Does the fighting game scene need superstars?

It needs promotion, not superstars, but superstars like Daigo helped 3s without a doubt. If you’re thinking “superstars” for the FGC or gaming in general, then you are taking way too many steps ahead. The fact is, e-sports is still a niche thing. It’s probably a little behind pro darting, poker, chess, backgammon, table tennis etc. and those are still on the outskirts of the mainstream. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of those guys in their respective games have sponsors or teams backing them. In the FGC, you can only name who’s getting sponsored in 2-4 hands.

And Starcraft will most likely get bigger than AESSF4. And unfortunately, that godforsaken game known as Halo will shine over it.

interesting shit guys! i’m currently writing my senior thesis in college about the concept of community in fighting games. this kind of question is really insightful from a sociological standpoint.

on one hand, you have this established (old school) culture of going to tournaments and being a competitive player, where most people know each other already and good players are respected, but not celebrities by any means.

as the scene grows exponentially, however, the numbers simply become too large for everyone to know everyone else. but, everyone who is interested is at least aware of the names of good players. since you then have large numbers of people who are aware of, but not personally acquainted with these players, it follows naturally that some aspects of being “a celebrity” will emerge for these players.

the really interesting point though, which many people have commented on, is to what degree are the products of this celebrity status (documentaries, tribute videos, sponsorships, asking for autographs) really justifiable, and what kind of empirical effect does this have on fighting game/mainstream culture?

from what I can see, this is really a complex issue because you have the spectators (fan boys) on one side with their perspective, and the other players who actually know top players (who are probably less than starstruck), and of course, the “celebrities” themselves, who might behave in any number of different ways ( i like to think of this as the spectrum of UltraDavid to Filipino Champ. UltraDavid, from conversations i’ve had with him, rejects this idea of celebrity, even though he is a well known name in the community, whereas Filipino Champ, after winning SoCal regionals, appeared quite overwhelmed with his new found status in several interviews, and flaunts the attention that he receives).

from a broad perspective, let’s be real and acknowledge that people who are fighting game celebrities are NOT celebrities AT ALL in mainstream culture. you talk to any random dude or girl on the street and they probably don’t even know street fighter is played competitively. even if you tell them that it is, most people still don’t care.

now, within the the smaller context of video game culture, we can see that some of the top SSF4 players are known to at least some degree, even among some people who don’t play fighting games exclusively. you can see it in articles in kotaku as well as other “mainstream” gaming websites.

still, it is not to the degree of korean starcraft, which we can acknowledge as the epitome of how mainstream video games can be in this present day and age. top starcraft players are given training for interview skills and are sponsored by mainstream corporations that have nothing to do with gaming, similar to other professional spectator sports. a lot of the celebrity status of top korean gamers is fueled and enabled by formal media outlets.

SSF4 top players on the other hand, are documented and interviewed by other community members. there is no formal process or third party that constructs their status, or any mainstream organization to lend these players legitimacy (except for daigo and madcatz i guess, but still not really). i’m not saying that this is good or bad, but it is important to point out that to a large extent, the current generation of players are pioneers of fighting game culture in this new age of streams and spectators. the question of “are celebrities good for the community” is not really relevant at all, because it is not a conscious decision that the community is making for itself. in reality, it’s just that the basic structure of the community is changing, so that these things exist. it’s not “good” or “bad”, it just “is”.

furthermore, i think the mere fact that this kind of conversation is taking place is indicative of just how uncharted these waters are for the fighting game culture. as things progress, we’ll just need to adjust accordingly. until then, i guess the important thing is to keep things in perspective, do not put more emphasis on things than there realistically should be, and at the same time don’t try to pretend that things aren’t changing.

This is an interesting question. Since the whole concept of a super star doesn’t really hurt anyone-and isn’t bad- I’d say it’s a good thing.

I’ve been posting on these forums for a long time. Usually when I wrote, my post would go something like this “character A beats character b because of Y move”. I started noticing recently, especially in the HDR forumns, people would get into flame wars with me. Their arguments would be like “how can you say character a beats b, these top players all disagree with you, this tier chart conducted by these players disagrees with you, you’re a scrub.”

At first I got really mad. They weren’t giving me any logic for their opinions-they were just being groupy hos lol :cool::cool: The whole concept of tier threads, character discussion threads seemed to be deteriorating into popularity contests. Also I didn’t really understand why the groupy players were…being groupies. Why do you care what player X thinks??You’re just being a middle man.

I wasn’t really mad at the “superstar players” but I was getting really frusterated with the groupy mindset. I thought things like tier threads should be about the game characters, not what X player thinks

Anyway, I’ve kinda changed my mind. Having “groupy tier/character” threads is a good way to motivate people to come out to events-tier threads especially. Tier threads have kinda evolved into a way of recognizing and prasing people that are good. “who are ryu’s bad matchups? well daigo said…” It’s not really about people “fans or groupies” it’s more about giving credit to good players. I’d be lying if I said I don’t care about being recognized or whattever.

so in conclusion…the concept of a superstar is inevitable since the forums here are so active. I’d say it’s a good thing too.

I definitely understand the reasoning behind catering to the stream over the players. If I still ran large scale stuff, I’d do it to. I’m just saying, as a player, I really don’t like it.

I do not really want to address the playing habits of top players again, but I’m not making this stuff up. I know a lot of players, and I’ve stayed with a few for pretty extended periods. A lot of them don’t play much at all. Some do, but a lot of people like to equate play time with proficiency, 1:1, but that is REALLY not how it is. Better players just make better use of their time. Most of them play way less than the players they’re beating.

The Evo poll is an internet problem, not a spectator problem. SRK is going to have a lot of people who don’t go to Evo streams or no streams at this stage.

Being a fighting game “star” is one of those big fish in an incredibly small pond things. Daigo kind of transcends it into general gaming culture, but otherwise…yeah.

Theres this thing that i personally enjoy that many other people also enjoy in their own ways, however ideally it should be moulded into this particular shape based on how i enjoy it, and

It’s easy to say when you actually have a scene for the game you play. Also why would you even want to bother someone to sign anything for you? I’d rather get better than the best and beat them. Seems like it would be more satisfactory than riding their balls like a pair of cotton underwear…

The thing I find with a lot of stream monsters…is that they don’t have an actual appreciation for good street fighter fights. They just look for big, advertised names to fight and follow the hype from there. No one actually understands about(or *cares about) * what goes on in the game. More people are there for end result blow ups, so it gives them the right to be a dickrider/hater for a certain player/character.

I read a comparison made on this site before, about how televised Poker wasn’t really an appreciated thing among the mainstream, unless the players themselves were advertised as “the best” or for having lovely personalities. It’s the same here.

You already see it in this topic right now. Not to put the topic creator on blast, but lmao at wanting tomo’s signature for a completely superficial reason. The best players truly are the ones who are the most advertised.

I understand where you’re coming from and I agree that sometimes the quality of the player and matches gets overlooked for the excitement surrounding the event. I don’t agree though that the best players are the ones that are most advertised. The fighting game scene is a meritocracy, players who are highly lauded are the ones who have placed the best, or who have done something to deserve that recognition (ran tournaments, disseminated information to the community). In this case, the “top players,” and honestly, if we take any example, Mike Ross, Justin Wong, Daigo Umehara, Arturo Sanchez, Ricky Ortiz, etc, have all earned their status by placing consistently in tournaments. No one “advertised” their way to the top. Every single player who is well known, is well know for a reason.

Oh, and I wanted to add Skisonic to the list because he’s a kick-ass commentator and just so much fun to watch (See him flipping his shit in the background when Tokido posed at SCR.

Also James Chen because he’s really fun to hear commentate. Also Juicebox because he’s one of the smartest players in the game.

It’s kind of like Jim Ross and the WWE. He may not be a wrestler, but he’s become familiar to me through commentary. I’d lump these guys in with Daigo, Wong, ect.

Finally, I see your Average Joe playing SF like playing pickup basketball. It’s a fun activity, but it’s not really serious and nobody would ever see themselves going pro. Something that I think needs to change in the community.

Because the fighting game community is still growing with its player endorsements. If Juicebox Abel didn’t dance in front of a stream, people wouldn’t be able to tell him apart from Rico Suave, Combofiend or Ryder. But he’s the more popular one with the sponsorship success to show for it. And you hear how he’s the “best abel” more often than not. Daigo is the best in the world even though Japan says Mago’s the best, etc.

Going back to my point, the grand majority who now watch these streams now don’t care about this game. Everyone’s evo moment is scumbag ragequitting, or Justin losing to a character he thought wasn’t good. It’s that jerry springer appeal “look at that guy lose lolololool”. Not something like Mike Ross’ comebacks, Lamerboi’s crazy adaptation to bad guile matchups or Dirty Cole beating Daigo in HDR. Nothing about the actual game.

sorry, he’s actually right.

No one said anything about top players not being serious about the game, wtf.

Strong players will learn 10x as much in less time than an average one. Simple.

Now im taken you mean superstar as like the defintion >>here<<.

People who could be considered superstars IMO
Valle , Choi, Daigo etc.

There’s is people who look up to them as superstars because how successful they are for being in top 8 or 10 in big tourneys and how fluent & solid there game play is. There is nothing wrong that.

These “superstars” could (if acknowledge the right way) possibly encourage players to be even more successful like them one day and strive there selves to work harder to become solid, and get stronger at the mindgames like Valle and etc.

Thus makin more players ambitious to make it to the top with good competition and start showing up to more comps which makes the scene stronger.

As for fans, Im shore there are those that like I said are a fan because of how good they are and trying to succeed like them but still have respect for other players in general.

Then there are those (That I like to call FANBOYS) that just swing from them nuts with a kung fu grip and dont acknowledge other good players and they make a ass of them selves. IMO

I hope you reach your goal, when you get there tell me how it feels?
I hope it lives up to all your expectations

kof2002 and vf4evo say hello

Anybody ever wonder how well returning champs would do if they had to fight their way up through the ranks every tourney instead of chilling through most of it, and being allowed to remain relatively fresh and relaxed against a tired, frazzled opponent?

… I’m PRETTY sure they’d still win/place very high.

There’s a REASON they’re champions… @_@

namedropping people you’ve never met…