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Old 06-07-2018, 12:54 PM   #321
Pellanor
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I'm pretty ambivalent on whether esports are sports or something else. Practicing a lot, getting paid, being widely viewed don't trigger "sports" for me - the same thing can be said for, say, musicians.

One thing I don't know, and someone can enlighten me - is the competition in esports pretty unstable because of changes of the games? I mean to say - hockey is hockey and the game has been around forever, albeit with rule and equipment changes. But in esports do the actual games change or go out of style quickly? Is whatever game is popular now different from what was being played three years ago, and what will be played in three years?
The thing that elevates it to Sport for me is the teamwork and the direct competition.

On your second point, this is a significant aspect of eSports. Games do rise and fall, but tend to do so on a longer scale. StarCraft was the king of eSports for over a decade before StarCraft II came out. Now SCII has been out for eight years and is still quite popular. My favourite, League of Legends is on its eighth professional season, and shows no sign of slowing down. As eSports grow in popularity more games are developing pro scenes, but so far anything that makes it big tends to stay there for a while.

While the games seem to have a fairly long shelf life, things get more interesting when you take into account balance patches. LoL does a major patch between each season, and introduces changes in a similar scope to what hockey saw in the 05 lockout. The game is fundamentally the same, but the dominant strategies shift and players have to adapt. On top of that they do regular balance changes throughout the season, typically once a month. Sometimes these will introduce a new champion that players can play as, or buff a champion or item that never sees competitive play, or nerf one that's in every single game (There's ~140 champions, and only 20 per game). On top of that they want to keep the game fun for casual players, and some of those tweaks end up affecting pros as well. During the regular season they have to adapt as the patches come out, but for major tournaments the competitive environment will be locked down a couple weeks in advance, giving all teams a chance to practice knowing that no changes will come for the duration of the tournament.

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thanks for those links ... clearly lots of people enjoy this but man it was impossible to follow or really care about what was going on.

unlike live human played sports, i dont see how the emotional connection, the stories and the drama can be created with a game like that.
If you want to see more of the human / drama side take a look at the Road to Worlds documentary (which I linked to in a previous post)


Day[9]'s My Life in Starcraft is great as well.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:39 PM   #322
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So, it is not really up to any of us to determine what is or is not a "sport." The natural progression of culture and the evolution of language will make that decision for us.
OK, putting on my professional hat for a moment:

Culture doesn't do anything by itself. Language doesn't do anything by itself. They are both created by human beings, and change in response to the decisions made by human beings. Each of us has a vote on usage; some people's votes count more than others. Big-name writers and songwriters, media personalities, and prominent politicians have the power to popularize usages overnight, and the somewhat lesser power to stigmatize usages by ridicule.

The only thing that is constant and certain is that human beings using language have a general incentive to maximize their signal-to-noise ratio. In one of the innumerable boxes of books packed up for my move, I have a copy of the first edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage. As I recall, it was published in the 1920s. Much has changed in the language since then. But I have often noticed that Fowler was right more often than not in predicting which usages would survive and which would die out. In general, usages survive when they make language clearer and more specific, and die out when they make language vaguer. In particular, usages that are liable to cause confusion tend to die out quickly.

I don't know whether the neologism ‘esports’ will survive or not. If not, then based on Fowler's criteria, I would guess that another specialized word will replace it, and not that it will be folded in under the general word ‘sports’. The distinction between primarily athletic activities and primarily sedentary activities is of great importance in certain contexts, and it improves communication to refer to them by different words. If we need a catchall word to include both kinds of activities, we already have one: ‘games’.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:02 AM   #323
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...Culture doesn't do anything by itself. Language doesn't do anything by itself. They are both created by human beings, and change in response to the decisions made by human beings. Each of us has a vote on usage; some people's votes count more than others. Big-name writers and songwriters, media personalities, and prominent politicians have the power to popularize usages overnight, and the somewhat lesser power to stigmatize usages by ridicule...


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Old 06-10-2018, 12:36 AM   #324
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Worst thread of the year

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