By Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson of Evil Geniuses
We are heading into the holiday season, which means I get all warm and mushy inside. I reflect on the outgoing year and think about what both I and hopefully others can do to improve the world around us. That’s about as cheesy as I will get. I promise.
In November, BlizzCon, the year’s biggest StarCraft II event, will celebrate the greatest players of 2014. After that, the pro gaming scene will take a brief hiatus before gearing up again in 2015. Will Legacy of the Void be released? Will major balance patches be announced? Who knows! These things and others are certainly looming, but they have yet to be announced.
With all of that being true, it’s important that we discuss the lifeblood of our scene: the players. I know there are sensible accusations to be thrown at me when discussing this: “Oh Geoff, you are just being self-serving!,” or “You always talk about this!,” or “You are trying to promote yourself” et cetera. Sure, let’s just say “Yes” to all of those things and move along to the beef of this stew.
If you are a fan of StarCraft II, there is a good chance you have some favorite players and teams you enjoy watching (that doesn’t necessarily have to be iNcontroL or Evil Geniuses, but it should be!). So support them! No, seriously, do it! I know you guys know this and I know that it’s discussed often (usually by the players themselves) but that doesn’t make it any less true.
For those that need it, here is a list of things you can do to help your favorite pro gamer out:
- Follow them on Twitter
- Follow their stream channel
- “Like” their Facebook fan page
- Tweet/retweet their stream links when they go live
- Message them encouraging or thoughtful DM’s
- Subscribe to their YouTube
- Subscribe to their stream
- Buy merchandise / donate
You can of course go beyond what’s listed here, but it is a great place to look for ideas. These suggestions range from completely-free-of-charge to not-completely-free-of-charge, but all of them directly help that pro gamer continue on their path. There’s a misconception that doing these little things don’t help or make that big of a difference–– but believe me, it truly does! Growing your social media makes you more of an asset to those that employ you and can help create opportunities where there would otherwise be none. Additionally, being able to reliably count on income like subscriptions or monthly donations means you can budget more effectively and focus on bettering yourself as a progamer.
I am not here to debate the ethics of the various ways we can support progamers since some people are very against donations, which is fine! Don’t feel pressured to donate, but do consider things as simple as following them on Twitter or helping to grow their various other forms of social media via Facebook, Twitch.tv, etc.
As I said, this blog will be a giant “no duh” kinda thing to many of you reading this. Yeah, we all know these things help and I am not saying them in a more sexy or more compelling way than others have done. I simply want to take a minute to discuss things that have a real, lasting impact on something a lot of us enjoy and we want to keep around. But sometimes, we don’t always consider doing a little something extra. Personally, I know I could do a much better job of this. I like many of my fellow pro gamers and enjoy the products they put out, but I don’t always do enough to reward them for their work. I try to host, retweet, and promote some of those progamers, but I can always do more. If you can do more, please consider making the effort to do so!
That being said, remember this isn’t just a veiled StarCraft II charity plea. If you are a fan of Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO or anything else: you are hearing the same message! Take those extra few moments to pay some form of homage to the fact that you are benefiting from an entertainer who is also a person that could always use additional support.
I hope you guys enjoyed this conversation and take it to heart. I will try and write less cheesy blogs in the future, but sometimes I can’t help it. I love what this game has done for me and without the fans and those that support me like friends, family, employers and you guys out there, I wouldn’t be here. I hope you know that I am forever grateful for that.
Thanks for listening to this old eSport dog blather on.