Regarding the Justin Wong hate…
Most players do not know Justin Wong personally. They don’t know the “history of street fighter” either. Justin is a celebrity in the community, and players watch videos of him play. No other big SF name behaves the way Justin does (taunting, cheering for himself, etc). On top of that, at the biggest events. My introduction to Justin was the Gamestop finals. The fool he made himself by taunting Igo (I believe) and then getting 4-0’ed by Daigo… The worst part is that he is so disrespectful to a GUEST of this country, and tries to use the audience to intimidate his opponents, AT AN EXHIBITION. Just horrible sportsmanship in front of so many people… point is, it DOESN’T MATTER if he is a great guy in person. As someone under public scrutiny, he should be smarter than that. You old players wanted to know why all the hate, and this is the cold hard fact. My impression of Justin has gotten better after reading some of your guys’ personal encounters with him, but as time progress, less and less will know/care. If Justin wants a legacy for himself, he needs to act smarter.
That was the reason, but here is the result of his behavior (and those who encourage/tolerate it). Fighting games will not become mainstream, not be televised, not be popular in arcades. Any legitimate competition has strict sportsmanship rules. Someone posted something about why fighting games is “10 years behind other e-sports.” Because no major corporation will sponsor players just Justin or an inside community that condones it. It would just be a bad business decision. If I were EVO, and I hope to be on G4 next year, I’d put in some rules and change up the image a little.
True story: I follow the Warcraft 3 scene. I saw its growth and development from the beginning. Tournaments have $50K prize pools (and you don’t have to pay to enter). Teams have management, staff, players, INVESTORS, and SPONSORS. They all have salaries too. One top player (Moon) makes $200K a year from salary and tournament winnings alone. Another top player (ToD) is constantly hated on by fans and could not get a legitimate contract after his original team collapsed.
Something to think about.