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eSports Community Proves Gaming is Serious Business

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The eSport world has been growing exponentially over the past few years. This is in part fueled by the rise in great, competitive video games but also in the growing market access as fans can enjoy watching the games via live streams and more.

With this growth in popularity, however, comes the scrutiny of a large audience. That continues to be reflected in the community as outright cheating faces harsh penalties and behavior once considered normal in the community will result in a suspension from your team.

Last week during the League of Legends Season 2 tournament playoffs, fans complained because even though the main screen was hidden from view of the players, the competitors could still see the minimap and use it to their advantage. Fans even caught Team Azubu Frost using information from the minimap to score an early lead against Team SoloMid. This resulted in a “tangible impact” on the game, however Riot decided it didn’t decide the winner. Azubu Frost was allowed to continue playing after a $30,000 (20% of the winnings for moving up to the finals) fine.

Fans are livid that the team, which was caught cheating, was allowed to continue on and play for $1 million. They lost in the finals, but still won $250,000. Even though they were caught, Riot only called Azubu Frost’s actions “unsportsmanlike conduct”. Riot, the developers of League of Legends donated the money from the fine to charity.

The Starcraft community suffered its own controversy this weekend. French Starcraft II player Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri, who plays for the Evil Geniuses team, found himself suspended without pay. The charges against him? Making an uncouth joke about having sex with a 14 year old during a live broadcast online. Stephano apologized on Twitter, but some fans were still angry. The emails to Evil Genius’s sponsors and to the team resulted in a one-month suspension from the team.

Both of these incidents show how seriously the eSports community takes these games. We care about these eSports players and their conduct much like football fans care about the conduct of their teams. The fans are growing and evolving, and so too must the players. The fans have spoken: actions and language matter.

About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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