As I scrolled through my Facebook gaming group, I saw a video from Mike Ross, who said he’s done with esports. Ross, 33, is known in the Fighting Game Community as a Street Fighter veteran, and in his five-minute video, he rants about how he’s not happy with the direction the platform is going.
He goes on to mention that esports is taking the integrity out of competition, a quick fad he suggests. I see his point that gamers are the new NASCAR, as their jerseys are plastered with branding, including Jimmy Johns and Mountain Dew. But towards the end of the video, he is visited by esports pro Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, from the future, who tells him to embrace esports and hands him a shirt that looks like something from the D.A.R.E program. Fans expressed their confusion about the video on Twitter:
Like most people on Twitter, I’m confused about whether he’s really done with esports, or was this a bogus way to promote the website embraceesports.cash. Although he made some solid points about bandwagon fans, we must not look at the obvious but see this from a true gamer’s perspective.
When I say true gamer, I mean from the kid who spends countless hours trying to beat the final boss in their favorite game. It’s about time that gamers are receiving the support they’ve longed for. Remember when our parents would try to limit us and say that it will get us nowhere. Now, the new generation can go to college and make a living from something they love.
This isn’t about being a sell out. If that’s the case, every NBA, NFL and other sports teams are full of them. No one can deny that the pros are entertaining and have put in hours to perfect their craft. Also, these guys suffer injuries and emotional stress like any other athlete.
The only thing the video offered was their meaning of esports, Entertaining Subjects Playing Overly Repetitive Tedious Software. Besides that, the five minutes I spent watching the video, I could’ve played Injustice 2.
What’s happening in esports isn’t insulting. It’s an opportunity for people to turn their hobbies into a career. But honestly, veteran or not, hoax or not, I don’t think his “departure” would hurt anyone in the FGC. He will be back to play Street Fighter. No one can go cold turkey after being on the scene for so long.