I don’t know if you really know this, but being a shoutcaster is incredibly difficult. Over the course of the last ~24 hours or so OGN English caster MonteCristo announced on twitter that he was indefinitely taking a break from the League of Legends community on Reddit citing “it’s not good for my career or mental health” and is subsequently taking a break from social media in general for the next few days.
Does anybody else see how utterly ridiculous it is for someone whose career literally exists online to have to take a break from the internet because certain people decide they can’t conduct themselves in any semblance of a mature or realistic manner? The internet is the workplace of eSports in many ways yet if any co-workers at an offline job were caught behaving half as badly as people do online they’d instantly be cautioned or sacked for their behaviour, but apparently acting like complete and utter jerks is okay online because (presumably) no one knows who you are.
As someone who has some limited academic exposure to the power of anonymity people can be more inclined to act more destructively when they’re anonymous, but the level to which online communities seem to approve this idea is absurd. The utterly disgusting and baseless language that people have to endure from online communities is embarrassing for an industry that has people working tirelessly to try and turn eSports into something healthy, flourishing and professional.
I am fully aware that the people that exercise their perceived right to be an absolute dickhead are a minority in the community and everyday I am thankful for that, but those people that think they can do whatever they want because they’re supposedly not copeable online are hurting the industry I’m assuming they support.
Do you want to see your game and eSports rise to incredible heights? Do you wish that eSports can become as natural and as large as actual sports? Do you wish those words were synonymous? Then why do you choose to represent the worst of the community so vocally? I assume you’re posting in a League of Legends subreddit because you have some sort of interest in the game.
I mean you can’t really call MonteCristo’s casting ‘terrible’ if you haven’t heard it at least once, so you’re presumably a part of the community. What point in your thought process enlightened you to the idea that thoughtless flaming was helpful for the industry you love?
I mean, it’s not like the industry is dying because of you, not even close, in fact I’m happy to say that everyone who works towards making the dream of eSports a reality does so with the knowledge that we’re much better off without the community’s toxic minority. We should and we are happy when you’re banned from our game because you do not belong.
You might not be crippling the industry but there is no way you are helping. If you’re invested enough in a community to flame its personalities then you must be invested enough to want to see it progress, except here’s the thing: you’re doing the opposite.
As I prefaced this letter with, it is more difficult than you probably appreciate to be a shoutcaster. I’m sure most of you have imagined what it’s like but I doubt many of you really appreciate the amount of work that we put in to bring YOU content.
I’m not saying you’re not thankful, not at all. The incredible amount of positivity and constructive feedback we get from the community is invaluable and we love you for it. It’s just that some of you have decided that you’d rather be part of the problem than the solution and those few of you that do so make our lives needlessly more difficult.
It’s hard enough remembering everything about a game as complex and as deep as League of Legends, or any game for that matter, we also have to be able to communicate that knowledge effectively to you, in a live setting, for hours on end.
That’s our job and we’ve gotten pretty good at it, I mean look at the incredible talent of greats like Joe and Deman, these guys fill time like it’s there job and they do a fantastic work week in, week out. Not to mention everything else they and everyone else does to bring you an entertaining, professional broadcast of the game that you love to watch and play.
Do you think any of that has come from anything other than a ridiculous amount of hours of casting, self-improvement and slow climbing? eSports is only about ten years old and has only really seen massive growth in the last few years, what exactly do you think people have been doing for the other 7-8 years? For those of you that decide to sling mud, what did we do to become your targets?
At the time of writing the League’s 112th champion is slated to be released. How many of you can name every single ability (passives included) of the 111 current chapions? I used to be able to and I’d like to think I could get at least 100 champions worth.
I used to play memory every single day and go through each champion, one-by-one until i’d learnt the names of all the abilities and then I would go back and test myself. I’d do this every day until I could look at a champion and instantly tell you what its five abilities were named.
Give it a go if you like, let you know how many you can remember. I think you’ll find it’s a lot harder than it sounds. And the worst part? That’s just the names, my memory game gave me nothing more than the names. Each ability in League of Legends does something incredibly unique and I had to test myself every day just to get the names down.
I mean sure, it is our job to remember that stuff. Part of what makes eSports commentary so interesting to me is that while it has a lot of the action that makes regular spectator sports interesting, there is always a level of strategy involved and knowing that requires extensive game knowledge.
But how does you telling me I suck help me to do my already intensive job well? How about ten of you saying that? How about 100? What about 500? How about thousands? I honestly don’t even want to imagine any higher.
I’m sure almost all of you have some sort of job or study at school. If one hundred people told you every single day you were terrible at what you were trying to do, do you think your work ethic would suffer at all? Would you like it if every day you were told you were worthless and terrible at life? Probably not. If only people were using phrases that were as soft as the ones I used as examples then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. /sarcasm
There’s a name for that behaviour by the way: bullying.
I was bullied in primary school, pretty relentlessly as well. I was miserable for two years of my life. I dreaded going to school everyday, I consistently pretended I was sick so I wouldn’t have to go because I didn’t want to face the 2-5 people that had decided they wanted to make my time at school utterly terrible. I remember finishing my last year of primary school and crying, because I couldn’t have been any happier to leave that awful environment.
I was twelve years old when I left primary school. People are pretty resilient and I had plenty of family support, I was and am a very stable person and sure some people will throw jabs here are there, but it’s pretty rare to see punches. Even when you’re young and possibly a little more sensitive, at an age when things might impact you a little more you can live through people just being dicks for the sake of it, it happens, no ones perfect, kids are cruel, etc.
That was just 5 people, somedays less. FIVE. That was all it took to reduce me to a weeping mess every single weekday. Imagine what a hundred does. Imagine more. Ask yourselves again why you’re doing it.
I’ve heard deplorable language online, language I would never expect anyone I could ever meet to use in front of me or anyone else. I hear the words n*****r and f****t more frequently online that I probably will in my offline lifetime. How do people think that being online takes away from how disgusting that language is? Who types that and thinks it’s okay? Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Do you tell that to your boss? Your co-workers? Your teachers? Your friends? Even moving away from that sort of language, you give nothing but pain by directly insulting someone. There cannot be that many masochists in the world that I hear or see people getting flamed online as often as I do. Community, it has to stop.
Even the majority of you that do the right thing will still have moments where you vent your frustration directly at someone. No matter how innocent you think you’re being you gain nothing from straight up flaming someone no matter how harmless you think you are. If you can’t be constructive then it is honestly just better that you’re quiet.
Actually think before you say something, your brain has this filter in real life when you’re conversing,so try applying it to your online life and tell me that you haven’t felt better and that your games aren’t going better as a result.
And even beyond that, if you’re a happy, constructive person who is very well-mannered online don’t just sit there if a teammate or an opponent is flaming someone else. Tell them it’s not appropriate to say that, remind them of the consequences of their actions. I hate that people think the word f*****t is okay or even honestly the word ‘gay’.
If you are doing the right thing by yourself you’re still part of the problem if you’re sitting there doing nothing while someone else gets torn to shreds. You are as bad as the witness that doesn’t report the crime they saw, you are just as copeable for the shitty behaviour if you do nothing to stop it.
I once spent at least ten minutes after a game arguing with someone that they shouldn’t use word f*****t. Did I get anywhere? I’m honestly not sure, but I’d like to think so. Even if I didn’t though I am least better for standing up for what I believe in than staying silent.
I’m sure a lot of you know the Starcraft caster ‘Tasteless’. He did a great extended interview with JP for his show ‘Real Talk’, you might recognize the shows he’s done with Snoopeh from EG or maybe with Joe Miller. Do you know what Tasteless, one of the most recognized and loved figured within eSports and a pioneer for English casting in Korea had to say about the community? Do you know what he called you?
Tasteless said he doesn’t visit websites or anything of that ilk anymore because it straight up embarrasses him how the community behaves. And you know what, with some of the events I’ve seen and with has transpired over the last few days I’m inclined to agree. How exactly do we sell eSports when one of our most prestigious personalities sums up our community with the word embarrassing?
As I said, those of you that are doing the wrong thing are certainly not killing us, but you’re making it harder. If honestly all you’re here for is to ruin everyone’s fun then I ask you to just leave. We don’t need or want you here, you are a virus we wish to eradicate.
For those of you that are doing the right thing, I encourage you to keep doing it and encourage those who aren’t to do it also. We can make the difference. I don’t expect us to ever exist in a place where there are zero undesirable elements of the community, but we should certainly be able to keep the balance of those sorts of people at less than 1%.
Gamers have always shown an incredible amount of passion and enthusiasm for what they love so I ask you to demonstrate that seeking to protect it from those who wish to harm it.
People are always going to be mean sometimes, but there’s no reason those people can’t change and there’s no need for them to be here if they refuse to.
We are the difference between success and failure, please, please remember that. If you love eSports as much as I and everyone else does, then you need to be part of its active growth.
This has to stop.
I will not stand for it anymore.
If I see or hear anyone engaging in straight up flaming or witness anyone doing something I see as being de-constructive I will pull you up and ask you to answer to me.
And you better have a fucking good reason.
Julian “Pastrytime” Carr