I haven’t submitted any features or editorials to ESFI recently, nor have I really allowed myself to write as often as I have meant to here. Realizing this weekend that I haven’t given an honest go at the larger goal that I finally sat down and attempted to complete this weekend, the column in this case, I figured that I would simply start over.
It sure was difficult to come to that conclusion.
Usually getting to a point where a due date is coming up means crunch time. It means putting in about 150% of yourself until the task at hand is complete. Since I’m not getting compensated for sharing my opinions with folks on a larger ESFI platform, I decided that folks really didn’t want me doing something lame and speculating on what the year will being the sports community as a whole, and instead I have decided to focus like a laser on one particular aspect of the broadcasting element in consuming competitive games.
Hitting the proverbial reset button on the process was a mental relief and hassle at the same time. Sure, this let me come up with an idea that I might be able to ramble on about in a more persuasive manner, but now I have the added pressure of having to deliver on the promise that I would be contributing a column to the site. A recent addition to the editors of the site expressed concern in not having enough opinion to read on the website, and I fully intend to have something that might make this person proud to have donated his time to further games journalism in the competitive market.
With regards to gaming journalism: I want ESFI to grow. I’m not sure that I agree with the notions that there needs to be more than one ESFI for the journalism scene to be considered on fire. We’re doing the best we can ot continue producing content that covers SC2, Dota 2, CS and even upcoming titles that are expected to make a pretty big splash in the scene. I don’t think that having to do so requires many different websites that compete with each other to get the news and features that the community deserves. Instead, it’s more about breaking the power that large communities that teams have erected around themselves such as EvilGeniuses, TeamLiquid, vVv and other teams used to help build up the number of supporters and fans they could report to potential sponsors.
The reason ESFI hasn’t blown up per se is the fact that there are better venues for the PR machines behind each of these teams to release the information that needs to be covered. Depending on the community that the release is posted to, there might be massaging of the message intended for the general public. There might be a few details left out (think tournaments and where they were getting their funding from) and perhaps some fluffy speculation left in (but only when it serves the organizations interests to fully hype-up something).
It’ll be a long time coming when ESFI steps into its rightful place as a top-tier source for news through-out the entire gaming scene, but that’s because what’s working for teams and organizations is… well,… working right now. And that mantra about the not fixing what isn’t broke thing? That’s standard operating procedure for keeping things under control.
As far as owners, organizers and sponsors are concerned, there is no need to hit the reset button and give a site like ESFI a chance. They have the places to deliver their message and the audience to pass it on organically without too much work. There’s no need for comment or analysis from the audience outside of what’s necessary for the circlejerk of novelty Reddit accounts and forum troll fodder to continue adding to the list of reasons to give a shit about the community.
As ESFI grows, sources and players that might have avoided giving third-party interviews might not be so cold to the idea of journalism as a manner in which to increase awareness of something that needs more of spotlight as far as they’re concerned. But that’s ultimately the point of ESFI—to be fans of players and the games they play. It’s not to help the proliferation of the PR machine and help them control the message. It’s to report on news and share speculation on things in a unique enough manner with a goal to help the scene become more mature.
At least that’s what I’d like for ESFI to be—unafraid to hit the reset button.