As someone who’s really into fighting games, I often find myself watching many tournaments for lots of games. Whether it be to see what the current meta is, see new tech for the game, or just watch people fight, I always find something to enjoy about tournaments. Though, one of my favorite things is watching upsets. Some underdog new player comes out of nowhere and wins it all? Showing off new tech that no one was prepared for? Who doesn’t like a good underdog story? (See Senior Taxi vs NYChirs G)
Apparently, this guy and a few others who think that pro/top players should have the ability to register in advance. As stupid as the idea is, this isn’t the first time this idea has been advocated for. Hell, this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about it. See, this falls squarely under “top player privilege” and the idea has never stopped seeming dumb to me. Because you play video games well, you should have the right to be in line before the line can start? It didn’t make sense the last time we went through this, but now that I’ve read the discourse….well it makes even less sense.
Before when I heard this argument floating around, I didn’t read people’s reasoning. Now that I have, I’m more resolute than ever that some top players just want to be treated like celebrities. Or like babies. One of the biggest areas of contention seemed to be that top players sometimes lose rounds because they don’t wake up on time. That’s astounding to me since we have these fancy phones now and they come with these things called “alarms.” I know it may be a little tricky to find, but if you can find your clock, you can find your alarm and set it. I actually couldn’t believe people even said that with conviction…
A more serious argument seemed to be the idea that new players are just filling the slots of pros who can put on a good show. That may be true for people who want to see the same players all the time. I’m not in that category and believe that new players are truly the lifeblood of a tournament than older ones. If only the top 32 players enter tournaments, it’d be pretty boring. I mean, consider the tournament numbers.
I’m going to use EVO 2019 as a reference. The entrants per game were as follows: Smash Ultimate 3,492, Street Fighter V 1,929, Tekken 7 1,885, and UNIST 1,156. I won’t post them all but you get the point. Looking at the numbers, ask yourself. Do you think they were all professionals or top players? But I remember this year well. Some of those matches were hype, particularly Tekken because that’s always a fun watch. Do you think EVO would have been successful had casual players not entered? While a tournament is definitely about winning, it’s also a test of your skill and to measure where you are. Or so I think.
Let’s wrap this up with a nice neat bow. Stop treating people who play video games like celebrities. The ones who think they are or think they’re untouchable are weirdos. You can wake up and register like everyone else. There is no good reason to have to have advanced registration. Boohoo if you missed the timing. And how could you? T.O.s give such a large window for registration! At least a week! How do you miss that? I just wish this idea of “top player privilege” would stop. Except for Yipes. That guy? That guy’s a legend.