Watching esports and competitive games

Completing the trilogy (?) of threads along this theme – we have one about sports games, and one about real life sports – I thought it might be interesting to to see if anyone else here is in to watching esports (or competitive gaming in general, to not anger the fgc by trying to call them “esports”).

There are some that I just cannot get in to, because the games are complex and I do not understand much of what I'm seeing. Prime examples here are high level MOBA (League, Dota2) play. I can appreciate that there is quite obviously genuine skill on display, but I do not understand the games, characters, actions, etc to be able to follow the action. I can't see _why_ a "big play" is indeed a big play.

Conversely to this, I absolutely love watching professional-tier Rocket League. It is easy to understand the general competition on display -- put the ball in the goal -- and also, at least for me, much easier to see and appreciate those "big play" moments. Even though the rules of the game are relatively simple, there is enough player agency to allow for moments of genuine skill to shine.

I suppose in general something I really enjoy is seeing those "clutch" moments when the stakes are high. A risky play or other high skill move in an all-or-nothing situation. Perhaps the classic example of this sort of thing is _Evo Moment #37_ (which I'm sure everyone here has seen countless times before, but once more won't hurt right?)

Something similar-ish to this in the case of Rocket League would possibly be jstn in the Grand Final of the biggest LAN tournament of the time, in the final game of a best-of-7 series, scoring a comeback goal to force overtime:

(by way of minor explanation, in Rocket League the game does not end when the clock reaches zero until the ball touches the ground or a goal is scored)

Which esports, if any, do any of you here enjoy watching? Are there any spectacular "big plays" you remember happening?

This is my favorite Evo moment:

Reynald‘s evo run in KOF XIII was prolly the most hype I’d been. I honestly don‘t know how big of an underdog he was, but it felt like one of those cheesy, inspirational sports movies in which the hometown nobody finally gets his shot at the big leagues. Here’s him looking back and talking about one of his matches.

I play some fighting games too and I took 2nd place in the Skullgirls tournament at SoCal Regionals 2013. I was even lucky enough to scrub out the legendary Chris G who took 3rd. Check out this footage of me then proceeding to get mollywhopped in grand finals. I'm Steer on the P1 side. Looking back at this, the game has evolved a heck of a lot since then.

And here's JWong trying out Rocket League

@MichaelDMcGrath#15993 I remember watching this, gobsmacked. Maybe the opposite of a “big play” but you're right – what a moment! :slight_smile:

@MichaelDMcGrath#15993 Well now this is my favourite Evo moment also. And Ogawa's victory dance is good enough to rival any post-goal celebration in the NHL.

One thing that keeps me from watching fighting game competitions is the announcers. Always screaming into the mic and blowing out the levels. It really takes away from the game and I hate it.

@tomjonjon#16401 commentators like that are the only reason I watch fighting games haha. I can't get into other eSports because the commentators seem so disinterested in their games by comparison. Never crossed my mind that it might be off putting to people.

I mean I can see how it could be, but I'll watch paint dry if Tasty Steve or Hellpockets is commentating it.

blowing out the levels is my favorite part of fighting game commentary!


I watched this live and loved it. Ogawa kind of clowning after he lands it really makes it for me. I also liked how I got several messages from some friends who asked me “Hey, don't you like Guilty Gear?” after it was on Sports Center later that night.