Esports Week 6 – An Article About Articles

Prompt: Find and review three esports related articles produced from teams and breakdown the purpose of the article, how the author address their topic, what makes it a catchy article, and how they engage the fan. Then write three (less than 750 words) articles on your chosen esports topic as if you were writing for your team. Send your “best” or “favorite” article for review and evaluation, and in Peer Review, list reasons why you like your peers’ articles and what they could change. You will only post ONE of your articles that you will write for this week.

Article 1: Interview With Forge Arena Publisher Artur Minac, published 9/7/2018

I’m interviewing Oliver, CEO of Demise Esports, as one of my two interviews for the quarter, so I poked around his franchise’s site to see what sort of content they had. This article stuck out amongst a sea of more generic announcement/recap articles, so I checked it out in order to learn their goals in publishing it.

And…I’m still not sure. It’s a lengthy interview with one of the publishers of a 5v5 FPS I’ve never heard of, and most of the article is dedicated to Artur explaining what Forge Arena is, and how they’re hoping to make an esport out of it. Demise doesn’t have a Forge Arena team, so I can only assume they were considering/planning on one at the time and this article was a gateway introduction for their fans. I can’t think of any other scenario why this interview would exist. Only a single question mentions Demise, and if I were the editor I’d have cut it before the article went live (Interviewer asks Artur his favorite player from Demise, Artur replies he doesn’t have one because he’s never paid attention to them.) At minimum, remove the giant Sad Pepe Frog meme that calls attention to this moment of the franchise getting shot down, it’s terrible optics.

Article 2: Why ‘one-trick-player’ Specialists Ruin the Competitive Experience, published 10/11/2017

This one’s a little different as it’s Jake’s private blog (Jake is a DPS player and the face of the Houston Outlaws), but the Outlaws have a nonexistent internet presence so it (and Linkzr’s post-match MS Paint posters) are the only real internet presence the team has so they’re still treated with a level of representation. I love this blog because it’s so much more than just a mouthpiece for the Houston Outlaws; Jake writes long, passionate articles about Overwatch’s game design and development choices, the sort of thing you never see in a normal team blog. It shows that Jake didn’t stumble into the Overwatch League on accident; he’s put in the time to understand the game and its esports scene on a core level. Of course, it can also get away with a lot less muckwork because of its unofficial nature, not to mention because the Overwatch League has a webpage dedicated to each team that handles more typical news like signings and previews.

Article 3: San Francisco Shock Sign Striker, published 12/3/2018

And here’s an analysis of a more typical article, just because the last two were a bit unusual in design. This was published by NRG, one of those big names that has a major team for every big esport, and I suspect the brevity and tokenism of the article stem from how the fact that it needn’t worry about anything beyond simply existing. NRG doesn’t need to market themselves with this article, they have enough fans and impact that the esport community and third-party journalists are more than happy to shoulder the effort of spreading this story far and wide, speculating on the impact it’ll have and voicing opinions on the ramifications/intelligence of the signing. That last paragraph is straight-up copy-pasted from every other 1st-party article about the SF Shock, and otherwise the article is a mere six sentences long. Thesis statement, a clarifying sentence on Striker, an obligatory quote from the Head coach, and a conclusion sentence; couldn’t be more textbook if they tried.

And now for my article:

Recently, Primal announced that Enzo “WarKr0Zz” Conte has signed onto the team as a flex tank in time for the 2019 Fortnite Open Division. We took some time today to sit down with Enzo and chat about esports, his career, and his future:

Tell us about your background, and how you got into esports. 

I started playing esports when I was very young, maybe 9 or 10, for the Call of Duty games. I quickly fell in love with the spirit of competition, so when I came home after school I’d rush to the computer to try and improve my skill. At 16 I started to play Overwatch. When I reached Top 500 on ladder, a lot of teams contacted me and I ended up joining HuBesport. When I saw the cash prizes available in Fortnite, I started working hard in this new scene and have won several tournaments and cash prizes.

What are your training/practice methods for tournaments? How do you get ready? 

I have two major preparations when training for tournaments: Mentally, I try not to think about losing, and I make sure to spend time with my friends and family the day beforehand. All other days I’m training in Fortnite’s Creative Mode. I watch a lot of videos to learn new tricks and practice them in Creative Mode, especially the endgame because it’s the most difficult part, you always end with like 50 people in a zone smaller than a room.

I notice you stream as well as play competitively. How do you balance your time between streaming vs. participating in esports? 

The stream is a part of my training. I stream almost every time I train, because after the stream I can watch it again to see the mistakes I made. Also, it’s really cool to stream because you can share some moments with your viewers who saw you in a tournament.

Do you think streaming is a valuable resource for esport players to utilize? 

Streaming is a huge opportunity for professionals because you show everyone that you can regularly play at your level. And sometimes, when I do something good a viewer will clip it and share it on Twitter…so all the teams and community will see it.

You worked as a manager for Underrated from October 2017 to April 2018. How different was it to manage an esport team as opposed to simply play on it? 

When you are a player, the only thing you have to do is play and practice. When you are a manager, it’s more difficult, you have to personally know all the players on the team and how they work mentally. When I was a manager I regularly planned “scrims”, which is where you train with other teams. The whole organization of the team rides on your shoulders.

What advice do you have for others hoping to follow in your footsteps and break into esports?

Becoming an esport player is really difficult, you have to be really good from the beginning. After that it’s all about rhythm. Sometimes you’ll be playing for up to 12 hours a day but you can’t quit. I had to balance my practice routine with my studies, but it’s something that feels really rewarding when you stick it through to success.

Enzo streams regularly at https://www.twitch.tv/warkr0zz, and you’ll also see him on the island fighting for Primal when Open Division starts! For more information, visit PrimalGaming.com, and follow @PrimalEsportOrg on Twitter.

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