Popularity Pointing to Players
The increasing popularity of eSports coincides with the rise of social media. Similar to how pop culture consumers seek out tabloids for personal information on their favorite celebrities, gamers are also looking to become more personally connected with their favorite players. Community centric websites such as Clgaming.net and Solomid.net have content by these favored players. Fans can find podcasts, videos, blogs and articles with the click a mouse. Similar websites provide user generated content by famous video game players.
This grassroots style of eSports coverage is very popular with fans of the industry. Opinions from their favorite player are much more coveted than opinions from a reporter. In this field, a fan may seek journalistic coverage of an event to find out what happened, but if that same fan wanted an opinion of what occurred that person would look to their favorite player.
Reporters must now struggle with what they want to accomplish while covering an eSports event. Should they provide a broad plot summary of what transpired or should they offer their insight, but if their opinion is not valued should they give it? If fans prefer coverage from their favorite players is there any hope for more professional, legitimate reporting?
It’s a Two Way Street
For there to be better eSports journalism, two things need to happen. Players are going to continue to provide content and it would be unreasonable for them to stop. Instead, more adequate reporters need to provide more adequate reporting. And consequently, fans of the eSports scene need to actually read such coverage. Social media as a whole seems to be increasing the popularity of informal media outlets, such as blogs, but in a scene where largely all the press coverage belongs to this informal style of reporting, there should be room for professional coverage.