Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate great talent in any aspect of life. There are times when I genuinely enjoy watching a video game match. But there’s something onerous about the current crop of eSports games that saps away my interest in them.
I appreciate that video games are gaining more of a foothold in the mainstream, and that the talent it takes to perform at a professional level is being recognized, but the issue I have is how it is currently being presented. Since I’m not that old of a man, I can understand what is going on in a game from the perspective of a player, but when it shifts to a wider shot, I get utterly confused by the maelstrom of characters and bullets.
This is a complaint that is mostly lobbed against team-based games like Overwatch and CS:GO. It’s one thing to watch a Reaper come into a point, unleash their ult, and do additional clean-up afterwards, but it’s another thing to have a Winston fly in from out of nowhere to stop the ult and pop up a shield bubble while other team members rush in from all over the map and finish off Reaper, all while the camera is zooming across the battlefield 16 times in 5 seconds. Typing that sentence was exhausting enough, so how can I be expected to keep up with the rest of the shenanigans? I tried watching the Overwatch League, and while they did their best to streamline their coverage, it still gets a little overwhelming to take it all in (especially when the commentators are yelling in unison about five different plays that are happening at the same time).
This isn’t to say that I can’t deal with all of eSports. I love this classic clip of Daigo pulling a reversal in Street Fighter, and I can follow a Dragon Ball FighterZ match with relative ease. The fighting genre of games better lends itself for audience viewing since there are only two combatants at a time who aren’t fighting six other players for people’s attention. Maybe broadcasters will figure out a way to make it less intimidating to old fogies like me. Until then, I’m just going back to playing some Pong. Now that’s a game! Did I ever tell you about the time I was playing it and... *incoherent nostalgic rambling*