Today I witnessed an online conversation which sparked some very concerning thoughts. I'm not going to quote anyone or name names, but this is the gist of it. An individual initiates a public discussion about how he would best spend X amount of dollars if he had the opportunity. His choice was eSports, and he projected some loose ideals for public consumption.
There were two angles of reception.
The first - fellow enthusiasts who had different ideas about how they would approach the situation. They engaged the conversation and traded opinions. It was unfounded, but productive discussion.
The second - self-proclaimed veterans of the industry who shut him down pretty hard. His ideas were burned and his suggestions were belittled. He quite clearly didn't have a rounded appreciation for what he wanted to (theoretically) accomplish. He lacked planning and understanding. He wasn't aware of the logistics involved. So apparently that justifies attacking him.
Now here's the thing. The people who attacked him were nowhere to be found 2 years ago. Amongst the wave of enthusiasts who appeared on the radar in 2011, they have since attended some LAN's, commentated some games and even co-ordinated an online event here and there. Somewhere along the line, this translates into, "Spending the last few years growing the scene."
I'm in no position to challenge anyone on what they have or haven't done, but what this DOES highlight is that there is a distinct lack of transparency on the other side of the coin. In previous blogs, I've demonstrated financial transparency as far as teams and events goes. But when it comes to event management, commentators, etc - most of what we know about people and organisations is spread by word of mouth and absorbed via diffusion. The closest thing we have to a "directory" of stakeholders is Liquipedia, for those who take the time to update it.
Look at it this way. If I ask you who some of the more prominent commentators are in the StarCraft community, you'll say - Tasteless, Artosis, Day9, Apollo, Kaelaris, TotalBiscuit, etc, etc, etc.
If you asked me who the prominent commentators are in the League of Legends scene, I'd say... PastryTime and Papa... something? I can't even remember his name. It's not in my scope of interest. The name... MonteCristo also comes to mind. I think he does ProLeague or something. I dunno. The only reason I know of PastryTime is because his name was all over Twitter for like a whole year and I've had a few chats with him here and there.
So now this creates a problem. What if an enthusiast discovers eSports tomorrow, and asks me a bunch of questions on a very broad spectrum. I can't help him. I don't know all the answers, and they're not very well documented either. Finding good quality information in this industry requires a lot of time, networking and research.
So I'd like to fix this problem. Over the next few weeks/months, I'm going to be reaching out to those who have contributed to eSports. Whether it's running tournaments, social media, commentary, whatever. Doesn't matter. I want to touch base with all of you. And I want to build a directory akin to LinkedIn - dedicated to eSports. And if you see someone in the public eye and you're not really sure what role they've played in the industry, you can simply look them up in this directory and see a list of their contributions (note: I deliberately avoided using the word accomplishments, it's so frustratingly far out of context).
For people who read this and would like to take the initiative, feel free to e-mail me via email@example.com and we can get the ball rolling. Ultimately, I'd like to present YOU to the industry in a very professional and transparent manner. Consider this your opportunity to build an eSports resume. All you need to do is provide me with a list of events & dates, followed by what your involvement was. Here's one of mine off the top of my head, for example:
August 10 - 12, 2012
WCS Australia & Oceania
- Developed a stream schedule & liaised with Blizzard, commentators & the ACLPro production team
- Co-ordinated the bracket and player management
- Stage commentary
- Player equipment & technical assistance
- Social Media (Twitter)
- Co-ordinated 4 qualifying events (ACL Melbourne Nationals, Brisbane Regionals, Melbourne Regionals, Adelaide Regionals)
I don't expect many people to actually read this and take the initiative, so I'll be chasing people down soon enough. All I can ask is that you please co-operate and take the time to provide this information because ultimately, it's for you own benefit and marketability!
Check back soon for updates on the project.
EDIT: Wow, overwhelmingly positive response already. So many emails! Could I please also ask people to submit a photograph? Thanks! <3