Joining our own noob Nathan Evans on this fragalicious episode of the Popzara Podcast is legendary Esports commentator and occasional Unreal Tournament trash-talker Paul Chaloner, better known to gaming enthusiasts around the world as ReDeYe, author (with journalist Benjamin Sillis) of the new book This Is ESPORTS (And How To Spell It): An Insider’s Guide to the World of Pro Gaming, now available for your buying pleasure.
It’s a sweeping – and often firsthand – look at the rise, hibernation, and eventual enshrinement of competitive gaming, i.e. Esports or pro-gaming, into mainstream culture. It’s also captured the hearts and minds (not to mention dollars) of millions around the world, and not all of them actual gamers.
Nate and Paul reminisce about the earliest days of what could have been called “competitive” gaming, from the monochromatic Pong era to quarter-slamming arcades to theatricality of the Nintendo World Championships to what would forever change the game, literally: online gaming. Once people logged on, there was no going back.
From StarCraft to Counter-Strike to League of Legends to Fortnite, the rise and domination of modern Esports as a lucrative and influential powerhouse that’s turned regular gamers into millionaire influencers and celebrities overnight. Or maybe it just seemed like overnight. Paul explains there’s more to the story than just kids playing games, and why anyone doubting the significance of pro-gaming as a legitimate phenomenon hasn’t been paying attention.
Listen as Paul passionately defends the industry he helped usher in, why the rise of Esports shouldn’t look for acceptance from traditional media, who the first true pro-gaming celebrity was (Billy Mitchell vs. Thor Aackerlund), what curious potential fans can do to join the movement, and what it’s like being among the most respected and recognizable ambassadors to the fastest growing sport in the world.
Even if you don’t know your CCG from your FGC and you’re not sure if ganking sounds dirty or not, its a low-latency episode FTW and for everyone. GG, y’all!