Coffee Talk #14: Professional Gaming and You

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the Yankees totally sucking last night, Hulk Hogan signing with TNA Wrestling, or the joys of Burmese food, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Yesterday, a bunch of friends were telling me how they think professional gaming is set for a huge spike in North America. I was surprised by their position. While pro gaming has a following, I think it’s niche and I don’t see how it can achieve rapid growth in this economic climate.

Like any self-absorbed person, I started thinking about my issues with pro gaming. I just don’t find it very interesting. Watching a few people play a first-person shooter on a big screen bores me. In most cases, I rather be playing games than watching people play them.

Street Fighter IV

That said, there are a few exceptions. I love watching two highly skilled Street Fighter IV players go at it. I love watching Korean fans watch professional StarCraft players. At Korean StarCraft tournaments, the crowd is totally tuned into the game, gasps at sudden turnarounds, and goes nuts when their man wins. There are DVD box sets of tournaments and professional players have their own baseball cards. It’s a cool and unique thing.

Anyway, I want to know what you think about professional gaming. Does it interest you? Do you think it has a bright future in America? What kind of games do you like to watch in tournaments? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!

Author: RPadTV

42 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #14: Professional Gaming and You”

  1. Having a few friends that actively partcipate in the local SFIV scene, watching them fight is like watching a dance. Especially when you work in the major japanese competitors, their work is astounding. I am not quite as sold on the 1st person shooters. I watch what they do with a sense of awe, as I am not twitchy enough to react with such percise motions in those circumstances, and I am glad there is a market for that, but it's just not my bag.

    The starcraft videos are crazy. The true professionals micro-manage units and upgrades at a level that is beyond my capacity to understand. The few vids they have released for Starcraft II starring David Kim, really just floor me with the way that game is played. Truly awesome stuff.

  2. A niche for sure. I don't see it getting any real steam. I am sure World Series of Poker will always be bigger in the US.

  3. @ Mr. Padilla;

    It got popular because the producers for the show made a pact with the devil. Airtime and ratings in exchange for a few souls.

    … I would have just settled for a good sandwitch.


  4. i wish i was good enough to be a pro player, but im nowhere close.

    i don't think it will take off in the US, at least with the FPS market, because i think there are too many people like me who get really antsy just sitting and watching someone else play. it's a near impossible task for me, i would rather play, even if i would get slaughtered.

  5. @Ray

    Because everyone thinks they have a poker face and can play cards cause they learned from their daddy or read a book. People could see themselves doing it. That is exactly why it is low key crap tv in my opinion. I can't see myself jumping 18 yards like Reggie Bush, that is why the NFL is so popular. If I were to watch something in MLG…say an Arena Match in WoW…I'd think I could do better and can just fire up my game. There is no special talent these people have that can't be acquired by another gamer.

    Except the Koreans. Though I could start smoking heavily again, and play nothing but starcraft and perhaps at least compete.

  6. I would love a chance to compete in a SFIV tournament, I used to run the Local arcade with SFII. Like seriously, My grandma owned a grocery store and I just remember being like 7 years old with like a line waiting to play me. However, with the lack of Arcades and just Lack of needing social interaction I don't know if I see Pro-gaming taking off here. I miss the Arcades, they were so awesome and it was always fun to have somewhere to go where other gamers would be.

    And on a side note, I know everyone has seen it, I will be damned if you can say this(

    ) isn't beautiful.

  7. @rpad

    Coffee talk is off to a slow start this morning huh?

    Back on topic. Being an amateur is kinda better. IMO, pro gaming would just make you sell out. and i dont think gaming would be that fun anymore if it goes that mainstream. Mainstream stuff always ruin things. Pop punk degenerate asshole gay boys (like all time low) ruined punk rock. Their not even punk! Although i must admit, their last single was pretty catchy.

  8. To add my rant. Pop punk is good, if the band's not that mainstream. In fact, any genre of music is good if it's underground.

  9. @Smarguy You do know that when Koreans turn 16, they're issued two cartons of cigarettes and a copy of StarCraft from the government, right?

    @rbee90 It's because I started late. It's usually up by 5:30AM PST, but today's went up around 9:30AM.

  10. Dont even bother challenging a korean to a LAN game they'll just rush up, and end you under 5 minutes. Trust me, carriers would just be swarming before you could even make your own stargate, starport, hive, etc. And they lovvvvve the protoss

  11. @Ray

    Haha. What happens if the kid has an allergy to smoke and can't play SC very well? Euthanized?

  12. @Smartguy

    rough but true. Starcraft is serious business, especially when you can pack stadiums in to watch the best play. I nearly pooped myself when I read the wiki article on it a few weeks ago. Serious Business.

    Starcraft 2 is like the second coming of Flying Spagetti Monster.

  13. The only thing holding back pro gaming is access. If it was better integrated with the games themselves, then it might have a chance to take off. If you could watch pro games and participate in them through the game itself, then I'm sure most gamers would get into it. For example, I put MW1 in and get online in a tournament playlist that eliminates players after two loses and I get eliminated 5 games in. Instead of switching to another playlist and playing some more, I hang around and spectate the simi-finales and finales to see what I'm up against next time the tournament is held. Games are an interactive entertain, so if you want people to watch pro gaming, then you need to make it so they don't have to go anywhere else other than their console to watch it. Like 1 vs 100 if you will.

  14. O and when I went over to twitter I got this message:

    New! Lists. A great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts. (BETA)

    Lists are timelines you build yourself, consisting of friends, family, co-workers, sports teams, you name it. You're part of a small group receiving this feature, so don't tweet about it yet!

    Thought I'd share since they said no tweets, and technically I'm not tweeting.

  15. Sorry guys, I just woke up.

    @ rbee

    I used to say the same thing about underground music but now I realize I was just being pretentious. Lagwagon said it best:

    "The bands are good 'til they make enough cash to eat food, and get a pad then they're sold out and their music is cliche. Because talent's exclusive to bands without pay"

    That was a sarcastic lyric by the way, because it sounds ridiculous. Rise Against is still a kick ass band no matter how exposed they get.

    @ topic

    Gamebattles is full of cheaters and hacks (there, I said it).

  16. @N8R

    rise against is awesome, i totally respect them. It's just those bands like all time low, we the kings, blah blah, call themselves pop PUNK, really bug me. They sound too much poppy than punk.

    As for bands who are still good no matter how exposed they are, my personal pick for that is four year strong. Idk if you guys ever heard of em, but they are just awesome man. now that's a pop punk band.

  17. @ rbee

    Four years strong is on tour with Anti-Flag (who are from Pittsburgh). Check out Me first and the Gimme Gimmes.

    My favorite pop punk band is still the Ataris.

  18. @N8R

    the ataris and blink 182 used to be my high school bands. But then i turned to a metalhead. Then turned to Hardcore/Straight edge punk. Then went to being a rude boy, i would listen to less than jake, the specials, mustard plug, reel big fishand save ferris, with out picking up a game controller for a week. Then just turned to someone who appreciates music. I listen to any music now. From punk rock to hippie songs, from hippie songs to a lil bit of hip hop and rnb, From Punk Ska to reggae itself, and etc. I'm even listening to jack johnson right now, which im really looking forward to, seeing live.

  19. @ rbee

    Sweet, Jack Johnson toured with G. Love and G. Love is AWESOME! My iTunes has 182 different genres of music in it. Here are some of my favorites and I recommend all of them

    early Bruce Springsteen (before Born In The USA)

    The Toasters (probably my favorite ska band)

    Mad Caddies


    The Misfits (w/ Glenn Danzig)

    The Descendents (probably in my top 5 favorite bands ever)



    Creedence Clearwater Revival


    The Clash

    Billy Idol


    Huey Lewis & The News

    Joe Tex

    Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

    No Use For A Name

    Wu Tang Clan

    Otis Redding



    Real McKenzies

    Richard Cheese

    … I could go on.

    I first saw the Ataris in like '99 opening for Lagwagon right before the Blue Skies record came out. I never liked Blink though.

  20. @N8R

    loving that list man. the descendants are freakin' awesome, never had a chance to see them live. But they're stuff is just awesome. Never heard of G.Love thinking of checking him out at youtube. Heard a couple of songs from the toasters, they are good. Fugazi is just something else man, ive seen their videos live, people just dance the F away. Waiting room is their best song. I just got into no use for a name, they're pretty awesome too. As for the old school ones ones on that list, i used to practice creedence songs, when i was learning how to play drums. I used to practice led zep, acdc, white snake, skid row, etc songs on my first month learning on how to play the guitar. And about mr. springsteen, only song i have ever heard from him is born in the USA. Joe strummers songs are legends man, best song he ever wrote and contributed to the clash was what's my name. Im checking out the other artists on your list. Hopefully,they wont disappoint.

  21. I saw the Descendents when Everything Sux came out. Legendary. I also saw Fugazi for free at one point. They never play for more than 5 bucks a ticket.

    I'm a bassist of 20 years or so myself. Stick with it. You got a really good head on your shoulders. NOFX is playing with the Caddies in Pomona in December… I'm gonna try to be there.

  22. The focus in America is solely based on On strick FPS shooter, and one Fighter at the moment. Halo 3, and SF4. With Leagues such as MLG, only promoting 1 Game, Professional gaming will never be big in the states. As to where, the World Cyber Games, focus strictly on 6-8 games every year, and hold their tournaments around the World. They are doing it correctly. And not boosting 1 Video Game's EGO and Community. In the long run, it won't help anyone, but them greedy, and selfish selves.

    I love being a pro gamer, but in the states, it's entirely too hard to pursue and continue.

  23. @MrsViolence Thanks for the perspective, as well as for being the first female to comment on this site. Ha!

    Do you think MLG will ever get to the point where it's promoting several games at a time? Some might argue that it's being cautious with its growth. *shrug*

  24. @mrsviolence

    oh well. Here in the states you will need a day job to be a pro gamer. Nothing wrong with that.

  25. @Raymond You would think they could be doing that now, correct? They have wasted 42.5 Million $$$ into the Halo series, and don't get me wrong, sure some of that has gone towards, Gears 1 & 2, and the Rainbow Vegas Series, Shadowrun (Joke), WOW, and a little Call of Duty 4 here and there, but if you were to give that 42.5 Mill, to lets say WCG, I think it would be well spent, and well spread out. Just my opinion. :)

    @Smartguy For sure. :) I love being able to physically do both jobs. I also am an Assistant Manager at a Game Stop here in Florida, and continue pro gaming as my "Hobby" or "Interest", because it got myself on TV, and I myself have made some money off it. :)

  26. @Mrs Violence That's a fair point. I don't know enough about the business models of each company, but it seems like one is betting on focusing and the other is banking on diversifying. I guess we'll see how it all plays out.

  27. I just don't see this as anything more than a blip and a bust. If memory serves, there were celebrity gamers back in the 80s wearing piano ties and winning centipede and donkey kong tournaments all over the malls of america. There was even a touring company that had groupies.

    I think gaming may have more numbers now, but in terms of its frenzied peak, it was back in the days described in the beginning of the Fistfull of Quarters documentary (in which, @Rpad, Billy's Hair has a starring role)

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