Is there life after you get on an internet forum and insult a bunch of your fans? Things weren't looking great for notorious eSports personality Greg "IdrA" Fields after doing just that last week; the well-known pro StarCraft player was promptly removed from his team, Evil Geniuses. Over the weekend he did a YouTube interview with gaming show Real Talk, where he revealed that he probably wasn't going to try and find a home elsewhere—he's looking into commentating instead.
Esports team Evil Geniuses have "released" Starcraft 2 pro Greg "IdrA" Fields from their roster, after he insulted the SC2 community in a forum post earlier in the week. The often contentious Zerg player posted in the Team Liquid forum's "The IdrA Fanclub" thread Wednesday morning, calling fans "a bunch of fucks" after one poster jokingly suggested he was "crying inside" because of "enforced facade."
It’s mildly uncomfortable—kind of like an itchy turtleneck—to write something in defense of one of our competitors. But it’s much more uncomfortable to see a colleague so ignorantly lambasted in the way that GameSpot eSports reporter Rod Breslau (“Slasher,” as he’s usually known) was last night on Twitch.tv.
On Tuesday evening Breslau joined a conversation on the popular eSports talk show Inside The Game, hosted by Marcus “djWheat” Graham. The stream was paneled by players of Evil Geniuses, the largest and most influential North American eSports team. The group explored the coverage of eSports by journalists in the wake of recent leaks, namely ones made by Breslau about the signing of players by eSports teams like EG.
The discussion that followed, unfortunately, demonstrated EG's misguided views about the role of the press.
Esports team Evil Geniuses could be about to make a move into League of Legends. According to Gamespot, they're close to signing Counter Logic Gaming's European LoL team. Sources inside the team say the deal is happening "soon", with EG outbidding Azubu Frost to sign them.
Picking up the "Host Three PCG Podcasts" achievement, T.J. once again leads a party of daring journalist-adventurers into the deep and dank dungeons of the week's PC gaming goings-on. We talk the unforgettable moments of PAX (both the good, and the ones we wish were slightly more forgettable), the closure of City of Heroes, whether or not Steam should be catering to your sexy time fix, and how T.J. would like to punch story writer Sean Vanaman repeatedly in the abdomen so he can see how it feels to be on the receiving end of The Walking Dead Episode 3.
The American eSports fan faces a dilemma tonight. Do you brew coffee and stay up until the Intel Extreme Masters finals start at 3 AM Eastern (9 AM Central European Time), or do you go to bed early and wake up in time to watch the games? Or do you do none of the above and catch the replay? The day starts with Counter-Strike, ESC v. Na`Vi, then moves on to StarCraft 2 and PuMa (Terran) v. MC (Protoss) at 6:15 AM Eastern. Finally, it's the League of Legends final between M5 and Dignitas, and even that, if the last few days have been any indication, will have a far, far larger audience than either StarCraft or Counter-Strike. If you need to be caught-up on what you've missed at the IEM, you can check out the video archives here.
As dilemmas go, choosing how to enjoy the IEM finals is not a bad one to have. Especially when you compare it to what the Evil Geniuses team is dealing with right now.
For the first time, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Saturday played host to a panel on eSports to discuss what they are, why they are enjoying such a tremendous period of growth, and what the future holds for them. Developer, team owner, caster, and league manager were represented by Blizzard's Mike Morhaime, Evil Geniuses' Alex Garfield, Sean "Day" Plott, and the MLG's Sundance DiGiovanni, respectively. As Plott put it, "The numbers are becoming astoundingly big," and the proliferation of streaming technology alongside the rise of StarCraft 2 promises to change eSports indelibly.
"[The MLG is] ten years old," DiGiovanni said. "The people who know our organization, they have a strong attachment to a number of titles that we've run in the past. But we've never been in a position where we had the right title, the right technology, and a global audience base at the same time. Now we do."