Control: Esports Mania
I, Dalton Lewis, a forty-two year old man, watch other people play video games. It’s called esports. I watch professional adults play Starcraft 2 against each other.
Starcraft 2 is a strategy game, a real-time strategy game. It’s difficult and rewards clever play and trickery. It’s brilliant and difficult to master. Armani and Maru play in the semifinals tonight. Armani is a career player who has always lost in the middle of tournaments until this season: deep into his career he has improved and is performing better than he has ever previously played.
He plays against Maru, a brilliant Terran player who epitomizes space marines. He is the best space marine player of the last few years. He plays by attacking constantly. From the very beginning of the game until the very end he conducts raids to attack his opponent, hurting his resources and attacking his workers and bases and structures.
The game’s tactics and strategies change depending on patches. Different patches upgrade and balance out the game, trying to make it more fair and less unbalanced. These patches are an integral part of the strategy of the game.
I remember six or seven years ago I began to watch esports and pay attention to the Starcraft 2 scene. The game was considered one of the main esports then — it hadn’t been eclipsed by League of Legends and Dota 2 and that shooting game yet.
Armani plays zerg, a race which builds up a huge economy and a huge number of units while defending against raids from space marine terran units. Zerg used to be based on a unit called the roach, a unit that was super-cheap to build and was pretty good and would give a lot of quick victories.
I play the game, too — I don’t just watch the game. I play on the ladder. It’s a competitive scene in which someone tries to raise higher in the echelons of the players playing the game around the world. There are tiers and you go higher as you win more games. There is bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, master, and grand master. I am usually platinum but went down to gold this season because I haven’t played as much. I play zerg now but used to play marines. I don’t usually play the third faction, protoss, because they aren’t my style of play.
Maru and Armani aren’t expected to be close. Maru is expected to win big. Armani will have to try to prove us wrong.
Thanks, and take care, friends.