Publishers: Your Press Events Are Not Esports

It’s boring and embarrassing nobody likes it.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Showing the multiplayer live is cool to see as it show how it works without it being scripted. That said just show the game.

every time the camera cut back to mrmuselk doing absolutely fuck-all in the world’s saddest dogfight our group call started jeering and booing. whoever was in charge of the outgoing video feed had absolutely NO clue what the players were doing at any time, and frankly i don’t think i can blame them


Great op-ed. It’s weird to pre-hype your game as an esport. I got enticed in to Dota by watching the International, and it was an almost incomprehensible mess to an outsider that had me frantically googling things like BKB. But knowing for certain that the depth was there to be found gave me confidence that it was worth getting in to. When you don’t know anything about the game before it’s been released I just don’t have that confidence that it’s worth getting excited about a thing that might die in a year or just not have the ability to deliver what pre-existing esports already do.

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While I completely agree with this sentiment, I disagree with regards to the Battlefront example. What we’ve gotten in the past with actual esports pushes such as Halo 5 and Shootmania in previous years are what I complain about and don’t want to see. The EA Battlefront multiplayer is pretty much exactly what I want to see (though it could’ve been shorter). Yes, the commentary was pretty bland, but it was helpful and did not seem “esports” to me. They weren’t describing plays and tactics with esports lingo, but rather the different class and vehicles types and their roles. The whole presentation was exactly the style I want to see from these conferences, though it doesn’t have to be as long. I’ve very glad they didn’t just have a supercut trailer like the article asks for because this was tangible, real gameplay and 1000% more usual for showing what the game is about.

Like a Wendy’s drivethru window, heh.

I agree, the fake e sports stuff has always been a big fat dud, but they keep tryin.

Over/under on ZeRo4 on stage at Bethesda playing Quake Champions?

I agree about not trying to go full esports but I guess to me this didn’t feel like that as much? It was basically just extensive gameplay footage of a mode in the game from start to finish. It’s not as tightly edited enough to get the exact information you want to convey as a trailer or prerecorded video would, but it felt like the commentators were actively trying to explain what came up on screen as they went along to give viewers an idea of what is going on. Though I suppose having the developers commentate would have made more sense if that were the approach…

I feel like that’s very different to this situation since Quake has a history of esports.

Hyping Battlefront 2 - a game in a series that’s never had a esports scene (so far as I know anyway) - like its an esport just feels awkward and forced.

I think that the biggest issue is that Battlefront will never be an eSport and pretending otherwise fools absolutely no one.

-It’s largely random, with huge power ups given out randomly.
-There’s not a single through line to the action, no one payload to focus on.
-Score is not easily apparent. Throughout the whole demo no one knew who was winning or why anything was happening.
-eSports teams do not put together 20 man rosters, that’s impractical. Most eSports do with about 6.

I think it was okay to do commentated videos for promotion of exactly 2 games: Starcraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm. Those were appropriate as otherwise you wouldn’t know what the fuck was going on and, also, it wasn’t totally overused at the time. Now you should find other ways to illustrate your game, like Blizzard did with Overwatch in their original Gameplay Trailer. That gameplay trailer almost perfectly explained every hero without a single word. I know I watched it like a dozen times before I got into Overwatch. Such a good approach.

More clever ways of showing gameplay, less pretending to be eSports. That’s done.

I think I’m mostly apathetic about it by now. I’m not really the target for that style of marketing (I kinda just want to see the game and get bullet points), but I watch the conferences with the Giant Bomb crew talking over it so it doesn’t grate on me. I guess devs speaking to the things they’re doing with the game would be more informative, but I dunno.

To be fair, as some have said above, I don’t think Battlefront 2 was an egregious case of that kinda marketing.

On top of Quake’s history I also just think that if you want to show off something like that properly then it’s probably a good idea to have somebody who knows what they’re doing playing it.

I remember watching the trailer they showed last year thinking the game looked way to slow to have Quake in the name, but it turns out it was just because the people playing in the trailer were kinda bad.

If I wasn’t watching it with the Giant Bomb commentary crew I almost certainly would have muted the stream and enjoyed all those pretty pictures a heck of a lot more (man that game looked real nice).

It’s certainly not the most egregiously bad commentary I’ve ever heard (hello Wildlands demo) and for what it’s worth I think the commentators themselves did just about all they could with the subject material. But it did less than nothing to get me excited for what will almost certainly be a pretty good shooter. It was a mess of randomly jumping cuts to people I did not care about doing I don’t know what the hell and it was boring to boot. Less of this would be great.

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I agree with this.

While the demo could have been shorter, they did show an entire match and let it play out naturally, including the bumbling of aerial fighters flying in circles. (How many Battlefront/Battlefield players really know what they’re doing in vehicles, anyway?) It also wasn’t painfully staged multiplayer. I’d take real gameplay with some explanatory commentary over, say, demo of a team-based multiplayer where the demo players are obviously going off of a rehearsed script that’s been written in a way that doesn’t reflect how players actually communicate.

The EA conference was bland as all get-out and was predictable down the the presence of a token indie game (even if the actual game itself was a surprise). Very lifeless and corporate, but the actual game demonstration of Battlefront II wasn’t the primary reason why.

I would have loved a good eSports stream of their new game. I enjoy a range of eSports and do think it can show off a multiplayer game (although maybe not as efficiently as some pre-captured footage that is picked to highlight core features of the game).

What I got was an almost random jumping camera between areas with no context (especially necessary as none of the viewers knew this brand new map) and commentary that seemed jumbled rather than informative. I can deal with iffy production and lack of polish leading to a somewhat less than optimal viewing experience (I’ve watched FozaRC - no one will be asking them to take over F1 direction) but this seemed particularly bad and when you’ve got people used to the direction of a Dota2 or CS game, this gives a poor impression. I am now actively less likely to jump into an eSports stream of this game after that presentation and surely the intent was the opposite of that.

Weirdly enough, Nintendo has also been doing a big esports push, despite their history with it. They did the Smash Invitational back in 2014, inviting top and popular Smash players, and then they did the Nintendo World Championship. This year they are putting on three different tournaments for upcoming games during E3: Splatoon 2, ARMS and Pokken Deluxe.

astroturfed esports presentation always makes me think of Evolve, which at one E3 (i think?) had a whole match commentated by Ayesee, who was a dota caster at the time. it was really embarassing to listen to him and the co-commentator pretend like fuckin Evolve was a big esport with an established meta.

the BF2 stuff didn’t feel that much like an esport and i guess the casters were talking about the classes and stuff. but it was waaaay too long for how goofy the play and the feed cuts were.