Any opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of compLexity Gaming or its parent company.
Spoiler Alert: HuK wins Homestory Cup 3!
eSports events are broadcast live, just like any other sports event. The only difference between eSports and sports broadcasts is that there is the option to play games in advance, cast from replays and broadcast the games at a later time while keeping the results secret. Think about how ridiculous it would be if a soccer game that was being played live in front of thousands of screaming fans was to be broadcast at a later time or spoilers were to be kept out of newspapers. No one tries to keep the results of the World Cup soccer matches a secret so people can catch up on the matches at their convenience.
I realize that it is much more exciting to watch the VOD of the Homestory Cup 3 finals and see the excitement of Chris “Liquid’HuK” Loranger’s win without knowing the results prior to watching, but it is a live event. Gay marriage was just legalized in New York this past week, and can you imagine the ridiculousness of someone saying “no, don’t tell me if gay marriage was legalized or not. I want to read the legislation in my own time and find out the outcome for myself!”? The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, and regardless of whether you were able to watch the game or not, the news and its riots were plastered on newspapers and all over the internet. No one would be able to keep that game spoiler-free, and I do not understand why people in the SC2 community expect special treatment.
With the overwhelming amount of SC2 content to consume, there is no way to watch everything. I can understand being upset over spoilers if you are extremely attached to one tournament or player, but let’s be honest: even if you work from home and have hours per day to watch tournaments and VODs, you could not consume all the SC2 content available. Trust me, I know. There is a good reason that SC Center had job postings up looking for people to help watch and summarize games and results: there is too much for one person to watch. Between the GSL, IPL, NASL, MLG, TSL and every other league, invitational and tournament, we’ve got a lot going on. The common excuse of the spoiler-free crew is that they want to watch the content in their own time, but how will they ever catch up? There is no way that someone can use wanting to watch the games at a later time as an excuse for why they don’t want spoilers unless they are committing to one tournament. Even then, some of the content is overwhelming. The NASL had five nights of content per week averaging over three hours of games per night. That is 15 hours of content per week from just one tournament. How could anyone possibly keep up with every tournament?
If you want to live a spoiler-free eSports lifestyle, it is your responsibility to avoid spoilers. You cannot blame everyone else for spoiling results if you’re not doing anything to avoid them. Don’t want to know who won last night’s GSL matches? Keep off of Reddit. Avoid Twitter like the plague. Do not browse GSL posts on TeamLiquid. Watch the matches as soon as possible to ensure the outcome is a surprise. A friend of mine wanted to avoid the results of the latest NHL Draft until he was able to catch up on his PVR recording that night. In order to keep the results spoiler-free, he turned his phone on airplane mode and kept himself off sports sites for the day. Do what you can do to avoid spoilers if you don’t want the results to be spoiled.
I like spoilers. I love using Twitter to connect to the SC2 community and to find results in real-time with next to zero effort. On a regular basis, I ask friends to tweet results at me when I miss big games. I love SC2, but sometimes I do need to leave the house or sleep. It is unrealistic for me to want to catch up on matches at a later time. too. With dozens of games being played every day, there is even more content to catch up on later. If I was particularly attached to a particular tournament or player, perhaps I’d feel differently, but every tournament has its charm, and I adore too many players.
Community sites like TeamLiquid and tournament sites like the NASL do their best to keep the site as spoiler-free as possible to keep everyone happy. In this community, it is best to remove spoilers than face the wrath of the spoiler-free crew. I do think there should be a point of no return, though. How long do you think we should save the results of tournaments before they become common knowledge? For the NASL, it makes sense to keep spoilers off the site or tournament Twitter until the European re-broadcast, but when should results be posted all over the site? What about for community sites? Moderators do a fantastic job of keeping sites spoiler free, but when do you think results become common knowledge? Is there a timer?
After years of playing World of Warcraft, a friend introduced Jacqueline to Starcraft early last year. Jacqueline’s relationship with Starcraft started out slowly: a handful of casual dates, a little bit of flirting but nothing serious. She took her relationship with the game to the next level after BlizzCon 2010 where she experienced eSports magic first-hand and realized that Starcraft was the one. Despite being a mediocre player, she has been clambering the ladder at a glacial pace and has spent more time watching Starcraft online than she’d like to admit. In March, Jacqueline made the leap from eSports fan to eSports professional when she was hired by the Handsome Nerd as their Art Director, combining her design skills with her love of Starcraft. Since its start in April, Jacqueline has been a contributing writer for the North American Star League, writing coverage for Division 1. Offline, Jacqueline is a bookworm, a runner, a freeride snowboarder and has a Human Ecology degree with a Clothing and Textiles major.