSports community doesn’t want an advantage over their opponent, they want them at their strongest so they can take them down, and social media is the main source of communication between players. As top players find new techniques in each game, the masses are able to learn along with them, making this a much more personal sport. Not only that but more marketable as well. Huge advertising and marketing potential lie in these players via social media and we will probably see more utilization of this potential in the near future.
But eSports, as it currently is, is very unique and has an incredibly future ahead of it.