Chalk Talk - Professional Play for Pay

In this week's Chalk Talk we discuss eSports and Professional gaming and its impact on games, gamers, and the community

For this week's Chalk Talk assignment we touched on the subject of eSports and professional gaming. Despite it being a part of our culture since the 80's the concept of playing professionally is still very much a touchy subject amongst many gamers. Despite the clear split in opinion, tournaments like MLG, EVO, NASL and other leagues continue to gain momentum in prestige and popularity. Here's what GameSpotters had to say.


Tazzman1000: As a child I always viewed myself as a competitive gamer. I would stay up at night thinking of tactics to win at Warcraft 3. I would be constantly chopping and changing my Pokemon line-up to get the most versatile fighting team. Id fight dozens of matches on Street Fighter and Tekken to find the characters who suited my style the best. …. read more..


Gelugon_baat: e-Sports is ultimately a product of hype - specifically one that feeds off the popularity of high-profile games with competitive gameplay. It has always been so when the first "league" or "club" was formed (usually from the more insular "clans") so that matches between seasoned players can be broadcasted over the Internet just to show how awesome a game (or its most ardent players) can be, even though what is shown is highly advanced play and is far from the experience that newcomers to the game would have. …. read more..


angelbless: Speaking of professional gamers could have been a joke 30 years ago when video games were just seen as a form of leisure and entertainment but today, its a reality that is growing so much that even associations that promote the development of professional gaming competitions were created, there are even the particular examples of countries like South Korea where video games have become a national sport. …. read more..

Additional Thoughts

Here were a few other interesting points about eSports and Professional Gaming


MrsViolence: As you all know, I attended MLG Anaheim 2012 Spring Championship back in early June! Not to compete, but to cover the amazing media that goes on all around us!! That Friday morning was extremely different for me, being as this was the first event I knew 100% that I wouldn't be competing in. …. read more..


TruedUp: Seeing the "NASL Season 3" image on the main page in the newsfeed rotation is great and I'm glad they are going this way. Professional gaming is definitely a thing, its fun to watch, its even better to learn, and should be given as much exposure as possible. …. read more..

The Peanut Gallery

In addtion to the fantastic blogs on GameSpot we also took a quick Community Poll via Facebook and Twitter to find out what others had to say on the subject.

Extra Credit

Sometimes a good blog is simply a good blog, and these GameSpot members deserve recognition for their efforts and contributions:
- Truth in Advertising By: Uesugi-dono
- A Gamer's Guide to Back to School By: -Saigo-
- The Retro vs Modern Debate By: dragonps

A very special thanks to everyone who contributed to this week's Chalk Talk! To read all of the entrants, you can check out this link here.

Next Week's Assignment - Video Game Music: In Perfect Harmony

"Music is the strongest form of magic." - Brian Hugh Warner

In this week's Chalk Talk Topic we're going to discuss one of the single most powerful and influential aspects of the games we love; the music. It is no secret that music in games can greatly influence the way we receive the game in question. Be it the simplistic notes from Legend of Zelda or the complex scores of Journey one thing is certain, video game music has a major impact on our gameplay experiences. Need some inspiration on how to get this blog rolling? Discuss the evolution of video game music from its humble beginnings to its now grand execution. Perhaps talk about the current trends regarding Video Game Concerts, or the creation of "Nerdcore". After you've created your blog make sure that you sound off in this weeks roll-call topic.

← Check here for more editions of Chalk Talk.

Written By

Community Producer for GameSpot. Fan of all things gaming, social butterfly, a lover of bacon, MTG, D20's and pie.

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Discussion

0 comments
nesky
nesky

Pro gamer? What kind of rubbish is this? This is not a career choice, it is a recreational activity. I really don't see why this is even a discussion. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional. I won't even bother commenting on it being a sport, seriously...

Heirren
Heirren

Lol@MLG. TV rots your brain. What is next, Major League Smoking?

ChaoticLucidity
ChaoticLucidity

The International Olympic Committee recognizes both chess and poker as sports... Albeit mind sports, but sports nonetheless... There is also cue sports... No, gaming may not be an athletic sport, but apart from the lack of recognition from a major sporting body, I fail to see why it can't be labelled a sport...

piffdaddy123456
piffdaddy123456

Don't act like the two are all that far apart. Nice handwriting requires skill too....hey that can be a sport as well!

willow342
willow342

i have just joined up but i want to start to pro game

anyone know how we can get paid

piffdaddy123456
piffdaddy123456

I'm gonna start watching tv competitively and call that a sport too. Gaming a sport? Gimme a break.

yasso
yasso

You know what's a better example than poker & chess? Pool or billiards! If many people consider poker or chess "sports", then many more people consider pool or billiards a sport. Now, where do we draw the like between sports and "games"? Maybe sports stop at table tennis and anything less "physical" than that, like pool, shouldn't be called a sport? Maybe! 

 

My 2 cents on this subject is that I do have great respect, and give great importance, to language & terminology. Language & choice of words affect whole countries & cultures more than any non-linguist can imagine. Word are the very tool that some parties use to brainwash the masses, isn't that right? They have done it in the past, and they continue to do it until today. I truly wish that more people realized the power of words & language. According, I'm personally inclined to agree that we definitely should [not] be calling activities like chess, card games, billiards, or pc games "sports", and we should not be calling those who practice them "athletes"; that would be a gross mislabel. I vote for calling such activities, again like chess, card games, billiards, and computer or video games simply "games". I vote for calling those who practice such games professionally as a way to make money "professional gamers". So really, adults who play pool or chess professionally should really get a grip and not try in inflate what they do with false dignified labels; and maybe the advent of professional video gaming will convince them, with time, that there's nothing wrong with competitive or professional gaming.

 

So basically, I have nothing against professional gaming or making money from competitive gaming, and I'm also fine with competitive or professional gamers. Some of those competition are indeed fun to watch, just like people like to watch a soccer or basketball "game" really. So a growing audience can watch, sponsors advertise to the audience, everyone makes some money; there's nothing wrong with that in and of itself. But yes, just don't call them "eSports", please.

lim_ak
lim_ak

Your stance on eSports should be the same as your stance on other games of skill like Poker and Chess, if those can be considered sports than so can video games. I would definitely call pro-gamers sports people, but by that same token I wouldn't call them athletes. Good reading from those featured as always!

 

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

As a musician I could say I'd be insulted if people who played stuff like Guitar Hero started calling themselves musicians. In that same since it's f***ing crazy to lump video games in to sports. It's okay to take competitive play serious but call it was it is it's gaming simple and plain. Calling it "esports" seems to make it out to be more than what it is; maybe "more" was the wrong word...you're make it out to be different than what it is.

 

I never thought that the word "sport" would ever become such a grey term

 

xolivierx
xolivierx

competitive gaming consists of having no friends to share activity with other than gaming(ie : movies, sports, restaurant, even talk mano to mano). It also consists of being fragging stubborn to the point of playing a game so much a normal person would have stopped because there's just nothing left to taste in the game. It's like sucking a lemon dry and eating the skin. Competitive gaming is being obsessive about a game. There are just so much people you can frag on a killing spree before you get bored. It's like watching the same movie 2754 times. Maybe it's way for the players to connect with the outside world, who knows.

paladin125
paladin125

Honestly I didn't know that there were really any people that have such a distaste for competitive gaming... I don't see how you can - especially if you are a gamer yourself - because competitive gaming's existence does absolutely nothing to harm anyone in any conceivable manner. If it doesn't interest you, I doubt you really have to go out of your way to keep yourself from watching tournaments or keeping up with it in general...

ChaoticLucidity
ChaoticLucidity

To all the naysayers: If chess is a sport, how is competitive gaming not?

suplax
suplax

I've been gaming for more than 20 years now and as much as i like i don't believe eSport will become something huge like Football or Basketball for instance.

It requires money , time and understanding beyond a normal sport.

You will need money to fund your equipments that is more expensive than a regular sport gear ( depending on the sport of course ). You will need a lot of time to improve and polish your skills on the choosen game,  like any other sport but you will also require the understanding of those around you , because the majority of people around the globe do not consider gaming a sport , and you will probably face prejudice along the way.

 

Personally i think it's ok to call it "eSport" although is an absurd to call someone who compete on eSports as athlete.

Plus , people will ALWAYS associate "eSport " with nerdy , fat people , laziness , lack of social life , etc....

 

Mrod1212
Mrod1212

What is it with all the eSports articles? Isn't there a section especially for this? The quality of this website has really gone to hell.

MMagMaR
MMagMaR

I didn't think people could be this ignorant. Have a open mind for once. Also it's kinda funny when you have a viewership of 4.7 million that watched the MLG Spring Championship,Yeah you could say more people watch eSports competitions more then some olympic sports. But hey calling eSports a joke because people are gaming and are not carrying around a football or a basketball and many NFL and NBA players have attended MLG events and  being able to play at the level of these players and teams are playing at isn't and couldn't be called a sport is just ridiculous. #eSports 

HaK-ForgoTT3n
HaK-ForgoTT3n

Jesus Christ, take the word "sports" out of the name "e-sports" Its not a SPORT! Its an insult to athhletes. Competitive gaming is pathetic nowadays. COD hasn't been competitive since COD2. Consoles for gaming is a joke to. This is coming from a kid that ONLY plays consoles. Never played PC in my life, but can easily see how its more competitive with mouse/keyboard. The point is, competitive gaming is NOT a sport and never will be. So stop wasting time with these dumb articles trying to say otherwise. This is also coming from someone who has attended an MLG event in the past (never again after the geeks I saw there, but that another story) and has played halo competitively, BUT also play college baseball so I have the common sense to distinguish the difference between a sport and a bunch of lazy fat kids, OR unathletic crack sticks pressing buttons and screaming "get raped" after they kill someone on a screen...PATHETIC.

DITHRICH
DITHRICH

congratulations @Tazzman1000 , and to all who were presented.

mattman127
mattman127

I don't see how getting together with a bunch of friends takes the fun out of playing multiplayer but whatever.

 

I have friends that like it and some that don't. I also have friends who think that competitive gaming is just now becoming popular because of Black Ops 2 -.- as much as I love Call of Duty a lot of it's fanbase are quite ignorant.

 

If this popularizes competitive play and gets more people to try than to troll, I'm all for it.

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

I can't stand clans/organized gaming. They take the fun out of it.  I would only watch professional gaming if I was trying to learn tricks to improve my own skills.

wantbackin
wantbackin

It would be really nice if the people at GameSpot could tell us just how popular eSports in regards to the number of viewers that come to the site and check out the content (especially as there is a section to the site dedicated to it). That would be a really good way of seeing the opinion of the site's visitors.

The focus of eSpots on GS occured shortly after that Battlefield 3 show last year so they much have complied enough data to show just how popular they are on the site. Especialy since a number of staff members were let go around the same time as the push, I would assume they've (the suits) invested quite a bit on this endeavour. That, in my opinion would be the real gauge in figuring out just how popular eSports really are.

 

OT but community related: why wasn't there much talk about the recent departures? There was only a brief mention that The Suit (Davison) and Newshound, Brendan Sinclair have left. Any word on if Davison's leaving is related to the status of the site (his two last jobs lead to those sites closing (what they play and GamePro)). It would suck if his 'poison' leads to the demise of GS. As for Mr. Sinclair, he will be sorely missed!!!

 

Finally, when are we getting new On The Spot epsiodes? Or was that canceled too?

x-TwilighT-x
x-TwilighT-x

 @nesky

 Professionals get paid for what they do. If someone gets paid to play games, They are a professional gamer. Whether it is, or is not, a sport is moot.

Tazzman1000
Tazzman1000

 @Heirren Seeing as smoking is detrimental to your health, I don't think so :P

nesky
nesky

 @ChaoticLucidity

Maybe it has to do with the fact that regardless of where you are in the world, when you are in the world, the rules of Chess, Poker, and how it is played remain the same? The game won't be patched because Queens are high tier and a broken chess piece -_- 

xolivierx
xolivierx

1st you need to kill get rid of your real life friends, you can always get new friends online and they are wayyyyyyy better. Also lock yourself in the basement and order the latest call of duty. Now you only need to play and give yourself 3 hours of sleep per day. Forget washing up, no time for that because you have to perfect your headshots. Pizza and coke will be your new diet. You should order diapers because what sane person would take the chance to be killed in an online game rathen then going poopoo...You should wear glasses, it help. Now have fun gaming!

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

 @suplax yeah that's f***in BS for anyone who plays a sport game to call themself an athlete.\

Fowsed
Fowsed

 @Mrod1212 what section? i dont know what you are talking about! ON the contrary it's quality has imporved

HaK-ForgoTT3n
HaK-ForgoTT3n

 @MMagMaR  Open mind? Can your read??? I said I gamed competitive and even went to an event, so yeah I'm open minded numb nuts. Just because I don't agree with you that its a sport, which is not, doesn't mean yiou have to reply crying about it. I could care less if NBA or NFL players went to an event. They don't sit on their ass all day and do nothing but play video games. They're professional ATHLETES. When your MLG is bigger than NFL, MLB NBA or the Olympics, then give me a call. Until then shut up. How about give me a call when MLG is on TV again...good luck.

Makc2
Makc2

 @HaK-ForgoTT3n So you've never played pc in your life, yet you presume to pass judgement on competitive gaming and e-sports as a whole? You're on a videogame site, don't start calling people geeks. Competitive gaming is not a sport, it's COMPETITIVE GAMING. Competition between two teams or people to find an absolute victor. E-sports is just a term. There's competitive everything. Pull your head out of your hole, or fuck off.

nesky
nesky

 @x-TwilighT-x

 The very act of receiving money makes you a professional? Are you a complete idiot? Good luck with that perspective. I have nothing further to say to you.

suplax
suplax

 @Fowsed  @Mrod1212 Your probably not have been on GS to long son....

I'll have to admit that the quality did dropped over the years.

HaK-ForgoTT3n
HaK-ForgoTT3n

 @Makc2 Why do I have to play PC? Do you not know that theres consoles in "esports"?  Which I already stated that I played halo competitively. You're an idiot. Next time read before opening your fat mouth. I'll call whoever I want a geek if I feel they're geeks. Video games and video games sites are not geeks at all. Everyone plays games, But when people take this crap to the extent as to compare video games with real sports, then thats pathetic. If competitive gaming is not s sport then why call it a e...SPORTS? Makes no sense. If it "competitive", call it "competitive gaming" and thats it. Its very simple.

ChaoticLucidity
ChaoticLucidity

 @Chaos_Dante_456  Doesn't really matter what you think... The International Olympic Committee recognizes both chess and poker as sports... Albeit mind sports, but sports nonetheless...

suplax
suplax

 @Gelugon_baat  @Mrod1212  "Quality" does not stand for "lack of content". I was referring exactly to GS content "quality".

HaK-ForgoTT3n
HaK-ForgoTT3n

 @Gelugon_baat     I never said if it was on TV its a sport. Fact is, you sit in a chair and press buttons, can weigh 400 pounds and have man tits...NOT a sport. Sorry. People can think its a sport all they want, but the FACT of the matter is, its not a sport. Even if its on TV...which it once was...still NOT a sport.