I’ve been in the FGC for about 2 years now and I had the chance to meet and greet some of the best Fighting Gamers on the planet. Some of them are nice and cordial to others and some are just intolerable. With each passing quarter, it seems that “the Line” between E-Sports and the Fighting Game Community (FGC) is getting blurry, however it seems like that line is reappearing again.
Since teams like Complexity, vVv, Evil Geniuses came into the FGC, people have been taking sides. “This could be good for the Future!” “YOOOOO E-SPPPPOOORRTTTS” are some phrases that have been spouted out over the internet or in person. Regardless where you live in North America, the whole E-sports/FGC debate has come up in some shape or form at some time. It has cause a rift within the community but nothing as more serious as the one between the two communities. If you think there is not a rift, then you are sadly mistaken.
Six months before the TFA Diablo III marathon, I inquired on how to get in touch with several known RTS players and try to do a cross promotion. “That would not work” was a reply I got back from one of the players management; “E-Sports players are not into fighting games like that.” Sad part is that, those two lines hold some truth. I’m not saying ALL FPS or RTS professional players are not into fighting games. I’m sure they are some of them that are, but when the last time you see Moon play AE? How about Swifty playing Mortal Kombat? With that being said, its totally the opposite for the FGC side. I see a lot of fighting gamers playing RTSes and FPS all the time. TFA have or had people on the team that plays WoW, SC2 and LOL. Speaking of LoL, Marn has a LoL team and I know he use to dabble with DoTA or DoTA2 as well.
From my personal opinion, I think a lot of this stems from the view points of each community. The E-Sports teams and players look down on the FGC like an older brother does his younger sibling when he’s trying to go out on a date and the younger sibling comes along. Just young, immature and don’t know where he wants to go. Whereas the FGC looks at the E-Sports as Suits and/or sellouts that have no dignity or pride, all they care for is the almighty dollar and never mind the hard work, sweat and tears a player put in his craft to get his name to every arcade (or household these days). FGC was born in the arcades.
Arcades (or the best ones) was in the rural or outskirts of the inner city near or in the suburbs outlining the city. Diversity was common but a brotherhood was formed because of this. E-sports? You can come from just about anywhere, as long as you had a PC and network connection, you were good or if you had transportation you could travel to LAN parties. Both sides have a history and both are similar so where is the disconnect coming from? I think its in part of human emotion and the inability to adapt. The human part is of course Jealousy and fear. FGC is kind of jealous of the E-Sports community. LOOK. You may read that line and be like are you serious? I am. Lets be real. The FGC players may not be jealous of the E-Sports players skills or talents however they are jealous of those PAY CHECKS! FGC is now seeing some good pay outs, however E-Sports been paying out players and teams in the 4, 5, 6 figure range for years. You don’t think that burns Justin up to see that amount of money getting dished out? Wong loves the FGC, so do most of the players in the FGC, but you cannot tell me they don’t want to see that type of money come their way. The power players of the FGC are trying to get it that way but it takes time and in the meantime you can see why I say the jealousy portion of this situation.
The Fear part is from the E-Sports side. Again you might be saying, “WTF ever! What do we have to fear from these Brazzer loving fools?” In all, you don’t have too, but you do however. FGC has been around for over a decade. True but since the revitalization of the FGC due to Capcom, it’s been growing very, very fast. Not only that, but now PC part makers are noticing this too. More and more sponsors are coming over to see what’s the hype is all about. And speaking of hype; FGC has that. LOTS of it. Im not saying E-sports don’t have any or cannot get as hype as the FGC, however it can get extremely explosive at FGC tournaments. The emotion, the passion, I’ve only see stuff like that at WWE pay per views. And it’s fast! It’s quick. Starcraft has its hype moments but there is a build up process, where as in AE, hype can come and go in less than a nanosecond.
Over 15 months ago, we did see the lines being blurred. Evil Geniuses signed Justin Wong, more PC sponsors coming over, etc. Things were looking good. However within the past 90 days, something has shifted. We see vVv drop their whole Fighting Game division. Hell they did that 2 days after EVO and one of their star players got second in Mortal Kombat, so it wasn’t due to lack of talent. Now there are some rumbling over at Complexity (this is pure rumor or speculation) about their dealings with FGC members. Let’s not even talk about the “bitchfest” we’ve seen on stream chats between e-sports fans and FGC fans. FGC fans defending the FGC on MLG streams against E-sports fans or vice versa.
Personally, I think this is all ridiculous. Both sides play competitive games at tournaments for a chance for profit and fame. So basically both communities are two different sides of the same coin. Also you don’t see this type of crap in the four major sports. I sat in the same area where Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers) and Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) while watching Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills (#&@#*$ Pistons lost that game badly. Still steamed about that). I’ve seen Rasheed at Red wings games or at Lions training camp practices. I’ve even heard of pro players from from different sports being good friends. FGC and E-sports has been around for a while now and I haven’t even heard of a FGC player having a good friend in the E-Sports field or vice versa. Not even one? Stuff like this needs to cease to exist. This is so bad it reminds me of this;
You may see that as being too extreme but I don’t. I see it just like that. Don’t get me wrong things are changing (DMG getting Kingston, TFA with Razer, MLG and Mad catz working together, IPL and Tecmo..) But we just hope the process speeds up somewhat and don’t revert back to the dark times in the process.