Cross post from: How would you fix the "Staged Match" problem?
#stAGEd Block Spoiler
I agree with @SuperFreak that this is definitely less about splitting (which is whatever) and definitely more about not playing out your set.
I agree with @Hecatom that this is definitely less about stream monsters and definitely more about how the active player base reconciles with itself the priorities of the community, whether they be growth or cash or entertainment or whatever.
This is just one of the very real growing pains that our community will have to come to terms with. Aside from showing poor sportsmanship and consideration for the players who aren’t, you know, coming out anywhere near even on their trips/hotel and travel costs/vacation days used/etc., the #stAGEd player matches aren’t really breaking any rules, or at least any enforceable ones that TOs will be willing to see through (full disclosure, next year will make a decade for which I’ve been running tournaments and my tournaments explicitly prohibit uncompetitive play at the risk of tournament disqualification). And yes, I will bring TOs into this discussion because rules need to be enforced and we rely on TOs and their staff to do that.
There is definitely a reluctance on the part of the still-really-good-at-games crowd, or the old elite, to take part in a changing of the guard with respect to the culture of the community. There is absolutely an “I can do whatever I want” mindset and back in the day we would resolve this with quarters at the arcade, but it’s just not that way anymore; if you didn’t like the cut of someone’s jib, you just put up however many credits you needed to correct their tone. Regardless of whether we like it or not, that environment does not exist anymore and it cannot exist if we want the huge tournaments and the myriad sponsors and the huge pot bonuses. If we are willing to give up those things, then yes, we can go back to the decidedly Darwinist legacy of the arcade era, but we all know that nobody is willing to do that.
This problem can definitely be rectified by sacrifice on the part of any party, but they’re sacrifices that nobody is going to accept. We could all stop going to tournaments or entering games we don’t like or play to stop funding matches that we don’t want to see. Is that gonna happen? No. We could stop watching streams and subscribing or supporting stream and YouTube channels that broadcast matches we don’t want to see. Is that gonna happen? No. We could stop socially following, donating to or supporting players that play matches we don’t want to see. Is that gonna happen? No. We could stop supporting and attending tournaments run by TOs that allow the playing of matches we don’t want to see. Is that gonna happen? No. And I mean all these "we"s in the very general sense of the mainstream majority.
The overarching issue is that this community wants to have its cake and eat it, too, while trying to remain blissfully ignorant of the changes that are happening more rapidly than NetherRealm Studios game patches. There is always a breaking point, however, and while a few rotten apples may not spoil this bunch, they also may inadvertently work toward the detriment of their fellow players. This is where the C in FGC breaks down; where players and organizers suddenly feel that they are not beholden to anyone. It’s an attitude that has to change if people are serious about fighting games not only growing, but also about fighting games being taken seriously worldwide in the same vein that other genres are.